Published: December 6, 2022
So, Santa Claus and George Washington walk into an auction… There’s no punchline, both figures appeared across the block recently and topped the charts of their respective sales. More ambiguous figures appeared in two paintings that also achieved first place; a portrait attributed to the Prior School and a classical but anonymous character attributed to Thomas Sully. Other works of fine and folk art did well, with some decorative art bringing favorable results. Read on for more.
COPAKE, N.Y. – At the head of nearly 750 lots in Copake Auctions’ November 19 Unreserved Estate auction, a portrait of a child in oil on panel, attributed to the Prior School, earned the top price of the day, selling to a Massachusetts collector bidding on the phone who outbid a competitor bidding online, for $6,300, a significant improvement over its $500/700 estimate. It was the same price realized by an oil on panel painting of Lady Liberty marked “C. Brumidi” to the reverse. For information, 518-329-1142 or www.copakeauction.com.
WESTMORELAND, N.H. – Flying Pig Auctions’ Antique Toy & Holiday Related sale on November 21 featured holiday antiques from a local New Hampshire collector, as well as antique toys and dolls from multiple estates stretching down to Cape Cod. The man of the hour was a Santa Claus candy container, holding a feather Christmas tree in one hand and a wreath in the other, signed and dated by Canadian artist Kathy Patterson on its base. The upper body of the figure lifts up to reveal a container underneath, balanced on Santa’s boots. Standing at 25½ inches, this large example opened up to $1,625. For information, 413-537-4855 or www.flyingpigantiquesnh.com.
VESTAL, N.Y. – Mapes Auctioneers & Appraisers conducted its 40th Annual Collectors Choice Antique Auction, November 17-22, living up to its title with a fine selection of jewelry, fine art, decorative arts and most other categories of fine antiques. Outpricing an Art Deco platinum and diamond brooch pendant was a Nineteenth Century folk art game board, circa 1870, which played to $4,140. The board was hand painted with a pinstriped border, gilt decoration and four scenes in the corners of the checkerboard side, with a typed history on the verso that credits the board to James M. Lawson, made “sometime during the years of 1851 and 1916. For information, 607-754-9193 or www.mapesauction.com.
BEDFORD, N.H. – Withington Auctions’ Post Thanksgiving Americana Auction set out a block of 265 lots on November 26, a homey selection of art, furniture and other goods. The upper lots were mostly occupied by Oriental rugs and decorative art, but the top was a Nineteenth Century painting on board attributed to Thomas Sully (Anglo American, 1723-1872). From a Boston trust estate, the painting had illegible inscriptions on the verso with an old label reading “Church.” Showing an androgynous figure holding a drinking vessel, the image sold for $6,150, more than doubling its high estimate of $1,5/3,000. For information, www.withingtonauction.com or 603-731-9876.
PROVINCETOWN, MASS. – One of the top lots in Bakker Auctions’ 130-lot Holiday Live Online Auction that ended November 26 was a 1920 double-sided oil on panel painting titled “Cannery Wharf, Provincetown” by Gerrit Beneker that sold on its high estimate, for $15,000. Spencer Keasey, director of Bakker Auctions and The Bakker Project, said the 15¾-by-12-inch panel came from a private family collection and was the most watched lot in the auction. A collector of Provincetown art fended off several serious collectors to win it. For information, 508-413-9758 or www.bakkerproject.com.
PHILADELPHIA – On November 18, Freeman’s “Modern and Contemporary Craft: Selections from the Robert L. Pfannebecker Collection” sale offered 189 lots of studio ceramics, fiber and textile arts, glass sculptures, jewelry and furniture. Taking top lot honors at $23,940 was a group of four Macchia vessels by American glass artisan, Dale Chihuly (b 1945), all of which were dated 1982 and had been acquired directly from the artist. The sale followed Pfannebecker’s commitment to emerging artists and proceeds from the auction were earmarked to fund scholarships for artists of merit and need. For information, www.freemansauction.com or 267-414-1261.
HUDSON, N.Y. – In a 491-lot auction on November 26 titled “Scale and Proportion,” Public Sale’s top lot had both, a large Neoclassical oval paneled base marble top table that realized the event’s top price of $2,880. Described as a great dining room table that would look equally appealing in a large home office or library, the table, which carried an estimate of $800-$1,000, had a black and red granite top that separated from a substantial wooden base with carved neoclassical columns and paneled sides. For information, 267-414-1261 or www.public-sale.com.
HARRISBURG, PENN. – The hands-down sleeper in Cordier Auctions & Appraisals’ Fine & Decorative Arts auction on November 19 was a Nineteenth Century American School oil on canvas mounted on board portrait of George Washington that relates to Thomas Sully’s “Passage at the Delaware.” Though the 29¾-by-25-inch painting was unsigned and unframed, and carried an estimate of $600/800, it realized $24,000 and sold to a private collector from the New York City metro area. For information, 717-731-8662 or www.cordierauction.com.
CRUMPTON, MD. – The top lot in Dixon’s Crumpton’s Fine & Decorative Arts auction on December 1 was a Handel table lamp with bronze winged lion base and green conical stained glass shade, both of which were signed. Standing 32 inches in height, and part of a consignment from a New Jersey estate that also included much of the Chinese and decorative material in the sale, the lamp went out for $5,535, an advance over its $1/2,000 estimate. For information, 410-928-3006 or www.crumptonauctions.com.
January 24, 2023
January 24, 2023
January 24, 2023
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