Published: November 9, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Nadeau’s Auction Gallery
WINDSOR, CONN. – A diminutive Chippendale mahogany chest, circa 1780, led the lots in Nadeau’s October 30 auction, bringing $25,200 against a $10/20,000 estimate. Coming from the estate of James Dana English of New Haven to benefit the New Haven Museum, the Massachusetts chest featured a shaped top over conforming block front of four graduated drawers. The piece was set on cutout bracket feet with original brasses and probably original finish. It was 30 inches high and sported a case width of 33½ inches. It sold to a private collector and went to New Hampshire.
The firm’s annual major fall Americana and Chinese auction is always highly anticipated, and this edition also featured an extensive clock collection. “It was very successful,” said Eddie Nadeau. “A lot of items did much better than we expected, and the Asian material, of course, did very well.” Nadeau added that only about half a dozen items were passed in the sale that totaled $770,680. There were 387 registered bidders in-house, with online platforms lining up 1,807 at LiveAuctioneers, 238 on Bidsquare and 397 on Invaluable.
Two other top furniture highlights were a pair of walnut Philadelphia Chippendale side chairs that reached $10,000 and a Sheraton mahogany sewing stand that was bid to $6,600. The chairs featured a carved top rail over rare pierced splat with heart cut out over slip seats with shell carved center and shell carved knees with cabriole legs ending in ball and claw feet. They were attributed to Nicholas Bernard, Philadelphia, circa 1755-65, with height of 40¾ inches, seat height of 18 inches and width of 20 inches. The sewing stand featured a shaped inlaid top with turret corners over one drawer over bag drawer set on fluted and turned legs, top with mahogany center surrounded by tiger maple banding surrounded by rosewood. Purchased from dealer Tucker Frey Antiques for $10,500 in 2008, it stood in 29½ inches high and its top was 15¾ by 20½ inches.
Asian arts enthusiasts chased a large (22 inches high) Chinese blue and white urn from its $400/800 estimate to $20,480. With a flared rim over dragon handles, its bulbous body was lively with painted flowers and panel scenes with birds and flowers,
A three-piece Chinese porcelain group comprised a blue and white dish having painted lotus flowers, a blue and white bowl having wild flowers, along with a small pot with painted figures in a landscape. Two of the pieces had character marks; the dish diameter was 6¾ inches, the bowl height was 2½ inches and its diameter 6¾ inches, while the pot had a height of 3½ inches and diameter of 5¼ inches. Estimated just $400/800, the group went out at $9,000
Also outperforming was a Chinese famille rose porcelain planter with five-claw dragon motifs. At a height of 18½ inches and diameter of 21 inches, it took $8,125 against a $300/500 estimate.
A Chinese blue and white porcelain zhadou, having blue painted four-claw dragon on each side of the bowl with a panel having script, early Qing dynasty, brought $7,200. It was from a private New York City collection and stood 5¼ inches high with an 8½-inch diameter.
Finally, two Chinese porcelain pieces, to include a small shallow celadon dish in fitted wood box, diameter 4¼ inches; along with a blue and white five-claw dragon vase, height 3½ inches, raced past their $200/400 presale estimate to finish at $6,600, the same attained for a set of nine Nineteenth Century Chinese porcelain nesting cups having various designs and decoration.
There was notable fine art on offer. First, a portrait of a noblewoman, an oil on panel in the manner of Jean de Court (French, 1530-1584), sold for $15,600, more than six times its high estimate. It was unsigned, 27 by 19 inches.
Attributed to Jean Baptiste Monnoyer (French, 1636-1699), a still life with sunflowers, peonies and wildflowers, an oil on relined canvas, was unsigned and presented in an old perhaps original frame. An old paper label on the stretcher had in illegible French script “…Flowers…Baptiste..14/12/83.” The 23½-by-29-inch painting earned $6,600.
Fetching $7,800 was a watercolor by Prideaux John Selby (British, 1788-1867), “Hooded Crow,” 1829, gouache over graphite on paper, was titled and inscribed in pencil indistinctly lower right, with sight size of 15½ by 16 inches.
A Currier and Ives lithograph, “Across the Continent,” with hand coloring, printed title and credit line through the lower margin, image size 17½ by 27¼ inches, sold for $7,500.
Two clocks were among the sale’s top highlights. A rare George March hollow column mahogany shelf clock, its top carved with a basket of fruit, had an eglomise glass door and stood on paw feet. It was 37¼ inches high and came from the 50-year personal collection of clocks and American antiques from Thomas Bailey, Manchester, Conn.. Estimated $1/2,000, it did much better, bringing $7,500
Towering at 88½ inches high, a Peregrine White cherry tall case clock went out at $6,600. It had a fretwork top with three finials over tombstone door, flanked by fluted columns, over arched molded door flanked by fluted quarter columns on base and sat on bracket feet. Its painted porcelain dial featured a rocking ship with calendar and second hand.
Rounding out the sale’s top highlights were a pair of majolica polychrome decorated vessels and a rare map of New York City by David Longworth. The majolica vessels surprised, eliciting $12,500 against a $300/500 estimate, especially since one had a large chip in its rim. Their obvious antiquity was what propelled them so high, according to Nadeau. Albarello and Castel Durante, the pair’s cylindrical forms depicted figures and animals in a landscape, one inscribed “Grana Solis” (worn), the other inscribed “Sy De Jvivbis Me” (chip), each 12½ inches high.
The 1817 map, which sold for $9,533, stated, “This actual map and comparative plans showing 88 years growth of the city at New York is inscribed to the Citizens by the Proprietor David Longworth,” “Plan of New York in 1729 Surveyed by James Lyme.” It bore surveying or zoning marks with family names and measured 19 by 19 inches.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house.
The firm’s next sale is slated for November 13, its monthly sale, which will feature a number of name Twentieth Century design pieces, followed by coins, stamps, postcards and ephemera on November 20.
For additional information, www.nadeausauction.com or 860-246-2444.
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