Published: May 25, 2016
Review and Onsite Photos by Rick Russack
Additional Photos Courtesy of Daniel Buck
LISBON FALLS, MAINE — The May 6-7 sales at Daniel Buck’s gallery offered a wide selection of merchandise, including a 1923 Model T Ford, automobilia, good bottles and flasks, silver, fine art and a superb collection of taxidermy animal mounts.
Leading the two-day sale was a citron New London glass works “Eagle and Anchor” flask. The 1-quart flask with a double collared mouth and a smooth base finished at $6,200, well over its estimate of $300/500. The New London Connecticut glass works operated for only a short time, about 1856–68, and its flasks are not common. A Lynch and Clarke 1-pint bottle in deep olive brought $560, while a forest-green A.M. Bininger gin bottle, embossed “Old London Dock” finished at $206. Some bottles were sold in lots. For example, six aqua green Rumford Chemical Works bottles, between 5¼ and 7½ inches tall sold for just $66.
Automobilia collectors could choose from showroom signs and advertising, a large collection of early license plates, advertising brochures and two cars. As expected, a 1923 Ford Model T roadster brought the highest price, realizing $4,887. It was a one-door model, with a spare tire holder on the driver’s side running board. Buck described it accurately as a “barn survivor.” It needed work, probably a total restoration, but it was all there and there was little, if any, rust. It would certainly be worth the expense of a proper restoration as most models from that year are listed in Hemmings Motor News for substantially more money.
The collection of early Maine license plates drew competitive bidding, with an enameled four-digit 1915 plate bringing $84. A three-digit plate from the same year realized $177. Some were offered in lots, with four metal plates from the teens reaching $265. A lot of seven colorful lithographed Corvair dealership signs from the early 1960s, each picturing a different model, seemed reasonable, going for $177. Corvairs, the first American car with a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine, were doomed when Ralph Nader criticized the car in Unsafe At Any Speed.
Buck had a wonderful collection of more than 45 taxidermy animal and bird mounts. They were in very fine condition and represented numerous African and American species. Although it might be hard to believe, Buck told Antiques and The Arts Weekly that the entire collection came out of a two-room apartment. They were estimated very conservatively, with many in the $150/250 range. For some reason, several did not sell, even at those prices. While a large American buffalo shoulder-head was passed, other American mounts sold, with the highest price being $442 for a full mount Alaskan lynx on a naturalistic base. A humorous mount of a raccoon paddling a birch bark canoe brought $413, and a rare albino porcupine went out at $324, more than twice the price of his standard colored cousin, which reached $118. A shoulder mount of an American mountain goat realized only $108.
Early in the first day of the sale, a pair of gilt-bronze two-sconce candelabra, titled “Obsession et Reve” by the French sculptor Maurice Bouval (1863–1920) brought $4,520 from a phone bidder. The stylized Art Nouveau maidens were typical of Bouval’s work, which often brings five-figure prices. Each was about 17½ inches tall and each was signed “M. Bouval.” They were cast by Thiebaut Freres, Paris. The first day also included a simple earthenware pitcher signed “G.E. Ohr, Biloxi.” It had a sand-glaze finish, was a little over 8 inches tall and earned $678.
The sale included several other interesting items. A Stella table model music box with 29 additional discs and on a light mahogany stand brought $904. Two uncut rolls of 39-star flags, each flag measuring 12 by 17 inches, finished at $226. There never was an official 39-star flag. In 1889, flag makers anticipated that North and South Dakota would be accepted as one state. When they were admitted separately, the 39-star flags were never issued. An 1899 bronze medal by Augustus Saint-Gaudens commemorating the inauguration of George Washington sold for $660. It was 4½ inches in diameter and was authorized by the “Committee on Celebration, New York.” A 1901 Pan-American Exposition sterling silver medal designed by Hermon Atkins MacNeil finished at $385 and probably went to the same buyer. MacNeil is best remembered for his design of the Standing Liberty quarter, which was minted from 1916 to 1940. Each bears his initials to the right of the date. An early toy, designed to dance on the spindle of a 78-rpm Victrola, went out at $495. It was known as a “Phono-Vaudette” and was sold with its original box and the full set of four figures.
An aggressive phone bidder paid $2,260 for a Salvador Dali colored lithograph titled “Cosmic Madonna.” It was signed in pencil and blind-stamped. It was estimated at $400/600, but the winning bidder kept substantially increasing his bids until the underbidder surrendered. An Alexander Calder lithograph, signed in pencil and titled “Squash Blossoms,” reached $275. A watercolor by Pauline Ebner (Austrian, 1872–1949) depicting four young children in nightclothes frolicking around a table achieved $440. Ebner was a well-known artist and contributed to an illustrated edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. An interesting silver-gelatin photographic print by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997) realized $4,238. The photograph was mounted over a three-dimensional lenticular offset lithograph, signed in pencil by the artist and numbered 154/200.
Several lots of silver sold to a bidder in the room. A 116-piece assembled set of Nineteenth Century English flatware with about 170 troy ounces of silver made $2,712 and an 88-piece set of flatware in the “Rose” pattern by Stieff, with just under 100 troy ounces of silver earned $1,469. A set of seven Georgian silver spoons, circa 1773, possibly made by William Cox, earned $254. A boxed set of 28 commemorative coins, 14 $5 coins and 14 $1 coins, issued by the Canadian government for the 1976 Olympics, fetched $508.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. Buck said he is looking forward to a full slate of sales this summer. For additional information, www.danielbuckauctions.com or 207-407-1444.
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