Published: October 13, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy New Haven Auctions
NEW HAVEN, CONN. – New Haven Auctions’ two-day sale October 3-4 featured 433 lots in an “Autumn Americana Auction” that was more than 97 percent sold by lot and saw a total of $607,025. On the second day of the sale, the 428 lots offered in a session titled “Antiques & Modern from Estates & Collections” brought in a total of $366,362 with more than 96 percent of lots finding buyers. The sale welcomed nearly 8,500 approved bidders from 11 countries, with bidding in the room, absentee, on the phones and online on Invaluable, Bidsquare and the busiest, Liveauctioneers. With more than 1,000 online bidders watching the sales consistently from start to finish, the house saw a combined total of $973,387 with private collectors buying about 60 percent of the offerings.
Auctioneer Fred Giampietro was upbeat after the sale, commenting on what he saw as strength in the upper-middle level of Americana. “We are excited about the strong results and feel that our strategy of targeted marketing, combined with curated sales, makes a difference.”
Readers will be familiar with Americana dealers James and Nancy Glazer, whose Bailey Island, Maine, gallery has long been a Northeast destination for collectors and dealers alike. When the Glazers decided they wanted to downsize a bit, they called on friend and fellow Americana dealer, Fred Giampietro, now the owner at New Haven Auctions, to sell about 100 lots.
Giampietro placed that grouping front and center with 96 lots from the Glazers kicking off the “Autumn Americana Auction;” five lots of modern furniture were included in the second day of sales. The Glazer’s netted about $116,000 from an assorted grouping that included everything from furniture and fine art to folk art in all of its varied forms of textiles, pottery, carvings and outdoor furnishings. Only four lots passed, three of which were screens painted by Tom Lipka.
Topping works from the Glazers was an impressive late Nineteenth Century carved folk art hall stand from Sherman Station, Maine, that Giampietro had acquired at Christie’s in the late 1980s before selling to the Glazers, who researched it and discovered that it had been handled previously by both Kaja Veilleux and David Amaral. A phone bidder, who Giampietro believed was a private collector, won the lot for $25,000, underbid by a trade buyer bidding in the room.
An American garden bench with cast iron swan ends and wood plank seats, circa 1840, went to a private collector on the phone for $5,875. “That was the best example of a few I’ve handled; it was completely original and demonstrated the Glazer’s sophisticated eye,” Giampietro said, noting the original wooden seat boards and old weathered painted surface.
Bringing $3,750 was a Pennsylvania watercolor valentine, done by Hannah Haws and dated to the early Nineteenth Century. Measuring 7-5/8 by 6½ inches, the page was from a copy book that had been housed in a contemporary carved frame.
Two lots of furniture from the Glazer collection outperformed expectations and achieved among the higher results for them. A Hepplewhite one-drawer side table in maple and curly maple from New Bedford, Mass., circa 1825, featured a carved and scalloped apron and sold for $3,500. Like the swan bench, Giampietro said the table, which had provenance to Ohio dealer Bill Samaha, was a testament to the Glazers’ eye for condition and originality. Making more than four times its low estimate and selling for $3,250 to a trade buyer, an American carved tiger maple tall post bed, circa 1835, also had provenance to Samaha.
Other notable results for works from the Glazers’ collection included two Outsider art landscapes by George Lathrop that made $3,125, a hooked rug with hearts that finished at $2,250, a barber pole that spun to $1,812, the same price realized for a cast iron two-part urn. Making more than ten times its low estimate, a needlework sampler depicting a house closed at $1,750, while a painted hanging spice chest that was one of the first lots on offer topped off at $1,687.
Property from various owners saw higher prices. The top lot among both days of sale was “Native American Hunter” by Henry Farny, which sold for $71,875. The buyer on the phone, who was making their bidding debut with New Haven Auctions, was the owner of a Major League Baseball team. According to Giampietro, the work was a great example of a great subject in its original frame and was fresh to the market, having been acquired by a member of the artist’s family. In its frame, the 1902 gouache and watercolor on paper measured 17¼ by 14-3/16 inches and carried an estimate of $40/60,000.
