Thomaston auction house summer sale results buck trends

Sep 04, 2014
Circa 1890-1910 Sioux beaded pictorial deer skin vest that attracted strong bidder interest and a resulting high selling price.

Thomaston — Strong results at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ Summer Fine Art and Antiques Auction Aug. 23-24 helped close Maine’s unofficial antiques week with a bang.

In spite of the great weather, bidders packed the gallery, and participation by telephone, absentee and internet bidders hit record levels for this auction.

“The action we saw at this sale was extremely encouraging across all categories, even in furniture. It was wonderful to see aggressive competition for many of the great items we offered," said Owner and Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux.

A rare Native American treaty from upstate New York, the Canajorie Patent Treaty between settlers and the Mohawk tribes dated May 27, 1766, generated strong bidder interest. After a heated battle among multiple bidders, it achieved a selling price of $57,500.

When a circa 1890-1910 Sioux beaded deer hide pictorial vest came to the block, bidders occupied every available phone line, with overflow on the absentee book and internet, Estimated at $5,000 to $10,000, spirited competition drove the selling price for this fine Native American masterwork to $34,500.

This auction included more than 260 paintings and drawings, ranging from Old Masters pieces to contemporary Maine works. There was exceptional bidder interest in a group of paintings from the Maine estate of author and socialite Brooke Astor. These included: “The Courting of a Hound," an oil on canvas work the John Frederick Herring, Sr. (UK, 1795-1865) that fetched $34,500; “A Story of the Sea," an oil on canvas painting by Alfred Wordsworth Thompson (NY/MD/NJ, 1840-1896) that brought $29,900; “Guardian of the Forest” by Heywood Hardy (UK, 1843-1933) that reached $26,450; “Colgate Gardens on the Hudson” by George Henry Smillie (NY/CA, 1840-1921) that achieved $17,250; and Jean Lurcat’s (NY/France, 1892-1966) oil on canvas abstract work of three flowering bulbs that also reached $17,250.

Several important marine paintings also attracted enthusiastic bidding. This group included “Rescue at Sea," a monumental oil on canvas work the Adolf Johannes Petrus Levolger (Netherlands, 1869-1952) that brought $26,450, a painting by Felix Francois Ziem (France, 1821-1911) depicting a large ship arriving at The Basin that sold for $18,400, and a portrait of the three-masted schooner “Jose Oliverri” by S.F.M. Badger (MA, 1873-1919) that reached $9,200.

Other high flying artwork included: “Cindy Sherman," a pair of 1995 silkscreens on canvas by Deborah Kass (NY, 1952 - ) that achieved $19,550; an unsigned painting depicting an idyllic mountain landscape with ruins attributed to Adam Pynacker (Netherlands, 1621-1673) that sold for $12,650; and a duck hunting watercolor entitled “A Good Set of Blacks” by Aiden Lassell Ripley (MA/NY, 1896-1969) that brought $12,075.

A group of early religious art also fared well in the sale. Top lot in this category was a French or Northern Italian late Gothic limestone figure of Mother Mary holding the Bible that rocketed past its $6,000 to $8,000 presale estimate and fetched $23,000. Other key results included: a French Romanesque stone bas relief portrait of an enthroned St. Peter that brought $13,800 (versus a presale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000), an 18th Century Asian bronze sculpture depicting Shiva, probably from the Mekong Delta region, that sold for $16,100, and a 16th or 17th Century Spanish bas relief carved wooden tabernacle of a Standing Madonna with Child that fetched $10,925.

Furniture appeared to enjoy a resurgence in interest, and several exceptionally fine pieces exceeded presale estimates and achieved strong prices, such as an 18th Century Boston Chippendale secretary-desk that reached $17,825, an 18th Century Chippendale oxbow front 4-drawer chest in figured mahogany that sold for $8050, and an early Italian carved walnut credenza that fetched $5,750.

Several other finely crafted items attracted frenzied bidding. These included a circa 1890 French gilded bronze mantel clock and garnitures with cloisonné decoration that brought $29,900; a 17-inch tall Meissen figure of Count Bruhl’s tailor astride a goat that sold for $16,100; an Art Deco period platinum, topaz, and diamond clip by Cartier that achieved $10,925; a Hermes Birkin handbag in Veau Courchevel leather that fetched $7,475; and a necklace composed of 20 Japanese carved bone ojime beads that reached $6,325.

A complete list of auction results can be found at thomastonauction.com. The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries fine art and antique feature auction will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 8-9.

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