Published: August 28, 2012
“The sale went very well; we had a good audience in house and lots of phone and left bids both days,” said Stephen Fletcher, director of Skinner’s American furniture and decorative arts department. The sale, running both Saturday and Sunday, August 11‱2, grossed $2,621,000, including the auction of the Private Collection of Cheryl & Paul Scott (reviewed in the August 24 issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly ).
In addition to the Scott collection, this sale included the Shaker Collection of Jean Brown, Tyringham, Mass.; the Collection of William Hubbard of Amherst Auction Gallery; property of Historic New England; a Nantucket collection and a Florida folk art collection; and deaccessioned items from the Litchfield Historical Society, the Westminster Historical Society and the Connecticut Historical Society, among others.
Session I got off to a rolling start at 10 am with the sale of a 1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL Coupe Roadster, dark olive exterior, cognac interior, manual transmission, with 64,175 miles on the odometer at the time of cataloging. It was well maintained and garaged, and sold for $32,587, including buyer’s premium. Note: All prices reported in this review include the buyer’s premium.
A Shaker wood box, Hancock, Mass., circa 1820‱840, the hinged top opening to a divider interior, 25 inches high and 26 inches wide, sold for $3,555 against a high estimate of $1,200; a Shaker maple and ash swivel stool, Mount Lebanon, N.Y., late Nineteenth Century, base with old red wash, brought $2,015 against a high estimate of $600; and a Shaker pine work counter, also Mount Lebanon, circa 1810‱830, with a pair of hinged doors and four graduated drawers, 30½ inches high, 7 feet 2 inches long and 29¼ inches deep, sold just over the high estimate at $5,925.
A Shaker round carrier, Pittsfield, Mass., red stained maple sides with four-finger joinery, shaped ash swing handle, 11¾ inches in diameter, sold for $5,925, just over estimate. A pine Shaker cupboard over ten drawers, Enfield, Conn., circa 1870‱880, 69 inches high and 39 inches wide, with a high estimate of $1,500, went for $2,252.
A selection of nautical paintings included an oil on canvas by C. Myron Clark (Massachusetts, 1858‱925), “Yacht Race with Storm Looming,” signed lower right, 20 by 28½ inches, unframed, that sold within estimate at $2,963. A Napoleonic prisoner-of-war-made model of a frigate, late Eighteenth Century, plank-constructed ivory, baleen and bone 32-gun frigate with carved female bust figurehead, 16¼ inches long, brought $2,726, and an American School, Nineteenth Century, whaling scene, unsigned oil on canvas, depicting a whaling ship and whalemen in their longboats, 12 by 20 inches in period frame, very good condition, went over the high estimate of $5,000, selling for $7,110. Transfer decorated Staffordshire pottery partial dinner service with Hudson River views, including Fishkill, Fort Montgomery and West Point, by Ralph and James Clews and J.&J., Jackson, England, 5¾ to 19 inches in diameter, brought a final bid of $3,555, within estimate.
A pair of cast iron snake-form andirons, late Nineteenth Century, 23¾ inches high, sold for $2,328; a carved articulated wood male artist’s model, probably French and dating from the Nineteenth Century, 31 inches high, sold over the high estimate of $2,500 for $7,303; and a polychrome carved lion carousel figure, probably New York, late Nineteenth Century, glass eyes and open mouth, 46 inches high and 60 inches long, brought $18,960, just under estimate.
A carved and polychrome painted wooden countertop Indian tobacconist figure, 27 inches high, American, late Nineteenth Century, feather headdress, tunic and leggings, mounted on a carved wooden base, sold for $3,851 against a high estimate of $2,500. Interest was shown in a “Wonder Washer” machine salesman sample, sold with vintage photograph, a circa 1919 machine made by The Victor Mfg. Co., Leavenworth, Kan., on stand and with a metal wall bracket for hanging. The photo shows two men, probably salesmen, holding the washer. It sold for $5,333, just over estimate.
Another advertising piece was a monumental painted and turned wood Derby-form hat, American, late Nineteenth Century, with hand lettering reading “Black & Brown stiff hats/all sizes up to 7¾” and on the reverse “reinforced crown, patent steam/blocked/finest haircloth and mercerized serge lining.” It measures 21 inches high, 41 inches in diameter, and sold for $4,444, over the high estimate of $3,000.
Following the sale of the Private Collection of Cheryl & Paul Scott, the auction continued with lots 881‱406, starting off with a fancy carved, painted and gilded wooden letter “H,” late Nineteenth Century, 18 inches high and 21½ inches wide, with high estimate of $600, selling for $1,185. Selling for $6,518, just over estimate, were two profile miniatures of a young man and a boy, watercolor and pencil on paper, one of a young man wearing a patterned vest and black jacket, the other a boy wearing a black jacket seated in a chair. They measured 33/8 by 27/8 inches and were in period molded giltwood frames.
Interest in a Queen Anne carved and brown painted armchair, Connecticut River Valley, mid-Eighteenth Century, old surface with remnants of early rushed seat, drove the final bid well over the high estimate of $1,500 to $10,665; $17,775, just over low estimate, was paid for the portrait of a boy in a red plaid dress with his dog and a riding crop, attributed to Ammi Phillips, signed, oil on canvas measuring 37½ by 28½ inches, unframed; and selling for just over the high estimate was a large turned ash burl bowl, with turned collar, 21 inches in diameter, for $4,148.
