Published: October 25, 2011
Eclectic, but solid offerings attracted dealers and retail buyers to the two-day sale, October 15‱6, at Grogan & Company. The first session comprised American and European paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture. The highlight was a handsome French Impressionist view of Les Glénans, Finistère, off the coast of Brittany by Henry Moret depicting several sailboats at anchor that sold for $54,625. The circa 1909 oil on canvas, estimated at $8/12,000, came from an area estate, having descended from the original owner. It went to the London trade.
The wide variety of objects represented brought wider participation across the board.
Six Eighteenth Century Venetian views depicting figures engaged in various pursuits within capricci and set in matching frames sold for $37,375. The pictures are attributed to Francesco Battaglioli and each was inscribed “Canaletto con figura di Tiepolo.” The group came from the music room of a Brookline, Mass., house and sold to a Connecticut collector who plans to hang them in a music room.
A watercolor on paper by Willem de Kooning was signed and inscribed “This one too&⁂ill.” From a Hartford collection, it realized $23,000. A Seventeenth Century Dutch School picture, “The Village Festival,” was filled with figures and brought $8,050.
A landscape with a castle, circa 1874‷5, signed G. Courbet realized $7,450. Catalog notes indicated that the signature “looks good,” but the oil on canvas was attributed to Gustave Courbet.
A small (8 by 10 inches) but very nice oil on board “Thunderstorm” by Charles Woodbury was estimated at $1,5/2,000 and sold for $3,450. It had been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1950.
Bidding on a large (30 inches) Southwest coiled pictorial olla with a flared rim opened at $12,000 and only ended when a phone bidder in California got it for $37,375. It was in remarkable condition, considering that the children of the family had played with it.
A collection of 18 A. Elmer Crowell colorful miniature carved songbirds went to a local collector on the phone for $13,800.
The highlight of the furniture was a Wendell Castle sculptural cherry writing table with an inset satinwood top on three twisted vine legs that realized $19,550 from an area collector on the phone. A 1981 Wendell Castle armchair was signed and dated but did not find a buyer during the sale. Estimated at $2/4,000, it sold post-auction for $2,300.
A set of six George Nakashima dining chairs with grass seats had been acquired from the Nakashima showroom in the 1950s. The group realized $4,600, while the Nakashima dining table acquired at the same time did not sell.
A Nineteenth Century Queen Anne-style secretary bookcase decorated in green lacquer chinoiserie had a double domed top and sold for $10,925. The 88-inch piece came from the Prout’s Neck, Maine, estate of Cecile Parker Carver. It went to a Connecticut buyer who was furnishing a house and spent more than $100,000 at the sale.
An Eighteenth Century pair of Venetian console tables with painted faux marble tops and floral decoration realized $10,350. An Eighteenth Century Venetian side table with a single door brought $6,325. The table appeared to be missing its marble top. Both lots came from the same Brookline estate, descended from Isabella Stewart Gardner, and each went to the same phone buyer.
An exceptional Eighteenth Century pair of Venetian wall sconces with three lights was painted delicately with flowers and gilded. They came from the Brookline estate and sold to a Palm Beach buyer on the phone for $21,850.
It was nice to see some American furniture exhibit strength: a Federal cherry bowfront chest of drawers with four drawers with bird’s-eye maple drawer fronts and an oval drop panel bought $6,900, and an American classical mahogany gentleman’s dressing bureau with a mirror earned twice its high estimate at $6,325. The bureau also came from the Brookline estate.
A 39-inch late Nineteenth Century “Sèvres” Napoleon covered vase was signed H. Deprez, Sèvres and was decorated with the Napoleonic “N” and the gilt eagle, with a Napoleonic scene. It stood on a 42-inch pedestal and fetched $21,240. Grogan sold a similar 1805 example without a pedestal in 2008 for $14,375.
A Louis XV oval gold snuff box, circa 1770, with an enameled bucolic scene of an amorous couple was hallmarked and sold for $6,038, more than double the high estimate.
French porcelain objects enjoyed a flutter: a collection of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century pieces, including three coffee can and saucer sets, a pitcher and a covered cup and saucer was estimated at $600/800 and realized $6,325. A collection of Sèvres Bleu Celeste pieces, also from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, comprising a covered dish on stand, an oval underplate, a coffee can and saucer and a pot de crème fetched $3,450, more than triple the low. Two Nineteenth Century pairs of Sèvres cobalt coffee cans and saucers was $2,300.
A Nineteenth Century Art Nouveau-style Venetian glass six-light chandelier with brilliant green glass leaves sold for $6,900, also twice the high estimate. It came from the Gardner collection.
Fetching $8,625 was a 30-inch Japanese Meiji bronze figure of a buffalo. Signed, it came from a Little Compton, R.I., collection.
A group of Russian decorative objects, including a cabinet plate with repairs, a lacquer box, a silver pitcher and a silver figurine turned heads when it sold for $2,875 against the estimated $300/500.
Estimated just $1/1,5,000, a Chinese porcelain vase in bottle form with “100 Antiques” decoration on a yellow ground piqued interest and sold for $20,700. A group of five Chinese bronze objects comprising a tripod censer, a foo lion censer, a seated Buddha, a polished footed bronze vessel and a seated warrior brought $11,800.
A 7-inch Chinese Export rooster-form vessel in mostly pink and other pastels, with a duck-form finial and ormolu mounts, sold for $7,475.
The 1911 reference Chinese Porcelain and Hard Stones Volumes I and II by Edgar Gorer and J.F. Blacker, published by Bernard Quaritch in London, included 254 colored plates and realized $11,500.
Certain desirable smalls and oddments met with eager competition and attracted strong prices. Four Persian glazed wall tiles with intricate detail, two depicting hunters on horseback and two of courtesans sold for $5,750 against the estimated $800․1,200. A classical carved marble of a woman’s head brought $5,463. A pair of chinoiserie two-light wall sconces in green lacquer with an estimate of $200/400 fetched $1,495.
Blasting past its $400/$600 estimate to $12,980 was a group of Republic period (1912‱930) Chinese porcelain comprising two yellow bowls, two tea bowls with peach decoration a shallow dish and a tea bowl and saucer, some of which bore apocryphal reign marks. A Chinese blue and white porcelain bowl decorated with animal imagery, together with a blue and white shallow dish and a white dish decorated with a five claw, also from the Republic period and with the same estimate, brought $4,025.
An Eighteenth Century Russian icon depicting the Madonna of the Burning Bush had impressive provenance. Formerly in the collection of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, last empress of Russia, it was on view at the Hermitage museum. The label from a 1994 exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts noted “possibly late Stroganov school.” It sold for $17,250.
A Russian silver enamel tea and coffee service with gilt and silver sold for $6,900. It was a Twentieth Century effort comprising six pots, a sugar bowl, 12 demitasse cups and saucers and 12 demitasse spoons, all with maker’s marks. An Austrian cold-painted bronze Orientalist figural lamp with two merchants bartering in a souk brought $7,080.
Seventeen early American blown glass flasks, including examples by Washington and Taylor and Albany Glass Works, sold for $5,463.
Eight pieces of Louis Vuitton luggage broken into four lots commanded an impressive $19,264.
Michael Grogan is respected for the fine rugs he brings to market and for his deep knowledge of the arena. So when a Northwest Persian/trans-Caucasus runner, circa 1860 (9 feet 9 inches by 3 feet 4 inches) and estimated at $1,5/2,500, sold to the New York trade for $33,350, he was surprised, pleasantly so. He said after the sale that surprises like that “keep my ego in check.”
All prices reported include the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For information, 781-461-9500 or www.groganco.com .
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