Diverse Selection At CRN Auctions Brings New Bidders & Strong Prices

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — What was billed as “an interesting mix of items from all corners of the planet” brought a very diverse selection of material to auction at CRN Auctions’ May 19 sale.

American furniture fared respectably, although not up to the levels of five or ten years ago. A Portsmouth or North Shore Massachusetts Hepplewhite mahogany bowfront chest with satinwood inlay and on high French feet went to the trade on the phone for $10,530.

Salem was represented by an Eighteenth Century Chippendale mahogany secretary bookcase with a dentil molded cornice and a swan’s neck crest carved with sunflowers and rosettes that was clean, and also sold to a collector on the phone for $10,530. A Federal-style mahogany secretary bookcase made in the 1920s using old wood fetched $3,510.

Bidders liked the New England tavern table in old brown paint over the original red with a deeply overhanging breadboard top and a single drawer, and it sold to the trade on the phone for $10,530. The table came from a New Hampshire home.

A Rhode Island Federal mahogany Pembroke table with bellflower inlay and conch shell capitals sold for $5,265, while a Rhode Island Hepplewhite mahogany sideboard with a bowed center drawer and a pull-out serving tray realized $3,510. An Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania corner cupboard in its original grain paint with a bonnet top above a pair of tombstone glazed doors was a good value for an absentee bidder at $7,605.

New England Chippendale material attracted interest as a maple tall chest with seven graduated drawers went to another absentee buyer for $2,808. An Eighteenth Century eastern Connecticut Chippendale cherry chest on chest sold in the gallery, also for $2,808, and an eastern Massachusetts Chippendale mahogany bowfront chest on an applied bracket base went to $2,691.

Auctioneer Carl Nordblom offered a fine eastern Massachusetts Federal mahogany lolling chair that dated from about 1790; it realized $5,558. He then reported that five years ago he sold the chair for $17,250.

An Eighteenth Century New England Queen Anne drop leaf table in a vivid tiger maple sold in the gallery for $4,680. As he hammered it down, Nordblom suggested that it could have been from southeastern Massachusetts.

A Gustav Stickley tabouret (no. 52T) with the original surface inset with a 10-inch-square green Grueby tile sold on the phone for $8,770.

Nordblom described an exceptional oval English Regency mahogany cellaret, circa 1810, attributed to Gillows of Lancaster and London, as “the best English cellaret I’ve ever sold.” With a fluted top and ten lead-lined bottle compartments, it brought $8,770.

Bidding opened at $1,000 on a French Arts and Crafts ceramic vase signed by painter and potter Joseph-Laurent-Daniel Bouvier, and only ended when it realized $13,040. The 20½-inch vase was dated 1872, the last year Bouvier worked and exhibited. It was incised and decorated with Egyptian-style lions and bands of lotus.

A Roman earthenware amphora on an iron stand was encrusted with shells and barnacles, and it came from a Rhode Island collection. According to family history, the 37-inch pot was recovered from a shipwreck and a university professor estimated its age at 3000 to 2000 BC. It came from Italy 65 years ago when a collector moved to Providence, and it sold for $7,605.

Bidders liked a Nineteenth Century ceramic pear-shaped vase on a bronze base with paw feet, which was mounted as a lamp. It was thought to be French because of the mounts, and several bidders loved it, bidding it up way past the estimated $300/500 to $4,680. It came from the attic of a Cape Ann estate.

Bidding on an Eighteenth Century powder horn carved with ships and a row of houses, from a Connecticut estate, opened at $500 and came down to two phones in a staccato competition that ended when one took it for $4,973.

A Nineteenth Century French prisoner-of-war bone ship model of a three-masted frigate with 28 cannon struck at $4,095. A Nineteenth Century narwhal tusk brought $4,973 from an online buyer.

Weathervanes of quality were offered. A 36-inch, full-bodied gilt-copper weathervane in cod form that retained some original gilt, included in its provenance the collection of folk dealer William Putnam; it realized $7,910 from a phone bidder. A Nineteenth Century Black Hawk copper weathervane stamped “Harris & Co.” sold online for $4,095, and an early Twentieth Century full-bodied painted copper weathervane, in the form of a red roadster with a driver and white zinc wheels, sold on the phone for $6,960.

It may not have been a weathervane, but it belonged up there: an American painted tin architectural roof ornament in the form of a carrier pigeon standing on a blue orb atop a tapering plinth was a solid $3,510, going to an area woman bidding in the gallery.

