Published: October 24, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
DOVER, N.H. – In advance of Ron Bourgeault’s evening sale on October 12, he had been saying that this would be a fun auction. You do not expect that ads for Northeast’s sales would advise you to wear old clothes. But this one did, and it was a truly old-fashioned, fun sale. The old clothes were suggested because about 100 lots in the sale came from Philip Rosenberg’s New England Antiques Shop, a Charles Street, Boston, fixture that closed in 1949. Its merchandise had been stored in a cellar since then.
Some of the material from that shop had been cleaned and included in Northeast’s August sale, but many of the items in this sale had not been cleaned, and they were really “as is.” Rosenberg emigrated from Russia and wound up on Charles Street about the time the Grossmans, the Webbers, the Weiners and Israel Sack were also there. One of his best customers was Henry Davis Sleeper of Beauport fame, who bought many hooked rugs for himself and clients. This sale included numerous hooked rugs – piles of them – and they were sold in lots of four to ten rugs. The Bourgeault sales in Dover do not use internet bidding, so there was a large crowd in the hall. Also included were other lots that did not make it into the August sale.
In addition to hooked rugs, many other items were also sold in large lots. Not surprisingly, several well-known Americana dealers were at the sale and bought extensively. Rosenberg liked hand wrought American iron implements and at one time owned Broadhearth, a home built about 1680 on the site of the Saugus Iron Works. Broadhearth was restored by Wallace Nutting, who took many of his famous photographs there. Hard times forced Nutting to sell the house and Rosenberg eventually wound up with it. Bourgeault sold a large pair of wrought iron meat hangers that had been in the house and they seemed like a good buy at $345. There were several large lots of iron hearth equipment. Most were bought by two dealers. Another dealer bought several lots of hooked rugs, paying $100 for a lot of four, $300 for a lot of six and only $100 for a lot of six rugs with animals.
One of the higher priced items in the sale was an early mahogany corner chair that brought $1,725. It was topped by a full-bodied rooster weathervane, which sold for $2,070, and a Mission-style book rack, with the label of George Flint, which realized $748. Perhaps a good buy was a concave mirror in an early wooden frame. As he was selling it, Bourgeault said he did not know what its original purpose may have been, and he said that he had not seen another. It reached only $144. Some things went very inexpensively. A walnut Victorian Davenport desk brought only $29, a pair of maple twin beds with turned posts went for $12, and an interesting reproduction Windsor day bed earned only $46. Three large boxes of wooden planes finished at $403, and two Victorian marble top tables, sold as a lot, reached just $115.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For more information, 603-433-8400 or www.northeastauctions.com.
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