Published: May 22, 2007
It was a definite case of March Madness at Carlsen Gallery’s March 25, 2007, sale where prices were all over the lot. A French Impressionistic bistro scene by Italian artist Giuseppe de Nittis sold for $65,550. The 18¼-by-15½-inch picture was consigned by an area collector and sold to a Paris dealer after strong competition from bidders in the room and on ten phones.
A tonalist landscape by Barbizon school painter John Francis Murphy drew $18,975 and the oil on board, “The Bathers,” by John Costigan was $5,750.
“Along the Susquehanna River” by Walter M. Oddie fetched $5,750, and a seascape by George Howell Gay had been torn in half and had some other damage but commanded an impressive $4,600.
A discomforting view by Dennis Burlingame, the oil on board, “The Snake Charmer,” appealed to someone who paid $2,760 for it, while Winslow Homer’s framed 1863 pencil sketches, “Soldier Studies,” drew $2,760.
A signed poster extolling the charms of North Berwick Golf via the London Northeast Railway by Andrew Johnson sold for $10,810. Another poster, “Winter in Switzerland,” by Swiss artist Erich Hermes realized $2,070.
Proving that not all good art needs wall space, a neoclassical carved marble bust by Harriet Hosmer realized $29,900. A double-sided parlor easel with brass and fruitwood inlay by Charles Tisch was of great interest and realized $5,750. Carlsen sold a Tisch Aesthetic Movement cabinet several years ago for $92,812.
Furniture offerings accounted for a good portion of the auction led by a Nineteenth Century New York bookcase with gilt stenciling and carving. Though the piece was unsigned, Russ Carlsen was 99 and 44/100ths percent sure that it was a Meeks work. Others agreed and the piece fetched $27,600 from a dealer in the greater New York area. Carlsen said after the sale that the carved flourish on the top might have been a later embellishment. A New York Empire center table had an inset marble top and might have been a Meeks piece. Then again, it might not have been. It brought $2,185.
An exceptional Eighteenth Century Hudson Valley or Connecticut Valley cherry hutch table with shoe feet and an oval top sold for $17,825. A circa 1800 New York mahogany Pembroke table with elegantly shaped leaves with conforming inlay to the top and the edges of the leaves and retaining the original brasses sold for $10,925. Carlsen said after the sale the wood was as beautiful as the form.
Prices were all over the place: An Eighteenth Century Massachusetts mahogany serpentine front chest drew a solid $4,600, while an Eighteenth Century Queen Anne maple slant front desk with bandy legs was $3,174.
Other highlights included a mahogany card table with figured maple veneer by John and Thomas Seymour that despite missing the flying leaf brought $4,600, and a 1780 New York or New Jersey cherry tall case clock with striking inlay at $8,625.
Sets of chairs were popular including a set of six Hepplewhite satinwood dining chairs with hand painted decoration that realized $3,565. A set of six Sheraton fancy chairs in the original white paint with gilded decoration included five side chairs and one armchair and fetched $1,150. A Windsor comb back armchair sold for $1,665.
A 21-inch paint-decorated Schoharie County blanket box came from a local attic and realized $9,200 despite some overpaint. It was marked “C.L.” and dated 1815. A folky painted pine music lesson board boasted elegant lettering and sold for $3,105. An Eighteenth Century storage bench in green paint fetched $2,990.
A good looking corner cabinet with a single door over another single door realized $2,415, and a Hudson Valley hanging cupboard with raised panel doors was painted white and went to $1,208.
A Kentucky tiger maple long rifle with star inlay was handsome and brought a rewarding $4,025, while an elaborate French giltwood barometer drew a very reasonable $2,300.
A Hudson River Valley collection of Chinese Export armorial porcelain included a platter that realized $1,035, a charger that drew $949 and a feather-edge platter that sold for $690. Other ceramics included a circa 1860 pitcher by George Fowler with zoological figures of every variety that realized $1,710.
Americana highlights included a 20-inch American Indian burl bowl with handles that sold for $1,495. A signed letter by abolitionist John Brown was framed with a likeness of him engraved by Timothy Cole and sold for $3,450, and an 1838 silhouette of William Sumners of Birmingham by August Edouard went for $1,265.
A late Nineteenth Century woolwork of what was described as a “fancy” dog sold for $1,150. The dog had a distinctly poodle-ish aspect, but it also resembled a lamb.
All prices reported include the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For more information, 518-634-2466 or www.carlsengallery.com .
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