Among the brown furniture that sold within estimate was a Chippendale fan carved, scroll top cherry chest on chest, Connecticut River Valley, late Eighteenth Century, old finish with mellow patina, 88 inches high, for $10,073, and carved cherry serpentine bureau, also Connecticut River Valley, late Eighteenth Century, molded overhanging top with four cockbeaded drawers with flanking reeded quarter columns, original brass pulls, at $5,629.
Selling for ten times the high estimate was a pair of pipe tongs, wrought iron, American, Eighteenth Century, with spring-activated handle with engraved scrolled design, hanging hook, bowl scrape and tobacco tamp, 14½ inches long, at $5,036. A gilt-gesso carved wood American eagle wall plaque, late Nineteenth Century, 19 inches high and 4½ inches wide, the eagle with American flags and shield, brought $7,110.
The Anglo American School Eighteenth Century portrait of a woman in a blue gown and red shawl, unsigned, oil on canvas, 25¾ by 21½ inches, in later painted wood frame, carried an estimate of $800․1,200 and sold for $9,480. Several lots later, a pair of portraits by Erastus Salisbury Field, a lady and gentleman, unsigned, oil on canvas, 30¼ by 24 inches in period split-baluster frames, sold just over double the high estimate at $65,175, and a manganese splotch decorated, yellow glazed redware jug, American, Nineteenth Century, ovoid form with applied reeded handle, went for $5,925, just over twice the high estimate.
Furniture dominated a portion of the sale, with a carved maple chest on chest, attributed to the Dunlap workshops, southern New Hampshire, circa 1790‱810, cabriole legs ending in pad feet, 77 inches high, went for $29,625, slightly under the low estimate; a Chippendale mahogany blockfront chest of drawers, Massachusetts, circa 1760‱780, shaped molded top on cockbeaded case, bracket feet, 30 inches high, 33 inches wide and 20½ inches deep, went slightly twice over the high estimate at $17,775; and a diminutive Chippendale mahogany blockfront chest of drawers, Massachusetts, circa 1760‱780, molded top, frontal claw and ball feet, shaped knee returns, and ogee bracket rear feet, went for $24,885, against a $15,000 high estimate.
Among the needlework in the sale was lot 1091, Marblehead, Mass., mid-Eighteenth Century, stitched with wool on a linen ground depicting a romantic scene of a young gentleman and lady in a garden, 9½ by 10 inches, in original or period molded frame, that sold for $18,960, within estimate, and a schoolgirl painted silk still life of a bowl of fruit with bird and moth, by Susan Farnum, Plainfield, N.H., watercolor on silk, circular format measuring 16½ inches sight, sold for $9,480, well over the high estimate of $1,500.
Twenty-nine weathervanes were sold in a row, including a large Cushing & White gilt-copper and zinc “Dexter” horse, late Nineteenth Century, cast zinc head with full mane and tail, 47 inches long, that sold for $7,110 against a high estimate of $5,000; a molded copper cow, flattened full body with applied horn, ears and harness, late Nineteenth to early Twentieth Century, 33 inches long, $9,480, just over a high estimate of $8,000; a molded gilt-copper ram, same period, flattened full body with applied molded sheet copper horns, all-over hammered texture, weathered surface, selling for $7,703, just over high estimate, and a painted and gilt-copper automobile, American, Twentieth Century, full body with copper rotating wheels and a spare mounted to the side, 181/8 inches high, 10¼ inches wide and 24¼ inches long, also selling for just over high estimate at $5,036.
Among the tall case clocks was a Federal carved mahogany and mahogany veneer and bird’s-eye maple inlaid example from southeastern Massachusetts, circa 1805‱815, the painted dial with moon’s age in the arch and a ship flying an American flag, refinished, estimated at $6/8,000, that sold for $10,665.
Several Grenfell pictorial hooked rugs were in the sale, including one with Arctic sailing vessels with icebergs and a distant lighthouse, early Twentieth Century, composed of cotton, silk and rayon jersey strips, 26 by 39 inches, that sold over the high estimate of $1,200 at $3,911. A paint decorated dower chest, Pennsylvania, late Eighteenth Century, the top and front panels with arrangements of flowers and urns, two leaf decorated half-drawers on bracket feet, measuring 25 inches high, 48 inches wide and 21 inches deep, sold for $4,444. Four Sheaff family portraits, American School, Nineteenth Century, unsigned, the subjects identified in inscriptions applied to or written on the backing panels, with a high estimate of $500, sold for $3,555. Watercolor on paper, the first pair of portraits, painted circa 1838, are in matching period walnut frames measuring 10¾ by 9 inches. The next is a pair of portrait miniatures, 3 by 2¼ inches sight in a single gilt-gesso frame.
The last lot to sell, lot 1403, was a gilt-gesso split-baluster mirror, New England, circa 1830, the eglomise tablet depicting a basket of fruit, 29½ inches high and 14¾ inches wide. It went a hair over high estimate, selling for $356. The last three lots did not sell.
For information on future Skinner sales, both in Boston and in Marlborough, www.skinnerinc.com , 508-970-3000 or 617-350-5400.
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