Published: December 23, 2008
From 1896 to 1943 the Dedham Pottery operated right down the road from Grogan and Company’s auction gallery in this historic New England town. So it was only fitting that it was Dedham Pottery that brought record prices at Grogan’s December 7 auction †compelling pieces brought compelling prices before a standing-room-only crowd.
A rare 3½-inch mug in a dog pattern was $19,550 from a phone bidder who also took a 3 3/8-inch mug in a cat pattern for $14,950. The same buyer paid $16,100 for a 10 1/8-inch plate in the beehive and clover pattern and $2,530 for an 8 3/8 -inch grouse plate.
Then a lot that included three rabbit form paperweights, a chicken pattern salt shaker and a dolphin pattern ashtray brought $2,700. Two rare plates decorated with a fish within a curling wave were also $2,530, and a 3 3/8-inch mug in the elephant pattern was $1,150. The pottery was formerly part of the collection of Dedham pottery decorators, Charles and Maud Davenport.
The showstopper, however, was a KPM plaque with five panels depicting nudes in tropical landscapes that sold to a New York dealer for $32,200.
Another ceramic star was a late Eighteenth Century German tankard painted with a maritime scene with a gilt metal lid. The tankard opened at $2,000, and four eager phone bidders drove it to $14,375. A KPM round plaque was $4,600; yet another failed to sell. A Sevres porcelain two-handled tray with musical decoration and a mahogany table stand brought $2,875. A Chinese mandarin porcelain group of 18 plates and 14 bowls also realized $2,875.
A pair of American gilt bronze two-light wall sconces with cameo plaques made by Edward F. Caldwell and Company drew $6,613. A “Meissen” equestrian centerpiece with two military figures †one on a horse †both of which were missing the tips of their braids and with chips to the tips of each sword, realized $4,025 from an online buyer.
A late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century English ship’s stove from Pascall Atkey and Son, Ltd, of Cowes, was made with tiles decorated with putti aboard dolphin and sold for $1,495.
Paintings were highlighted by a watercolor of a woman in a landscape, “La Parisienne aux Champs” by Giovanni Boldini brought a record price of $23,000 from a New York dealer. The picture had been the property of Forsyth Wickes, the New York lawyer who donated his collection of Eighteenth Century French furniture and decorative objects to the Museum of Fine Art, Boston (MFA), in 1965. The MFA later opened a wing to house the collection.
Antoine Francois Saint Aubert’s oil on canvas, “The Open Air Market,” was signed and dated “St Aubert 1756,” and was also from the Wickes collection, but not donated to the museum. It realized $20,700.
One painting that attracted attention was the 1926 oil on canvas on metal, “The Belgian Congo,” by William Robinson Leigh. A study for one of the eight diorama paintings the artist created for the Akeley Hall of African mammals at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, it sold to the New York trade for $13,800. Jonathan Fairbanks stopped by to see it during the preview, noting that he had always admired the dioramas at the museum and was pleased to see the study.
All from an area house, “Winter Landscape” by John W. Bentley went to the phones for $6,038; Charles H. Woodbury’s “Boats, Perkins Cove” went to a Cape Ann buyer on the phone for $17,675; and his “On the Point” went to a different phone bidder for $5,750.
Two paintings by John Appleton Brown, “Apple Trees in Bloom” and “First Touch of Autumn,” each sold for $3,738. Mabel May Woodward’s “Grandmother’s Cottage” elicited a phone bidding competition and garnered $3,565. Then a watercolor on handmade paper by Kenneth Noland, “No. 5,” went to $2,300.
A group of etchings by James McNeil Whistler included “Rotherhithe,” which was signed and dated 1860, and sold for $4,025; and “Bequet at the Cello,” an etching on Japan paper went for $1,725. The same buyer also took “Le Stryge,” an 1853 etching by Charles Meryon for $2,415.
A Continental school oil on canvas panorama of the port of Genoa sold for $6,325, and the picture “A Time of Roses” by another Italian, Lucio Rossi, brought $3,450.
“Crossing the Channel off Labrador,” an oil on canvas by William Bradford, was signed but not framed. The consignor who found it in the attic had been about to throw it away because it was so dark and dirty. A restorer discovered a signature and convinced the consignor to bring it to auction where it sold for $5,750.
Grogan’s offered a great selection of George III furniture, including a late George III carved mahogany sofa, which was originally thought to be English and was estimated at $2/3,000. When it was discovered to be American, interest picked up and it sold for $10,925. Then a set of 12 George III-style carved mahogany dining chairs, including two armchairs, realized $2,760 on the phone, and a George III mahogany cellaret with a lead lining went to $5,463.
An early Nineteenth Century Federal mahogany lolling chair with inlay, thought to have been made in Portsmouth, N.H., needed some restoration but stirred up the phones and sold for $2,300. Also garnering $2,300 was an American Classical carved mahogany marble top pier table from the late Nineteenth Century and a Chippendale mahogany linen press.
A Queen Anne-style mahogany wing chair with needlepoint upholstery elicited $3,450, as did a late Eighteenth Century Georgian mahogany sideboard with satinwood inlay.
Other Georgian pieces were an Eighteenth Century console table with a marble top on a carved giltwood eagle base at $8,338, a late Eighteenth Century mahogany two-drawer server for $6,613 and a Nineteenth Century carved mahogany breakfront that realized $4,313.
An Eighteenth Century French provincial carved walnut commode with a serpentine front went on the Internet for $2,415. A pair of French fruitwood upholstered armchairs with ormolu mounts, late Nineteenth Century, was $1,725, and a Nineteenth Century French carved bone prisoner of war three-masted ship’s model went for a hearty $5,463.
Two matching Continental carved giltwood mirrors brought $4,888, and a pair of Nineteenth Century Venetian carved giltwood gondola lanterns set on round marble standards and electrified sold to an Internet bidder for $1,395.
Four French Art Deco glass and gilt metal sconces in the form of birds fetched $3,335. A pair of Regency-style cut glass and gilt metal two light candelabra, with a Nineteenth Century pair of Louis XVI-style wall sconces, sold for $978.
Also from France, painted wallpaper panels by George Mayer of Paris, along with a framed painting of birds, elicited $1,955. A Georg Jensen silver bowl, named for the Louvre Museum that bought one for its permanent collection in 1914, fetched $2,990.
A carved giltwood gallery clock by Brewster and Ingrahams of Bristol, Conn., had an eagle finial and realized $2,415.
A Nineteenth Century polychromed wood drum made by A. Rogers of Flushing, N.Y., and mounted as a table, was decorated with an eagle and labeled “58th Regt. US Infantry.” It realized $2,415.
Among a selection of rugs, the star was a Kirman Persian carpet, 23 feet 4 inches by 14 feet 7 inches, that had been part of the Forsyth Wickes collection, which brought $12,950, and a Persian Bidjar made around 1880 was $9,775.
All prices quoted reflect the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For information, 781-461-9500 or www.groganco.com .
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