Published: November 6, 2007
Eight hundred lots into Northeast Auctions’ Americana sale on October 26′8, a collection of bird carvings flew across the block at remarkable prices.
“The carvings were so early and so rare,” Ron Bourgeault said of the 52 lots from the Dr Ftitz Talbot collection of A. Elmer Crowell bird carvings.
Starting with lot 800, a carved and painted great blue heron, circa 1910, the interest in these Crowell carvings never let up.
The heron measured 8¾ inches high with base, 6½ inches long, and sold for $18,560. It was followed by a 21/8-inch-high carved and painted green winged teal hen, circa 1910, for $2,784, and then a carved and painted widgeon hen, 2¼ inches high, for $3,248.
The taller the carving, the better the price it seemed, as a upland plover, 8¾ inches high and 9 inches long, estimated at $15/25,000, sold for $32,480. Again the high estimate ($2,000) meant nothing as a carved and painted egret, circa 1910, 83/8 inches high, went for $11,020. Another mantel bird of a bob white, 73/8 inches high, circa 1912, surpassed the high estimate of $20,000, selling for $51,040.
A least bittern, carved and painted, circa 1910, 25/8 inches high with base, went well over the high estimate of $1,500, selling for $8,700. A carved and painted golden pheasant, 31/8 inches high, brought $5,800, against a high estimate of $1,200, while a carved and painted avocet, circa 1910, 3¼ inches high, brought $5,800.
The prices noted here, and with the carvings pictured, include the 16 percent buyer’s premium charged by Northeast Auctions.
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