Published: January 9, 2007
A Boston or Salem Federal candlestand with stunning form and ablaze with pinwheel inlay was the choicest of the choice when it sold for $166,750 at CRN Auctions’ November 19 sale. The base was superbly formed and finely turned; its elegant spider legs ended in dainty spade feet. Bidding bounced around between the room and the phone until a stalwart phone bidder prevailed. Auctioneer Carl R. Nordblom said as he offered it, “This the best piece to show up in this area in at least 30 years.” It went to a Southern collector.
CRN offered plenty of other good American furniture pieces and buyers responded appropriately. A New Hampshire Chippendale chest-on-chest in figured tiger maple with shell carving was attributed to John Dunlap and sold for $22,425. Although it had been refinished, the chalk initials “JD” were still visible on a drawer. The chest came from a Wellesley home and went to an area dealer for his own home.
Two phone bidders slugged it out for a Boston Chippendale mahogany wing chair with ball and claw feet and the original brasses until one prevailed at $21,275. The same New York dealer also bought a Boston Hepplewhite mahogany lolling chair that was attributed to Lemuel Churchill for $14,380. He then paid $6,038 for a New York classical carved mahogany worktable attributed to Duncan Phyfe and $3,745 for a pair of Boston Federal lemon-top andirons that was signed “J. Davis, Boston.”
Bidding on a rare Boston or Salem Federal Sheraton mahogany architect’s table opened at $5,250 and only ended at $13,800. The flame mahogany table top concealed a candle shelf and opened to various angles. It also boasted a pull-out checkerboard on one side; a work slide on the other. It went to Wisconsin collectors. Speaking by telephone after the sale, Nordblom said he had seen one other similar example.
A North Shore Massachusetts Chippendale mahogany ball and claw foot corner chair with carved knees attracted intense scrutiny during the preview and sold for $9,200.
A circa 1810 Boston Federal carved mahogany dumbwaiter with three brass columns supporting the upper tier and a pineapple carved standard was rare and drew $8,050 while a Salem Hepplewhite mahogany secretary with glazed doors from about 1800 brought $11,150.
Farther afield, a small but jazzy Portsmouth Sheraton mahogany sideboard with bird’s-eye maple drawer fronts and book end inlay to the bottle drawers was $9,488.
A Connecticut Chippendale cherry oxbow chest with a fine molded top sold for $14,950 to a buyer who also took the Newport Federal mahogany Pembroke table with book leaf inlay for $10,350.
A Pennsylvania Queen Anne walnut highboy whose top middle drawer was signed “John Jones Jun.,” realized $5,463 and a Pennsylvania Chippendale walnut dressing table with ball and claw feet and shell carved knees sold for $3,450. An Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania walnut spice chest with 27 interior drawers realized $4,715.
A Boston or New York classical mahogany banquet table that measured 54 by 54 inches closed and 11 feet when open and sat on enormous paw feet sold for $4,025
An Aaron Willard mahogany tall clock was signed on the moon-phase dial and retained the Willard paper label inside the door, but had some restoration to the fret and the ogee feet. It brought $13,800.
Auctioneer Nordblom rewards his clients by offering paintings of consistent quality.
The highlight of the paintings presented was the oil on canvas “Moonlight Stroll” by Edward Henry Potthast that sold on the phone for $37,375. Nordblom tried to open Robert Spear Dunning’s 1899 still life with fruit at $5,000, but an absentee bidder had left an opening bid of $19,000. Instead, it sold in the room to dealer Thomas Colville for $32,200.
Colville also bought the 1871 Dutch picture “Washing Clothes in the River” by Jacob Henricus Maris for $20,125.
When another bidder in the room took “Playa de Normandie,” a beach scene by Spanish artist Emilio Grau-Sala, for $26,450, Nordblom asked him if he was happy with that price. When the buyer nodded in the affirmative, Nordblom commented, “You should be!”
Eric Sloane’s “Late Sun,” which was inscribed on the reverse, “Eric Sloane Cornwall Bridge Connecticut,” brought $25,300.
Daniel Ralph Celantano’s powerful Twentieth Century view of Italian Harlem at night sold for an impressive $21,275.
