Published: July 16, 2019
FREEHOLD, N.Y. – There were about 15 estates consigned to Carlsen Gallery’s June 30 sale that provided the gamut that ran from a hardy farm tractor to a delicate Chinese watercolor on fabric. The sale was well-attended on the rainy day; about 50 people filed in and filled the seats as Russ Carlsen took lead at the podium and auctioned off the 398 lots on hand.
Starting at $500 was the first lot of the sale, a 1949 Ford farm tractor with a brush hog attachment. Carlsen said it was in good working order with a clean carb, tightened bandbelt and a new battery. The tractor would sell for $2,929 after 24 bids.
As the sale caught speed, two categories squeezed out the others for dominion: furniture, both American and Continental, and Asian works, spanning both art and silver.
The auction was led by an Asian Nineteenth Century watercolor on fabric featuring two birds swimming along a shoreline with flowering foliate overhead. It bested the $2,000 high estimate to bring $7,320.
“I like the Oriental pieces,” Carlsen said before the sale got underway. “They’ve gotten a lot of notice. The woman who consigned them is in her late 80s, and they were her grandmothers. In the late Nineteenth Century, she had spent time in China and she brought this all back.”
Old, heavy Oriental silver from Burma and India with extensive repoussé work found good bidding. At $2,440 was a colonial Burmese silver bowl from the Nineteenth Century made for the Calcutta market. It measured 13 inches diameter and weighed approximately 72.4 ozt. “I’ve never had a piece of Burmese silver like this,” Carlsen said. “It’s three-dimensional and really blown out.” Behind at $1,464 was a colonial India silver wine cooler with lion head ring handles. The piece was 10½ inches high and weighed 63.2 ozt. A colonial Burmese silver-lidded box weighing 40.29 ozt brought $1,220 while a Burmese silver bowl, 3½ inches high and 14 ozt, brought $976.
Among other Asian earners was a Nineteenth Century hand painted silk ten-panel Chinese screen, measuring 73 inches high and 12 feet long, that went out at $1,830. A Chinese five-toed dragon bowl with the Kangxi mark to the bottom, an iron red glaze to the exterior and a flaming pearl turquoise interior, went out above estimate at $1,037. A Chinese Qing dynasty white celadon Dehua censer with coral finial would finish just below estimate at $854. A pair of Eighteenth Century Chinese mahogany Chippendale armchairs, profusely carved throughout, would bring $2,196. Carlsen believed them to be from the British Isles, circa 1760.
Many of the other top lots in the sale were found in furniture pieces. “I love it, that’s always been my mainstay,” Carlsen said.
At $3,660 was an early Nineteenth Century Hudson Valley corner cupboard with ten-panel glass doors and picture frame molding. The piece was painted white over blue. At the same price was a Queen Anne wing chair with pad feet, hailing from Boston and circa 1760. It caught 30 bids to finish above high estimate. A nice bonnet top highboy caught interest to $3,050, it came with provenance from the Alden T. Harris collection.
An Eighteenth Century tiger maple highboy with Queen Anne legs failed to reach estimate as it sold for $2,318. The piece was inscribed to the back “Hanford M/ Northam/ Winsor Locks/ Conn.,” and came with a note taped to an inside drawer that read “Given to Hanford M. Northam by his grandmother (coming down to her). He thought probably 200 yrs old from what he knew, before 1886, when he died.”
Behind at $1,830 was an English bowed end Pembroke table with spade feet. It featured delicate inlay throughout the top, apron and legs and would sell above estimate after 18 bids. Selling for $1,708 was a Nineteenth Century mahogany three-pedestal dining table with two leaves. The center section tilted a bit, but it extended past 14 feet. A Renaissance Revival center table would make estimate as it sold for the same price. With bold carvings throughout, the auction house said it could have possibly been by Herter Brothers. With its original brasses, a Boston block front mahogany Chippendale desk from the Eighteenth Century went below estimate at $1,586.
“I love furniture that does things,” said Carlsen, as he motioned to an English triple top Queen Anne mahogany card table. Flipped once, the table turned to a backgammon and checkerboard. Flipped twice, it turned to a felt-top card table. And flipped thrice, it revealed a felt writing surface, which could be lifted to reveal a removable game board and a galleried compartment for the playing pieces. The piece sold between estimate for $1,586.
Other American pieces did well, including a William Cummins tall case clock with a Roxbury, Mass., case that brought $3,965. Cummins was an apprentice to Simon Willard. Measuring 53½ by 28½ inches was an Isaac Platt mirror with original gilding and glass that finished near the top of its estimate at $1,830.
English silver performed well, with a John Robins sterling claret jug bringing $1,586. A Paul Storr sterling cruet stand with four crystal bottles from 1805 would settle down at $1,037. Coming from just across the way in Edinburgh, Scotland, was a teapot with a graceful and softly chased design across the upper half by Edward Lothian, circa 1746. It sold for $1,098.
A local collection of postcards from the Catskills was drawing interest from attendees who lived in the area. It featured scenes from the Catskills Mountain House, among other attractions in the area. Spread between five lots, the postcards would sell for $549, $366, $335, $214 and $153.
Russ Carlsen promises his September sale will be a zinger.
All prices reported include buyer’s premium, as reported by the auction house. For more information, 518-634-2466 or www.carlsengallery.com.
January 24, 2023
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January 24, 2023
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