Published: September 9, 2015
Review By R. Scudder Smith
Photos Courtesy James D. Julia
FAIRFIELD, MAINE — The heavy catalog, weighing in at 4.4 pounds and listing only the 1,727 lots in the first three sessions of James D. Julia’s four-day auction, started off with a selection of 448 paintings and sculpture to be sold on Tuesday, August 25. At the end of the day, bidders had spent $1,421,763, including the buyer’s premium, with a good-sized audience in the gallery, a very active Internet and a bank of busy phones. The total for all four days of selling reached $4.7 million.
The auction, kicking off at 10 am with Jim Julia’s introduction of his large staff, began the selling with a selection of nine paintings by Waldo Peirce (American, 1884–1970); lot 1002 won the highest bid at $5,771 for “The Mortland Dairy Farm,” an oil on canvas measuring 22 by 30 inches sight. Several lots later, “Tiger Pool,” an oil on linen by Dahlov Ipcar (American, b 1917), signed lower right and dated 1995, 24 by 36 inches sight, sold for $8,365.
Eight more lots by Waldo Peirce came up, and lot 1026, “Feeding The Chickens,” oil on canvas, 24 by 30 inches sight, went for $9,560. Another 12 lots later, again Waldo Peirce was listed with nine more paintings, this time an oil on canvas, 22 by 36 inches sight, “Sirens Of Searsport” took in the largest bid, going for $9,122.
“The Blue Boat House, Autumn,” an oil on canvas by Anthony Thieme (American, 1888–1954), in a modern giltwood frame, 35½ by 41¾ inches overall, brought $13,365 against an estimate of $8,000–10,000. Selling for just over the low estimate was an oil on canvas, “Clouds Over Vermont” by Emile Albert Gruppe. In a period giltwood frame measuring 23¼ inches by 27¼ inches overall, it brought $9,480.
Going over the $8,000 high estimate and selling for $10,327 was “Frog Baby,” a bronze sculpture by Janet Scudder (American, 1873–1940), 12¼ inches high and signed on the base. It retained a very good verdigris patina. Ernest Lawson’s oil on board, “Landscape With Trees, Houses And Figures,” signed lower right and measuring 14 by 16 overall, went over estimate, selling for $7,897. “Study Of Clouds” by Edward H. Potthast, oil on board, 16¾ by 19¾ inches overall, went for $6,295, within estimate.
A large oil on canvas, 31 by 35 inches overall, by Edgar Alwin Payne (American, 1883–1947), titled “Glacier, Sierra Mountains,” was signed lower right and sold within estimate for $23,100. Several lots later, a sculpture by Jud Hartmann, “Minavivana Le Grand Sauteur,” bronze, mounted on a natural stained wood plinth, from an edition of 20, went close to twice the high estimate, selling for $7,897.
Selling for four times the high estimate was an oil on canvas depicting the “Adoration of the Magi,” Italian School, Seventeenth/Eighteenth Century, in a Nineteenth Century carved giltwood frame. It measures 25 by 30 inches overall and brought $8,505. Lot 1266, “Orientalist Encampment, Damascus Gate, Jerusalem,” an oil on board by Charles Theodore Frere (French, 1814–1888), signed lower right and measuring 11¼ by 17 inches, sold over the $5,000 high estimate at $7,897.
Selling for $12,150, well over the $2,500 high estimate, was “Man With Carabaos,” an oil on canvas by Romeo Villalva Tabuena, signed lower right and measuring 36 by 24 inches sight. Maurice Braun’s “The Summer Panoramic Landscape,” an oil on canvas mounted to panel, 24¾ by 33½ inches overall, sold within estimate at $7,290. This painting was signed lower right and was in very good condition.
“Homestead In Winter,” an oil on canvas attributed to Maxfield Parrish, 16 by 20 inches sight, sold over estimate at $6,075. It was in a modern giltwood frame and was from the estate of John Newlin, Dover Plains, N.Y. Several lots later, “Fisherman And Cows Under Sunset Landscape,” an oil on board by Arthur Parton (American, 1842–1914), signed lower left, also sold over estimate at $5,771. The painting was in its original fancy gilt frame, measuring 13½ by 19 inches overall.
