Published: September 13, 2011
Devin Moisan packed them in at the Elks Lodge August 2, where an eclectic group of estate and collection objects, mostly from around New Hampshire, drew a standing-room-only crowd.
Bidders gave close scrutiny to an Eighteenth or early Nineteenth Century pine hooded settle that opened at $4,500; it sold to one of the five phone bidders chasing it for $19,550. The settle, which generated wide presale interest, came from an Atkinson, N.H., estate and sold to a collector. Moisan said that the cut nails indicated that the piece was not the earliest.
Moisan maintains a steady pace; careful, yet speedy, and his sale is well organized. His auctioning cadence resembles that of Northeast Auctions’ Ron Bourgeault, for whom he worked for some years and who was present in the audience kibitzing with bidders.
It was a sale of something for everyone. A rosewood revolving stereoscope by Nineteenth Century New York photographer, artist, inventor and merchant Alex Beckers, who was known for the revolving stereoscope, sold on the phone for $3,910.
A New Hampshire Federal mahogany tilt top candlestand with inlaid crossbanding and on fine spidery legs had descended through relatives of the New Hampshire Dunlaps and sold for $2,530. A New Hampshire Federal birch card table with inlay was a little on the short side and sold for $460. It, too, had Dunlap family connections.
A New England Queen Anne mahogany maple highboy with fan carving was $2,875, while a mid-Atlantic Federal mahogany chest on French feet sold on the phone for $2,300. Then a Victorian oak lockside chest went for $1,725.
A Federal mahogany tall case clock by Isaac Brokaw of Bridgton, N.J., came from an estate south of Boston and sold for a hearty $13,800, while a Federal mahogany and eglomisé banjo clock realized $978. The dial had been overpainted and only “&⁗illard, Boston” was visible.
A nice bronze floor lamp from Tiffany Studios made $1,555.
A selection of pottery by Mary and Edward Scheier, who worked at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) nearby in Durham for nearly three decades, came from two different collections. Savvy collectors of Scheier work keep an eye out for the pottery coming to auction, and this time a 6¼-inch bowl with a blue-green glaze and sgraffito decoration of anthropomorphic fish or piscine people attracted three phone bidders, who chased it to $2,415. The same buyer paid $1,955 for an 8¾-inch sgraffito bowl with emerging faces. A larger (9 inches) bowl with sgraffito fish people decoration realized $2,070. A polychrome dish with interlocking faces was dated 1949 and fetched $1,265. One casserole that had done duty as a dog’s dish but was in fine condition realized $144.
A studio pottery bowl by Vivika and Otto Heino with a black decoration on the matte white ground brought $489. The Heinos also worked at UNH, having been invited to work there by David R. Campbell of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.
A handsome pair of English stick spatter rabbit ware plates depicting dapper rabbits in an open car sold for $2,415; a pair of stick spatter rabbit ware plates depicting bunnies playing croquet realized $920 from the same buyer who paid $805 for another pair with rabbits playing cricket.
A Staffordshire coffee pot in dark blue with an image of Lafayette at Franklin’s tomb sold in the room for $258. Two Staffordshire dark blue sugar boxes went for $173, and a Sunderland lustre ware jug and a mug, each with nautical decorations, sold for $633. A P.B. Norton & Co., 3-gallon stoneware jug with a cobalt bird decoration went for $633.
A large, pale aqua cathedral pickle bottle with an applied rim sold for $1,323, and a pair of smaller examples, also aqua and with rolled rims, was $200. Moisan said he thought the bottles may have been made in central New Hampshire.
Many people really liked a pristine, grain painted, dome top storage box that had been lined with the front page of a September 1942 edition of the Boston Evening Globe . The box sold for $374. A yellow paint decorated document box was also $374. A countertop cabinet of “Dr Daniels’ Veterinary Medicines” had a painted insert in the door depicting the good doctor himself and some of his remedies. It had come right from a barn and realized $460. The Dr A.C. Daniels Company began in Boston in 1878 and remains in business in Webster, Mass.
An especially well-made maple country store display cabinet with two glazed doors was tall and narrow, a fine place to store smalls, and was a very good value at $345. Bringing $690 was a Nineteenth Century white painted cast iron garden urn on a plinth base.
A selection of cast iron doorstops included a lot that comprised an Albany Foundry parrot along with a carousel horse and Punch doorstops, which sold at $403. A Marie Antoinette doorstop together with a Maid and a Hubley Colonial Dame doorstop went for $345, and a large white cast iron cat doorstop realized $288.
Three scrimshaw teeth that were offered came from a New Hampshire collection. One, depicting whaling sea captain Frederick Coffin, went for $1,035, while another depicting a sailor and inscribed “Camden, Maine,” was $633 to Wells, Maine, dealer Bill Johnson, who also operates the eclectic Johnson Hall Museum there. The third tooth depicted a ship, a sailor and a ram and made $460.
A 1977 Nantucket Lightship basket with mahogany mounts by Paul F. Whitten, together with Whitten’s book Nantucket Baskets , fetched $546.
A group of New Hampshire pictures from various sources was well received. Bidding on Frank Henry Shapleigh’s oil on canvas view, “The Percy Peaks, White Mountains, N.H.” opened at $4,000 and ended when the picture went to a collector on the phone for $9,200. A riverine landscape by Edmund Darch Lewis that appeared to have the original frame sold for $3,105.
The picture by James Weston, identified on the reverse as an oil on canvas view of Lovewell Pond in Sanbornville, N.H., went to an absentee bidder for $2,530. Yet another New Hampshire painting was a Hudson Riverish oil on canvas scene of grazing sheep by the New Hampshire-born Rhode Island artist George Arthur Hays; it sold for $1,150. An oil on board scene of a Western wagon train by Harvey Otis Young elicited $2,185. Young was born in Vermont and went West around the time of the Gold Rush. An oil on canvas portrait of a sea captain identified only as Richard Williams went for $1,495.
Silver was topped by a three-piece tea and coffee server by Josef Hoffmann, co-founder of the Wiener Werkstätte, that came from a New Hampshire collection and sold for $10,350 to a phone buyer. A 73-ounce American sterling five-piece tea and coffee service fetched $2,530, and a 37-ounce three-piece tea set was $1,438.
Other objects of interest included the silver cann by Boston silversmith Benjamin Hurd that fetched $4,313, and a sterling flatware service in the Copenhagen pattern by Manchester silver, comprising 168 pieces at 107 ounces. It brought $5,060 from a consistent buyer of silver present in the salesroom.
A Chinese Export reverse painting on glass of a woman holding a flower brought $1,150, while a 3½-inch Chinese porcelain vase went for $1,035, and a 6-inch Chinese porcelain bowl with floral and medallion decoration on an oxblood ground fetched $920. An 8-inch porcelain bottle also drew $920.
Of a selection of jewelry across the block, a French platinum and diamond jabot pin sold on the phone for $13,225. A stylish and desirable 9K gold card case from Asprey of London elicited $1,840, and a coin silver snuff box with a gold wash interior, along with a silver card case, brought $690.
All prices reported include the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For information, 603-953-0022 or www.moisan-inc.com .
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