Published: November 17, 2020
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Winter Associates
PLAINVILLE, CONN. – Compelling fine art, striking pieces of vintage jewelry and Modern sculpture were top features in the November 2 live online auction conducted by Winter Associates. The quality tying them together was exceptional craftsmanship, according to the auction house. The sale, which due to Covid-19 protocols had no in-house bidding, had more than 3,000 registered bidders competing on two online platforms and 56 absentee bidders. “One of the things that not everybody does is that we stream live on Invaluable,” said the firm’s owner Linda Stamm, who started her business 40 years ago. “If you’ve ever watched the progression of an online sale, it can be really hard, for example, to figure out why they’re going fast, why they’re going slow, are they almost done on this lot? So, I think it really helps; our customers really like it a lot.”
Leading the sale was an early Continental oil, a pastoral scene with shepherd attributed to the workshop of Nicholaes P. Berchem (1620-1683), “Shepherds and Cattle Fording a Stream.” The Seventeenth Century painting measuring 52¾ by 41½ inches sold for $8,400 to a collector in California who was new to the firm. There was no signature or markings visible, but its condition was good and the frame had a label verso for “Fhconzen, Düsseldorf, Köningliche, Hoflieferant, Rahmenund leisten fabrik, Kustglashändlung” (The firm is still in business but does not possess any records, said the auction house).
More domestic landscapes – Old Lyme, Vermont, Maine and other New England views in oil – were featured by artists, including William Chadwick (1879-1962), Thomas R. Curtin, Roger Dennis and many others. Old Lyme, Conn., artist Chadwick’s oil on canvas landscape snow scene with weathered building right next to golden brush, bare trees in foreground and hazy lavender trees in distance brought $3,360 from a buyer in Old Lyme. It was signed lower left, and measured 19½ by 23½ inches. All of the Curtin Vermont scenes went to a buyer in Vermont except for one, which went to Florida. “Maybe a ‘snowbird,'” quipped Stamm.
Fetching $2,280 was another Connecticut artist, Howard Hildebrandt (1872-1958), whose oil on canvas captured a harbor scene with many sailboats in the water and crowds of figures in hues of orange and deep blue. Signed lower right, it measured 11½ by 15½ inches.
As an estate auctioneer, Winter Associates almost by definition presents sales with a bit of everything, although jewelry was perhaps most notable this time. “We really had a wonderful assortment of vintage jewelry,” observed Stamm. An antique carnelian, pearl and diamond brooch on an 18K yellow gold mounting featured an oval hardstone cameo surrounded by seed pearls and diamonds, center set with one round orange and brown carved carnelian cameo, went out at $3,000. Its new owner resides in London.
A woman’s 18K enameled watch suspended on a companion slide chain was another jewelry highlight, commanding $2,040. The watch was keywind (no key included), and the piece comprised 13 jewels, and it was signed “A P & Ce., 13378,” typical trademark for Audemars Piquet.
Cats proved to be winsome with a 14K reverse crystal cat pin/pendant in round frame earning $1,800. Stamped and tested 14K yellow gold, with hinged bail and pin stem on back, the 1¼-inch-diameter pinfeatured two cats, one orange and one gray, on a table.” Interestingly, it’s going to stay local in Connecticut,” said Stamm, who added that the buyer is someone who sells jewelry but said she is keeping it for herself.
A bit of sculptural whimsy was introduced by Ernest Trova’s (American, 1927-2009) “Manscape,” depicting a gold-toned male figure with no arms standing to the right of two stacked angular metal steps, bottom step rusty red and top a deep gold. It left the gallery at $1,320 to a New England buyer. A self-trained American Surrealist and Pop art painter and sculptor, Trova is best known for his signature image and figure series, “The Falling Man,” a symbol of his oeuvre, which he considered a single “work in progress.”
Fans of sterling silver chased a notable Tiffany piece, an Olympian pattern chip server, to $900. This is what was pulled out in the Nineteenth Century to properly serve the new novelty of the day, potato chips.
Fittingly anchoring the decorative arts on offer in the sale was a pair of cast cement garden urns with covers weighing in at $5,700. Each stood 30 inches high with curled branch handles, fruiting branch and geometric design, scalloped pedestals on square bases.
Highlighting the furniture category and selling for $1,920 was a Theodore Alexander side cabinet in the George III style, mahogany and burl mahogany, with concave sides, three drawers above three doors with adjustable shelves.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. The firm’s next sale is set for December 14. For information, 860-793-0288 or www.auctionsappraisers.com.
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