Published: July 3, 2020
Review by Greg Smith, Photos Courtesy Casco Bay Auctions
FREEPORT, MAINE – In the firm’s seventh auction, Casco Bay Auctions offered 452 lots of variety in the Early Summer Eclecticism Sale. Auctioneer Andrew Davis said he was mostly happy with the results and that some lots were strong and others less so, as is standard at an auction.
The sale drew from around ten consignors with about 2,000 bidders signed up online between two platforms, 140 of them successful buyers.
Casco Bay welcomed five bidders into the gallery on auction day, each spaced apart in the room. Davis said they were mostly dealers and accounted for about 15 percent of the sale by gross. Each one bought a truckload.
“Interest seems to be steady,” Davis said. “People are still buying – the good stuff is bringing the money. People are looking for things to do, so they turn to online bidding. A lot of new people signed up to bid in this one, with a good amount of trade buying: we had one bidder out of Brooklyn that bought a lot and a few other dealers that bought in volume, too. There was also a good deal of retail, a good many invoices with only one item on them.”
As the sale’s title would indicate, it featured a diverse mix of offerings: a varied assortment of American and European fine art, art pottery, toys, silver, fine copper and brass, swords and more.
Leading the auction was an Oriental carpet measuring 10 by 12 feet that sold for $2,706 on a $100 estimate. Davis said, “There were a few good surprises like that, which is always nice.” Another was a Lionel train set, including a 5342 Hudson Locomotive, 044 box car in original box, 046 hopper car in original box, 0045 oil car in original box, coal car, 12 sections of track, a Lionel K multivolt transformer, and an American Flyer 1249 transformer. It tripled estimate to bring $1,722.
Furniture found its leader in an Egyptian Revival recamier, 72 inches long, with ormolu mounts, including a sphinx and gilt paw feet. It sold for $1,722. Also in the lounging category was a circa 1900 Thonet bentwood rocking chaise with cane seat and clean cushions that brought $1,353.
Three miniature portraits, including a cut paper silhouette, a portrait of a young man, and a portrait in a circular eglomise mat, brought well above the $150 estimate when they sold for $1,476. Other art offerings that sold included a waterfront scene from Belgian artist Alfred Edouard Agenor van Bylandt (1829-1890) that brought $923. The artist specialized in Italianate scenes. The etching “Off Pea Island” from Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951), offered in suite with a lithograph of “Birds in Flight,” sold for $800, above estimate.
Twenty-three Dutch Delft tiles featuring images of cupid, floral urns, windmills, a peacock and other scenes took $677.
A collection of New Hampshire studio pottery came out of a Concord estate. The consignor had purchased them all directly from the potters. Among them were ten pieces from Gerry Williams (1926-2010), the subject of an exhibition at the New Hampshire Antiques Show in 2019 mounted by Antiques and The Arts Weekly contributing editor Rick Russack. Among Williams’ pots was a vase inscribed with messages of social justice, reading, “Moral Force, Ethics, Values, No War Violence Death.” It sold for $185. New Hampshire potter Peter Sabin was also found in the sale, as was an example from his former wife Kathy Butler.
Casco Bay’s next sale will run August 15-16 and Davis says he is aiming for 600 lots. The first day will feature Americana and the second day Continental offerings.
All prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information, https://cascobayauctions.com/ 207-370-4746.
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