A full-plate daguerreotype was the runaway star at Eldred’s Americana auction November 16-17, where it fetched a record price of $106,200. The dag, measuring 8¼ by 6¼ inches, retained the original embossed leather case that measured 91/8 by 71/8 inches and depicted four uniformed men against two 28-star flags.
Made in the late 1840s, it descended in the family of Freeman Cobb of Brewster, Mass., who is thought to be one of the men pictured. Cobb worked for Adams Express, a Boston transport service established in 1840, and the company uniform is probably that worn by the men pictured. He arrived in Australia in 1853 and he set up his own coach company there using two Concord coaches that he brought with him. The dag went to a New England dealer bidding on the phone, who, when he came to pick it up, observed, “It’s better than I thought it was.”
Buyers clamored for work by Provincetown artists. Blanche Lazzell’s 1925 abstract white line woodblock “Four Boats” realized $42,480. Lazzell’s 1931 white line color woodcut “Sail Boat” brought a record $106,620 at Eldred’s summer Americana sale and spurred the sale of “Four Boats.” It went to a New York dealer in midcentury American art.
Provincetown artist Ada Gilmore Chaffee’s double-sided woodblock was carved on both sides and measured 10 by 10 inches. It depicted two girls with posies walking in a village setting on one side and three woman and a dog on the other. It piqued interest and brought what appears to be a record price of $11,210. “Overhauling Fishing Gear” by Provincetown artist Ross E. Moffett realized $10,890.
“River Rapids” by Provincetown artist Jonas Lie retained the estate stamp and sold for $3,540. “Provincetown Lane,” an oil on canvas board by Nancy Whorf, was $3,146.
An Anthony Thieme Cape Ann dock scene with figures sold for $7,670. The proceeds of the lot were donated to the Message from Marli Foundation, the organization dedicated to raising awareness of and funds for the detection of ovarian cancer.
A Cape Ann painting, “Story’s Cove” by Paul Strisik, realized $5,143, while a Maine harbor view by Strisik, “Sparkling Harbor,” was $2,360
Depicting a White Mountains scene, most likely a view of Mount Washington, a painting by Harrison Bird Brown sold for $8,250. An oil on canvas by New Hampshire artist Delbert Dana Coombs, “Harvest Time at Dillingham Farm,” went for $5,900.
A New York City view, “Winter in New York †Warren Street, City Hall” by New Jersey Laurence A. Campbell was dated 1987. It realized $4,840. “Spring Flowers,” a watercolor by New York artist Lily Dulany Emmet Cushing was unsigned but identified on a label on the back. It sold for $2,506.
Unsigned, an oil on canvas scene of the cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard did have a Salmagundi Club label indicating that it been painted by actor James Cagney. It realized $1,180 against the estimated $300/500.
A Nineteenth Century China Trade ship’s portrait attributed to Hin Qua of the vessel Wild Pigeon off Hong Kong brought $7,670. The ship sailed under the command of Osander W. Mayhew of Martha’s Vineyard.
The French scene “A Conversation” by American artist Myron G. Barlow brought $9,440.
Two Nineteenth Century English marine paintings included a Thomas Buttersworth Sr nighttime naval battle scene with one dismasted warship afire and another being dismasted by a third vessel that sold for $5,310. A second picture by Arthur Wellington Fowles depicting an America schooner off the Isle of Wight was dated 1878 and was also $5,310.
A selection of birds carved by A. Elmer Crowell of East Harwich, Mass., all but one from an Osterville collection, was well received and brought pleasing results. A rare life-size decorative preening curlew bearing Crowell’s rectangular stamp and his signature doubled the estimate when it sold for $35,400. Another life-size bird was a decorative Jack snipe with the rectangular stamp and Crowell’s signature that stood on a carved wood base painted to simulate a rock. It fetched $23,600.
Life-size, a decorative greater yellowlegs with its wing up and a feather in its bill bore the rectangular stamp and was signed in Crowell’s hand “Winter Yellowleg A.E. Crowell Cape Cod.” It realized $16,940. A life-size decorative greater yellowlegs with carved tail feathers and in running form was missing some gesso and part of its left foot, and it went for $10,620.
Also life-size, a decorative Killdeer with carved tail feathers brought $10,030. A rare lesser yellowlegs mantel carving was signed and dated and realized $5,900, as did a life-size decorative piping plover identified in Crowell’s hand, “A.E. Crowell Cape Cod Piping Plover.”
A centennial wool flag with 38 five-point stars forming the dates 1776 and 1886 came to Eldred’s on an appraisal day and attracted considerable interest, said Americana and sporting antiques and art specialist Erik S. Mulak, who took it in. From a Harwich collection, it realized $9,440 from a Virginia collector on the phone.
Fetching $2,834 was a Nineteenth Century American cigar store Indian figure holding a tobacco leaf and retaining vestiges of old paint. A carved and painted figure of a reclining mermaid that once hung above the fireplace of a Nova Scotia inn brought $2,714.
Among a group of clocks, a Curtis & Dunning girandole example with an eagle finial and foliate mounts and a reverse painted image of an eagle and American flags on the throat glass sold for $7,865. A Federal cherry tall clock by Ebenezer Kingsbury of Shrewsbury, Mass., was dated 1799 and fetched $6,490. A Swiss travel clock in 14K gold by C.B. Baillot of Geneva had been presented to Daniel Waldo Field and realized $5,015. An early Twentieth Century Waltham mahogany nine chime tall clock fetched $3,146.
A reverse painted window panel from the late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century announcing “Asylum for the Insane” in gold letters on a black ground realized $1,003 against the estimated $400/600.
Highlighting silver in the sale, a cased set of Gorham sterling flatware in the Covington pattern sold for $9,440 and a silver tea urn, also by Gorham, circa 1860, with ornate decoration was said to be similar to one owned by Abraham Lincoln, realized $7,080. An early Twentieth Century seven-piece sterling repoussé tea service by Heer-Schofield Co., of Baltimore brought $8,850, and a mid-Nineteenth Century five-piece English sterling coffee service by Joseph and Albert Savory went for $5,143.
An English slant lid secretary in burlwood veneers with a double arched top above two doors sold for $3,422.
Made of Hawaiian koa wood by Virginia custom cabinetmakers Jaeger and Ernst, a set of ten Hepplewhite-style dining chairs included two armchairs and sold for $3,540.
A pair of Nineteenth Century Chinese Export Rose Medallion porcelain palace vases realized $4,130. Other ceramics included an Eighteenth Century delft garniture set comprising two vases and three covered jars, each of which was decorated with a portrait of William of Orange. The set sold for $3,835. A 9-inch Eighteenth Century delft plate with a peafowl decoration was $1,028, while a Spanish majolica shallow bowl with a dog decoration sold for $2,124.
Featuring raised leaf decoration, a matte green Grueby vase had a rim chip, but still exceeded the $1.5/2,000 estimate when it realized $3,186.
A Handel leaded glass table lamp with an apple blossom shade and a leaf patterned base brought $5,605, and a Moe Bridges table lamp reverse painted with an autumn scene sold for $1,180
Two collections of mohair bears sold. They included a 16-inch German example that may have been Steiff that sold for $1,003, while a group of six small bears, three of which were perfume holders and one was a makeup holder, sold for $1,003.
A desirable lot of late Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Century tobacco cards brought an impressive $11,210.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
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