Charles H. Gifford’s landscape with figures and cows from 1880 sold to the phone for $18,400, and Frank Henry Shapleigh’s “Pleasant Beach, Cohasset” went to another phone buyer for $13,225.
“Blueberry Picking” by Hamilton Hamilton drew $11,500, and John J. Enneking’s signed mountain landscape elicited $8,510. A summer landscape with river by Olive Parker Black was $6,613, and a view of haystacks in winter by George Wainwright Harvey sold for $6,275.
A sweet little still life with peaches by Long Island artist Samuel H. West that was monogrammed and dated 1881 was estimated at $500/700 and surprised everyone when it sold to an eager Boston art dealer on the phone for $3,450.
English silver proved desirable and good pieces brought rewarding money. A large tea tray with two handles that was made in 1820 in London by Joseph Craddock and William Reid fetched $7,935. A pair of 1800 George III footed oval sauce tureens by London maker Timothy Renou was $4,140 and a George III footed salver by Eliza Godfrey of London in 1743 brought $2,990.
An American sterling silver repousse tea and coffee service by Jacobi and Jenkins of Baltimore comprised a tilting teapot, a hot water jug, a coffee pot, a covered sugar and a creamer and sugar bowl for a total of 144 troy ounces. It sold for $5,520.
A pair of Hepplewhite inlaid mahogany serpentine knife boxes with compass inlay on the lids went for $4,845.
A hexagonal pair of Chinese Export Rose Mandarin garden barrels from about 1830 sold for $8,338.
A 16-inch export Rose Mandarin punch bowl sold for $2,645 to the same bidder for whom a 25-inch Rose Mandarin temple vase was $1,150. The same buyer paid $690 for a 16-inch late Nineteenth Century Japanese Imari punch bowl.
An American or English circa 1750 Queen Anne walnut and parcel gilt mirror fetched $4,600, while a federal carved giltwood convex mirror with an eagle crest was $2,588.
A double sailor’s valentine with the plea “Remember Me” sold for $4,888, while another, also in an octagonal mahogany case, urging “Forget Me Not” was $1,725. The difference was not attributable to the sentiment but to the damage to the hinge area of the mahogany case of the latter. A 47-inch laminated half hull sold for $3,680, as did a 53-inch example that identified the ship and its master, “Schooner A. Hammond 1854, Thomas W. Alcott 1854.”
A large (72 by 33 inches) and choice copper banner weathervane from about 1860 was delectable and sold for $16,100. It had acquired a velvety verdigris patina. The vane had sat atop a building in Fitchburg, Mass., until the 1960s when it was removed.
A copper and wire sulky and driver vane from the late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century brought $8,625.
A pair of graceful English Regency rosewood and calamander gaming tables with brass inlay, green leather interiors and brass paw feet sold for $22,425.
Regency was all the rage as a pair of inlaid mahogany knife urns mounted on cabinets, one with a shelf the other with drawers, brought $6,275. A Regency mahogany sideboard with marquetry inlaid drawer fronts sold for $5,175, while an example with mahogany inlay and a brass gallery realized $3,450, and a Regency mahogany breakfast table with inlay and the original green tooled leather top drew $2,875.
An English George III demilune satinwood gaming table sold for $4,715, and a diminutive English George III mahogany sideboard with satinwood inlay sold for $4,600.
An Eighteenth Century pair of large (60 ½ inches) Venetian neoclassical gilded and painted mirrors went for $6,275, while an Eighteenth Century Japanese Tokugawa period Tosa School two-panel folding screen with a scene from “The Floating World” stirred interest and fetched $6,043.
Among a selection of books across the block, work by Arthur Rackham drew the highest interest. Little Brother and Sister and Other Tales by the Brothers Grimm, with a sketch and signature by Rackham was published in 1917 by Constable in London. It brought $3,335. A 1907 first edition Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll also contained a sketch and Rackham’s signature. Published in London by Heineman, it went for $2,530.
Three slave narratives — Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, Native African and a Slave, 1834; Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge, 1842; and From the Darkness of Africa to the Light of America by Thomas E. Besolow, an African Prince, 1891 (rebound) — drew $1,955.
All prices quoted reflect the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For information, 617-661-8582 or www.crnauctions.com.
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