Asian Masterworks & Fine Art Drive Record Thomaston Place Summer Auction Results

17th Century blanc de chine porcelain seated Guanyin figure with seal of potter He Chaozong that brought $760,500 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries' summer auction on August 25 & 26

THOMASTON, ME: Sales at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ summer auction on August 25 & 26 totaled over $4.6 million, the highest auction result to date for the Company.  The catalog of important fine art, Asian artifacts, antiquities and decorative antiques attracted bidders from around the world, creating a packed house, huge numbers of phone and absentee bids, and three online platforms that were active throughout the sale.

Thomaston Place Auctioneer and President Kaja Veilleux noted:  “This sale exceeded all of our ingoing expectations and netted many happy clients – both buyers and sellers. We were ecstatic about the interest in the art and Asian items, and we were also very happy with results across most of the other categories.”

The two top lots were Chinese early Qing Dynasty figures -- a 17th Century blanc de chine porcelain seated figure depicting Guanyin, goddess of compassion, with the seal of potter He Chaozong, that finished at $760,500 after frenzied bidding from live, absentee participants and 10 telephones; and a bronze kylin set with semi-precious stones that sold for $643,500 after a fierce floor and 11-way telephone battle.

The amazing fine art collection also attracted strong international attention.  From the Estate of Arthur and Ruth Sokoloff came 7 paintings by Milton Avery that brought a combined $428,220.  These were led by “Eight Birds Resting”, an oil painting depicting sea birds that fetched $163,800. “Owl”, an oil on canvas work created in 1953, sold for $140,000.

A large oil on canvas painting depicting an English churchyard by Jasper Cropsey titled “Gray’s Elegy at Stokes Poges, Kent”, after the 1851 poem by poet Thomas Gray (1716-1771), achieved $175,500; and a contemporary sculpture by German 20th Century artist Ewald Wilhelm Matare, “Grasende Kuh I” (Grazing Cow I), sold for $63,180.

The sale presented three paintings by Andrew Wyeth and one work by his son, Jamie. An early Andrew Wyeth mixed media study of the Olson House that was gifted to Christina and her brother Alvaro Olson by the artist, sold for $87,750, and an original watercolor remarque depicting the Olson House from an art folio book of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings achieved $7,897.  Jamie Wyeth’s oil on linen painting titled “Fog” sold for $199,500.

Paintings by Maurice Utrillo, Edouard Cortes, Wolf Kahn, Heywood Hardy, Arthur Garfield Dove, Luigi Lucioni, Waldo Peirce, John Frederick Kensett, and Claude Venard also generated very strong competitive bidding, and finished with results above pre-sale estimates.

An Imperial Roman Period (c. 50-100 AD) carved Carrara marble head depicting a crowned Diana, from the Estate of Arthur and Ruth Sokoloff, rocketed past its presale estimate of $25,000-35,000 and sold for $70,200, and a 15th Century Italian egg tempura on cradled panel painting by “The Master of Apollo and Daphne” achieved a selling price of $30,420.

The Sokoloff estate provided many other high flying Asian lots, such as: a monumental Japanese Meiji period cloisonné charger depicting a flying crane that flew above its $1,800-2,400 pre-sale estimate and brought $42,000; a very large pair of Chinese famille verte porcelain square floor vases that fetched $27,000; an early Chinese cinnabar stacking box that sold for $24,000; an 18th-19th c. Tibetan Buddhist bronze figure of the enthroned Bodhisattva Avolokitesvara that reached $19,890.

Other hotly contested sale items included a ladies Cartier 18K gold and diamond tank style watch that brought $15,600; a fine early 20th Century Isfahan prayer rug that sold for $12,000; a small Ben Austrian oil painting depicting a chick in a child’s shoe that fetched $10,200; a logbook of the USN steam frigate “Minnesota”, charting Hong Kong to Singapore in 1857 that reached $8,190; and a 216-piece set of Reed & Barton sterling flatware in the Richelieu pattern that sold for $7,605.  The auction included a large collection of contemporary Maine art which also attracted enthusiastic bidding and strong results.

A complete list of auction results can be found at  The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries fine art and antique feature auction will take place on the second weekend of November 2018.

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is coastal Maine’s premier auction and appraisal company located on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston.  Thomaston Place is a leader in discovering Maine’s antique and fine art treasures by offering Free Appraisals each Tuesday at the Gallery, creating fundraiser events for civic and charitable organizations, providing house call appraisal services, and creating new selling strategies to serve the changing needs of consignors and buyers.  Their expertise in researching and marketing antiques and fine art has earned Thomaston Place the respect of buyers, collectors and experts worldwide.


NOTE:  All prices include buyer’s premium.

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