Story by David S. Smith, photos courtesy of Timothy Gould’s
Another of Timothy Gould’s extremely popular auctions was conducted on Wednesday June 9, with hefty prices posted throughout the sale. Leading the auction was an extremely rare fresh to the market Howard weathervane standing horse that had recently been removed from the roof of a barn.
Gould has earned a reputation for presenting fresh to the market, quality merchandise with virtually all of the rdf_Descriptions he sells coming directly from homesteads and estates. “We try and do four sales a year,” commented Tim Gould, “We are a two-man and family operation and we do not aspire to run lesser quality monthly sales. Nothing in any of our auctions has ever been offered to a dealer, it is all absolutely fresh to the market.” Gould addeded, “Our consignors know the rules.” And further stated that this policy has often times “painted him into a corner” as he has had to refuse high quality merchandise that has had exposure. Gould, however, remains confident that his policy sets him apart from other auction houses and secures his reputation.
A Gould auction always attracts a crowd and this past event was no exception, despite the 90-degree heat and a hall that is not air-condi-tioned. “It was pretty hot in there,” commented the auctioneer, “but everyone kept their spirits and we had a good sale.”
The lead lot was the Howard horse weathervane that had been discovered on a New England barn by a picker and delivered directly to Gould. “It has the best surface I have seen on a weathervane in 30 years,” stated the auctioneer. “It had a wonderful verdigris surface with traces of the original gilt and original mustard color showing through.”
Five phone lines were active as the lot was offered with bids bouncing back and forth for an extended period of time with New Hope, Penn., dealers Pat Bell and Ed Hill of Olde Hope Antiques claiming the rare weathervane at $77,000.
A selection of Arts and Crafts furniture and accessories that had come directly from a local Maine home proved to be a “bit disappointing” for the auctioneer, although reasonable prices were ultimately realized. Gould had higher expectations for the rare Gustav Stickley secretary desk in original surface that eventually sold for $30,250, a large L&JG Stickley double door wardrobe cabinet brought $6,600, an oversized seven-drawer bureau by Gustav went out at $5,500 and a nice Dirk Van Erp hammered copper vase sold at $6,050.
“The eagle might have been the trade of the sale,” stated Gould after the auction. The large carved spread winged eagle perched on a ball, thought to have possibly been a trade sign, was offered as early Nineteenth Century and sold at $15,950.
A nice early China Trade painting of a clipper ship, retaining the original frame, also did well selling at $19,800.
One sleeper appeared in the auction, although it did not remain a sleeper for to long. Found by Gould in a box of fountain pens and cigarette lighters was a rare Colt capping device for an early pistol. “It was a rare form,” stated the somewhat surprised auctioneer after the bidders pushed the final price to $16,500.
Paintings included a John Appleton Brown landscape that sold for $2,310, a folky Maine portrait of a gentleman, $3,300, and a Nathaniel Berry beach scene from Lynn, Mass., went out at $4,400.
Folk art rdf_Descriptions included a nice 7-foot-tall barber pole in good old paint that was actively bid to $3,250, while a five-masted schooner weathervane fetched $1,925.
A small collection of American Indian rdf_Descriptions were offered with a pair of Arapaho moccasins selling at $3,740, a Chipowa bag $1,870, and a Nez Perce beaded hide shoulder bag brought $990.
Prices include the ten percent buyer’s premium charged.