Bang Up Summer Auction at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Rare mid-19th Century painted leather parade fire helmet that brought $99,450, a world record price for a presentation fire helmet.

THOMASTON, ME: Each year, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ August auction is eagerly anticipated as a great source of important, newly discovered fine art and rarities.  The sale on August 23, 24 & 25 did not disappoint and delivered outstanding results.  Diverse collections of fine art, folk art, rare firefighting memorabilia and nautical artifacts generated strong participation from over 200 in-house, over 300 phone/absentee, and over 1,000 online bidders from across the United States and over 30 countries.

Thomaston Place Auctioneer and President Kaja Veilleux said: “Three days at the podium is strenuous work, but the aggressive bidding kept me going throughout the sale.  We saw amazing activity from around the world, and best of all, there was lots of action among live, in-house bidders.”

Top lot was an important maritime painting by John Stobart (MA/FL, 1939- ), a depiction of New Orleans harbor in 1871, that brought $111,150. Other high flying paintings included Jasper Cropsey’s (NY, 1823-1900) 1864 oil on canvas work depicting the famous Pennsylvania Starrucca Viaduct that raised $81,900; and “La Femme a la Guitare, 1918”, a mixed media work by Henri Laurens (France, 1885-1954) that reached $51,000.

Within the extensive fine art category, a large selection of Maine paintings and sculpture was particularly well received by bidders.  Standout performers from this group included: “Birchwood”, an ink and watercolor painting by Andrew Wyeth (PA/ME, 1917-2009), that sold for $52,650; an alabaster sculpture by Robert Laurent (ME/NY, 1890-1970) depicting a kneeling woman that finished at $25,740; and “Marin Island, No. 1, Small Point, Maine”, a watercolor by John Marin (NY/ME/NJ/France, 1870-1953), that brought $24,000.

A collection of firefighting memorabilia was led by an 1851 Boston painted leather helmet with engraved presentation and topped by a figure of a greyhound.  Chased by a large contingent of phone, internet and absentee bidders, this piece brought a final price of $99,450.

Among the furniture offerings was an exceptionally fine George III period Irish carved walnut hall table that reached $81,900, an important mahogany Art Nouveau boudoir desk by Tiffany Studios designed for Sarah Hanley of Oyster Bay, NY that sold for $13,200, and a 19th Century Anglo-Indian center table with bird carvings that fetched $8,775.

A single owner cannon collection was also featured in the sale. Many pieces generated aggressive bidding, resulting in a combined result of $35,188 for the group.

The folk art category featured an American Indian archer form gilt copper weathervane, attributed to J.L. Mott Iron Works that quickly exceeded its $10,000 to $20,000 estimate and ended at $33,930.  Other high flying folk art lots included a Federal period carved pine eagle and shield wall plaque, probably from a meeting house, that reached $11,700; a handcrafted life-size wooden sculpture of Neptune and a mermaid on a motorcycle from the Maine State Prison Workshops that sold for $11,700; and a Lanier Meaders southern stoneware rock tooth face jug that achieved $7,605.

Four items from the Asian collection also created frenzied bidding – a 19th Century Thai gilded niello compote that brought $15,210; an early Burmese bronze head of Buddha Cakyamuni that fetched $15,210; a pair of Chinese Qing dynasty blue and white porcelain bowls with Daoguang seal mark that reached $14,040; and a group of three Chinese gourd cricket cages that sold for $7,020.

Other hotly contested items included: a rare Seraband Persian rug, with memorial inscription in recognition of the Near East Relief Orphanage in Ghazir, Syria (established in 1915 to protect victims of the Armenian Genocide) that brought $12,000; a gent’s stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual wristwatch that fetched $11,400; and a Regency English tall case clock, marked John Hamers, London, with marquetry inlay that reached $9,360.

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 November 9 & 10, 2019.

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is Northern New England’s premier auction and appraisal company located on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston.  Thomaston Place is a leader in discovering antique and fine art treasures: 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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