Published: September 11, 2012
“We are on the run right now, gathering things that have been consigned for our next big sale, and we have a wonderful selection of objects that will be sold on November 3‵,” Kaja Veilleux, owner, appraiser and auctioneer, said shortly after selling 1,157 lots at his annual summer auction on August 25′6 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries. “We had a good crowd for that sale; Asian and jewelry went very well due to a good customer base, and the auction did $2.4 million, including the buyer’s premium,” he added.
After a brief explanation of the rules of the auction, Kaja Veilleux got things rolling and hammered down the first lot for $1,610, an early English tea caddy of fruitwood in the form of a pear. Measuring 6 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter, it was in fine condition and sold between estimate. All prices noted in this review include the buyer’s premium.
A chinoiserie dressing mirror with the original decorated surface and oval mirror, 29 inches tall, went for $2,760; a Maine country cupboard, two-door single piece in red casein paint with blue interior, two eight-light doors with old glass, 78 inches tall and 58¾ inches wide, circa 1840, realized $3,565; an original Massachusetts State House column capital designed by Charles Bulfinch, weathered surface, from the Marvin Sadik Collection, brought $3,450; and a French brass telescope with case and tripod, Nineteenth Century, marked Charles Chevalier, Palais National, very good condition, sold for $3,795.
A Nineteenth Century English campaign chest in mahogany, two parts, tooled leather writing surface, drop bail handles on the sides, sold for $1,955, while five models of small watercrafts by Winthrop Pratt Jr of Bath, Maine, all in good condition, went for $2,472. A watercolor and gouache by Andrew Newell Wyeth, unsigned, circa 1971, inscribed verso “Study by A. Wyeth” and “Given to Murph by Forie Wall,” matted in gilded frame, 12¾ by 9¾ inches sight, brought $11,500; a Chippendale tall chest in the original dry finish, New England, original brasses, 67½ inches high, in walnut, went for $6,900, and a oil on canvas by Aaron Draper Shattuck, unsigned, “Cliff Study †Granite Rocks of Maine,” 9 by 7 inches sight, in the original gilt cove frame with brass nametag, sold at $9,200.
A set of four Sheraton-form Indian silver dining chairs with ram’s head finials to rails, shaped splat, saber legs, the frames covered entirely in vine repoussed silver, red moire satin slip seats, among the lots from the Marvin Sadik Collection, brought $3,450, and an important Chinese palace vase in baluster form with flared and scalloped rolled rim top, 32 inches tall, fine condition, went just over high estimate selling for $4,312.
Also surpassing high estimates was an oil on copper Madonna and Child in mystic, symbolic landscape, Flemish, Sixteenth⁓eventeenth Century, with such odd details as an owl in a tree stump and a white lion curled at the Virgin’s feet, 12 by 9¾ inches sight, brought $10,350. There was a faint museum stamp on the back.
Dating from the Nineteenth Century was a Northeast Caucasus Kuba carpet with four octagonal medallions on a blue field with ivory serrated leaf and wine cup border, 4 feet 2 inches by 10 feet, that sold for $4,025; a large Chippendale-style partners’ desk in mahogany with leather top, relief applied set of three drawers on each side, 51-by-71-inch top, brought $4,600; “High Green Waters” by Ivan Constantinovich Aivazofsky, signed lower right, oil on board measuring 8 by 13¾ inches sight, fine condition, went for $8,050; and an Adams period demilune card table in rampant tiger maple, pinwheel inlaid top, tapered banded legs, very good condition, went over the $3,000 high estimate selling for $5,175.
More than doubling high estimates were a bronze hitching post finial, probably Italian, late Eighteenth to early Nineteenth Century, cast in three parts, possibly a Venetian Gondola post top, 9¼ inches tall, sold for $1,610, and a reticulated Chinese celadon jade offering bowl with Qianlong mark on the underside (1736‱795), slightly flared rim, 23/8 inches tall, 4½ inches in diameter, at $8,050.
A $1,500 high estimate was left behind when a Chinese jadeite belt buckle, two pieces, late Nineteenth Century, with reticulated dragons in the coral-colored surface over the pale green backing, the hook a dragon head, climbed to $7,050.
Also exceeding high estimates were a substantial Ming dynasty temple offering table with exaggerated scrolled legs having trifid feet, remnants of red lacquer, wonderful age patina, that sold for $5,290; a Qi Ba Shi ink scroll with seals, study of a rake, 50½ inches long, $5,175; and a solid gold Tiffany cup, circa 1905, engraved foot and rim decoration, 3½ inches tall, that realized $8,625. A Russian pastille box in Tula metal with gold and bronze appliqués in the French manner, circa 1800, 35/8 by 21/8 by 5/8 of an inch tall, more than doubled the high estimate of $3,500, selling for $10,350.
Among the art work in the auction was a color litho by Marc Chagall, “Captain Bryaxis’s Dream,” France, pencil signed and numbered 13/60, one of the special illustrations for “Daphnis and Chloe,” in gold and black molded frame, 16½ by 25¼ inches sight, finished at $18,400, and “Kakemono” by Alexander Calder, gouache, monogrammed and dated ’73, 28 by 13 sheet, fine condition, brought $29,900.
A rare custom made 18K yellow gold carved jade necklace with detachable jade and diamond drop pendant brooch, made by David Webb, stamped D. Webb, fine condition, sold for just over twice the high estimate at $20,700; an artist’s maquette, French, articulated figure of a woman, circa 1930, 18 inches tall with some paint smears, brought $977; and a double-sided British trade sign for Lloyds Bank, circa 1900, embossed and enameled copper, original hanging rings, 38 by 24 inches, made $920,
Among the book offerings were Oz and other books by Baum, 18 in all, with a high estimate of $1,200, selling for $3,450. The collection included two copies of The Wizard of Oz , each with a different cover, and The Road to Oz .
Six bird carvings/decoys by David B. Ward of Essex, Conn., all sandpipers ranging in size from 7 to 14 inches tall, plus one odd carving marked “TPC” in heavy paint, sold within estimate at $1,840, and six eider duck decoys, late Nineteenth to early Twentieth Century, two with articulated heads and wings, finished at $3,162, well above the $900 high estimate.
Several Navajo blankets were offered toward the end of the sale, including a serapi, 4 feet 6 inches by 6 feet 8 inches, 13 warps/inch, 52 wefts/inch, in red, black, white and dark blue, that sold for $6,900, and a wedge weave blanket, 4 feet 2 inches by 5 feet 5 inches, circa 1880‱890, for $6,325.
“This was not the largest crowd we have had at an auction, but we did have to add a couple of more rows of seats and we had some bidders standing at the sides of the gallery,” Kaja said. Looking ahead, he said, “Our next sale runs from Roman glass and ancient pottery to 1950s material, and we plan to sell at least 600 objects per day. There are lots of rare and interesting things coming and it will be a fun sale for me to do.”
Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is at 51 Atlantic Highway. For information, www.thomastonauction.com or 207-354-8141.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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