Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ July 18 & 19 Sale Attracts a Bounty of Bidders

This 18th Century British reverse glass painting, after a work by Mather Brown (UK/MA, 1761-1831), was the auction's top lot, selling to an internet buyer for $84,000.

THOMASTON, ME:  Thomaston Place Auction Galleries launched their 2020 summer season on July 18 & 19 with a “virtual” sale, titled “Summer’s Bounty I”, that generated worldwide bidder participation and strong results.  Grossing just under $1.5 million, the auction attracted 531 phone and absentee bids, and over 3,000 online participants in the US and 23 countries.

Thomaston Place Auctioneer and President Kaja Veilleux said: “With the elimination of in-house bidding, we went into this sale with great apprehension. The great results, however, suggest that our patrons will follow us, regardless of bidding format. I believe the preservation of these objects continues to be as important to them as it is to us.”

The sale’s top lot was a rare British late 18th Century reverse glass painting, after a work by Mather Brown (UK/MA, 1761-1831), depicting the delivery of two hostage sons of Indian ruler Tipu Sultan to Lord Cornwallis, as part of the peace agreement ending the Third Anglo-Mysore War between the East India Company and Kingdom of Mysore in 1792. Captioned “To the Honourable East India Company” and with its original frame, the plate brought $84,000 after a sustained battle between two online bidders.

Two works by pop artist Keith Haring (NY/PA, 1958-1990) attracted strong interest. A 1988 untitled ink drawing on cardstock with estate stamp brought $42,000, and a signed and dated work from 1988 raised $27,000.  Another contemporary work, a photo on linen diptych titled “B 16/17, 1983” by Gerd Bonfert (Romania, 1953- ) fetched $9,000 after enthusiastic bidding quickly pushed it past its $2,000 to $3,500 pre-sale estimate.

Other strong performers in the fine art category included: a charming beach scene painting of a little girl with toy sailboat by Josef Israels (Netherlands, 1824-1911) that reached $21,000; Frank Shapleigh’s (NH, 1842-1906) painting titled “Mt. Chocorua from Old Barn, Eaton, NH” that raised $11,115; “Afternoon in May”, a lovely California landscape watercolor by Gene Kloss (NM/CA, 1903-1996) that brought $7,200; and a Monhegan coastal scene watercolor by Samuel Peter Rolt Triscott (ME/MA, 1846-1925) with a pre-sale estimate of $800 to $1,200 that sparked competitive bidding and ended at $5,700.

Several lots in the sculpture category also attracted very strong interest, such as: a full-length Roman marble statue of  Asclepius, god of medicine and health, that reached $23,400; “First Light” a detailed bronze depiction of beehive on an oak branch by William Andre Harvey (DE/FL/France, 1941-2018) that brought $9,945; and an abstract articulated steel mobile sculpture by contemporary San Francisco sculptor John Tyler that raised $9,360.

The auction presented several lots of John James Audubon (NY/France, 1785-1851) images that were well received by bidders, including: the final 8-volume Octavo edition of  “The Birds of America” with 500 hand colored plates that sold for $21,060; the first 3-volume Octavo edition of “The Quadrupeds of America” with 150 hand colored plates that brought $9,945; plus two plates from the Imperial Bowen Edition of “Quadrupeds of North America” (1845) that exceeded their pre-sale estimates and raised $5,400 and $4,680.

From the Asian group, an extremely rare pair of Chinese ornately carved demilune console tables brought $23,400 (versus a pre-sale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000), an early bronze depiction of Guanyin with the baby Buddha that reached $7,800, and set of 8 Chinese porcelain plates with David Rockefeller estate provenance shattered their $800 to $1,200 estimate and sold for $6,435.

There was strong interest in the group of ship models in the sale. Top performers were a cased model of the steam/sail yacht “Harvard” brought $6,000, and a cased half model of British merchantman ship “S.S. Dundee” achieved $5,700.

Other hotly contested items included: a circa 1920 outside row “jumper” carousel horse by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company that sold for $11,400; a 19th Century full-body cow weathervane, possibly by J.W. Fiske, that raised $10,800; a Rene Lalique (1860-1945) ‘Longchamp A’ car mascot that brought $8,400; and a Federal inlaid mahogany bowfront chest of drawers that reached $7,200.

A complete list of auction results can be found at  The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries fine art and antique feature auction, Summer’s Bounty II will take place on August 29 & 30.

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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