Published: December 15, 2020
Review by Greg Smith, Photos Courtesy Schwenke Auctioneers
WOODBURY, CONN. – Among the 437 lots offered at Schwenke Auctioneers’ December 6 sale, nearly half of them were from the living collection of a couple who owned Shagbark Farm, a sprawling estate in Washington, Conn., that began its life in the 1930s as an esteemed dairy goat farm.
Tom Schwenke said the estate came into his hands late in the cataloging process for the sale. “We started on it just two weeks before we posted the catalog,” he said.
Many of the items were particularly large, including a linen press, dry sink and a pool table. “We did a hybrid approach,” Schwenke said. “We photographed and cataloged everything there, we removed the things that we could get out and left the big stuff.”
Many things from Shagbark were of the decorative variety, including designer furniture and decorations that are a suitable fit for the contemporary style. That is not to say there were not antiques in the mix, as about 27 other consignors added to the sale.
Among the top earners was a selection of Continental furniture, including English and French examples, that found trade interest. Among them was a pair of George III paint-decorated satinwood consoles that went out at $4,445. A pair of four walnut tub chairs with brass mounted details and carved sabre legs took $4,270. Upholstered in a silk moire stripe was a pair of gilt carved wood settees with cane seats from a Westchester County estate that brought $2,928 after 34 bids.
Caucasian rugs did well and came from numerous estates, including a collector in Hartford, Conn., according to Schwenke. At $1,830 was a Caucasian Kazak measuring 5 feet 2 inches by 8 feet 3 inches. From the same collector was a $1,778 result for a 5-by-7-foot example of the same kind. A Persian room-size gallery rug, measuring 20 feet 3 inches by 7 feet 7 inches, sold for $1,524.
From Shagbark came a pipe collection with rack that went out at $953. It featured 16 examples, two of them Meerschaum, and an antler cigar cutter.
Among Schwenke’s favorite lots in the sale were a number of chairs. A pair of folk art chairs composed of stacked and turned wood discs in varying wood tones went out at $1,079. Each featured an open heart design to the front panel beneath the seat and one was signed “Marcel Papineau”(?).
A number of library chairs came from Shagbark, including a Regency metamorphic green leather example that went out at $732. The ring turned front legs revealed a retractable leg rest. An English carved mahogany green leather chair with carved satyr-form hoofed leg base sold for $349.
Schwenke says he has a fine antique and Americana auction scheduled for the end of February.
All prices reported include buyer’s premium. For more information, www.woodburyauction.com or 203-266-0323.
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