Published: May 31, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Schwenke Auctioneers
WOODBURY, CONN. – In a May 22 sale marking the 13th anniversary of the auction firm founded by Thomas Schwenke, Schwenke Auctioneers auctioned a diverse group of more than 700 lots consigned from 49 separate estates and consignors from Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. It was in May 2009 that antiques expert Tom Schwenke conducted his firm’s first sale, and the well-regarded regional auction company located in historic Woodbury – nationally known as The Antiques Capital of Connecticut – has conducted more than 90 major catalog auctions and sold many thousands of individual auction lots for a total gross selling price of several million dollars.
This particular auction included more than 200 fine art lots. It was led by an oil on board rural landscape with farmers and their horses fording a small stream by Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1889). Dated 1889, the 20-5/8-by-27¼-inch painting surpassed its $300/400 estimate and sold for $16,510 and is going to Virginia. The core of the sale comprised nearly 200 lots from the estates of Eve and Peter Mancino of Bridgewater, Conn., and the Bonheur painting was one of these. Rosa was a French artist known best as a painter of animals as well as sculpture in a realist style.
Property of a Darien, Conn., estate, an Italian coastal scene by Angelo Della Mura (1867-1922), titled “Maiori, Italy,” sold for $10,795, purchased by a bidder in New York City. Signed lower left and presented in an elaborate gilt frame, the tranquil portrait of Maiori, a town on the Amalfi coast in the province of Salerno that has been a popular tourist resort since Roman times, measured 32½ by 53½ inches.
The auction included more than 200 lots of furniture and folk art, and stretching to 129 inches was a Regency three-pillar mahogany dining table that extended its $2/3,000 estimate to a final price of $7,620. Consigned to the sale by a Connecticut collector, the table came with two leaves and featured a thumb molded edge top set on robust turned columns with molded arched saber legs and foliate brass casters.
From the Mancino estate, another furniture highlight was a French Charles X mahogany dining table with an extension mechanism and six leaves going out at $4,765. The couple were avid collectors for many years and furnished their hilltop home with English and Continental furniture and decorations, sourced mainly from area dealers and East Coast shows and auctions.
Fetching the same price was a Tiffany & Co carved oak brass dial tall case clock, property of an Essex, Conn., estate. It was signed Tiffany & Co. New York on the dial and had a scroll top with spiral twist columns, brass capitals, a carved fan on the door with a glass panel and columns repeated on the waist and base. The movement was a brass eight-day with a painted moon phase calendar dial and nine tube chimes. It stood 92 inches high. Another clock of note in the sale was a Simon Willard federal gilt mahogany banjo clock. It struck $2,920.
The collection of a gentleman from North Carolina was being dispersed in this sale, and the collection has a broad range, including a carved and painted tobacco store folk art figure “The Scotsman,” 68 inches high, which was bid to $3,810.
Finally, a lot of 15 Mathew Brady Civil War “Brady Album Gallery” photographs surpassed its $500/600 estimate to realize $3,429. Consisting of cartes de visite (CDVs) and albumen silver prints, the views included batteries, fortifications and more.
After the sale, Tom Schwenke commented, “No real surprises, although from the estimate on the Rosa it would appear as a surprise. Furniture was strong and soft at the same time, no explanation. Next sale date yet to be announced; we are moving back to home base at 50 Main Street North in Woodbury, so possible hiatus while we get that accomplished.”
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For additional information, 203-266-0323 or www.woodburyauction.com.
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