Published: December 7, 2010
Interesting historic material spurred collectors’ bids and purchases at Eldred’s November 19′0 sale of Americana, marine art and paintings.
The original sheet music for “America the Beautiful” based on a poem by Katharine Lee Bates with music by Clarence Grant Hamilton drew absentee interest and sold for $10,350. It is headed to a major American institution where it will be on view in 2011. Bates and Hamilton referred generally to their work as a hymn. The lot was accompanied by correspondence between the two and had descended in the Hamilton family. Bates was a native Cape Codder, having been born in Falmouth, where she lived until she was 12. She taught English at Wellesley College where Hamilton was a colleague in the music department and the two were longtime family friends.
Other Cape-related paper included an album of some 100 photographs of the construction of the Cape Cod Canal between the ceremonial shovelful by financier August Perry Belmont in June 1909 and December 1911 that sold for $1,495. The album was found off-Cape and went to a collector who loves Cape Cod history. The canal was not actually completed until July 1914.
A Gold Rush broadside advertising the California Agency Office, the Nineteenth Century entity that arranged transportation to California for those in pursuit of gold, was printed in Boston by Propeller Power Press and sold for $4,888.
Two albums of about 79 cartes de visite (CDV) and tintypes depicting Civil War generals, including a Mathew Brady image of General Custer, another of Abraham Lincoln, soldiers and slaves sold for $3,835, while a lot of 13 late Nineteenth Century unframed CDVs of criminals with photographs, identifying information and the nature of the crimes committed sold for $805.
It was paintings that brought the biggest money, however. One of what New Bedford area artist Charles Henry Gifford called his “little gems,” a 9¼-by-14-inch view, “Lake and Mountain in Autumn” was signed and dated 1871 and sold to a Boston collector for $48,588. A marine painting by contemporary artist William R. Davis, “Becalmed off Latimer’s Reef,” a scene with a three-masted ship passing the lighthouse, sold to another collector for $25,300.
A Ralph Cahoon picture, “America,” an oval work of two mermaids playing tennis on the back of a whale with a sailor linesman sold on the phone for $36,800. Cahoon’s “Cape Cod Fish Co., Inc,” a dockside view with five mermaids and five black cats with the fish monger (who appears to be a sailor) sold for $25,300. A winter landscape with a river and horses by Martha Cahoon fetched $6,325. The Cahoons went to collectors. A Nineteenth Century pine blanket chest decorated by Ralph Cahoon with an image of two men in early dress at a dining table sold for $4,025.
“The Red Hill,” a 1916 view by American Impressionist Allen Tucker, went to the trade for $18,400, and a portrait of a woman in a yellow dress by Charles Webster Hawthorne realized $11,500.
An illustration by Anton Otto Fischer for the 1931 children’s edition of Moby-Dick and the White Whale by Herman Melville sold for $10,350. The image shows Captain Ahab exhorting crew to chase the white whale and was accompanied by a copy of a first edition of the book.
The oil on board “Dall Sheep” by the German-born American artist Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius pictured two sheep on a rocky crest. The painting sold for $10,340. The luminist marine painting, “Sunset Sail past Highland Light,” by contemporary Cape Cod artist William R. Davis fetched $4,888, and the 1931 oil on board “Palarer, Newport Beach,” by dentist-turned-artist George Kennedy Brandriff, who painted extensively around Newport Beach, Calif., sold for $4,025.
The engraving “The Jolly Flat Boat Men” by T. Doney after Caleb Bingham’s 1846 oil on canvas was made in 1847 for the American Art Union. It realized $6,900. A winter farmyard scene by Massachusetts artist George Frank Higgins went for $6,325, and an Impressionist scene of tugboats on the Hudson River by Van Dearing Perrine fetched $5,175. “An Opalescent Morning (in the Berkshires)” by Charles Jac Young, a serene, wintry view, sold for $6,900.
A cast iron rectangular fireback dated 1656 and thought to have been made at the Saugus Iron Works went for $31,050 to one of two dealers who competed for it. Six firebacks made at Saugus are known to exist; all are Massachusetts museum collections. This example is possibly the seventh. It was found in the dirt floor of a 1750 house in Holliston, Mass.
Realizing $8,625 was a Massachusetts mahogany tall clock by John Rogers of Newton with a bonnet and coffin top, while a gilt girandole clock by John Creed after Lemuel Curtis went for $5,750.
A coastal Massachusetts American Hepplewhite mahogany sideboard, circa 1800, with a straight front and line inlay and satinwood panels on square tapered legs, also with satinwood panels, sold for $5,310. A Hepplewhite mahogany serpentine front sideboard with patera inlay, satinwood panels and bellflower inlay brought $4,888.
A Queen Anne mahogany highboy, circa 1750, with acorn drops on a molded skirt and fine cabriole legs sold for $5,175. A New England Queen Anne curly and tiger maple highboy from about 1760‱770 with a carved fan along the lower center drawer sold for $3,105. Also in Queen Anne style, a mahogany games table with a single drawer and cabriole legs ending in padded Dutch feet had been refinished at one time and sold for $4,888.
A Hepplewhite mahogany game table with a serpentine front, bowed ends, tiger maple panels and oval maple star inlay to the tops of the legs brought $3,163.
Chinese Export in the form of a handsome silver bowl by Wang Hing and Co., of Hong Kong with a dragon and sun decoration sold for $5,750. The bowl was inscribed in English and Chinese and was presented by the imperial Chinese government to Captain Frank Edmund Beatty of the USS Wisconsin during the visit of the Great White Fleet to China.
A Wallace sterling silver flatware service in the Grande Baroque pattern, with 12 sherbet spoons in the Rose Point pattern realized $4,255. A second set of Grande Baroque sterling flatware fetched $3,220. Selling for $1,955, a tin coffeepot attributed to the shop of Oliver Filley of Bloomfield, Conn., featured yellow and black decoration on a red ground.
A selection of decoys included an eider drake example branded “E Thompson” that sold for $2,300. A group of miniature decoys by A.E. Crowell included a wood duck on an oval vase that was $1,265, a mallard drake that made $1,035 and a mallard drake mounted as a paperweight that was also $1,035. A miniature old squaw drake by Crowell went out at $978.
Of a selection of sailor valentines, one example with a center image of a mermaid on a shell by Richard Sparre and surrounded by shellwork by Bernard Woodman was signed “B.G. Woodman, ’85” and sold for $4,313. Another example by contemporary Cape Cod artists Elizabeth Mumford and Bernard A. Woodman that fetched $3,105 had a center image of a couple in a rowboat by Mumford surrounded by shellwork by Woodman.
Decorated with a sandpiper on one side and a spouting whale on the other, a 3-gallon stoneware crock by Barnabus Edmands of Charlestown, Mass., realized $4,025. The piece had been restored.
A centennial pieced cotton quilt comprising a central blue square with 31 appliquéd stars in a field of 23 red and white pieced stripes within a border of golden eagles sold for $4,313.
A Kazak prayer rug estimated at $300/500 lifted off at $4,600.
All prices quoted reflect the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For information, 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com .
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