THOMASTON, Maine — During the fourth weekend of March, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries will present two important back-to-back specialty auctions. On March 23, over 675 lots of African and Oceanic tribal art will be sold; and on March 24, the focus will be on over 400 lots representing the life works of George Wachsteter (1911-2004), one of America’s most prominent caricaturists of the mid-20th Century.
The tribal art auction on March 23 will include many fine carvings, bronze sculptures, masks, ceremonial artifacts, and utilitarian items. Many of the sale items came from four important collections: The Museum of African Culture of Portland, ME, and the private collections of Tom Cavenaugh (artist, educator, and author), the late Gustavo Umpierre (author and professor), and Marvin Sadik (art historian and former director of The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC).
Wachsteter’s celebrity drawings were published in major newspapers and magazines from the 1930s to the 1960s. Most of the works included in the March 24 sale were discovered after his death in 2004 and archived for a 2008 gallery exhibition: “The Lost Drawings of George Wachsteter”.
Thomaston Place owner and auctioneer Kaja Veilleux said: “We are honored to have been chosen to present Wachsteter’s artwork to the market. This will be the one and only opportunity to acquire a piece of this fine collection and own a piece of entertainment history.”
Highlights include subjects familiar to theatrical, film and television fans, and there are drawings depicting a diverse array of well known personalities of the mid-20th Century. There are caricatures saluting journalists, such as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and Edward R. Murrow; performers, such as Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Rudy Vallee, Clark Gable, George Bernard Shaw, Will Rogers, Milton Berle, Maurice Chevalier, Ethel Waters, Judy Garland, Carol Burnett, Walt Disney, Boris Karloff, Steve Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, and Johnny Carson; and politicians, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Thomas Dewey.
The auctions will begin at 11:00 a.m. on each sale day. Complete catalogs, with detailed descriptions and photographs, are available, and all lots can be viewed at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ website, www.thomastonauction.com.
In addition to live bidding in the auction hall, Thomaston Place accepts bids via absentee, telephone, and on the internet (via www.artfact.com, www.invaluable.com and www.auctionzip.com). The buyer’s premium is 15%. Please call 1-207-354-8141 for more information, or to reserve seats in the auction hall.
The gallery will be open for previews from Wednesday, March 20 through Friday, March 22 (between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day) and from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24.
Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is 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. Their expertise in researching and marketing antiques and fine art has earned Thomaston Place the respect of buyers, collectors and experts worldwide.