Published: September 12, 2000
James D. Julia’s Annual Samoset Sale Grosses $1.6 Million
ROCKPORT, ME. – James D. Julia conducted its annual end-of-summer sale at the Samoset Resort under fair skies. A selection of paintings from more than 100 listed artists, high-style and country furniture, and an assortment of objects dating from three centuries were offered; the event tallied a final gross of over $1.6 million.
Top honors at $50,600 went to a New York Hepplewhite inlaid sideboard, standing 41 inches high. A close second came in the form of an untouched folk art portrait of a boy with a dog, the little boy in the blue dress, which topped its $20/30,000 estimate to sell for $46,000.
Most of the 15 lots with a hammer price of $10,000 or higher were in the fine art category. Among those, eight were works by New England artists. Within the eight, one ship captain’s portrait and four ship’s portraits doubled and tripled the estimates.
The sea captain’s portrait of Sewall Blanchard descended through the Blanchard family of Cumberland, Me., and depicted a handsome young man in full captain’s attire seated at a window in a bright red chair with a ship sailing at sunset in the distance. The 29½ -inch-high by 24½ -inch-wide portrait was offered with Captain Blanchard’s ledger book chronicling his sailing career (1826-1838). This lot sold for $44,850 against an estimate of $10/15,000.
Ship’s portraits also took center stage when $29,900 was paid against an estimated $7/10,000 for an oil on canvas entitled “Glory of the Seas” by Percy Sandborn. Another ship’s portrait, the barkentine Albert Schulz of New York, was painted by Luigi P. Renault and came on the block with a modest estimate of $3/5,000. It showed a three-masted vessel entering Leghorn Harbor in 1877 and sold for $27,600.
Other Nineteenth Century ship’s portraits included a large, oil on canvas of the Governor Robie of Bath, Me. by Pun Woo, which sold for $20,125, and an oil on canvas of the four-masted R.F. Pettigrew by S.F.M. Badger, which brought $14,950.
Coastal scenery also attracted a lot of interest. An oil on canvas of a Maine coastal scene by Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837-1908) was offered in original, untouched condition and sold for $29,900. Twentieth Century images of life along the New England coast included a large oil on canvas by B. Karfiol, painted in 1934, that sold for $22,425 against an estimate of $8/12,000.
A group of paintings by one of New England’s most prolific artists, Emile Gruppe, sold briskly. The top selling Gruppe was an oil on canvas of a Gloucester Harbor scene, complete with sailboats at the dock and, in the distance, a lobsterman tending his traps. This picture topped the $7/10,000 estimate to sell at $14,950.
Warren Boucher’s large oil on canvas of “Lobstermen Rowing to Beat the Storm” sold for $10,350, while an oil on board of a Gloucester Harbor view by Henry Aiken Vincent brought $6,900. Yet another Gloucester Harbor view, unsigned but believed to be by William Lester Stevens, sold for $4,600.
Landscapes included Robert Emmitt Owen’s “October in Connecticut,” which sold for $10,350 against an estimate of $5/7,000; Emile Gruppe’s “Fall, Connecticut,” which brought $6,900; and Gruppe’s “Fall Birches,” which realized $5,750. A winter scene watercolor by Leonard Ochtman dated to the early Twentieth Century sold at $4,600.
Impressionist paintings included “Pond Lilies” by Ben Foster (est $3,5/4,500), which realized $7,474, and a Charles Woodbury “Summer Landscape,” signed and dated (1936), which garnered $6,325.
Jane Peterson’s gouache on paper entitled “Path Leading to the Lake” sold for $3,787. Town views included “Colonial Church at Ipswich,” which reached $8,050, and “General Row Avenue (Nantucket),” by Antoino Cirino, which rang up $2,760.
Several bronzes included a puppy by Dame Elisabeth Frink, R.A., (1930-1993). This 38-inch outdoor bronze, once part of the Robert Lang collection, engaged with six phones and several bidders in the hall. In the end, the unassuming pup that came to auction with an estimate of $2,5/5,000 sold for a final price of $29,900. Among other bronzes was a 1911 bronze garden fountain of a boy with fish by Carroll Tyson, who worked out of Northeast Harbor, Me. and is best known for his Audubon watercolors. This signed and dated fountain stood 37 inches high and went out at $7,474.
In addition to the top selling Hepplewhite sideboard, an early Nineteenth Century marquetry bombe cabinet, an 88-inch two-part piece of Dutch origin featuring all-over marquetry inlay, sold for $23,000. The graceful lines of a diminutive Queen Anne highboy brought a final price of $12,075, while a Queen Anne tea table with a scrolled skirt reached a final price of $10,350.
A large, two-part mahogany Sheraton breakfront secretary featuring a large cornice molding sold for $8,625. A Massachusetts inlaid Hepplewhite card table dating to 1790 with the original surface sold for $8,625. A tiger maple tavern table with carved skirt and tapered legs brought $8,050, while a four drawer, graduated tiger maple Chippendale chest sold above the estimate for $5,175.
A step-back pewter cupboard also sold for $5,175, as did a George III carved mahogany double chair settee featuring a carved back and cabriole legs. This sale also included clocks, Oriental rugs, and furnishings such as ornate English girandole convex mirror, which sold for $15,525, and signed glass wall sconces with hanging prisms by F.C. Osler, which went for $5,462.
A restored child’s slant lid desk sold for $4,025. A miniature, period Hepplewhite bureau standing 10 inches brought $1,035, and an 11-inch pair of English miniature burlwood three-drawer chests brought $977.
This year, textiles were strong and were led by an appliqued Friendship quilt measuring 110 inches square. The quilt was signed and dated “Emily S. Curran, 1847” and its provenance included the Jean Crutcher collection. It sold for $11,500.
Middle-market collectors also went after an early mariner’s compass quilt at $862. A silk needlework mourning picture, worked by 14-year-old E[li]za Ann Lord in honor of her mother in 1831, was in very good condition and sold for $4,370.
An early, framed Nineteenth Century needlework sampler by Eliza Strongs dating to 1813 portrayed “Female Virtues” and sold for $2,587. A large 62 by 30-inch Waldoboro rug with basket of flowers against a blue background sold for $4,600.
On the first day of the sale an assortment of sculptural eel spears and cooking implements offered included a rare, round wafer iron that sold for $575. Also sold was a running-horse weathervane branded “J. Harris & Son, Boston,” in very good condition, for $3,162, and another Blackhawk horse weathervane by the same company, with a worn gilt surface, for $3,450.
Smalls were offered throughout the auction beginning with an assortment of pewter, Bennington pottery, and early glass. A few pieces of choice jewelry included an Art Nouveau plique a jour butterfly pin with 36 diamonds, ruby eyes, and three-inch wingspan that brought $5,462.
The ship captain’s 37-inch whalebone “going ashore” cane sold for $5,290. Unusual lots included a shooting gallery complete with 37 pieces of once-shot-at birds, lions, trees, and elks, which fetched $17,825. A rare California Gold Rush daguerreotype depicted four men with a sluice box and sold for $9,200.
Prices quoted include buyers premium.
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