“Black Abstract Figures,” a serigraph on paper by Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893–1983), housed in black frame with double mat, 7 by 8¾ inches sight, brought $414, within estimate, followed by “Angel With Cross,” a lithograph by Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904–1989), 24 by 17 inches sight, that sold over estimate at $546.
The session ended with a view of “White Mountain New Hampshire,” American School, Nineteenth century, oil on canvas measuring 13 by 16 ¼ inches, selling for $121.
Good Crowd Attends Session Two
At James D. Julia
Review By R. Scudder Smith
Photos Courtesy James D. Julia
FAIRFIELD, MAINE — A crowded or packed gallery is rare these days, as much of the buying public puts its feet up at home and bids either over the Internet or by phone. A good number of people also preview an auction, leaving bids in hopes of winning some choice lots. All of that was true on Wednesday, August 26, when James D. Julia conducted day two of its four-day auction. But in addition, people showed up at the gallery, causing a scramble for seats already lined up and standing by for the Julia staff to take down some of the exhibition tables and wheel out more seating until everyone was comfortable.
When all was said and done after four days of selling, the grand total was $4.7 million, including the buyer’s premium. Session Two accounted for $1,377,509 of gross sales. Nearly 5,000 people, 4,937 to be exact, registered to bid online over the four-day period, accounting for just over $1 million in sales. The number of left bid was 3,056, and the phones were kept very busy.
As usual, auctioneer Jim Julia started the sale promptly by proudly introducing his staff, thanking the audience for coming and noting, “This is one of the largest gatherings we have seen for some time.” But there is little wonder why so many came to the auction after looking over the very thick, and heavy, catalog, which was chock-full of many interests, including furniture, weathervanes, nautical paintings, folk art, historical papers and flags, some weapons, trade signs and a few lots of glass and china.
A few minutes after 10 am, a paint decorated, ladder back armchair, Massachusetts, circa 1740, maple and ash with rush seat, crossed the block at $182, not quite meeting the low estimate. All prices noted in this review included the buyer’s premium.
A rare Serapi Oriental carpet, last quarter of the Nineteenth Century, northwest Persia, dense angular floral vinery on an ivory ground, 9 feet 5 inches by 12 feet 3 inches, sold for $7,897, just over the high estimate, and a paint decorated oval bride’s box, ash and white wood in the original paint, measuring 10¼ inches high, 17¾ inches wide and 12½ inches deep, sold within estimate at $1,303. It had a period inscription inside that read “N Barnhard bought this box in New York City in 1853.”
A folk art painting of a girl holding roses, second quarter of the Nineteenth Century, American, oil on tin depicting a child seated in a paint decorated chair wearing a robin’s-egg blue coat and salmon-colored pants, 13½ by 9½ inches sight, brought $1,458, within estimate, and, also selling within estimate at $3,341 was a pair of miniature profile portraits of a man and woman, attributed to Rufus Porter, circa 1820, watercolor on paper measuring 6 by 5 inches overall.
Lot 2092, an American Revolutionary War horseman’s saber, three-fullered blade with brass slotted guard and stylized “grotesque” lion’s head pommel, very good condition overall, went for $3,645, just over the high estimate, while a cased Colt Model 1849 pocket model revolver inscribed “Baltimore City Police” sold for $5,467, within estimate. A rare 1840 William Henry Harrison “The Ohio Farmer” campaign kerchief, 27½ by 22 inches and printed in six colors, went for $6,682, just over high estimate. A Nineteenth Century 13-star American flag with rare snowflake six-pointed stars, all cotton, sold for $9,720, over the high estimate, while a folk art carving of a patriot by Charles F. Chidsey Jr, 1894, in red, white and blue paint, 11¼ inches tall, sold for $4,282, just under the low estimate.
