Published: April 4, 2023
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Schwenke Auctioneers
WOODBURY, CONN. – A pair of large, Continental antique, near life-size depictions of Archangels St Raphael and St Michael watched over Schwenke Auctioneers on the first full day of spring March 21 as it conducted an estates auction comprising more than 600 lots of estate property. Leading the day as they settled at $19,800 to an internet bidder, the pair more than tripled the expected high estimate. Measuring 69 inches high and 49 inches wide each, the paintings had been relined and fitted later with non-matching stretchers.
The overall sale included a collection of estate jewelry, Native American jewelry and decorative arts, Asian decorative arts, American, English and Continental decorative arts and more. The auction was a live online sale with absentee and phone bidding in addition to live streamed bidding on LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable.
The next top lot was a Chinese bottle vase in sang de boeuf glaze (oxblood), a glossy, rich, blood-red glaze first appearing in Chinese porcelain at the start of the Eighteenth Century. This vase had been “updated,” i.e., converted to a lamp. That did not deter an internet bidder from China, who grabbed the 38-inch-high, 8-inch-diameter vessel for $14,520.
Four other lots were tied for third highest price at $8,580. They included a large sailor art scrimshaw whale tooth featuring portraits of female subjects front and back, with leafage and random intricate rosette designs. From the Nineteenth Century, the tooth was 7 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1¾ inches deep.
A New England landscape oil on board signed G.L. [George Loftus] Noyes (American, 1864-1954) was presented in a Carrig-Rohane gilded plein air frame and measured (sight size) 11¾ by 15½ inches.
And an important lot in the sale was a lithograph in colors by Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008) titled “Killdevil Hill,” a horizontal diptych lithograph in colors on two sheets of J. Whatman paper, 1975. It measured 27½ inches high by 80 inches wide.
Finally, among those lots tied for third place was a documented small Maryland walnut chest. It bore a label verso with documentation regarding history of descent in Howes Goldsborough family of Talbot County, Md. Dimensions were 34¾ by 34¾ by 20-1/8 inches.
Asian material continues to well. In this sale, a Chinese archaistic bronze three-part censer took $7,260. The archaic-style vessel featured a foo dog finial on its lid. It stood 29½ inches high, was 15 inches wide and 12½ inches deep.
Also, three Japanese carved netsuke, all signed, the figures that included young Sesshu, a Japanese Zen monk and painter, bound with several rats, left the gallery at $6,600. The largest of the figures, excluding base, was 1-7/8 by 1-5/8 by 1½ inches.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house.
The firm’s next auction will be May 23 at 1 pm, featuring two single-owner estates, including the estate of Muriel Gantz, Greenwich, Conn., with English and American furniture and decorative arts, porcelain, fine art and Oriental carpets. For information, www.woodburyauction.com or 203-266-0323.
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