Published: June 21, 2022
Review and Onsite Photos by Rick Russack, Additional Photos Courtesy Flying Pig Auctions
WESTMORELAND, N.H. – Flying Pig Auctions conducts about six sales a year, the latest having taken place on June 6. The sales are conducted from the Flying Pig Antique Center, a group shop with about 40 dealers. Both ventures are a partnership of the husband-and-wife team of Kris and Paul Casucci, Ian McKelvey and Roxanne Reuling. Each has decades of experience in the antiques business and each leans strongly to the world of Americana – painted country furniture, woodenware, redware, stoneware, weathervanes and more. The term “leans” means that there’s room for plenty of other material.
There were no bidders in the room for the June 6 auction, but telephone and absentee bidding were available. The sale was certainly Americana-themed, but highlights included a Twentieth Century Impressionist painting by Laurence Campbell (which brought the highest price of the sale) and a 2003 still life by Eric Forstmann, which brought the second highest price of the sale. Highlights of the Americana selection included an outstanding collection of early cloth, china, wax and wooden dolls, and a large assortment of early doors and paneling with original painted or natural surfaces. The paneling included a perhaps unique item, a case for a tall case clock that had been built into a wall of an early home in Glastonbury, Conn. In addition, the sale included a collection of mid-western stoneware, redware, baskets, early lighting, cupboards and other furniture in old paint, hooked rugs, a collection of food choppers, Rockingham glazed bowls and other items, and much more.
The two highest priced lots of the sale were the two Twentieth Century paintings mentioned above. Laurence Campbell (b 1939) is best known for Impressionist depictions of cities in various seasons, especially New York and Philadelphia. This scene was identified on the stretcher as Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and there was a lot of presale interest. It finished at $5,938. The Eric Forstmann (b 1962) still life sold for $4,688. Dated 2003, it depicted an orchid, fruit and a cobalt pitcher on a draped table. Forstmann describes himself as an “eyeball realist,” explaining that he prefers to work from an actual object or scene as opposed to painting from a photograph. He confesses to sometimes visiting a nearby dump or thrift store to find unusual objects to feature in his paintings.
The selection of country furniture, most of which had come from an estate in the Berkshires, was led by a very nice Queen Anne tray-top stand on widely splayed legs that had been in the collection of Lillian Blakely Cogan. It had an old black surface, a carved apron and pad feet, and had sold at Skinner in 2019 for $4,613. This time it earned $1,875. There were several painted cupboards, early tables and stands, Windsor chairs and Shaker rockers. A 6-foot-tall cupboard with old white paint and a nine-pane glazed door over two wooden doors in the base sold for $1,063. A Nineteenth Century pie safe with pinwheel pierced tin panels, in later mustard over green paint, went out for $532. Of the Windsors, bidders liked a Rhode Island braced-back, continuous arm example best. It had well-turned legs and arm supports, later black paint and it realized $563. A Shaker #1 child’s rocker earned $625.
There may have been some good buys among several lots of early architectural panels and doors. Most came from the attic of the home in the home in the Berkshires. It seemed that some bidders missed a very unusual, perhaps unique, item in this group. It was the front panel, in old red, of a tall case clock that had been built into the wall of a home in Glastonbury, Conn. It included the painted dial, works and pendulum but seemed very reasonable, realizing $313. Where would you find another? Early wooden doors also seemed quite affordable. There were four lots, each with two or three doors, mostly in weathered surfaces and some with iron latches. Two lots of two earned $63, and two lots earned $50. Paneling was sold in lots with multiple pieces; two lots each realized $38 and one lot brought even less.
Auctions are full of surprises – that’s half the fun. This sale included a large collection of folky Nineteenth Century cloth and wooden dolls divided into more than 40 lots, but it was a cloth doll made in 2005 that earned the highest price. It was made by Norma Schneeman, dated 2005, marked “aktie,” dressed in antique clothes, 27½ inches tall, and realized $1,625. Schneeman and her daughter are still producing cloth dolls and other folk art. A boy and girl pair of Nineteenth Century dolls, well dressed with hand-made mittens and scarves, realized $1,188. The most sought-after Nineteenth Century doll was a circa 1890s example with a painted face, articulated fingers, original clothes and a vintage straw hat. She reached $688. There were many more to choose from, including china heads and wax examples.
The sale included other collections. There were several lots of wooden handled, iron food choppers, each with four or five choppers. Prices were mostly around $125 per lot. Midwestern stoneware was also sold in lots. Apparently New England buyers were hesitant, as a lot with five sorghum jugs sold for $38 and a lot of four jars sold for the same amount. A 2-gallon ovoid jug marked “U. Kendalls Factory Cincinnati, OH” earned $100.
A few days after the sale, Roxanne Reuling said that the sale had gone well. “We had over 700 registered bidders, and there were still over 400 people watching at the end of the sale. So we had a lot of interest and a lot of bidding. We were satisfied with the two good paintings, and the elderly woman who owned the doll collection was very happy with the way they did. We’re looking forward to the next sale.”
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, www.flyingpigantiquesnh.com or 603-543-7490.
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