Very little is known about The Wax Engraver, other than that he was bolder than most. The artist would make deep incisions in his scrimshawed teeth to create bold grounds of blue and red amid excellently rendered forms. And here we arrive at the pair of teeth from this artist approaching the block at Rafael Osona Auctions. According to nautical antiques dealer John Rinaldi, who coined the artist’s name, there are around ten examples from the artist known and within them at least three pairs. Naturally, the colors from this engraver can lead to a display of patriotism, but the Wax Engraver made sure to incise that designation, including eagles and colorful Federal shields flanked by flowing rows of American flags, all above the portrait of the ship Columbia, which is the only vessel name that Rinaldi has seen engraved on this artist’s works. The two present teeth are believed to have been created as a pair, said Rafael Osona, noting the opposing images of the ships and the eagles. “When you look at the shape of the teeth, they are from the same jaw, they are a pair of teeth,” he said. The pair was brought together by a collector who owned one and was fortunate enough to find the second after 30 years of searching. The teeth join other top lots from around the world in this week’s picks.
Sale Date: August 3, 2019
Pair of Patriotic Wax Engraver Scrimshawed Sperm Whale Teeth
Circa 1840, each engraved with a sun face tip above scales of Justice, above a saber through a wreath, above a flying eagle with banner over a central red and blue wax design of a Federal shield flanked by six American flags with tassels, cannons, ramrods, bayonets, axe, etc., all above a portrait of the ship Columbia with an American flag above its ¼ name plaque, flanked by leaf and berry vines traveling up the tooth; the reverse with an eagle in flight holding an American flag and laurel sprig, above a naval scene of American and British ships; one tooth bears a scrimshawed coat-of-arms on the side (possibly Masonic). The lighter tooth was reunited with the other after 30 years to the present owner.
Sale Date: July 31, 2019
Four Seasons Quilt By Jane Ann Bidwell
With profuse applique and broderie perse decoration, Mid-Atlantic states, likely New Jersey. Made by Jane Ann Bidwell (1799–1865), Jersey City, N.J., circa 1840.
Sale Date: August 1–2, 2019
Chippendale Card Table Attributed To John Townsend
Newport, Rhode Island, circa 1765. In mahogany and maple, rectangular top, skirt with crosshatch molding along lower edge, front legs with pierced corner brackets, fluted and stop-fluted legs. Height 28 inches.
Sale Date: August 1–3, 2019
Barry Smith Conan the Barbarian No. 11 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1971)
Created in ink over graphite on Bristol board, then trimmed to the (approximate) 9¾-by-10-inch image area and affixed on a World Color Bristol board.
Current Bid: $36,000
Sale Date: August 3, 2019
Connecticut Pine And Oak Carved Hadley Blanket Chest
The hinged top opening to a welled interior and a hinged box, above the carved foliate punchwork panels divided by ebonized split spindles, above one drawer simulating a pair of drawers, raised on block feet with later casters. With a paper label from the 1960s written by Margaret Fraser Daly, a descendant of Dr Joseph Lynde of Hartford, Conn. This piece has a history of descent available for view in the catalog.