Published: July 18, 2023
Review By Madelia Hickman Ring; Photos Courtesy Peterborough Auctions
PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — On July 8, nearly a year after Peterborough Auctions conducted its first sale in the historic Noone Falls Mill building on the heels of retiring auctioneers The Cobbs, the budding firm had its fourth and most successful auction to date, sending nearly 500 lots of fine art, jewelry and antiques across the block. The firm also earned its highest result so far — $27,600 and exceeding the $15/20,000 estimate for a platinum ring with 2.57-carat emerald cut diamond that was accompanied by a GIA certificate.
“We’ve been happy to keep a place at the historic Noone Falls Mill as it undergoes extensive rehabilitation and renovation,” noted Nick Prior and Molly Williams after the sale. “As we said last summer, it’s a lot of fun to sell beautiful, peculiar and antique things in a building that’s all of those things as well. It’s exciting as a newer business to see tangible growth and it gets more fun as we develop new relationships with people who return as bidders, or bring us things to sell. It’s been a very nice development.”
The luxury jewelry and watch categories were more than 76 percent sold by lot and “brought global interest into competition with Peterborough’s local and regional bidders,” as did “significant interest in the New England paintings on offer.” Scoring another five-figure result and beating expectations at $16,200 was a Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi” man’s wristwatch, reference 16710. The catalog noted that it was the “last rendition” of the 16710 model with solid bracelet links and no external holes in the case. The sale also featured a Rolex two-tone Datejust wristwatch, reference 16233 that was “new old stock” and sold within estimate, for $7,800.
Other jewelry highlights included a 14K white gold custom diamond engagement ring with approximately .80 carats of diamonds that earned $3,000 and a platinum, Ceylon sapphire and diamond ring that met the high estimate at $2,400.
Fine art was the largest category of the day and made up approximately half the auction. Landscapes were the preferred genre, particularly those from New England, and the top price of the day was $3,000, for William Preston Phelps’ (American, 1848-1923) “The Homestead, New Hampshire,” a circa 1890 oil on canvas in a gilt frame that the catalog described as possibly depicting the artist’s house in Chesham, N.H. It was followed at $2,760 by Phelps’ “Birches in Autumn,” which came from a Freyburg, Maine, estate and claimed provenance to New Hampshire Governor Nathaniel Head (1828-1883). A view of Lake George by Charles Henry Chapin (American, 1830-1889) that was consigned to the sale from the New England Art Exchange in Peterborough was offered without reserve. Estimated at $3/5,000, it found a new home for $2,520, the third highest result for a painting in the auction.
“Perhaps most exciting to us was the Elijah Pierce lot, in large part because folk art is something we both love but haven’t had much experience selling, but also because of our personal connection to the consignors. They collected these pieces over 40 years ago while active in the Ohio folk art scene and are happy to hear that these carvings will be going back to Ohio for another collector to enjoy,” Prior and Williams said of two carvings — a Dino and Rhino — by Pierce (American, 1892-1984), which sold for $2,640.
A Renaissance European quartz torso fragment that stood 8 inches tall might fall under the category of “quirky;’ it came from a private New England collection that had acquired it in Europe in the early Twentieth Century. Bidders liked it enough to push it to $1,920 from an estimate of $300/500; with an international buyer who was unknown to the house prior to the auction.
Peterborough Auctions’ next sale date is still to be determined but will likely take place in October.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.peterboroughauctions.us or 603-933-9947.
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
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