Published: July 5, 2017
Review and Onsite Photos by Jackie Sideli, Catalog Photos Courtesy Marion Antiques Auction
MARION, MASS. – Marion Antiques Auction partners David Glynn and Frank McNamee assembled an impressive collection of American antiques, nautical and whaling items for their summer auction June 10. Much of the material for the auction was from the Colonial Club of Fairhaven, Mass., founded in 1912, which is moving out of its current home for the last 105 years.
The top lot was an oil painting by American artist C.H. Gifford (1839-1904), which measured 33½ by 54½ inches and was signed on the lower right “C F Gifford 1878.” Titled “The Coast of Grand Manan,” the painting had a magnificent original carved and gilded frame and had been purchased by the club in 1921 for $320 at a W.S. Bourne auction and was accompanied with the original receipt. It depicts two men pulling a dory ashore with ships in the distance. Bidding started at $27,000 and quickly went just over high estimate at $57,330, going to a customer at the auction.
A William Bradford (1823-1892) oil on board, “Near Cape St John, Labrador,” which was signed on the lower right, and was in original untouched condition, 13½ by 20 inches, from the club’s historical committee, was sold. Purchased from Mary Bradford, daughter of the artist, for $200, it opened at $5,000 with an absentee bid, and with action from the floor and the phones, it sold quickly for $24,570 to an in-house bidder. Another oil on board by Bradford depicted the Old Tack Works Wharf in Fairhaven in 1888. It was signed on the lower right, sight size was 6½ by 10¼ inches, and it was a gift to the club from Miss Bradford in 1921. Miss Bradford was a member of the club. Bidding opened with a $1,000 phone bid and quickly escalated to its final price of $21,060. Another Bradford oil on board under glass, “The Coast of Labrador,” was signed on the lower left. Measuring 6¾ by 9¾ inches (sight), the painting achieved $5,616.
A Lemuel D. Eldred (1848-1921) oil painting on canvas was offered early in the sale. The Fairhaven, Mass., artist’s view of Venice harbor, was signed on the lower right. The painting, measuring 17 by 26½ inches (sight) was in untouched original condition and retained its original carved and gilded frame. Also from the club, it opened at $1,000 and earned $2,340. Another Eldred oil on canvas, “The Old Harris House, Middle Street, Fairhaven,” signed on the lower right L D Eldred ’96, was accompanied by the original $200 receipt from November 1921. It opened with a $3,000 bid, and made $5,265. An oil on canvas by Nineteenth Century artist Ralph Albert Blakelock (1845-1919), a western mountain sunset scene, which was signed on the lower left with monogram, achieved $2,691.
Whaling items sold included a late Nineteenth Century scrimshaw whale’s tooth, depicting three elegantly dressed women, with a farmyard scene on the other side, and measuring 6-5/8 inches long, which achieved $1,638. Another Nineteenth Century whale’s tooth with engraved religious scene and polychromed decoration, 6 inches high, from the Barbara Johnson collection went to a customer on the phone for $1,755. A Nineteenth Century whalebone sailor-made swift, with red paint decoration, measuring 14½ inches high, opened at $800, and sold quickly for $1,755. A sailor-made Nineteenth Century jagging wheel, with inlaid floral designs, with abalone and baleen spacers brought $1,872.
Two whaling journals to the Pacific Ocean, one from the whaleship Good Return of New Bedford, Mass., dated May 30, 1839, and the other from the Eliza Jenney of Fairhaven, 1842, surfaced at this auction. The first journal chronicles a voyage from 1839 to 1843. There were numerous whale stamps, and the journal was kept by the ship’s captain, John Smith Taber. With lots of phones and action from the floor, a bidder on the phone won the journal for $5,382. The second journal is from the Eliza Jenney’s voyage to the Pacific Ocean. This journal contained 131 handwritten pages. Finback whales are mentioned, as is sailing past the Galapagos. The journey takes the ship to the coast of Peru, and returns home with 2,400 pounds of sperm oil. This journal brought $3,627.
An American Nineteenth Century painted schoolgirl box, featured decoration of a country landscape, river and house painted on the lid. The box, which retained its original key and brass feet, saw rapid bidding from customers at the sale and on the phones, driving the price to $23,400 from a floor bidder.
An impressive collection of 13 historical signatures, mostly US presidents and cabinet members, during and after the time of the Lincoln administration, was assembled in the Nineteenth Century. Signatures included Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Webster, Ulysses Grant and Andrew Jackson. After a round of competitive bidding, the signatures achieved $3,393.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.marionantiqueauctions.com or 508-748-3606.
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