PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — “It was a very good auction, smaller than normal, but a good sale for us,” commented auctioneer Ron Bourgeault of Northeast Auctions’ two-day sale this past weekend, March 9–10. Chock full of lofty material ranging from a Salem, Mass., Chippendale reverse serpentine chest of drawers made by John Chipman that realized $89,680 to a gutsy silver salver by maker George Ridout, circa 1740, prices were strong throughout the weekend.
Leading the auction was the Ridout salver with Livingston family history and inscription, “The Gift of Peter and Sarah Van Brugh To Sarah Livingston.” Peter Van Brugh was a member of a wealthy Eighteenth Century Dutch family from Manhattan that made its fortune selling furs. Van Brugh later served as mayor of Albany from 1699 to 1700, and again from 1721 to 1723. The salver was gifted to his granddaughter, perhaps as a wedding present.
Bidding on the lot was fast paced, quickly surpassing the $25/45,000 estimate, with action coming from several phone bidders, as well as New Hampshire dealer Jonathon Trace bidding from the gallery. The rare piece with an elaborate shell and scroll border, weighing 63 troy ounces and touchmarked four different times by the maker, finished at $159,300, selling to a phone bidder and underbid by Trace. Bourgeault confirmed that the lot sold to a private collector.
“It was beautifully made by a fairly rare maker, it was quite heavy and it had the Livingston family inscription. All of these things added up to give it great appeal and it brought a great price,” stated Bourgeault after the auction.
Also sold was the Livingston family silver punch ladle together with a pair of small silver salt spoons by Albany maker Isaac Hutton that realized $30,680.
A complete review of the auction will appear in a future issue.