Published: September 13, 2022
Review by Z.G. Burnett, Photos Courtesy Flying Pig Auctions
WESTMORELAND, N.H. – Flying Pig Auctions hosted its Fine Art, Folk Art, Antiques & Collectibles on August 29, with many of the sale’s 321 lots being filled by the estate of Henry and Judith Rice Milton, joined by objects from other New England estates. “[We were] very happy with the overall sale… There are always surprises in an auction,” Roxanne Reuling, partner of Flying Pig Antiques wrote. “Unfortunately, good and bad! But the good outweighed this time!” The auction attracted more than 600 registered domestic and international bidders who participated via phone, absentee bid and online, resulting in an 87 percent sell-through rate.
First among the top lots was an unsigned oil on canvas Boston Harbor view, laid on board, which sold for $6,875 to an Internet bidder. The perspective seems to be from the North End harbor, looking towards Charlestown, Mass., where the Bunker Hill Monument was built in 1839. The only other context of the painting comes from an illustration in the 1937 book Yankee Bookseller: Being the Reminiscences of Charles E. Goodspeed, which was spotted by a friend of one of the painting’s former owners. A Xerox of the typewritten letter and an image showing the painting, framed, above a mantel in the Goodspeed Book Shop was included with the lot.
Also bidding to $6,875 was a pochoir print after Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), titled “Pierrot et Arlequin.” The print was made circa 1920 from Dix Pochoirs by Editions Galerie Rosenberg, Paris, and was signed and numbered by Picasso in pencil. Pochoir is a technique of making fine, limited editions of hand-colored and often hand-drawn stencil prints that would often be made for books. The pochoir sold online.
Another work on paper of two figures that was in the manner of and strongly attributed to Bill Traylor (American, 1854-1949) was drawn on the endpaper of the back cover of a textbook. Traylor was born into slavery in Alabama, only beginning to draw prolifically in the last ten years of his life. The exterior surface was inscribed with the artist’s name. From the collection of “a well respected folk art/antique dealer,” the drawing sold for $3,900.
Two lots of Asian art were prominent in the top lots. The first was a Chinese bowl for $6,000 that was “the biggest surprise” to Reuling. The bowl included its wooden stand, and showed a polychrome garden scene with an inscription, as well as a single mark on the bottom surface. Following in this category was a lot of two blue and white porcelain garden seats that achieved $2,040 after a lengthy bidding volley between an in-house buyer who triumphed against an Internet bidder. The seats were a handsome pair, with one showing a continuous architectural scene and the other sporting a five-toed dragon on one of its sides and a phoenix on the other.
Tiffany & Co made an appearance with a 127-piece set of sterling silver flatware in the Salem pattern with a fitted box. This pattern is discontinued, having been produced between 1956 and 1990. The set was monogrammed, which was acquired by an online buyer for $5,313.
The most interesting lot to Reuling was a Charles O. Perry (American, 1929-2011) complete puzzle chess set, named so because the pieces of each side fit together to form a cylindrical and a square tube. An example of this stainless steel set from 1968 is in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, and the museum marketed the set beginning in 1967. Five hundred sets were initially created in the first edition, but 300 of these were subsequently destroyed and they are highly sought-after by chess set collectors. This example sold online for $3,125.
Prices quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. Flying Pig Auctions’ next sale will be conducted on October 24. For more information, 603-543-7490 or www.flyingpigantiquesnh.com.
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