Published: August 7, 2007
“When I was in grammar school I was too shy to stand in front of the class and talk,” Dick Withington said during the inspection of his July 26 sale. “Today you can’t shut me up,” he added. And he’s right.
He was a constant flow of information and tidbits as he walked about the barn where several hundred objects to be sold were on inspection. “That was in my bedroom,” he said as he pointed his cane toward a Queen Anne highboy, then, pointing the cane in the opposite direction, “and that bowl was on top of it.”
For this sale Dick Withington selected 100 items from his house, some as large as a secretary and some as small as a child’s cup, each piece with a “Withington Collection” tag attached, to be the first lots sold. Dick, of course, did the selling and he insisted that “we will keep the prices down today, if we can.”
All prices quoted in the review, and in the photo captions, include the ten percent buyer’s premium charged by the gallery.
A silver tea service, four pieces, went for $1,540, a Hester Bateman coffee pot sold for $2,860, and a pair of lemon top brass andirons sold for a mere $220.
A rare Queen Anne foot stool with block and stretcher base, a bit soiled on the upholstered top, “from my feet,” Dick said, sold for $8,250, and a very nice Gonic redware jug, small chip in the rim, brought $1,980. A Samuel Pierce pewter deep dish brought $935, an unmarked pewter coffee pot sold for $330 and a flask, “Success to the Railroad,” went for $825. Another flask, green, Jackson and Washington, brought $660.
Two Bennington pieces were in the sale, a coachman bottle with pewter top, 1849 mark, $880, and a book flask, “Departed Spirits,” that went for $660. A rare Lacy Sandwich Glass compote had a bit of local history, as Dick mentioned the piece was bought by his mother for $25 years ago at a tag sale across the street. He saw a nice profit as it sold for $1,540.
The only sampler in the sale was executed by Mary Dechler, born 1815, June, and it sold for $3,960. It was bought by Joanie Rothstein of Woodstock, Vt., who said she loved the peaceful scene of plants, birds and a house. “It is full of life,” she said.
Dick had a few things to say after the 100th lot was sold, stressing, “We have had success because we run an honest business and never get mad. Besides that, I know what I am doing.” A longtime friend came forward and called Dick Withington a “New Hampshire treasure,” which brought the audience to its feet with a well-deserved round of applause.
“That’s a hard act to follow,” Marcia Leizure said as she took over the selling of the remaining lots, including a pair of decorated bellows in need of leather repair, $240; a dish-face clock, decorated case, $1,100; and a small Shaker sewing box, $300.
A nice wall cupboard with unpainted surface, two drawers and two cupboard doors with locking flap went for $742, and a pair of Shaker side chairs, Canterbury, replaced seats, #3, sold for $660 each. A Howard & Davis banjo clock from the Harpswell estate brought $6,820, while a large painting of ducks over a marsh by Harry Adamson sold for $17,600. A set of four Tiffany & Co. footed Peacock sandwich trays went for $6,600.
Withington Auction, Inc, will be back in the doll business with a sale on August 23 in Nashua, N.H., and will be back at the Withington Homestead on August 30 with a general sale.
“We have a nice general mix of things, 200 pieces of white ironstone and some carnival glass, in the next one,” Larry Leizure said. For information, 603-464-3232 or www.withingtonauction.com .
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