Published: November 1, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy D.L. Straight Auctioneers
STURBRIDGE, MASS. – Bidders lined up for an online-only sale conducted by D.L. Straight Auctioneers on October 22 to vie for estate-fresh antiques from local Connecticut artist and conservator Richard McElroy (b 1928). The sale offered many of McElroy’s original works of art, including local Connecticut landscapes as well as portrait paintings by Horace Bundy, Jeremiah Theus and others. The auctioneer offered the entire contents of the home and many of McElroy’s original art, early furnishings, paintings and decorative arts. Room setting photographs offering a sampling of items that were to be presented were posted on the firm’s website, and a public preview in Woodstock, Conn., was available on the Friday before the sale.
David Straight said that of the 318 lots presented, there were only about four that were passed. The McElroy estate material was supplemented by about 20 lots from a New York estate. Registered bidders numbered 3,860 on Invaluable and LiveAuctioneers.
Leading the lots at $12,500 was a large oil on canvas painting portrait of a sea captain with telescope and ocean in the background. The artist was listed as Christian Gilligan, Newburyport, Mass., and the 31-by-36-inch painting had been purchased from a Newburyport estate during the 1950s.
The sale also offered New England Pilgrim, Queen Anne and Chippendale period furniture, plus more folk art and many Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century smalls and accessories in old and original surface.
With a letter instead of a spyglass in his hand, a portrait of an unidentified gentleman was bid to $7,500 against an $800-$1,200 estimate. The portrait was housed in a gold gilt frame and including the frame measured 30 by 36 inches.
An early red painted sawbuck table met its high estimate at $2,500. Measuring 33Ã½ inches wide, 27Ã½ inches tall and 6 feet long, it featured a two-board scrubbed top, spline joint and original painted base.
Our better angels were depicted in a colorful Sixteenth Century needlework that brought $2,225. The heavenly figures with flowers at their feet are shown holding a sign or coat of arms with motifs of the loom, dated 1599 with the initials “P.K.” and “P.B.”
Fetching $2,000 was a painting of a Nineteenth Century American ship, 16 by 24 inches.
A portrait by Ammi Phillips (1788-1865), the prolific American itinerant portrait painter active from the mid- 1810s to the early 1860s in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, left the gallery at $1,750. The likeness was of Dr Aso Jordan of Claverack, N.Y. Presented in a gold gilt frame, it was 27 by 33 inches.
An Eighteenth Century four-drawer tiger maple chest performed well among the furniture lots, earning an above estimate $1,375. Featuring good figural maple patterning throughout and an old finish, it was 37 inches wide by 18 inches deep by 39 inches tall.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. A sale featuring Americana and early estate material will be presented later in November. For information, www.dlstraighhtauctioneers.com or 508-769-5404.
December 5, 2023
December 5, 2023
December 5, 2023
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm