Published: February 21, 2012
In an interesting change of pace, American furniture, particularly New England products, dominated a recent auction. CRN Auctions delivered good material and buyers obliged by buying busily at the January 29 sale.
The highlight was a New England Chippendale cherry highboy, circa 1770, with a graceful bonnet top, robust carved rosettes and the original flame finials, which brought $43,290. Of Housatonic Valley origin, the piece retained a Nineteenth Century label indicating that it, and the six or seven old books found in it, were purchased at the “Williams house in Lanesboro” for a grand total of $25. It went to a Cambridge collector in the gallery who appeared to be filling a house and was a major purchaser throughout the sale.
The same collector took an Eighteenth Century Southern mahogany sideboard, of Baltimore or Charleston origin, that was nicely inlaid with paterae, fans and bellflowers for $12,870. It came from an area house.
Other case furniture included a snazzy Portsmouth Federal four-drawer chest in mahogany with flame birch panels and ivory escutcheons and French feet that went to a phone buyer for $16,380.
A New Hampshire Queen Anne maple and cherry highboy, circa 1760, with a flat molded top and a carved fan with a pinwheel drop sold for $9,360 to the Cambridge collector. The same collector paid $2,340 for a Newport Hepplewhite mahogany tester bed, circa 1790, that included the Herreshoff collection in its provenance. He bought the matching coverlet for the bed for $146.
A Federal cherry and tiger maple bowfront chest with four graduated drawers and ivory escutcheons and retaining the original brasses was $4,388, while a Chippendale maple and cherry chest on chest, circa 1780, also realized $4,388. An Eighteenth Century Connecticut Chippendale cherry linen press in two parts, both with fluted quarter columns, went to an Internet buyer for $3,803.
From Salem to Salem and back again was the story of a set of six Salem Chippendale mahogany side chairs, circa 1780, with pierced serpentine crests and scrolled ears that sold on the phone for $36,970. They had been the property of Alice Lee Thomas Bradlee of Boston, were appraised by Roland B. Hammond in 1979 and were found in Salem, Ore., moved there by a family member. They were upholstered in a startling lemon yellow vinyl that attracted many eyes.
Fourteen Federal carved mahogany dining chairs included two armchairs with scrolling arms, circa 1815, and a back rail carved with rosettes and swags, and brought $9,360, while the Cambridge collector took a Massachusetts Federal mahogany lolling chair from a New Jersey collection for $7,605. An Eighteenth Century Massachusetts Hepplewhite mahogany wing chair on square tapered legs and with satinwood line and bellflower inlay elicited $5,265.
A Rhode Island Queen Anne walnut wing chair, circa 1760, with chunky cabriole legs and block and turned stretchers went to a phone bidder for $4,680. An Eighteenth Century New England cherry window bench with an untouched surface and retaining the original muslin cover was rare and represented a very good buy when it sold for $2,340.
Fetching $4,288 from the Cambridge collector, a New England Hepplewhite mahogany Pembroke table with oval paterae inlay, bellflower inlay and inlaid cuffs had been part of the Providence, R.I., collection of Adeline D. Manera.
The largest piece in the sale was the 14-foot-2½-inch Sheraton mahogany banquet table with four leaves and an accordion-action mechanism that sold for $8,775 to a buyer in the room. An Eighteenth Century Newport Goddard Townsend school Chippendale mahogany card table with a molded edge top and pierced corner brackets sold for $5,265, while a Newburyport Chippendale mahogany tea table with a serpentine tilting top was $2,375 from an Internet bidder.
A New Hampshire Sheraton mahogany sofa with a tablet of three flame birch panels and barber pole string inlay fetched $3,217 online.
A Southern pie safe in old salmon paint, circa 1845, was described as possibly Virginia, came from a New Jersey collection and realized $2,808. A 73½-inch New England pine harvest table on tapered turned legs sold for $1,404.
A handsome Nineteenth Century full-bodied copper codfish weathervane with the original gilding was fresh to the market and brought $24,570 from a phone bidder. A mahogany carving of a pickerel leaping from the water by Leander Allen Plummer II was of interest and sold for $4,973.
