Published: October 24, 2000
Rare John Gaines Chairs Go to the Trade for $150,000 in New Hampshire
PETERBOROUGH, N.H. – One hundred seventy bidders – including those who left bids, phone bidders, and those on the floor – participated in an October 14 auction held at The Cobbs. Two hundred ninety-three lots crossed the block for a gross of $463,000. Important American and English furniture, Oriental rugs, paintings, Chinese Export porcelain, jewelry, and sporting rdf_Descriptions were offered, with approximately 50 consignors represented.
The most dramatic bidding escalation took place between a dealer and a private buyer, each determined to win the most sought-after lot of the day, a set of six maple Queen Anne side chairs. Attributed to the John Gaines family of Portsmouth, N.H., the set featured rare pierced and carved crests, applied toe Spanish feet, boldly turned front stretchers, and an old, refinished surface. The 1760/1780 lot finally went to the dealer at a stunning $150,000.
A dome top box approximately 3 feet long, having a textured blue paint surface, sold at $7,900; a gilt convex mirror with intricately carved frame, including a reclining deer surmounting the lot and two dolphins at the base, made $13,500; and an English mahogany Hepplewhite serving table, having one long drawer flanked by two short drawers, was purchased at $6,000.
A New Jersey red-painted, birch Chippendale chest, having six drawers reached $12,000; a poster for Winchester guns sold for $4,000; a mahogany Massachusetts Chippendale wing chair upholstered in light jade green reached $6,700; and a seven-piece sterling silver Reed and Barton tea and coffee set in the “Georgia Rose” pattern garnered $4,000.
A dealer won an important maple Queen Anne highboy signed on the reverse “John Kimball,” and dated June 26, 1762. The piece featured two short drawers over four long drawers over a shallower long drawer over three short drawers, and sold for $22,000. A paint-decorated gameboard, approximately 20 by 20 inches, did $11,000; and an important Kerman Oriental rug, measuring 20 by 11 feet, achieved $5,000.
Oils had a successful response, with a painting by James Fairman, “Bass Rocks,” depicting a beach with waves crashing on the shoreline rocks, reaching $20,000; an oil on canvas by noted Massachusetts artist Thomas Allen depicting a flowering hillside bringing $6,250; and a scene of a rock ledge overlooking a valley, circa 1911, also by Allen, reaching $5,250.
An oil on board by Aldo T. Hibbard, a snowy scene with three barn-like buildings, made $7,000.
Prices quoted do not reflect a required 15 percent buyer’s premium.
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