A William and Mary banister back armchair, northern New England, circa 1725, the back with foliate carved Prince of Wales cresting, possibly the original rush seat, sold for $3,645, about three times the high estimate. A number of grasshopper weathervanes were in the sale; one, lot 2132, early Twentieth Century, 41 inches long, attributed to E.G. Washburne & Company, the surface green over flat black, sold over estimate for $17,010. A mid-Nineteenth Century whale-end hanging shelf in mahogany, Massachusetts, possibly the original surface, went out at $592, and two Queen Anne compass seat side chairs, Boston area, circa 1740–1770, cabriole legs with out-swept pad feet, sold for $1,215.
At the strike of noon, when many of the bidders were enjoying a delicious lunch, compliments of Jim Julia, a Chippendale tall chest in cherry, lower Connecticut River Valley, circa 1775, with bold molded cornice above a case of seven graduated drawers, the top center drawer with a bold carved sunburst, 62½ inches tall and 40 inches wide, went just over the high estimate, realizing $3,258.
Another one of the large weathervanes in the sale was a ram, Nineteenth Century, with cast lead head, verdigris and oxidized copper surface, 26½ inches high and 36 inches long, that brought $14,220, just shy of the low estimate. A rare Abraham Lincoln Free Frank envelope and an 1860 Jugate Lincoln & Hamlin campaign ferrotype brought $10,935, twice the high estimate.
Among the nautical lots was the portrait of the ship Iroquois, an oil on canvas by Percy Sanborn (American, 1849–1929), depicting the black hulled ship sailing through choppy waters with the American flag billowing off the stern. It is signed lower right, measures 28 by 42 inches sight, and sold for $7,702, just over the high estimate. The next lot, a carved and painted ship’s figurehead, depictied a full-length figure of a young uniformed Chef de Marin with tricorn hat, blue coat, buckled black shoes and holding an octant. It measures 52 inches high and missed the low estimate by $210, selling for $7,290.
A George Staph carved eagle wall plaque, circa 1900, Lancaster and Harrisburg, Penn., weathered original gilt surface, 30 inches long, went for $5,163, followed by an American folk art mirror, New England, circa 1820, with deeply carved radial sunburst cresting. It measures 37 inches high, 22 inches wide, and went for $4,147. Both lots sold over the high estimate.
Lot 2272, a rare gilded iron wall plaque, late Eighteenth to early Nineteenth Century, New England, depicting a displayed eagle of two-piece construction of heavily embossed flattened half-round form with dry, gilt painted surface. It is 35 inches high, 57 inches wide, and went for $7,290, just over the high estimate. A fine sailor’s cased double valentine, second half of the Nineteenth Century, mahogany hinged octagonal case, one side with central heart beneath flower, 11½ inches in diameter, brought $4,860, within estimate, while a horse jumping through a hoop weathervane, New England, cast lead head, 31 inches long, went within estimate, selling for $9,720.
With a high estimate of $1,200, a carved wood tobacconist type figure of a black boy struck interest in the gallery, selling for $5,925. The figure was probably made in the mid-Twentieth Century and skillfully aged, measuring 42½ inches high, and from the estate collection of Michael Urioste of Gadsden, Ala. Game boards always seem to find ready buyers and lot 2419, a double-sided one with Parcheesi and checkers, late Nineteenth Century, New England, original painted surfaces, the Parcheesi board with an eight-point faceted star in the center, brought close to the high estimate, selling for $5,467.
Dating from the Nineteenth Century, a gold-encrusted Caucasian shashka, 38 inches overall, very fine condition, sold for just over twice the high estimate at $25,515. This gold decorated edged weapon that originated in the Caucuses in the Twelfth Century was made famous by the Cossacks. According to the catalog, search of numerous museum sites show few survive like this one. A Heriz Oriental rug, second quarter of the Twentieth Century, Northern Persia, 9 feet 4 inches by 12 feet 2 inches, good pile and vibrant colors, went over estimate, selling for $5,771.
The auction ended with a bid of $121 taking two brass bedwarmers, both engraved with exotic birds, 10-inch-diameter pans and repairs to both handles.
The next auction on the Julia schedule is rare firearms on October 5–7, followed by lamps and glass in November. For additional information, http://jamesjulia.com or 207-453-7125.
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