A Nineteenth Century sailor’s woolie depicting the USS Constitution sailing under a vibrant American flag, in an equally vibrant sea, realized $2,808 online. In a gilt frame with a Portsmouth, N.H., label, it had a note from a Portsmouth owner.

Chinese material brought robust results. A Chinese hardwood center table, carved deeply with figures, fruit and floral elements, had cabriole legs ending in dragon-head feet. With an inset marble top, the table brought $29,250.

An Eighteenth Century Chinese painting on silk depicting a scholar and an attendant, cranes, a pine tree and prunus blossoms, with calligraphy and a seal, sold for $17,550. It is headed to China. The painting came from a longtime family collection. A Nineteenth Century Chinese colored ink drawing of a white falcon tethered to a tree stump was signed and sold for $4,388. A Nineteenth Century Chinese biscuit porcelain brush pot with a detailed relief of dragons amid waves with fish and flames bore a seal, and realized $10,530. A Chinese green and white jade carving of a stylized boat with figures aboard was mounted on a carved teak stand; it brought $8,190.

One lot comprising nine Chinese objects included two framed round fragments of robes, one with a five-toed dragon amid waves, bats and clouds, and the other with floral and auspicious elements; each was in a round gilt frame. The lot also included a pith paper painting of a mandarin, a framed embroidered textile, two pair of embroidered panels and a painted pierced fan from Bali. The lot, with extensive documentation of family history, sold for $3,510.

A pair of Nineteenth Century Chinese Export Rose Mandarin hexagonal vases with applied gilt dragons and foo lions at the neck, was decorated with panels of figures in a garden pavilion on a white ground with butterflies and floral elements. The pair sold to a New York dealer for $10,530.

Other lots included a Chinese Export Rose Medallion umbrella stand that brought $1,404; a Chinese Export mandarin punch bowl, circa 1810, decorated with royal women in a garden came from a Boston collection and sold in the gallery for $4,095; a pair of mandarin bough pots, circa 1820, with pierced domed covers and decorated with butterflies and roses and panels of flowers and birds brought $2,106; a Nineteenth Century pair of Chinese porcelain hexagonal cache pots, decorated with fish and other marine creatures, came from a Boston collection and brought $3,218 from a phone bidder; six Chinese Export mandarin plates from about 1800 were all decorated with figures in a pavilion attending a noblewoman, and realized $1,170 — the plates came from the same Boston collection.

Chinese silver included a footed bowl by Cantonese maker Sing Fat that was decorated with a dragon and sold for $5,558. The bowl came from the estate of a man whose Aunt Helen had lived in China in the 1920s and 1930s — she had received the bowl as a wedding gift. It was accompanied by a letter from Aunt Helen written in the 1950s to her nephew. A Chinese Export three-piece silver tea set by Wang Hing, premier silversmith in late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century Hong Kong, had a raised dragon decoration and bamboo form handles. Also from the estate of Aunt Helen’s nephew, the bowl sold for $2,574. A pair of small silver bowls by Sing Fat (from Aunt Helen) fetched $1,404.

Japanese offerings found favor as a fully articulated, signed, Japanese ivory rock lobster, accompanied by the original signed bamboo box, realized $8,945 from a North Shore dealer. A Japanese bronze censer decorated with a dragon, dragon handles and the lid with an Immortal sitting on a rock, sold for $8,190. A Japanese Export silver tea tray by Arthur & Bond of Yokohama, decorated with applied dragons raised to form handles, sold for $4,680.

Silver distinguished itself also. A Nineteenth Century English sterling flatware service for 12 in a fiddle and shell pattern by George Angell of London, and comprising 92 pieces, sold for $7,605. In the original brass-bound oak chest, the silver was accompanied by a 1968 receipt of its purchase at Bulgari in Rome. An Egyptian Revival sterling footed compote with handles with figures of kneeling females realized $4,095.

Two Tiffany sterling tea and coffee services sold. One, a six-piece Queen Anne service, was $5,265, and the other was a seven-piece Art Deco service that brought $4,863.

The highlight of the paintings for sale was a Nineteenth Century Dutch picture, “Leisure Moments,” by David Adolf Constant Artz depicting a child in the dunes with parental figures and sailing vessels in the background. From the estate of Auburn, Maine, physician Barbara Beegel, the picture went to the phones for $11,700. A Nineteenth Century German painting was also esteemed. A portrait of the Boston vessel E Sherman by Heinrich Andreas Sophus Petersen who lived and worked in Hamburg and nearby Altona sold for $8,775. Another German picture, one of two kittens watching butterflies by Julius Adams, brought $7,020.

All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.

For more information, www.crnauctions.com or 617-661-9582.

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