Published: February 12, 2002
NEWTOWN, CONN. – Fairfield Auction began its 2002 season on January 27 with its best-attended auction to date. Nearly 300 bid cards were issued and buyers from six states were successful either in person, by phone or by absentee bid. The varied selection of goods came from more than 20 consignors, including a prominent estate in Wilton.
The sale started modestly enough with three pieces of Roseville “Freesia” pottery including a perfect ten-inch bowl selling for just $60, but by lot 13 things started to get interesting. A large colored illustration by James Montgomery Flagg came to the block. Found abandoned in a Newtown house by the home’s recent buyer, the 28 by 21-inch watercolor was not thought to be of value until presented at the gallery for evaluation. With four phone bidders including an institution competing, the price quickly passed its $800 to $1,200 estimate and sold at $1,900 despite some condition problems.
A grouping of English and Continental furniture included the day’s top lot, a pair of French or Italian matching burled walnut center tables with inlaid tops and ebonized details. They sold to a New York gallery at $7,000. An Adams-style satinwood cabinet with serpentine front and sides went to the trade at $4,000, a Biedermeier figured birch center table sold to a collector in New Canaan for $5,250 and a diminutive Biedermeier bow front chest brought $2,500.
Americana included a large Currier & Ives horse racing litho at $700 and a mid-Atlantic chest on chest with inlay hammering at $4,750. A Federal tall-clock with associated movement brought $2,750, a pair of Federal bow front chests with turret corners garnered $900 and $850, and an impressive Victorian box sofa with carved maidens supporting the arms earned $2,800.
A late addition Gustav Stickley number 219 drop arm settle exceeded its $1,000 to $1,500 estimate at $1,800 and a collection of French carriage clocks including repeaters by Tiffany, Mappin & Webb and Shreve earned $1,000, $1,000 and $600 respectively. A 13-inch vienna bronz of an Eskimo hunter sold for $18,000 and a Handel reverse painted lamp attracted numerous bidders before selling on the phone at $5,200. A French bronze figural mantel clock circa 1840 was a bargain at $550 as was a 26-inch Jumeau doll at $1,600 and a pair of Mettlach steins that earned $400 and $220.
Purchased in a local thrift store, a 12-inch Tiffany & Co. sterling silver loving cup brought $1,200, pleasing its consignor. A set of four elaborate Victorian sterling silver service plates by Dominik & Haaf earned $1,400 and a Navajo rug with exceptional design quickly surpassed its $400 to $600 estimate, eventually selling to a collector in Utah at $3,000.
All prices cited do not include the buyers premium.
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