Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy New Haven Auctions
NEW HAVEN, CONN. – With COVID-19 causing antiques shows to cancel and the shuttering of antique stores, dealers around the country have felt the loss of business acutely. On April 30, Fred Giampietro’s New Haven Auctions offered a small sale of 134 lots, all consigned from dealers from the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association (NHADA), with the proceeds of the auction benefiting the individual consignor/dealers.
More than 91 percent of the unreserved lots sold, achieving a total of approximately $65,000, including buyer’s premium.
“I was very pleased; the sale exceeded our high estimates and there were some real surprises,” Giampietro told Antiques and The Arts Weekly a few days after the sale closed. “About three-quarters of the sale was bought by private collectors, and I think the dealers are, in general, pretty happy with how it went.”
In compliance with state and local regulations, Giampietro conducted the sale via Zoom and without a preview, though his staff accommodated phone and absentee bidding remotely. He noted that online registrations saw a considerable increase, with about 3,000 registered bidders in total. He noted some international bidders from England, India, Belgium and Hong Kong had been registered.
Textiles sewed up the top two prices in the sale. A Navajo pictorial weaving from the early Twentieth Century sold to a private collector for $4,875, while a hand-sewn 34-star American flag, circa 1865, flew to $2,875. Bringing $1,375 was a New York State folk art bird, tree and grapevine quilt made by Beulah Shirts in 1925. There was enough interest in the piece, which had been consigned by Judy and Jim Milne, that it realized $1,375.
Birds were favorites with bidders. Small garden statues offer greater display flexibility than larger ones, and a cast iron swan fountain attributed to J.W. Fiske more than doubled its high estimate to bring $2,500, while a Mason goldeneye drake decoy soared to $2,000.
Giampietro did not actively discourage furniture consignments but as it was, those offerings came in fairly small and easily-shippable pieces, such as stools and painted trunks. Other highlights of the sale included a Prior-Hamblin school portrait of a lady that made $2,000, a painted violin case that went for more than a song at $1,750 and a painted trout decoy that got the sale off to a good start when it sold for $500, doubling its $150/250 estimate.
New Haven Auctions’ next sale is scheduled for June 27-28; the first day will feature a large collection of historical related material from the collection of Laura Mitler of New Haven, as well as a collection of Nineteenth Century baseball ephemera. The second day of sale will sell the estate of Michael and Sophie Coe. Interested bidders are advised to check the website for preview and bidding information, which may change.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.