Published: June 18, 2002
Northeast Continental Sale Totals $2.5 Million
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Although Northeast Auctions is known as one of the leading auction houses selling Americana and folk art, they continue to maintain a strong presence in the English and Continental market, with annual sales scheduled in March, May and November. The May sale took place in Portsmouth, with competitive bidding on the floor and via telephone.
The sale featured French furniture from the collection of Ailsa Mellon Bruce, deaccessioned by the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the strong prices realized reflected the exceptional quality and condition of this collection. The auction’s top lot was a pair of Louis XV carved giltwood marquese, stamped “Falconet.” The pair, with crisply carved crests and excellent proportions, fetched $47,150. A great deal of interest was expressed in the seating furniture overall.
A pair of Louis XV carved giltwood bergères sold for $34,500; a pair of Louis XV carved giltwood side chairs, stamped “P. Remy,” sold for $11,500; a similar pair of Régence carved walnut fauteuils à la reine fetched $19,550; and an Empire gilt-bronze-mounted mahogany revolving desk chair sold for $23,000.
Additional strong selling pieces from the collection included a Louis XVI gilt-bronze-mounted black lacquer and parcel-gilt bouillotte table, stamped “E. Levasseur” and with “JME” mark. The frieze was divided into panels depicting chinoiserie landscape scenes flanked by cast acanthus leaf mounts. Bidding was intensely competitive and the table brought $41,400.
Other offerings included a Louis XVI gilt-bronze-mounted fruitwood parquetry bureau plat, stamped “C.C. Saunier,” $40,250; a Louis XV gilt-metal-mounted fruitwood marquetry table en chiffonniere, $17,250; a Louis XVI fruitwood marquetry secrétaire à abattant, $26,450; a pair of Louis XV carved giltwood tabourets, $37,950; and a Continental gilt-bronze-mounted stained green horn clock and barometer, $14,950.
The sale also included property from the collection of Adrienne and Milton Porter of Pittsburgh. Over a 50-year period the Porters filled their ten-room apartment with a diverse selection of furniture and decorative arts, and their discerning eye was reflected in the prices achieved from this fresh to the market property.
An Eighteenth Century Chinese Ninghsia carpet sold for $34,500; an English Chippendale painted and carved giltwood chest of drawers, decorated overall with flowers and exotic birds on a faux tortoiseshell ground, brought $18,400; a George II carved walnut camelback sofa upholstered in chinoiserie needlework fetched $12,650; and a pair of Italian carved pale rouge marble benches sold for $18,400
Decorative arts from the Porter collection also performed well. A pair of Continental marble relief-carved oval plaques depicting horses fetched $17,250; a pair of Italian Neo-classical carved marble busts of Apollo and Aphrodite sold for $10,350; a pair of Neo-classical style gilt-bronze and cut glass two-light sconces fetched $12,650; a pair of cut glass shell-form bowls within gilt-metal leafy mounts brought $10,925; and a Spode five-part covered supper set sold for $8,050.
Clients competed for additional Continental, English and American furniture and decorative arts, including a pair of Italian Baroque inlaid-walnut commodes, $46,000; a pair of American inlaid-mahogany, parcel-gilt and églomisé mirrors, $17,250; a set of 12 Chippendale style carved mahogany dining chairs, $18,400; a pair of Neo-classical style terra-cotta black-painted urns, $6,325; a pair of carved veined white marble figures of lions, $10,350; a pair of Limoges enamel plaques, attributed to Nicholas (Couly) Novaillier, $10,350; an extensive Coalport porcelain dinner service,$34,500; and a pair of English pearlware equestrian figures, $12,650.
Art glass was represented with examples by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Handel, Thomas Webb & Sons, Gallé and Daum Nancy. A Thomas Webb & Sons cameo glass vase, carved with morning glory vines, butterflies and bees and inscribed “Tiffany & Co./Paris Exhibition 1889,” brought $5,750; a Daum Nancy and Louis Majorelle center bowl, in cranberry with gold foil inclusions and blown into a wrought-iron frame of scrolling tendrils, fetched $3,220; a Tiffany Favrile glass 14¾-inch vase sold for $2,530; and a Pairpoint lamp with reverse-painted “Seville” shade depicting a forest scene fetched $2,645.
Art pottery offered included a group of Doulton Lambeth stoneware pitchers, vases and a ewer, and included a pitcher decorated by Hannah B. Barlow incised with a group of grazing, standing and trotting horses. A Rookwood scenic vellum plaque titled “Evening” by Frederick Daniel Henry Rothenbusch, depicting a twilight forest scene and in the original oak frame, sold for $4,312.
The sale also included a significant amount of English and American silver tablewares. A George III hot water kettle, Charles Wright, London, 1770-71, brought $2,990; and a Gorham hammered silver water pitcher, cast with raspberries, leaves and branches, fetched $4,312.
There was also a selection of American Arts and Crafts silver including tablewares by Lebolt & Company, Gorham, Tiffany, F. Porter, Arthur Stone and L.H. Vaughan. Other Twentieth Century makers were represented, and a pair of silver-gilt leaf-form sauceboats by George W. Shiebler & Company brought $3,450.
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