Important American Furniture, Paintings, Folk Art and Decorative Arts – January 22, 2013 Auction Results

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Lot 153

153: Small Iron and Wood Boneshaker 153: Small Iron and Wood Boneshaker

Small Iron and Wood Boneshaker

American, circa 1870

The following excerpt ( with appreciation!) from Wikipedia: "The first really popular and commercially successful design was French. An example is at the Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa.[12] Initially developed around 1863, it sparked a fashionable craze briefly during 1868-70. Its design was simpler than the Macmillan bicycle; it used rotary cranks and pedals mounted to the front wheel hub. Pedaling made it easier for riders to propel the machine at speed, but the rotational speed limitation arising from stability and comfort concerns would lead to the large front wheel of the "penny farthing". It was difficult to pedal the wheel that was used for steering. The use of metal frames reduced the weight and provided sleeker, more elegant designs, and also allowed mass-production. Different braking mechanisms were used depending on the manufacturer. In England, the velocipede earned the name of "bone-shaker" because of its rigid frame and iron banded wheels that resulted in a "bone-shaking experience for riders."On the new macadam paved boulevards of Paris it was easy riding, although initially still using what was essentially horse coach technology. It was still called "velocipede" in France, but in the United States, the machine was commonly called the "bone-shaker". Later improvements included solid rubber tires and ball bearings. Lallement had left Paris in July 1865, crossed the Atlantic, settled in Connecticut and patented the velocipede, and the number of associated inventions and patents soared in the US. The popularity of the machine grew on both sides of the Atlantic and by 1868-69 the velocipede craze was strong in rural areas as well. Even in a relatively small city such as Halifax, Canada, there were five velocipede rinks, and riding schools began opening in many major urban centers. Essentially, the velocipede was a stepping stone that created a market for bicycles that led to the development of more advanced and efficient machines. However, the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 destroyed the velocipede market in France, and the "bone-shaker" enjoyed only a brief period of popularity in the United States, which ended by 1870. There is debate among bicycle historians about why it failed in the United States, but one explanation is that American road surfaces were much worse than European ones, and riding the machine on these roads was simply too difficult. Certainly another factor was that Calvin Witty had purchased Lallement's patent, and his royalty demands soon crippled the industry. The UK was the only place where the bicycle never fell completely out of favor."

Estimate: $800 - $1,200

Collectors Joanne and Jeffrey Klein enjoy the eclectic mix of American folk art, painted furniture and modern sculpture and paintings. They love the juxtaposition of modern with traditional ranging from symbolism to widely varying textured painted and weathered surfaces. Their appreciation of form, color and texture is exhibited in their collection of exceptional painted furniture, weathervanes, redware pottery, hooked rugs and wood carvings.

Price Realized: $1,116