Published: August 18, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy Flying Pig Auctions
WESTMORELAND, N.H. – On Monday, August, 3, Flying Pig Auctions offered nearly 350 unreserved lots largely from the estate of dealer Norman “Joe” and Ann Allard, a collection comprised of country and primitive furniture and decorative arts in every imaginable category, including pottery, glass, toys, treen, Native American, textiles, baskets and fine art. A few smaller collections from estates in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut rounded out the sale, which was about 90 percent sold. The auction house previewed the sale for more than two weeks and conducted the sale online through LiveAuctioneers. Speaking after the sale, co-partner Roxanne Reuling said they had nearly 650 registered bidders, which was the most they had ever had and of those, 130 bidders were successful in prevailing over competitors.
“It was an eclectic and just a pure and neat collection,” Reuling said, speaking with Antiques and The Arts Weekly as she busily packed sold items for shipping. “It was a very strong sale for us and was very well received.”
Winging its way to the head of the sale was an early Twentieth Century painted wooden trade sign with chickens that read “Justin Denison Mystic.” Several bidders, both online and on the phones, chased the sign, which came home to roost at $5,400, selling to a trade buyer on the phone. “Everyone loved it,” Reuling said. “It was a great thing.”
A couple of other fowl-themed lots inspired interest among bidders. Among these was a 23-inch-tall Pathe disc photograph rooster-form composition advertising figure that brought $1,020 from a phonograph collector. A Nineteenth Century primitive American school picture of a chicken with chicks flew to nearly three times its low estimate to sell for $570.
According to family tradition, Allard’s pride and joy was a Queen Anne tiger maple tea table he had found in a Rhode Island barn. The story Reuling recounted was how Allard cringed when the farmer he bought it from held it under his arm and scraped the paint off the leg with a pocket knife to show how the wood was “good.” It is fitting that one of Allard’s favorite pieces brought one of the top prices in the sale; the table sold to a private collector in Connecticut – bidding by absentee bid – for $4,800.
Several lots significantly exceeded estimates. A Nineteenth Century needlework sampler done by Elizabeth Smith that Reuling said was “great” brought $3,300 against a $400/600 estimate. A private collector from Vermont paid $2,700 and more than three times the high estimate for an Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania Dutch one-drawer work table with tulip and pinwheel decoration. An Eighteenth Century chestnut hanging cupboard from Connecticut that retained its original red paint inspired a bidding war between two phone bidders who “both really loved it and fought over it.” It made $1,560, more than five times its high estimate. Bidders stacked a set of six graduated pantry boxes – in gray, green and blue paint – to top off at $1,920 from a buyer in the Midwest. An antique paint-decorated dome top trunk brought $1,200, the same price paid for a late Eighteenth or early Nineteenth Century miniature American maple bowl with its original green-gray paint that measured 1¾ inches tall by 4½ inches diameter.
Allard got his start collecting bottles and they were plentiful in the sale. Topping the offerings was a lot of 14 bottles in several forms and colors that stopped at $540. The best price for a selection of Navajo rugs was $510, while baskets topped off at $360, which a Nantucket lightship basket and a potato-stamped basket each realized.
The date of Flying Pig Auctions’ next sale is still to be determined but is likely to take place in October and will feature another Americana collection.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
Flying Pig Auctions is at 13 Industrial Park Drive. For information, 413-537-4855 or www.flyingpigantiquesnh.com.
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