Published: March 27, 2001
WELLESLEY, MASS. – Despite the falling economy, prices realized at the most recent annual winter sale at Downer Auctioneers were consistent with previous events, according to the gallery. The weather bode well and the crowd was “enthusiastic” in its bidding on the more than 400 lots sold in less than five hours. Over 96 percent of the rdf_Descriptions found buyers for a total just short of $500,000.
The auction featured the partial contents of a prominent Brookline, Mass home. The mansion contained clocks, bronzes, silver, and furniture in excellent condition. Highlighting the clock section of the sale was a Webster of London bracket clock that bore elaborate mermaid and putti brass décor in high relief throughout. Standing 22-inches tall, the clock was purchased by a collector for $9,800.
A revolving French enameled brass lighthouse clock with nautical motif and a floating compass took in $5,050 and was purchased by a prominent clock dealer.
Another interesting clock lot, a Simon Willard style mahogany lighthouse clock, was made during this century by a local clock maker named Conlon. It was purchased by the Willard Museum of Grafton, Mass. The acquisition will allow patrons to have access to a model of a working Willard lighthouse clock, which are extremely rare. The price was $7,650.
Unique silver lots brought strong dealer bidding. An unusual Gorham Medallion five piece tea set realized $4,950 and an elaborately decorated English Victorian serving tray fetched $4,500. A large continental triangular tray, probably French with blown out floral and cherub design, also brought $4,500, selling to a dealer.
Fine art offerings were highlighted by a 16 by 20-inch William Lester Stevens oil “Motif #1,” Rockport, Mass. which sold for $7,000. Cape Ann artists continue to be in demand and the old finishing shack seems to be the quintessential subject matter. The painting contained an old label indicating it had been won in a raffle at a women’s club in Westborough, Mass. in 1937.
Local pastel artist Laura Hills of the famed Boston School was represented by a rendering of “Chiniensis and Lilies” in a Doll & Richards frame. It was hammered down at $8,800 and was sold to a New England collector.
A small bucolic landscape by New York artist Clinton Loveridge brought $5,850. A large, Italian Eighteenth Century oil by Pietro Barucci was purchased by a London dealer for $5,900 and an unusual double-sided ship portrait from a Milton, Mass. Home displaying a full rigged sailing ship and a China trade junk on the verso of the panel sold for $4,500.
Furniture and porcelain included a diminutive vitrine made by the famous Eighteenth Century French firm of cabinetmakers – Linke – selling for $9,000, while a set of Nineteenth Century large bronze andirons displaying voluptuous women was knocked down at $4,700. A pair of Royal Vienna covered urns with painted reserve panels sold for $4,700 and a Nineteenth Century Italian marble bust of a harem girl brought $2,350.
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