Earning $25,312 and setting the high water mark for the sale was “Low Tide, Maine” by Fern Coppedge, which had at one time been in an Ohio collection of the artist’s works. Oil on canvas, 14 by 16 inches.
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Tom Hall Auctions
SCHNECKSVILLE, PENN. – More than 325 lots from the collection of the late Dr Donald M. Sledz were sent across the block at Tom Hall Auctions on August 29, in an online-only sale on HiBid that was a testament to the Lehigh Valley, Penn., collector’s passionate eye. Sledz began his collection in 1969, buying ancient pottery shards from Christie’s London. Over the years, with expanding knowledge and as his interests changed, his collection expanded to include African art, ancient and primitive money, antiquities, art pottery, classic cars, coins, gems and minerals, modern and contemporary glass, photographs, rugs and carpets, and fine art by American, German and Russian artists. A final chapter for the collector would expand even further, embracing Midcentury Modern furniture, Southeast Asian works of art and Outsider art, including pieces from self-taught artists from Pennsylvania.
In a collection that represented works of such a globally diverse nature, it is perhaps most fitting that the top lot of the day was “Low Tide, Maine,” a work by a comparatively local artist, Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge (Pennsylvania, Kansas and Illinois, 1883-1951). Prior to joining Sledz’s collection, the 14-by-16-inch oil on canvas, in an ornate gilded frame, had been in a private collection of Coppedge paintings in Ohio. It set the high water mark for the sale, closing at $25,312.
Fellow Pennsylvania artist Walter Emerson Baum (1884-1956) scored a third place finish when his “The Tipple,” an early coal scene in oil on board measuring 22 by 26 inches achieved $2,825. Other