It was a less than average Thursday auction at one of my favorite auction houses, Dave Miller's in St. Cloud. I went to the auction to look at a pair of leather chairs that were online in the auction bill. I looked at the chairs, they were right and just what I expected. There were a couple of other pieces of furniture that were interesting and a couple of smalls that would work if they sold for the right price.
I sat around waiting for the leather chairs and even bought a couple of small pieces to make sure that my bidding arm was working properly. Dave got to the furniture at about 7:30 PM and started down the line getting better prices than I would pay for most items. At the end of the first line he came to a game table with 4 pressedback chairs. I had looked at the set but didn't do a hard examination because I wasn't too interested. The chairs were solid and the table didn't rock. Bidding started low and moved very slowly, stalling at $65. I thought that was a very cheap price for 4 chairs and a game table so I threw in a $70 bid. No further bids so the set was mine.
The bidding moved on to other items and eventually to the leather chairs. My friend Sam had come to the auction to look at the chairs too, but deferred to me on the purchase. I got the chairs and then had them put one on Sam's bidding number. I next bought a custom made black walnut Danish modern style desk. The desk is beautiful and I'm pretty sure that I didn't pay enough to reproduce even one drawer.
We loaded the truck in the dark and I didn't examine anything other than getting the straps in the right places to keep the entire load on the truck all the way home. The next morning I decided to bring the load to Second Hand Rose for the July market. I unstrapped the load and started hauling things into my space. I then took my first good look at the pressed design on the back of the chair. There looking me right in the eye because of the angle that the chair being carried was a clear pressed "JUNG"
I got very interested. I knew that Jung was an old time brewery in Milwaukee and I had seen saloon chairs marked with the logo of other breweries. I also knew that game tables with pockets under the tabletop where often used in bars. (I have a game table from a bar in Alma Wisconsin in my house).
I reloaded the table and chairs into my truck, leaving the leather chair and the walnut desk at Second Hand Rose. It was time for some research concerning brewery furniture.
Jung Brewery Tied House
Tavern Table and Four Chairs
Jung Brewery was in Milwaukee between 1896 and the start of Prohibition in 1920.
“Many breweries went out and purchased as many ‘corner saloons’ as they could; then they rented the saloon to a saloon keeper who sold only the owners-brewer’s beer.
They also supplied them with large lithographs of their brewery, tavern tables (they had pockets by each leg where the customer could place his beer while he played cards), tavern chairs with brewery logo pressed in the back, foam scrapers, etc.”
Beer Advertising Memorabilia, by Heydock at p. 37 (2003)
I was so proud of the saloon table and chairs that I decided to bring them to my space at the Annandale Flea Market (actually known as the Wright County Swappers Meet) for the July 4th market. I knew the set would look great and bring shoppers into my area. I didn't think that it would sell. Well I was wrong. Adam and Tiffany, the same somewhat off beat couple who bought my Dairy Queen drive-up order sign, bought the brewery set too. Bought, hauled around Wright County and sold in 8 days.
It was a very fine adventure,