Published: April 23, 2019
Review by Rick Russack / Photos Courtesy of Flying Pig Antiques
WESTMORELAND, N.H. – As intended, the only thing missing from Flying Pig’s first auction was a live crowd in the salesroom. The sale was intended to offer buyers different ways to bid without the necessity of actually being at the auction; internet, phone and absentee bidding were also available. The sale was put together by Kris Casucci and her husband Paul, Ian McKelvey and Roxanne Reuling, partners in Flying Pig Antiques, of Westmoreland. Each has years of experience in the antiques business, and Reuling grew up in the auction business, working for her father, Peter Stanton Imler, who retired in 2016 from Stanton’s Auction Gallery after 36 years in the business. McKelvey and Casucci are well known dealers and have partnered before. Merchandise was available for previewing several days in advance of the sale. Flying Pig Antiques also manages a group shop with more than 40 dealers. The shop opened in February 2019.
As Reuling explained, “In the last few years, the internet has changed so much of the way we do business that we all thought this format, giving buyers choices as how to bid, would work. I’ll be selling each lot individually, just as we would in a live auction. Bidders can bid as they wish, with the only real difference between this and other auctions today, being that there won’t be a crowd in the salesroom. The sale has just under 250 lots – a very manageable number. We each have a variety of contacts from our years in the business and expect to be able to offer a changing selection of quality material at each of our auctions. We’re using LiveAuctioneers, as this platform allows us flexibility in how we conduct our sales.” The day after the sale, Rueling said that they had more than 400 registered online bidders, plus the absentee and phone bidders. “We’re very happy with the way the sale went and the results we got. It was like any auction – there were some really good buys, and there was very competitive bidding on other items. There were numerous requests for additional information on individual lots prior to the sale and that’s a good sign.”
For a “new” venture, the sale included a variety of quality material. There was a selection of French cameo glass, a group of Inuit carvings, Asian material, brightly painted game boards and more. One of the highlights of the sale was a signed Pairpoint Rose pattern puffy lamp. It was expected to be the highest grossing lot of the sale, and it was, finishing at $6,900. A French cameo glass drew numerous bids, being topped by a 13-inch signed Daum Nancy etched and enameled vase with pink floral designs on a pink and yellow ground, which ended up at $3,900. Other Daum Nancy pieces did well, as a signed green, acid etched and enameled vase with a summer scene brought $3,300. An unusual inkwell, carved with applied, molten glass acorns and insects earned $3,000.
There was a selection of art pottery in the sale with a signed George Ohr puzzle mug finishing at $780 and a Newcomb College bowl with a Spanish Moss scene under a full moon, signed EMU, which realized $1,440. Artist-signed Rookwood included a standard glaze vase with carnations, signed by Mary Nourse, that reached $540 and another piece, a standard glaze mug signed by William MacDonald that brought the same price.
There were weathervanes and other folk art. Selling for $2,040, well beyond its estimate, was a 21-inch running fox weathervane. A small pig weathervane, only 19 inches long, brought $1,680. It had a cast zinc head with a good, old surface. It was cataloged as possibly having been made by Howard. A mid- or late Nineteenth Century barber pole, turned from one piece of wood, with acorn ends and original surface, realized $2,280. It retained its original forged mount. Of the several game boards, a particularly colorful double-sided example may have been one of the best buys of the sale, finishing at only $660.
The selection of paintings was topped by a colorful oil on board signed by Milton Avery. It depicted two people at an outdoor village restaurant, and it brought $3,000. An Impressionistic oil on canvas depicting hot air balloons, signed Andre Gisson (1921-2003) reached $1,080. Although the artist was born in Brooklyn, with the name Anders Gittelson, he changed his name to Gisson and claimed to have been born in 1910 in order to align himself with the French Impressionists. His works are in the collection of the Smithsonian and were collected by President Lyndon Johnson, according to the website of Rafael Osona. An oil on canvas of the large sternwheel tow boat Robert P Gillham seemed reasonable, earning $780. It was owned by the Campbell’s Creek Coal Company and sailed on the Kanawha River in the West Virginia area. Another marine painting, a British painting of a three-masted schooner in the original frame sold for $660. The family history said the painting descended in the Woolworth family of Stonington, Conn.
After the sale, Roxanne Rueling said the company expects that at least four more auctions will be conducted this year. The next one, scheduled for July 8, will include Tiffany and Pairpoint lamps, along with a variety of other merchandise.
For additional information, www.flyingpigantiquesnh.com or 603-543-7490.
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