THOMASTON, ME: An incredibly diverse selection of art fueled enthusiastic bidding at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ August sale, resulting in over $2.8 million in auction revenue.
Owner and Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux said: “It was one of our most successful auctions ever. We saw strong results across the board, but the art was the biggest driver of the sale. This demonstrates the powerful appeal of well executed paintings, sculpture, and folk art pieces, regardless of their age or style.”
Leading the sale was a beautiful oil on canvas work by Rockwell Kent (NY, 1882-1971), ‘West Greenland Landscape, 1929’, that brought $172,500 after a heated battle between telephone and floor bidders.
There was applause from the auction floor when a 15th Century Italian Carrera marble bas relief plaque of the Madonna and Child, attributed to Tino di Camaino, surpassed its $10,000 to $15,000 presale estimate and brought $109,250.
The crowd was awed again when next lot, an 1889 oil on panel study from a private New York collection entitled ‘Contessa de Luesse nata Berthier’ by Giovanni Boldini (IT/FR, 1842-1931), rocketed past its $20,000 to $30,000 estimate and sold for $126,500.
New England art was a major focus of the sale, and a watercolor/gouache work by Francis Augustus Silva (NY, 1835-1886), ‘Brace Rock, Cape Ann, Mass.’ attracted strong interest and a final bid of $66,125. This painting was created in 1876 and was shown in the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park between May and November 1876.
Other high performing artwork included: ‘Where the Grass Grows Green’, a 1949 oil on canvas painting by Midwestern painter Dale William Nichols (IL/NE, 1904-1995) that fetched $47,150; ‘Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?’, a suite of five copper panels with silver cloisonné and enamel by renowned enameller Margaret Seeler (1909-1996), created in memory of World War II victims and the betrayal of her native Germany by the Nazis, that brought $34,500; an oil on canvas Italian capriccio painting of figures in a classical ruin, attributed to Jean Francois Millet I (Flemish, 1642-1679), that sold for $31,050; an oil on canvas painting, ‘A Misty Morning – The Mosque Santa Sophia & Golden Horn, Constantinople’, by Paul H. Ellis, 1889 (UK, fluent 1882-1908), that reached $31,050; and a painted plaster sculpture, ‘The Muse of Music’, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and sculpted by Alfonso Ianelli (IL/CA, 1888-1965) that generated $9,775.
Several important pieces of folk art inspired passionate bidding that led to sales prices well above presale estimates. These included an important 19th Century full-body codfish weathervane with outstanding untouched patina from the top of the Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport, ME that sold for $31,050 and a 19th Century ship’s figurehead depicting a bawdy head of a woman with top hat, feather plumes, long black hair and exposed breasts that brought $28,750. A medieval French ivory figure of St. Peter with polychrome decoration sold for $18,400, shattering its $1,000 to $1,500 presale estimate, and a 19th Century amber sculpture bust depicting a Maori chieftain, possibly Chief Tumai Tawhiti, reached $13,800.
Other finely crafted items that drew strong bidder interest were a dark green Chinese jade king seal with Qianlong 6-character mark and double-headed dragon form handle that sold for $27,600; a Rookwood large vellum glaze vase decorated by A. R. Valentien with carved rooks on a branch that brought $25,875; an 18K gold pocket watch by Patek Philippe that achieved $24,150; and a circa 1910 Russian cloisonné enameled silver serving spoon made for Faberge by Fedor Ruckert that fetched $17,250.
A complete list of auction results can be found at www.thomastonauction.com. The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries sale will take place on November 9 & 10, 2013.
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.