Published: November 10, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy The Cobbs
PETERBOROUGH, N.H. -The Cobbs’ Fine Art, Antique and Sporting Auction on Saturday, October 31 featured 345 lots of varied estate property, offered online on both Invaluable and LiveAuctioneers, and supplemented by both phone and absentee bids, with more than 94 percent of the sale selling. While Charlie Cobb does not typically disclose his sale totals, he said the size of the sale was in line with what he has been offering lately and brought what he thought it would bring.
“It’s been interesting; the sale went very well. There was only one area that was weak – group lots of lesser items – but overall, good things did well, if not better than I would have anticipated, so I am very pleased.”
Leading the auction was a pair of small Pre-Columbian Tairona gold maskettes, which sold to an online bidder for $8,750. Offered roughly midway through the sale, it was one of 19 lots of Pre-Columbian gold, pottery and other artifacts, the tail end of a consignment from a collector who had lived in Central America and whose collection Cobb has been selling “for the better part of a year.” Interest in the collection was broad, made of a combination of private and trade buyers from the United States and abroad, that accounted for approximately two dozen interested bidders competing from each of the two internet platforms and on the phones. With the two maskettes bringing the top price, others from the collection could be had for as little as $120 for a face jug attributed to the Pre-Columbian era.
Another section of the sale that Cobb said did particularly well was the firearms and ammunition section, which accounted for 30 lots, four of which claimed prices among the top dozen lots sold. Four firearms hailed from the estate of William Ruger Sr. One of the them, a Griffin & Howe 1961 Winchester Model 70 caliber 7mm rifle that had been built for firearm magazine writer and big-game hunter Robert Farwell Chatfield-Taylor. Chatfield-Taylor was a friend and hunting partner of William Ruger Sr and had given the gun to Ruger. It sold for $7,200 to a private collector who had left an absentee bid on it.
Another strong result from the Ruger estate was a large Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century Northern European tapestry that saw interest both in the United States and overseas, but in the end, an American buyer bidding on the phone prevailed for $5,700.
Rounding out the leaderboard was a circa 1929 portrait of Mary Ingersoll by Polish artist Boleslaw Von Szankowski (1873-1853). Consigned from a family that had originally come from Europe, the oil on canvas inspired interest in both the United States and Europe but a buyer in Poland prevailed to take it for $6,875.
The first lot in the sale – a Naval commission for Joseph B. Oliphant that was signed by Abraham Lincoln and dated 1861 – had descended in the Oliphant family and was pursued by one of Oliphant’s descendants from another line. In the end, they were outbid and it sold to a phone bidder who Cobb thought was a private collector for $6,000.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported.
The next sale for The Cobbs is scheduled for February 5.
For information, 603-924-6361 or www.thecobbs.com.
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