Published: October 23, 2012
Barn finds and flea market treasures made for interesting fare during the most recent evening sale at Douglas Auctioneers, conducted on October 5. Among the items attracting serious attention was a Charles Rohlfs Arts and Crafts hanging cupboard that had been discovered after it spent much of the past century tucked away in a barn and a Handel lamp that the auctioneer had purchased decades ago at the Amherst flea market for a bargain price of $4.
“We had a good crowd,” commented auctioneer Douglas Bilodeau in the days following the auction, adding that his regular crowd was in attendance, along with numerous dealers exhibiting at the ADA show taking place just a couple miles down the road and also a contingent of dealers exhibiting at the five antiques shows that comprise Antiques Week In Vermont.
Bilodeau runs two sales simultaneously, lesser items in the front gallery and the better stuff in the gallery in the rear of the building. “It works well for us,” commented the auctioneer. Bilodeau should know what works well in the auction business, as he has been conducting an auctioneer’s school for more than 40 years and has graduated many of the auctioneers that advertise in these pages.
The auction opened with a selection of silver, with lot one comprising a 40-piece sterling flatware set by Tiffany in the “King William” pattern. Bidding on the lot was brisk, with it selling at $1,495. A sterling kettle on stand by McAuliffe & Hadley did well at $1,063, while a sterling teapot and tray by Duncan Urquhart and Napthali Hart realized $920.
A good selection of paintings were offered, with an Eighteenth Century portrait of a gentleman identified as William Pitchford (1596‱659) bringing the top price among the artworks at $8,625. A Frank Shapleigh coastal scene depicting Cohasset, Cape Cod, Mass., caught the attention of collectors, with it hammering down at $5,175, while an Emile Gruppe oil on board depicting a harbor scene sold for $2,645.
An oil on canvas by S.G. Maniatty titled “Daiseyland #1” was well received, with bidders pushing the lot to $3,680. A pen and colored ink sketch of George Washington by Charles Mason sold at $920, while an Eighteenth Century painting on panel depicting a couple courting below a bridge sold reasonably at $805.
Several pieces of period Queen Anne furniture by Samuel Sewell, York, Maine, were offered, with a highboy constructed of black walnut and a small drop leaf table with cabriole legs failing to find a buyer. A tray-top tea table with an elegant shaped skirt made by Sewell went out at $4,485.
Found in a barn, a signed and dated hanging cabinet by Arts and Crafts cabinetmaker Charles Rohlfs attracted a huge amount of interest. The rare form was, however, atypically constructed from cherry and retained a warm reddish coloration. True Arts and Crafts aficionados were put off by the surface and color, causing the lot to go out at only $4,255.
Other furniture lots included a carved Continental dome top coffer with lions, measuring just more than 3 feet in length, that was bid to $4,025. A nice North Shore Hepplewhite tambour desk caught the eye of several in the crowd, although the rough condition kept the price at $1,150.
Accessories comprised a good portion of the lots offered, and Bilodeau commented that he is in the process of downsizing and liquidating a lot of the things he has purchased and had in storage over the years. With each of these lots there was often a tale about how it was acquired. Bilodeau related that he had discovered a small Handel boudoir lamp while he was shopping the Amherst flea market “back in the days when Betty Douglas ran it.” The crowd chuckled at the auctioneer’s tale, especially when he told them that he had paid a whopping $4 for it. The crowd then proceeded to bid the lamp to $1,265.
A two-sided sign from the Whithed Hotel in Vernon Village saw active bidding, with the lot hammering down at $1,380. A pair of boy’s leather boots from the Civil War period caught the attention of bidders, with the lot going out at $345. A silk Oriental carpet snuck out of the door at $920.
Other lots included an iridescent Loetz vase with pulled feather decoration that measured 7 inches tall and sold at $1,092. And a patinated bronze figure of a girl undressing by Karin Jonzen took off, with it selling at $2,415.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium charged. For information, 413-665-2877 or www.douglasauctioneers.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm