Published: July 19, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Main Street Auctions & Estate Liquidators
WOODBURY, CONN. – Art Pappas of Main Street Auctions & Estate Liquidators offered up the contents of home and shop of a longtime Woodbury antiques dealer on July 10, including early American antiques, decorative arts, fine art, folk art and more. “Only about four or five items did not sell at the auction,” said Pappas afterwards, “and I’m getting postsale interest on those.” A rare Seventeenth Century Brewster chair in old finish with a wooden plank seat presided, winning a top bid of $8,750 from an art dealer, who had come East from Colorado. “I delivered it at Brimfield,” said Pappas. “He was very excited.” The throne-like chair featured strong turning and spindles and its dimensions were 48 by 23 by 18 inches.
Why is that style called a Brewster chair? The story goes that in the 1620s, soon after the Pilgrims landed from England, cabinetmaker John Alden made a chair for William Brewster, a passenger on the Mayflower and the ruling Elder of the Pilgrim Church. The chair was made of ash and designed to resemble a throne – appropriate for a man of Brewster’s importance. After Brewster died in 1644, a second chair was made. Brewster’s chair has survived and is on display in Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Mass. The second chair was discovered in the early 1900s by Wallace Nutting and is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Pappas said a surprise in the lineup was a round multilevel box in paint, both ingenious and folky, with an unusual locking system that enticed bidders to ignore $300/500 estimate and take it to $6,000. In original green, red, brown and white paints, with ring levels that decrease in size from the base up, the unusual box had a height of 6 inches and diameter of 7 inches.
A notable jewelry highlight came in the form of an 18K gold bracelet with five Etruscan Revival charms, which realized $3,750. In high polished with intricate twist, the bracelet’s attached charms boasted wirework, turquoise, amethyst and carnelian gemstones. Its largest link was 1¼ by 1 inches and total weight was 85 grams.
Kids would surely swarm to a folky show presented by a portable circus – the “Big Top, The Kunst Circus.” This handmade, portable circus display had three rings with moving parts. The show includes the ring master, an elephant act and a bear/seal balancing act. Opening to 31½ by 69 by 36 inches, the artful display sold for $3,500 against an $800-$1,200 estimate.
More period furniture performed well in this sale. Six Connecticut fan-back Windsor chairs in original green paint, two with monochrome yellow over the original green paint and all with nice turnings in backs and legs were bid to $3,250.
Fetching a bit less, $3,000, was a Chippendale highboy with fluted stocking feet, fluted pilasters with lamb’s tongue chamfering and early, possibly original brasses. With bottom case 39 inches wide, the case piece was 74.4 inches high.
Also, a William and Mary stretcher-base tavern table with an oval top found favor and a buyer for $3,438, surpassing its $400/600 estimate. The 22-by-32-by-26-inch table had a scrub top and old finish on the base.
The stylized beatific expression on a folky white marble lion statue with carved base enticed bidders to take it beyond the $50-$100 expectation to a sold price of $2,500. Reclining its carved base, the sculpture was 7 by 11½ by 4½ inches.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, 203-233-1736.
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