“Old Barn” by Eric Sloane (1910-1985) had been consigned by a family who had acquired it from a charity auction where it had been donated by Sloane himself. Estimated at $4/6,000, the oil on artist’s panel work measured 29½ by 42 inches in the frame and brought $10,937 from a private collector.
The sale featured several works by Outsider artists, a section that was led by an untitled oil on panel work by Jesse Howard (American, 1885-1983) that brought $11,250 from a phone bidder, nearly ten times its low estimate. Giampietro said it was the second highest auction price for a work by Howard he could find. The work had been consigned by an artistic couple living near New Haven who had acquired it directly from the artist; they were the same couple who consigned a double portrait by the Outsider artist Lee Godie (American, 1908-1994) that achieved $3,500.
Trade bidders pushed a circa 1900 Charles Carmel outside row stander carousel horse in old park paint to about $4,200, but private collectors bidding online carried it across the finish line, with one of them exceeding its high estimate to win it for $10,625. A trade buyer bidding on the phone bagged a stag weathervane with what Giampietro said was “great surface,” and attributed to Harris & Co., for $11,562.
Pottery in the sale – representing several styles, regions and dates – brought good results. A circa early American redware pitcher with eagle decoration, attributed to Oneida County, N.Y., potter John Betts Gregory realized $10,625 from a private collector. Of several face jugs on offer, a circa 1900 face jug attributed to E. Galloway of Padukah, Ky., with provenance to Steve Powers, topped off at $12,187, while a Nineteenth Century glazed stoneware face vessel that had provenance to Heritage Plantation and Herbert Hemphill, among others, brought $8,750 from a private collector despite a replaced handle and a reinforced base. A Zuni effigy olla dating to the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century sold to an online bidder for $6,000.
Is there a season for mourning jewelry? October might be as good a time as any to sell it, and the sale included several lots from a Maine estate that realized a total of $15,375.
The offerings in the second day of sales were as varied as the results but some of the top results were undoubtedly sweet music to Giampietro, who plays the double bass. Leading modern and antique offerings from estates and collections was a Nineteenth Century cello by Italian maker Gaetano Guadagnini, which sold to a buyer in Australia for $48,750, underbid by a professional cellist, one of many who came in to play it during the preview. “It turns out it had been owned by a gentleman who had played in front of me in the New Haven Symphony; his widow, who lives about a mile from here, had no idea of its value. I’m really happy it brought what it did,” Giampietro said.
A classical pianist from Florida consigned a Shigeru Kawai grand piano S-K7 that sold to a private collector for $36,250, while a local New Haven estate was the source of a 1974 Model L Steinway baby grand piano that brought $7,812, also from a private collector.
Bidders competed fiercely for eight lots of outdoor furniture made by Walter Lamb; the suite had come in as a set but Giampietro thought that he could get more if he sold the set off by individual pieces and he was right; with a combined low/high estimate of $4,7/8,400, the eight lots all sold to separate buyers and achieved a combined total of $22,938 topped by a lounge chair with ottoman that finished at $5,000.
Two lots of Venini art glass were consigned from a local collector and are staying together, selling for a combined total of $12,375 to an Asian buyer in the United States. Another Asian buyer – this time one in China – purchased the top-selling Asian lot, a Chinese bronze censer that heated up to $7,180.
A surprise result came for an early Persian Sarouk carpet that had been in such worn condition that Giampietro almost did not take it on consignment, but it sold for $10,300 to a phone bidder after extensive competition. It beat out a circa 1960 wool pile carpet by Joan Miro that achieved $6,000 from a buyer in France.
New Haven Auctions’ next sale will be two-day single-owner sale of the Beaver Creek, Ohio, collection of Harold Wagner, in January.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
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