January Auction ‘Floats All Boats’ at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
THOMASTON, ME: JFK’s often quoted aphorism ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ perfectly describes Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ blockbuster winter sale on January 28 & 29. Fervent bidding from floor, phone, and internet bidders led to strong prices for items in virtually all auction categories, even those that have experienced softness in recent years.
Thomaston Place Owner and Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux: “We could feel that this was going to be a very successful sale even as the first few items came to the block. There was passionate bidding for a great many lots, and a large number of live participants remained in the gallery throughout most of the sale.”
One of the auction’s strongest lots was a circa 1880 Italian Slate Top Game Table with micro-mosaic decoration of the landmarks of Rome, game board of marble samples, and outside border in semi-precious stone, set on highly decorative Aesthetic design red walnut base by R.J. Horner of NYC. After spirited competition, the table sold for $92,000.
Many outstanding fine art paintings and sculptures sold above presale expectations, such as: an oil on panel painting, still life of peaches in a Chinese bowl, by Gillis Jacobsz Hulsdonck (Flemish, 1626-c.1675) that sold for $97,750; a monumental bronze garden sculpture of a family of bears by Dan Ostermiller entitled “Tres Osos”, that brought $28,750; an oil on canvas painting of 'Clipper Ship Andrew Jackson' by Percy Sanborn (Maine, 1849-1929) that reached $20,125; and ‘Out for a Slide’, an oil on board painting by Grandma Moses that reached $12,650.
Mechanical devices also performed extremely well. A Patek Philippe miniature tortoiseshell and gold music box with mechanical bird attracted $40,250; a Swiss Six-Song Cylinder music box dated 1878 by Ami Rivenc & Co., Geneva, on matching stand brought $23,000; a circa 1925 Zeiss Jena Telescope Nr 9453 in bronze and brass with leather covering and adjustable tripod sold for $13,800; and a circa 1895 Swiss 10 Air cylinder music box by Jacot in original rosewood veneer case brought $13,800.
Asian treasures generated aggressive bidding. An eight panel Korean low painted screen brought $28,750 after a long rally between multiple internet bidders. Other high flying Asian items included: a 20th Century Chinese painted scroll of insects among flowers that sold for $20,125; a Chinese jade seal in 19th Century cloisonné box that sold for $37,950; and a 19th Century mother-of-pearl brass bound Korean safe box that achieved $6,900.
Important silver and gold items continue to attract interest. A pair of 1891 silver 3-stem cherub candelabra bearing the marks of Faberge brought $57,500; a German .800 silver charger by architect and designer silversmith Herbert Zeitner (1900-1988) achieved $11,500; a solid 18K gold circa 1905 cup by Tiffany & Co. reached $8,625; and a pair of 18th Century Dutch sterling silver cornucopia form repoussé altar candleholders sold for $6,325.
A group of fine lamps generated frenzied bidding. An Emile Galle signed art glass boudoir lamp with plum and crimson leaf forms over a white case glass shade and original Art Nouveau bronze stand brought $14,950. Two fairy lamps featuring Pate-de-Verre art glass shades by G. Argy-Rousseau set on custom cast iron bases performed extremely well, with one selling for $6,900 and the other bringing $6,670.
In addition to the mosaic table, furniture in general sold very well, such as: a Napoleon III era ebonized cabinet with hand painted porcelain panels, gilt ormolu mounts and white marble top that reached $9,200; a baby grand piano by Starr Piano Co. of Richmond, Indiana in a figured Honduran mahogany case that sold for $7,475; a Pennsylvania Chippendale Period chest in walnut with crotch figured drawer fronts that achieved $8,625; and a pair of circa 1860 Dutch marquetry inlaid window seats with boxwood floral inlay that brought $5,750.
Other interesting lots that generated outstanding sale prices were: an 18K yellow gold carved jade necklace with detachable jade and diamond drop pendant brooch custom made by David Webb that achieved $21,850; a vintage Louis Vuitton vertical wardrobe trunk that sold for $16,675; a 6'1" x 9'6" Persian figural silk rug in muted tones decorated with delicate floral sprays, hunters on horseback, animals, trees and birds that reached $14,950; a collection of circa 1875-85 hand colored albumen photos of Japanese landmarks, landscapes, shop interiors, temples and genre scenes that achieved $7,475; a collection of 506 cigarette cards by Mecca, Hassan, Dukes, Turkish Trophies, and others that brought $8,625; and two late 19th Century cast iron still banks, including Old North Church, that sold for $5,175.
A complete list of auction results can be found at www.thomastonauction.com. The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries sale will take place on April 14.
NOTE: All prices include the 15% buyer’s premium.