THOMASTON, ME: The February 6, 7 & 8 sale at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries brought strong, steady results across the three days, in spite of the record-breaking snow that blanketed midcoast Maine. Bidding, however, brought smiles to Thomaston Place staff and applause from live participants as it reached stratospheric levels for a circa 1900 Northwest Native American mask and a 19th Century redware pottery face jug,
The rare circa 1900 carved and polychrome painted Northwest mask was acquired in 1908 and descended through the consignor’s family. Most likely of Tlingit origin, it was in original, as-found condition with untouched surface patina. This piece attracted aggressive bidding from telephone and internet participants, and it blew past its $50,000 to $70,000 presale estimate and brought $112,100.
The unusual, mid-19th Century redware face jug with Albany slip glaze was consigned at a not-for-profit appraisal fundraiser event in Western Maine, and it came with details about its early ownership by a Morristown, New Jersey family and was inscribed with the date of October 5, 1844. This outstanding piece of American folk art ultimately fetched $21,275 after a frenzied bidding rally.
Owner and Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux said: “These results underscore the fact that if you have great stuff, people will find a way to bid on it – even in one of the toughest winters in history.”
Leading the art category was a lovely oil on canvas painting by Willard Leroy Metcalf (NY/MA, 1858-1925), “Grazing Sheep on the Coast of Maine, 1877”, that sold for $57,500. A marine painting depicting the Sloop Julia, New York Squadron Champion of the August 16, 1860 Regatta, attributed to Joseph B. Smith (NY/NJ, 1798-1876), brought $24,150. Other strong performers in the fine art category included: a circa 1835 full length folk art portrait of a young girl holding a floral wreath that fetched $17,250; an oil on canvas painting depicting chicks and cherry baskets by Susan Catherine Waters (NY/NJ, 1823-1900) that reached $9,487.50; a floral still life work by Danish artist Johan Laurentz Jensen (1800-1856) that brought $7,475; a large Hudson River landscape painting depicting a farm overlooking the river at sunset that sold for $6,900; and two Fernand Renard (France, 1912- ?) fruit still life paintings – one that brought $6,900 and the other, that sold for $5,750.
“Sunset, 1972”, a signed and numbered serigraph on paper by Andy Warhol (NY/PA, 1928-1987), wowed the crowd when it achieved $34,500, against a presale estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.
From the world of antiquities, a Mayan relief carved stone panel depicting a priest bearing a serpent sold for $20,060, and a 12th Century French Romanesque carved stone icon of St. Peter enthroned holding the key to heaven surpassed its $8,000 to $10,000 presale estimate and brought $17,250.
There was spirited bidding for a Tiffany counter balance desk lamp with swirled Favrile Damascene glass shade and bronze split arm base that ended at $11,500.
Other noteworthy lots included: a Gustav Young engraved 1851 Navy Colt revolver that sold for $10,620; a 1920s vintage 4-foot tall crystal chandelier with bronze armature that brought $7,475; and a Hudson Bay Native American coin silver gorget with 3 suspended crosses of Lorraine that achieved $7,187.50.
A strong performer among the furniture offerings was an English oak, circa 1680, intricately carved and paneled wedding chest that fetched $6,555. It should be noted, however, that most period furniture continues to be a bargain for collectors and home decorators.
A complete list of auction results can be found at www.thomastonauction.com. The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries fine art and antique feature auction will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 30 & 31, 2015.
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 using its unique Mobile Appraisal Laboratory, and providing house call appraisal services. Its 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 the 15% buyer’s premium.