Published: September 18, 2007
A stellar selection of Americana was offered at Eldred’s during its 38th annual summer sale August 2″. A vast assortment of antiques crossed the block, ranging from early American furniture to a rare Steiff blonde teddy bear. Always a popular event, the auction was attended by a large crowd, with strong interest expressed for a wide variety of merchandise.
More than 1,000 lots were offered in the auction, with the paintings of Ralph Cahoon once again commanding the most attention. Leading the auction was an unusual Cahoon painting of duck hunters in a marsh, an oil on Masonite that measured 24 by 33 inches. Estimated at $35/45,000, the painting depicted two mermaids in the marsh grass, watching two hunters pole their boat amongst their decoys. Four other duck hunters were shown in the background with two shooting at a flock of ducks flying overhead. The busy scene also featured four sailing vessels at full mast in the background, along with an outcropping of land with a lighthouse at the end of the spit.
Bidding on the painting was spirited, with it selling well above estimates at $126,000.
Two Cotuit, Mass., shore scene paintings by Cahoon also did well, selling at $43,125 each. The paintings, sold previously by Eldred’s in 1982, had been commissioned for a local gentleman and were shaped to hang under the eaves of his boathouse.
The first of the scenes depicted buildings along the shoreline with numerous sailing vessels in the harbor. The second painting was also a shoreline scene, although figures and a horse-drawn carriage were depicted along a road by the waterfront.
A six-board blanket box proved to be an apt canvas for Cahoon and it was treated to a fresh coat of paint and a landscape scene depicting a locomotive and tender from the Cape Cod Railway. Estimated at $10/15,000, the lot was actively bid, with it selling at $19,550.
A landscape painting by Charles Cahoon was another lot to attract attention. Titled the “Salt Hayer,” the painting depicted a man with a horse on a seaside dirt road. Estimated at $18/20,000, the painting sold for $19,550.
A large landscape by John White Scott, 30 by 50 inches, depicting Mount Chocotua doubled estimates, selling at $24,150.
A good selection of Sandwich glass was offered, with items ranging from a rare pair of clambroth based dolphin candlesticks with blue sockets, $3,850, to a boat salt in violet blue that hammered down to a phone bidder at $2,530.
The piece that caught the eye of glass collectors was an extremely rare Sandwich flint glass compote in the star pattern. In electric blue, the compote was cataloged by Eldred’s as being “one of the rarest of all pattern glass items, and to our knowledge, the only one in this color known to exist.”
A provenance of the George Abraham and Gilbert May collection was listed from 1962, it was then sold at Bourne’s auction house in 1967, and was also listed from the William Elsholz collection.
Bidding on the lot opened at $20,000, and New York City dealer and early American glass enthusiast Stuart Feld of Hirschl and Adler Gallery hit the lot at $21,000. Bidding bounced around for a bit, with the lot hammering down to Feld at $28,750.
A rare girandole clock by Rhode Island maker Walter H. Durfee attracted a great deal of interest, with it selling well above the presale estimates. The mahogany cased clock featured an eagle finial, brass side arms and reverse painted glass, with the lower tablet depicting “Perry’s Victory.” An American eagle was painted on the tablet above a dramatic scene of warships taking part in the Battle of Lake Erie. Estimated at $10/12,000, the ornate clock sold for $46,000.
A cigar store figure in the form of a Scottish Highlander was another lot to handily exceed estimates. The figure had originally surfaced in the collection of Rudolph Haffenreffer, whose collection of figures was said to have numbered between 100 and 200 examples. The collection was sold at Parke Bernet Galleries in two sessions, April and October of 1956.
The figure was further depicted as the artwork on a postage stamp and it is also illustrated in the Index of American Design by Erwin O. Christiansen. Estimated at $15/20,000, the lot was hit as it opened by numerous telephone bidders and several in the gallery on its way to a selling price of $34,500.
A rare “blonde” Steiff bear was another of the lots that drew serious attention. A large example, measuring 24 inches tall, the fully jointed “growler” bear retained the original button in its ear as well as all of the pads and stitching. Estimated at $2/4,000, the bear attracted attention from across the country, with numerous Steiff collectors getting in on the action. The circa 1910 bear drew bids from the Internet, numerous phone lines and some that had made the trip to the Cape to bid in person. Competition was stiff, with the bear selling at $21,850.
Furniture in the auction included a Chippendale six-drawer tall chest in a mellow old finish that hammered down at $8,625, a Federal gilt girandole mirror with an unusual seahorse pediment sold at $6,600, and a New Hampshire four-drawer chest with a fan-carved upper drawer realized $3,737.
A cast iron garden figure in the form of the Statue of Liberty, standing almost 5 feet tall, was attracting attention from auctiongoers. Estimated at $500/1,000, auctioneer Bob Eldred was pleased with the $5,750 that it realized.
Prices include the ten percent buyer’s premium charged. For further information 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm