Review by Z.G. Burnett, Images Courtesy Keene Auctions
KEENE, N.H. — Keene Auctions’ first sale of the year took place on April 29, opening the season with its Spring Americana Auction. The catalog consisted of about 400 lots assembled from several New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts estates, as well as items from a local historical society. The items ranged from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries, including formal and country furnishings, early folk art, bottles and glass, ceramics and pottery, rugs and more from this period.
The highest price achieved also had the tallest height measurement, a tall mahogany case clock made in the late Eighteenth or early Nineteenth Century by John Osgood (1770-1840) that achieved $3,750. Osgood was born, trained and worked as a silversmith and clockmaker in Andover, Mass., and settled in Haverhill, N.H., after marrying Sarah Porter of that town in 1797. He was later appointed the sealer of weights and measures, town clerk and treasurer. The clock was an ornate example of Osgood’s work; the face was painted with flowers and a bullfinch, also displaying the maker’s name, and the bonnet showed full-reeded columns with three brass finials. An “old” label inside the case traced its line of descent from Alfred Bernard, Keene, N.H., to Dawn Bernard of Dorchester, N.H., and the clock was consigned from the aforementioned historical society. Another timepiece that sold third in the auction for $1,250 was an English bracket clock by Edward Funnell (Brighton, 1822-1889).
Two lots followed in price and tied at $1,063. First in the catalog was an Eighteenth Century sampler made in Hampstead, England, by Mary Chambers (b 1779). The needlework showed a large central house and chapel, a stone bridge and various flora and fauna of the countryside. The second at this price was a late Nineteenth Century Shepard Racer bicycle with a Spalding cyclometer gauge attached to its front wheel spokes. It had a metal frame, wooden handlebars and rims, cork handles in addition to its original paint.
There was also a selection of Asian art offered in the auction. A monumental satsuma palace covered urn from the Nineteenth Century closed at $1,063; it showed a hairline crack on the top rim and a chip on one of the claws but nonetheless made an impression on bidders. An unusual lot was a carved ivory doctor’s doll, probably late Ming dynasty (1368-1644), that was used for women to modestly show doctors where they were afflicted without removing their clothing. The doll was in fair condition for her age and sold for $875.
Early glass was represented with a collection consigned to Keene. The most successful piece was a New England golden amber blown glass bottle with a sheared rolled lip and pontilled base; despite some imperfections, it achieved $1,000. Following this in price was a golden honey amber embossed bitters bottle from St Drake’s from 1860, which was bid to $875.
Other highlights from the auction included a gallon stoneware advertising jug with the single leaf of Taylor & Noyes, Brattleboro, Vt., that collected $938, an Abendroth Bros cast iron salesman’s sample stove for $875, a room-sized Serapi carpet for $813 and a figural painted cast iron doorstop in the shape of the Nichols House of Beacon Hill in Boston, which was bid to $688.
Prices quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, 603-352-2313 or www.facebook.com/keeneauctions.