Two Federal mahogany knife boxes, circa 1800, with compass and brickwork inlay, silver ring pulls and escutcheons came from a New Jersey collection and sold for $5,558. A pair of Federal brass andirons signed by John Molineux of Boston had faceted steeple tops and sold to a left bid for $3,803.
Auctioneer Carl Nordblom offered a smaller than usual group of paintings, the highlight of which was a view of the falls at Shelburne, N.H., by William Louis Sonntag Sr. It went to a phone bidder for $22,230.
A portrait of a woman in a sunhat by Charles Webster Hawthorne brought $8,775, and a portrait of a kitten with a blue ribbon by Dutch artist Henriette Rooner-Knip sold for $7,020. Bidders believed in a 1931 ink drawing signed and dated by Alexander Calder of seven acrobats that Nordblom said had not been vetted by the Calder Foundation and drove it to $4,388. Calder’s signed and dated 1931 drawing of two men juggling sold for $4,095.
Polish sculptor Paul Maximilien Landowski’s bronze of Georges Carpentier, the French boxer known as “Orchid Man,” sold for $5,850. Landowski is the artist who created the 130-foot Art Deco figure “Cristo Redentor” on a mountain peak above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A Nineteenth Century miniature portrait on ivory, circa 1820‱840, in a gilt frame and depicting a man in a high collar with a small oval inset portrait of a boy in a white ruffled collar on the reverse sold for $3,580.
A Classical giltwood convex mirror decorated with an eagle holding chains and with two candle arms with cut glass prisms sold in the gallery for $5,285. An absentee bidder took a pair of neoclassical Bilbao mirrors made in northwestern Spain, circa 1810, for $4,680. A gilded and pierced convex mirror with an eagle perched on a platform may have been a Boston piece, and it sold for $3,510. A Connecticut collector bought a New York Federal mahogany and gilt mirror with a broken arch top for $3,218.
One of the few Continental pieces across the block was the English Regency mahogany library table with a hexagonal top with satinwood veneer and a central satinwood star, four working and four false drawers, all on a triangular pedestal. Described in the catalog notes as “exceptional,” it really was. It sold for $13,355.
A large round Eighteenth Century English mahogany games table with a leather insert to the tilt top and five game pockets brought $4,680. An English regency mahogany oval wine cooler attributed to Gillows with a sunburst lid and a tin liner was also a good value when it brought $2,574. A smaller mahogany example with a slatted basket holding a brass bucket sold for $700.
Good clocks across the block included a Simon Willard Federal banjo clock with a T-bridge movement, the original glass tablets and the original eagle finial that sold for $23,400 to the Cambridge collector. The phones commandeered the Kendall family Federal mahogany tall clock by Daniel Munroe of Concord, Mass., for $21,060. The clock retained the Daniel and Nath’l. Munroe paper label and a note indicated that it was purchased at the Munroe workshop in Concord in 1803 by John Kendall of Burlington, Mass.
A Massachusetts Federal mahogany shelf clock whose dial was painted with an American eagle and shield bore a label indicating that the back of the dial was cleaned February 28, 1895, by P.H. Caswell of Newport, R.I. The clock realized $5,558. A late Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania walnut tall clock signed on the dial by Godfrey Lenhart of York sold for $4,095.
Chinese Export porcelain was led by an Eighteenth Century famille rose sweetmeats set in seven geometric parts forming a puzzle and set in a wood tray, which elicited $7,505. The sections were decorated with passages from the Fourteenth Century tale “Shui Hu Chuan,” a story of bandits in the Yaan dynasty. An intricate Chinese Kangxi Cadogan famille rose puzzle wine ewer brought $878.
Other ceramics of note were the Nineteenth Century pair of Minton majolica compotes in the form of shells with double dolphin-form bases that was signed and sold for $3,510.
Someone present at the sale really admired but did not bid on the Fifteenth or Sixteenth Century Isnik earthenware dish with a bold pattern of red, green and blue flowers that sold for $2,925 on the phone. When the successful bidder arrived later in the day to collect the plate, which had more than doubled its estimate, it was missing, believed to have been stolen by an unscrupulous attendee. It was said to have had a repair that was not visible.
Two 23-star American flags, one that belonged originally to politician and diplomat Caleb Cushing, and the other, a Nineteenth Century commemorative example, sold for $5,558 against the $200/400 estimate.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.crnauctions.com or 617-661-9582.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm