Horst Auction Center to feature Hess collection April 26-27

By on April 24, 2019

A two-day event later this week at Horst Auction Center in Ephrata officially kicks off one of several auctions which will spotlight the collection and property of the late Clarke E. Hess.

On April 26 and 27, hundreds of antiques will be sold to the highest bidder from Hess’s personal estate. The collection spans over 50 years of collecting &tstr; a hobby and passion which began with the first item he would purchase in October of 1966 at the age of 12.

“We are excited about the auction,” said Brent Horst, a fifth-generation auctioneer for the family-run business.

“I think it is the best collection to be offered in Lancaster County in at least the last 15 or 20 years.”

Hess kept detailed notes on each piece, including the full provenance of the item as well as the person or public sale where it was originally purchased. He also kept notes concerning if an item was repaired or altered.

“Clarke’s collection of antiques includes a number of important & rare pieces of Lancaster County folk art, decorative accessories, clocks and furniture,” Horst said.

“This is the first of three antique auctions for the estate and includes part of his collection of over 60 frakturs and four Lancaster County tall case clocks,” Horst added. “It also includes several exceptional examples of sampler work, show towels and other needlework, as well as six pieces of extremely rare sulfur inlaid furniture and eight pieces made by Leacock Township folk artist

 

A rare and important Ephrata memorial Fraktur for Brother Obed will also be up for bid. Obed (or Ludwig Hacker) was considered one of the most important members and arrived to Ephrata from Germantown in 1744. He and wife Margaret divorced, and each joined the celibate orders. Obed also served as a schoolmaster for the Cloister.

Jonas Weber as well as a 19th century ledger pertaining to Weber.”

Hess, who passed away last November, was a friend and expert of Lancaster County history, historic preservation, and architecture. He was also a noted and respected historian of Pennsylvania German and Mennonite culture. Hess would pen many local history books including “The Mennonite Arts” in 2001 and “Lancaster County Privy Bags” in 2009. Countless items which were showcased in his books would come from his own collection.

Hess served on many boards and committees through the years including The Heritage Center Museum, The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County, Landis Valley Farm Museum, The Hans Herr House, and The Lancaster Quilt Museum. He was also very active with the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, and was awarded the Preservation Leadership award from the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County. In 2015, Hess would co-curate an historic arts and artifacts exhibit for the Manheim Township Historical Society. Hess also served as vice president and a principal owner of Hess Home Builders.

Also available to the highest bidder will be this rare, large rye straw basket with chip-carved handles. This is believed to have been produced in the Ephrata area. This item was also on exhibit at the Joseph Schneider Haus, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, in 1997.

In 1985, he purchased a property (which was once owned by his ancestors) in Lititz, and transformed the acreage back to its 18th century look–all on land that was originally acquired from

William Penn’s sons in 1735. The property would go on to be featured in several local historic house and garden tours.

Among the vast number of items up for auction will be many Ephrata area antiques. A small sampling of these items are:

A rare, hanging cupboard from the Ephrata Cloister. Cupboards like this one were located in each cell of the Sister’s House. This was once owned by Daniel Kachel, who was one of the three surviving members of the Cloister.

Up for auction will be a rare, hanging cupboard from the Ephrata Cloister. Cupboards like this one was located in each cell of the Sister’s House. This particular one was once owned by Daniel Kachel, who was one of the three surviving members of the Cloister.

A rare, large rye straw basket with chip-carved handles. This is believed to have been produced in the Ephrata area. This item was also on exhibit at the Joseph Schneider Haus, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, in 1997.

A rare and important Ephrata memorial Fraktur for Brother Obed. Obed (or Ludwig Hacker) was considered one of the most important members and arrived to Ephrata from Germantown in 1744. He and wife Margaret divorced, and each joined the celibate orders. Obed also served as a schoolmaster for the Cloister.

“Daniel Rupp, in his history on the Ephrata Cloister, notes that it was customary to make memorial frakturs for members after their death to be hung in their cell; but this, to our knowledge, is the only surviving example,” Horst added.

A preview of items will occur April 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Horst Auction Center.

The auction later this month is the first of several Hess estate sales planned.

On May 23, the Hess homestead (and other outbuildings) sale containing four acres of real estate, will take place at 27 Lititz Run Rd. On June 8, Horst will feature part two of the Hess antiques collection. The sale of the Hess stone farmhouse located at 700 E. Front St., Lititz, is slated for June 20.

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your comments at cvanbrookhoven@lnpnews.com or 717-721-4423. 

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