Published: August 10, 2021
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy D.L. Straight Auctions
STURBRIDGE, MASS. – D.L. Straight Auction’s July 31 Summer Americana sale delivered what it promised, with painted and formal furniture, weathervanes and decorative smalls realizing some of the strongest prices. Of the 372 lots to cross the block, more than 92 percent sold, to buyers from both inside and outside the United States, boosted by phone bidders and online bidders on three platforms.
“It was a really good sale, and I was pleased,” David Straight said. “We’re still in those unpredictable times and we saw lots of activity online. It was a pretty solid ‘meat-and-potatoes’ sale; things that should have done well, did well.”
The market for early American furniture has been stronger in previous years but chairs dominated the leaderboard. Bringing the highest price of the day was a circa 1700 carved banister back armchair with carved Prince of Wales crest, whorl-scrolled arms and Spanish feet that sold to a buyer in New England for $3,875. A picker brought it to Straight to sell, as well as a circa 1660 turned carver armchair that achieved $2,750, the third highest price achieved. Both chairs garnered interest from bidders on the phones and online.
Weathervanes are perennial favorites and make a bold visual statement; two examples that were both from a Berkshires collection landed in the top tier of prices realized. Bringing second place honors at $3,750 was a Nineteenth Century centaur with bow and arrow that featured the cast zinc bust of George Washington and gilt full body. Centaur weathervanes are unusual, but the presence of Washington’s head may be unique, with no other related examples known. Straight said it sold to a phone bidder from California who beat out competitors online and on the phone. The other weathervane from the Berkshire collection was a rooster that featured an original gilt surface. It sold within estimate to a buyer from New York for $1,750.
Noah loaded his ark two by two; the same could be said for Straight’s sale, which as we’ve seen, saw two chairs and two weathervanes bring some of the top money. Highboys followed suit, with a diminutive Queen Anne cherrywood example from Connecticut nudging ahead of a double-fan carved highboy with early finish. The former had an exceptional scrolled apron and was in original condition; it sold to a buyer in Rhode Island for $2,000. The latter had been found in Maine and featured boldly dovetailed drawers and deeply chamfered drawer bottoms. It will be staying in Massachusetts, going to a buyer who paid $1,750.
Decorative smalls in burl, needlework and iron saw strong results in a large burl bowl for $1,250, an early Nineteenth Century beadwork and needlework picture for $1,063, and an Eighteenth Century trammel four-light chandelier that rose to $1,000.
On September 18, D.L. Straight Auction will conduct an onsite sale of early American furniture from the Richmond House in Ashford, Conn.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium. For more information, 508-769-5404 or www.dlstraightauctioneers.com.
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