Published: October 23, 2012
Paintings with a local flavor led the way on October 15 at Bonhams’ 92 percent-sold, single-owner sale of furniture and decorative arts, paintings and maritime works of art from a New England collection at the Frank Jones Center.
“We were very pleased to be back in New England for this sale,” Malcolm Barber, group chief executive officer for Bonhams, said, adding, “We were happy to see some of our old clients and meet some new ones.” He mentioned that the last time Bonhams was at the Frank Jones Center was for the sale of the William Guthman collection in October 2006, which was run in conjunction with Ron Bourgeault of Northeast Auctions. Five hundred lots were in this most recent sale, grossing just shy of $1 million, including the buyer’s premium.
The top lot of the sale, which brought $48,750, was “Seascape” by Newell Convers Wyeth. Before the auction, there was much discussion as to whether the rocky coast depicted in the piece was from Maine or the Isle of Shoals.
In keeping with the same theme, a small coastal scene by William Formby Halsall was the subject of a protracted bidding war, which hammered down at $6,500, against an estimate of $1/1,500. Again, speculation as to the location of the view was a topic of the day.
Other paintings of note included “Along the Coast,” a large seascape by Frederick Judd Waugh, which sold for $20,000; Andrew Winter’s “Burnt Head,” an oil on panel, fetching $9,375; William Formby Halsall’s “Seascape with Lighthouse,” an oil on canvas, bringing $8,125; and Emile Gruppe’s “Harbor,” an oil on canvas that went out $6,875.
The auction sailed along with a strong selection of maritime works. Highlights from the section included a shipbuilders” model of the passenger ship SS Sicilia for the P&O Line by Barclay Curle & Co., of Glasgow, circa 1900, $18,750; a shipbuilders’ model of the SS . LanFranc , the Booth Steamship Co., Scottish, circa 1906, $16,250; Anthony D. Blake’s “Fair Wind to Victory,” an oil on canvas, $16,250; a carved and polychromed stern board depicting a spreadwing eagle holding an American shield, $10,625; and the American School painting “The American ship William Jarvis headed out to sea,” $10,000 †more than twice its $4,000 high estimate.
Maritime highlights also included Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen’s “The SS Ponce at sea,” an oil on board, $9,375; a mirrored back presentation half model of the steam yacht Lyndonia , American, Twentieth Century, $6,250; a pair of Soviet navy surplus deck-mounted binoculars, circa 1970, $6,875; Anton Otto Fischer’s “To the Rescue,” $5,625; and the diorama “Taking on a Pilot” by Kenneth Britten, depicting the whaler Charles W. Morgan , $4,125.
Gregg Dietrich, the specialist for the maritime section of the sale, stated: “We are extremely pleased with the result of the maritime section of the sale. There was buying from both the trade and private buyers, with interest in all aspects of the market, whether ship models, paintings, collectibles or instruments showing strong interest in this collecting niche.” He added, “We are looking forward to our next two sales †books and manuscripts, with a section on Titanic material, slated for Tuesday, December 4, and our annual maritime paintings and decorative arts slated for Friday, January 25.”
A great selection of lamps lit up the sale’s top ten, led by two first-quarter Twentieth Century Tiffany Studios Turtleback tile Favrile glass and patinated bronze geometric table lamps, which fetched $27,500 and $21,250, respectively, and a first-quarter Twentieth Century Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and Suess patinated bronze geometric table lamp, which brought $27,500.
Additional shining highlights, most from the first quarter of the Twentieth Century, included a Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and patinated bronze geometric table lamp, $13,125; a Duffner and Kimberly and Handel leaded glass and patinated metal Banded Trumpet Vine floor lamp, $10,625; a Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and patinated bronze amber geometric table lamp, $10,000; a Handel reverse painted glass and patinated metal San Marco table lamp, $10,000; and a Tiffany Studios gilt-bronze Venetian table lamp base, $9,375.
Strong prices in this sale reflected the collector’s eye for good quality and condition in his diverse collecting, which included varied examples of Americana and decorative arts. Examples included six English glazed earthenware character jugs at $8,750; six late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century painted wood barber poles and an electric barber pole of the midate Twentieth Century bringing $7,500; nine Twentieth Century carved eagle wall plaques that garnered $6,000.
Also, a George V sterling silver six-piece tea and coffee service and a similar George V sterling silver two-handled tray making $5,375; a late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century carved, parcel-gilt and painted eagle and banner plaque, $5,250; ten Twentieth Century carved, painted and parcel-gilt wooden eagle wall plaques, $5,000; a first-quarter Twentieth Century unique art glass leaded glass and patinated metal Hibiscus table lamp, $5,000; and a Royal Doulton glazed earthenware large figure of a toreador and a charging bull realizing $3,125.
Rounding out the sale was a large group of political and presidential memorabilia for $6,875, and flags †a printed 36-star centennial flag with Lady Columbia, circa 1876, $10,625; a 37-star US flag, circa 1867‱877, $8,125; a 37-star Nebraska statehood flag, circa 1867‱876, $8,125; and a rare 34-star Civil War period flag of unusual elongated form, circa 1861‱863, changing hands at $7,500.
Many of the flags offered in this sale were originally from antiques dealer Jeff Bridgman of Dillsburg, Penn., who bid by phone, buying back eight of the 14 lots offered. “I was very happy to get these flags back,” Bridgman said, “including the 31-star California statehood flag, a rare 33-star Civil War flag, a 37-star Nebraska statehood flag and a 36-star centennial flag with Lady Columbia.”
This is the first of four auctions of this collection, and the name of the collector was not released by Bonhams, Antiques and the Arts Weekly has learned the name of the consignor, but has decided to respect the wishes of Bonhams and will not name the collector at this time.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.bonhams.com or 415-503-3348.
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