Published: March 13, 2007
Possibly its most successful winter auction to date, James D. Julia, Inc’s February 2‴ sale of 1,600 lots played to a packed house of active bidders and grossed $2.4 million.
Consisting of American and European art, early furniture, historical items, folk art, silver, and other accessories, this massive offering resulted in hardy prices across the board.
Company president Jim Julia said, “Quality goods plus quality promotion equals quality results.”
With a full day devoted to more than 500 American, European, and Russian paintings, the session was awash in a wide variety of styles and genres. Once again Julia’s featured the Woolworth Collection highlighted by two works from turn-of-the-century Russian artist Ivan Fedorovich Choultse. A bidding battle that began with more than 20 phone bidders came down to two and the same bidder took “Jour d’ Hiver Pres de Davos” and “Soir d’Hiver” for $106,950 and $103,500.
The sale featured five works from the Rockport-Gloucester school led by Emile Gruppe’s “Rockport Harbor.” This oil on canvas scene showing a red and green-hulled schooner, moored alongside two smaller boats, achieved $36,800.
When William Staples Drown’s “Fort San Marco, Sea Wall St Augustine, Fla” hit the block, Julia announced that no other piece in the auction received as many inquiries as it had. This pale oil on board scene brought more than 13 times its $2/4,000 estimate to sell for $26,450.
European artists were well represented. A beach scene by Dutch artist Bernardus Blommers realized $10,350, as did German artist Wilhelm Kuhnert’s “Kudu,” depicting a large antelope running through a rocky forest.
About 20 bronzes highlighted the sale including a figure by Andrew O’Connor, Jr of a warrior holding a shield that fetched $6,325. A bronze by Emanuel Villanis, “Sapho,” which portrays a young woman wearing a draping toga and playing a lyre, brought $3,450.
American works also included a collection of early prints, etchings and lithographs from several noteworthy artists. Grant Wood’s “February,” a hand signed, titled and numbered lithograph depicting three horses in a snowy field, sold for $4,600.
Highlighting the second session was a collection of prints and lithographs; the focus here was on several rare pieces by Nineteenth Century publishers Currier & Ives from one central New York estate. Examples included a set of four prints depicting various American hunting and field sports scenes that tripled the low end of its $6/10,000 estimate to bring $18,400.
Nautical art did well and was highlighted by an oil on canvas portrait by James Bard of the side-wheeler Troy being manned by more than 70 people that attained $51,750.
The session’s mixture of folk art included a sleeper, an unframed theorem of a basket of fruit that had hardly seen the light of day and brought $16,100, and a folk art figural trade sign for Sheppard Campbell wholesale oysters of Bivalve, N.J., at $8,912.
Asian offerings included Oriental rugs and runners and a selection of Chinese porcelain from the Woolworth Collection. A Chinese Export famille rose cylinder mug decorated with American ships, brought $5,750 and a famille rose armorial barrel form mug, circa 1785, fetched $4,025.
Session II concentrated on early American furniture while Session III focused on the Victorian era. The centerpiece of Session III was a monumental four-piece bird’s-eye maple carved bedroom suite that fetched $63,250. Standing nearly 10½ feet tall, the half tester bed was all in bird’s-eye maple with carved scroll and leaf design.
A private collection of KPM plaques included a large KPM plaque depicting two young maidens. Julia’s accommodated 28 phone bidders for this piece and it ultimately sold to one for $18,400.
Leading glassware and rare porcelain were a large, round bodied Camille Faure Limoges vase at $12,650; an early Rookwood art vase at $8,050; and a Royal Worcester demitasse set hand decorated with a foxhunt motif ($250/400) that achieved $8,050.
Julia’s upcoming events include an antiques and fine arts auction in May and a lamp and glass sale and a toy, doll, and antique advertising auction in early summer. For more information, www.jamesdjulia.com or 207-453-7125.
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