Published: August 9, 2022
Review & Onsite Photos By Rick Russack, Catalog Photos Courtesy Peterborough Auctions
PETERBOROUGH, N.H. – On July 30, Molly Williams and Nick Prior conducted their first auction, doing business as Peterborough Auctions. Both had previously worked with now retired Charlie Cobb for several years and their new gallery is in the same building, the historic Noone Mill, which the Cobbs called home for decades. Before joining Cobb, Prior had been with Bonhams in New York, specializing in ethnographic material as well as paintings and prints. Williams has had a life-long interest in jewelry and manages that department. Catalog and online descriptions were thorough and detailed and included numerous photos of each lot.
Several pieces of jewelry did well. Leading the jewelry selection, and topping the sale, an antique diamond cocktail ring set in platinum brought $10,800. The ring had a central set 2.15-carat European-cut diamond, surrounded by an additional 2.24 carats of accent diamonds. The large diamond appeared to grade SI1/H and was in a four-prong basket setting. A heavy 14K gold link bracelet with a Florentine finish, marked on the clasp, “14K, Z&F,” weighing 107 grams, sold for $3,360. When asked about her favorite piece of jewelry in the sale, Molly Williams selected a convertible 18K fancy link necklace. It could be worn as a 16-5/8-inch necklace with a center clasp or as two individual bracelets. Weighing 43 grams, it realized $2,400. A vintage amber, black opal and 18K necklace, with large oval beads of amber on a 30-inch cable link chain with center filigree flower and drop, brought $570.
The sale began with a selection of silver, both vintage and midcentury. The first lot was an unusual Mexican silver stacking tea set by Tane Lunt. The four pieces included a teapot, creamer, cup and lid that also served as a bell, stacked one atop another. It was marked “Tane, Sterling, 0.925, Lunt, Hecho in Mexico” and sold for $450. Mid-Twentieth Century silver included an impressive 84-piece Gianmaria Buccellati Empire-Impero pattern sterling silver flatware service for 12, with additional pieces, which earned $4,500. Another 84-piece dinner service, in the Springtime pattern earned $1,560. A Nineteenth Century Gorham sterling oval dish marked “Sterling, 4160” with the lion, anchor and G, crescent moon hallmark for 1895, sold for $180.
It’s always nice when someone tells an auctioneer that they have a barn full of stuff and asks, “is this worth anything?” That’s what happened with a 1950 painting of a scene in Puerto Rico, which was one of the items with strong presale interest. It was a 1950 modern city scene of Utuado, Puerto Rico, by George Warrek (1899-1990); it earned $3,000. Warrek, better known as a sculptor, was born in Gardner, Mass., but taught at the University of Puerto Rico. A colleague there complained that Warrek and some of his friends were receiving money from Russia for disseminating communist propaganda. The school investigated but found no evidence to substantiate the claim. During the preview, Prior said that it was likely the painting would go back to Puerto Rico. The catalog stated that no other examples of Warrek’s paintings are known.
After the sale, Williams admitted, “Nick and I were nervous about our first sale. Would the online bidding platforms work smoothly? Did the gallery look good for the first preview? Stuff like that. But everything fell into place and the sale went off without a hitch. We were both pleased. There were some things that did well, like the diamond ring and the Puerto Rican painting. Some things we had to pass because we couldn’t get the bidding up to the reserves. Our next sale, in the fall, will have a wider selection of material, so I think we’ll attract a broader audience. It’s a learning curve and we’re learning. And we’re looking forward to the next sales.”
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
For additional information, www.peterboroughauctions.us or 603-933-9947.
Silver & ‘Ice’ Lead Kodner Auction
June 6, 2023
Tiffany Silverplate Urn Is Hot Stuff At Thomaston Place Auction
June 6, 2023
The Ricker Collection At Roan’s Annual Memorial Day Weekend Auction
June 6, 2023
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm