Published: June 13, 2023
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring; Photos Courtesy Americana Auctions
REHOBOTH, MASS. — “Nautical” was the word of the day at Americana Auctions on June 4, when more than 500 lots from Cape Cod and island homes, as well as Connecticut and Long Island estates were offered by Americana Auctions. Nearly 85 percent of the lots found new owners, with many of the highest prices achieved for things with a marine or maritime theme or purpose.
“There were a few soft spots but overall, it was a very good sale, we can’t complain,” said Americana Auctions’ manager, Richard Shute.
A Nineteenth Century Oglala Sioux ceremonial beaded suede outfit, comprising a fringed jacket, belt, pair of leggings and a pair of moccasins won top lot honors for the day, exceeding expectations when it sold to a Midwest collector for $5,500. The auction’s catalog identified the clothing as being in excellent condition and having been found in an attic on Cape Cod, along with a handwritten note that dated it to 1870-90 and inscribed “certification Museum American Indian NYC.”
The outfit was part of more than 50 lots of Native American objects, including jewelry, textiles, pottery, Kachina and stone figures. A small Inuit woven basket with a walrus finial worked from carved bone measured just four inches in diameter but nearly doubled its high estimate when it sold for $1,438.
Rugs were another sizeable category, with more than two dozen examples on offer. A category high of $5,125 was achieved for a Bakshaish woven from camel hair, approximately 10 by 13, that featured an all-over floral design. It was followed at $3,625 by a Turkish rug, cataloged as old Kirman style, that measured just larger than 13 by 9 feet. According to Shute, it was purchased by a buyer in Turkey.
Bidders were significantly interested in two ship paintings by Jacob Harnack — both consigned to the sale from the same collection in Virginia — to sail them into third and fifth place finishes, respectively. Bringing $5,313, the oil on board composition depicted the auxiliary whaleship Turtle in Nantucket harbor and was dated 1859. Of significantly earlier age and dated 1826 was the New Bedford whaleship Kiero, also rendered in oil on board; it found a new port of call for $3,750. The pair will not be staying together, having been purchased by different buyers.
Two hexagonal shell valentines with geometric patterning within oak cases both depicted a pink floral motif in the center while a single sailor shell valentine was in an octagonal wood case and featured shells that spelled out the words “I Love You” in the center. The pair earned $3,438 while the single closed at $1,375.
A discussion of nautical-themed lots would be remiss without mention of scrimshaw, of which nearly a dozen teeth gave bidders something to chew on, as did a Nineteenth Century sailor-made whalebone ditty box with finger joints with metal pins that Shute disclosed had been found in a Cape Cod thrift shop for less than $10 by a woman who scours such Cape Cod places and who has previously brought the auction house other wonderful things. A $2,250 bid topped off the box, while the teeth ranged in achieved prices from $406 for an assembled group of three teeth to $2,125 for a tooth stamp carved with the American ship Falcon that included the initials “CLL” as well as the patriotic motifs of an eagle, flags and banners.
Bidders competed on more than five dozen lots of silver and vertu that had one of the highest success rates with all lots in the category trading successfully, bringing a high of $3,250 for approximately 70 pieces of Tiffany & Co sterling silver flatware in the Windham pattern.
Americana Auctions’ next sale date has not been determined but Shute said it would take place in early to mid-August.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.americana-auction.com or 508-771-1722.
October 3, 2023
October 3, 2023
October 3, 2023
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