Published: April 6, 2021
Review by Greg Smith, Images Courtesy Roland NY
GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Brown wood was a good wood for Roland NY as the firm rolled through just over 700 lots in its March 27 sale. Many of the top selling items were formal furniture, with an emphasis on George IV and other English styles.
The consignor of much of this material was a New Jersey estate. “He had some American furniture, English, French, Italian – he just bought good things,” said auction house president Sal Trupiano. “And there’s a lot more coming from this estate, we have four warehouses filled that we’re going to sell in April, May and spilling out into June. We’re excited that we have these fresh-to-the-market goods.”
Though English furniture brought the highest volume, the entire sale was led by an American in a Simon Willard tall case clock that sold for $28,800. The clock, referred to as the Bigelow Clock, featured an ownership history that dated back to 1799 when a Joatham Bigelow purchased it in Boston. It stood in that family’s homestead in Phillipston, Mass., until that house burned and it was bequeathed to Joatham’s daughter, Celinda, wife of Josiah Bigelow. It left the Bigelow family when it was sold to an Augustus Rich, whose home was also destroyed by a fire, though the clock survived and it sold back into the Bigelow family to Clarence Otis Bigelow, the great-grandson of Joatham. In 1939, it was purchased from his estate by a cousin and great-great-grandson of Joatham Bigelow. The clock ultimately left the Bigelow family as it entered the New Jersey consignor’s collection.
Selling for $17,220 was a George IV rosewood library chair with fluted legs, embellished with gilt paint and featuring a removable writing tray. It attracted 26 bids before it was knocked down. Inlaid with satinwood and rosewood was a leather top George III Carlton House writing desk, circa 1790. The desk had been purchased from a 2016 Sotheby’s sale and sold for $12,800. Also with provenance to a Sotheby’s sale was a George III mahogany breakfront bookcase, circa 1770, featuring carved oval medallions on the lower doors and circular paned windows to the upper cabinet. It brought $12,300, the same price as an English partners writing table in the Regency style. The table had tapered reeded legs and a green tooled leather top.
“We had a lot of interest from London dealers on the English furniture,” Trupiano said. “It’s an effort to get a piece of furniture shipped back to England. They weren’t buying here for a long time, but they wound up buying three expensive pieces of furniture that brought good money.”
Also bringing fair prices were rugs and carpets. “We had a lot of rug dealers commenting on many of the rugs,” Trupiano said. “That’s another market that’s been soft the past few years, yet we were able to get some pretty good bids on Chinese and Persian rugs.” Seen here was an $11,520 result for a Chinese Peking rug with dragon design that measured 186 by 143 inches. At $10,240 was a pair of Ningxia Pillar runners or rugs that had Christie’s provenance and dated to the Nineteenth Century. Rising to $9,600 was a part silk Tehran rug, circa 1930, and measuring 119 by 86 inches, with the same sale provenance.
“We’re very optimistic about this year,” Trupiano glowed. “We had a very good year during Covid, which was surprising. I have many friends who work from home today, I think those who can afford it are doing a little redecorating – it’s helping us.”
All prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information, www.rolandantiques.com or 212-260-2000.
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