Published: May 12, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy Americana Auctions
REHOBOTH, MASS. – A collection of Civil War artifacts went head to head with a collection of Chinese export and China Trade antiques at Americana Auctions on April 26. The sale of 499 lots was large for the gallery – about 100 more than usual – and went 85 percent sold as it totaled about $395,000.
Americana Auctions manager, Rich Shute said, “We were very pleased as the total auction value fell close to the middle of our low and high estimates. We did offer private, in-person preview hours if customers wore a mask, and about 20 people did take advantage of that option. We conducted the sale at our gallery with about nine employees, three working the online platforms of Live Auctioneers, Invaluable and our inaugural sale on Bidsquare. The staff all wore masks and it was pretty hectic with all the telephone and absentee bids that came in, many last minute. The online bidding was robust – about 500 total bidders – but very slow, and the sale lasted a record eight hours for us from start to finish; usually it lasts about four hours with 100 less lots. The majority of bidders hailed from the United States, but we did sell a Dunhill silverplated lighter watch to a buyer in Italy for an astounding $2,187.”
Shute had expected, and received “some serious Chinese action” on our China Trade paintings but they were mostly outbid by a strong dealer in Maryland who spent more than $55,000 on several paintings and other marine items. The highest price in the sale was for a large unsigned Nineteenth Century China Trade oil painting depicting many figures processing and weighing tea in the hongs. It sold for $20,625 to a Massachusetts collector. Two other China Trade paintings of American ships in Hong Kong harbor sold for $15,000 and $20,000.
The majority of the Civil War items came from a Virginia collection whose owner is currently in a nursing home. The collection focused mostly on Confederate items; the most expensive lot was the Fayetteville 1863 musket that sold for $11,500. It was purchased by a collector in the Midwest. A CS oval belt buckle with two leather belts brought $3,250 from a southern collector and a different CS wreath buckle sold with a Virginia button for $2,500.
A Russian Faberge enameled jewel cask with cockerel handles sold to a private California buyer for $3,875. Other Russian silver pieces included an egg-shaped box on tri-foot stand with bee for $1,875; a bird form kvosh went out at $2,187; a sterling Russian honeypot for $2,031; and a set of 11 enameled spoons for $1,000.
Prices include buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. Americana Auctions’ next sale is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, July 12.
Americana Auctions is at 380 Winthrop Street. For more information, 508-771-1722 or www.americanaauctions.com.
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