Published: December 2, 2003
Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries recently conducted a fantastic two-day on-site auction at Powder Hill Farm on. The sale consisted of a lifetime collection of American and European furniture, European paintings and fabulous accessories.
The tent on the auction site was packed with eager customers at the beginning of the sale. The top lot of the auction was sold on day two. It was a pristine group of Nantucket baskets, each one marked with the maker’s name of Ferdinand Sylvaro, 97 Orange Street, Nantucket, Mass. This lot of seven swing handled baskets was hotly contested and sold for a very solid $59,400.
Another important American antique that surfaced at this auction was sold on day one. An American mahogany chest-on-chest, probably from Charleston, S.C., and dating from around 1800, had original surface and brasses. An antiques dealer from Savannah, Ga., went home with it after paying $16,500.
Day two produced the painted period fire buckets, marked PFS, from the Phoenix Fire Society, Exeter, N.H. In wonderfully vivid original paint, with some dry rot to the handles, the pair went off the block for $10,450.
The big news at this auction was the plethora of European paintings. Perhaps it was the cold, rainy day, or the fact that it is hard to sell European anything in September in Maine, but there were plenty of wonderfully rare paintings that seemed to be going for very fair prices.
A life-size period Jacobean portrait of a young boy in a red frock with his arm resting on a carved stone eagle base table was estimated at $5/7,000, mainly due to the moisture damage on the surface of the picture. With very few takers, the portrait was sold to a customer in the audience for $2,475.
Perhaps one of the most notable lots, featured prominently in the advertising of the auction, was the fabulous depiction of Madonna and child in a hexagonal Flemish floral border. The figures were done by Jan Breughel the Younger, a Flemish painter (1601-1678) and was estimated at $20/30,000. The painting opened at $5,000 and fell flat, selling for just $6,600. After the picture was sold, auctioneer Veilleux commented, “Boy, nobody did their homework.”
Also sold from this choice estate was the sharp and cool Mercedes Benz 190 SL roadster with a matching hardtop that brought $13,750.
This was a fantastically interesting and provocative sale, with tons of fresh-to-the-market, top-quality merchandise offered. Prices were somewhat soft for the European offerings, especially the paintings, but the American furniture and accessories were strong. Veilleux and his professional crew did a top notch job dealing with this very complex offering of material.
All prices quoted above include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.
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