Published: June 6, 2023
Review by W.A. Demers; Photos Courtesy D.L. Straight Auctions
STURBRIDGE, MASS. — A very full sale of estate Americana and country items was in store for bidders in David Straight’s Memorial Weekend auction on May 27. Estate-fresh antiques from all across New England came to the podium with all periods of Americana being represented. There were Pilgrim period furnishings, Queen Anne pieces, Chippendale furniture, plus a collection of tea caddies that include multiple tortoiseshell and inlaid examples. Double sailor shell valentines came together with paintings, portraits, cupboards, highboys, tavern tables, carved chests, tall chests, paint-decorated furniture, needlework samplers, early lighting and much more in the 579-lot sale.
Topping the sale at $5,500 was a period Chippendale New London County cherry bonnet top chest. It had all the proper attributes, including an ogee bracket base, original brasses and, most important, an early historic finish. The base was dovetailed and the chest’s dimensions were 36 by 19 by 91 inches tall.
Contrary to what some may believe, sailors’ valentines were not the at-sea expressions of love by sailors to their sweeties nor did the sentimental treasures have anything to do with February 14 or Valentine’s Day. Instead, these tokens of love and friendship were given to wives, mothers, sisters and friends upon a seafarer’s return from a long voyage at sea. Or they were made by the shore-bound loved ones, who had the time and materials to make them. This sale had a dandy double valentine. At 14 by 14 by 4 inches, it commanded $4,500.
Among the choice tea caddies offered in the sale, a pagoda top example, 7½ by 4½ by 6 inches, led the parade at $2,500, with a Nineteenth Century dark tortoiseshell tea caddy, 7½ by 5 by 5 inches, pulling in $2,176.
Just as desirable as its tiger maple frame, an early Nineteenth Century needlework sampler showing a central house, geometric trees, deer, birds, vines and scriptural verses was bid to $2,500. It was wrought by Hannah H. Setchell, Bristol, Conn., Dec. 13, (the year was not recorded) and carried the sentiment “Remember, you must die.” Cheery stuff, 28 by 29 inches.
Fetching $2,375 was an early blue painted dry sink. It had three drawers in an upper hood over two cupboard doors, its paint an early blue over original salmon. With chamfered door panels, interior shelves, good dry surfaces, it measured 44 by 21½ by 53 inches.
Then there was a very rare survivor in the form of an early refectory table. In maple and pine and dating from the late 17 Seventeenth to early Eighteenth Century, the Connecticut piece featured a full stretcher base with its original pine bread board ended top in an old attic surface. Its feet had been restored below the stretchers. Not many examples remain available, and the 74-by-27-by-29-inch table earned $2,048.
Several chests were notable in the sale. A New Hampshire Queen Anne chest on chest, a rare Eighteenth Century piece of the Dunlap School, took $2,000. It featured a historic finish of a red painted hue, original brasses, with pinned construction, rosehead nailed backboards and an extremely rare original bandy leg stand. It had an unusual chip carved cornice molded top and measured 36 by 18 by 78 inches.
A Plymouth County paneled blanket chest, circa 1660-80, in oak and pine left the gallery at $1,375. It was a rare form and measured 45 by 21 by 26 inches. And a New England William and Mary ball-foot chest in figured maple with five drawers, ebonized moldings and ball feet brought $1,000. The early Eighteenth Century piece sported old brasses and its ball feet had been replaced.
Rounding out the sale’s notable lots were a rare Eighteenth Century Hudson River Valley shoe-foot oval top hutch table in cherrywood with a great old surface and original trestle going out at $1,152 and an early Eighteenth Century Elizabethan wainscot chair with carved arch on the back and fluted legs, realizing $1,000.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, www.dlstraightauctioneeers.com or 508-769-5404.
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
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