FAIRFIELD, Maine — James D. Julia’s annual August sale featured nearly 1,900 lots of fine and decorative arts, antiques, folk art, Asian articles, and historical artifacts. After the final hammer fell, 68 lots realized $10,000 or more, an additional 25 lots realized $25,000, three lots broke the six-figure mark, and total gross sales topped $5 million. Prices realized during the sale verify that American fine art continues to resonate with bidders.
Top lots included Edward Willis Redfield’s “River Decorations,” which realized $148,125; a pair of porcelain plaques by Wang Dafan that commanded $118,500 (more than six times the low estimate); and Fitz Henry Lane’s painting of New Bedford Harbor, which finished at $296,250.
Day one saw more than 600 lots of paintings and fine art selections, many featuring Maine artists and themes, come before bidders. Two works by Andrew Wyeth caught the attention of several buyers. Wyeth’s “River Greys” realized $66,953, and “By The Lower Dam” realized $79,988, nearly four times its low estimate.
Plus, Abbott Fuller Graves’ “A Hot Shoe” was another standout, standing tall at $41,475.
Julia’s is known as a leader with Rockport School paintings; during this sale, three Emile Albert Gruppe works were the stars in this category. They included “Gloucester Sunlit Cove-Rocky Neck,” which sold for $22,515; “Mending the Nets” commanded $20,145; and “Morning Gloucester,” which rose to $20,738.
This sale also featured a selection of paintings from the Pennsylvania New Hope as well as the Hudson River Valley schools. These included Kenneth Nunamaker’s “Plum Blossoms” ($23,700), and William Trost Richards’ “Crashing Waves” ($24,885).
Other American fine art works celebrating the great outdoors included Howard A. Terpning’s “Spring Came Early,” realizing $94,800 and Frederic Remington’s “Trail Riders,” which soared to $23,108.
The second day also saw American and European antiques, furniture, historical items, and nautical paintings. Robert Salmon’s “Outward Bound, Long Island Head, Boston Harbor” was a headliner, changing hands for $82,950.
Three of James Buttersworth’s works were standouts. These included “A Three Decker Off Dover Castle With Shakespeare Cliff In The Distance,” “Dover Passage,” and “Yachting In New York Harbor”; they realized $37,920, $47,400, and $41,475, respectively.
Functional and decorative antiques
Wooden decorative and functional items hammered their way to the top of this event as well. A Federal inlaid mahogany tall case clock by Aaron Willard went to a new owner for $29,625.
A fine and important tobacconist figure of an Indian maiden — attributed to Samuel Robb — more than doubled its low estimate to finish at $94,800; while 16 silhouette carved wood and painted shorebird decoys splintered their $1,000 to $1,500 auction estimate, selling for $90,060.
Folk art and weathervanes were other important categories represented on the second day of the sale. A large and rarely seen cast-iron Rochester horse weathervane galloped away for $20,145.
Meanwhile, a folk art portrait of a young boy, attributed to the mid-19th century Prior/Hamblin School, went to the head of the class at $21,330 — more than four times its low estimate.
Asian decorative arts
The final day of Julia’s annual summer auction saw an array of contemporary decorative arts and unusual offerings, including more than 250 lots of art from Japan and China.
Particularly eye catching highlights include two bronzes: a sculpture By Li Chen that realized $38,513, and a statue of a seated figure that sold for $15,998.
A Ming Dynasty-era cloisonné basin, estimated at $6,000 to $8,000, realized $26,663, while a Qing Dynasty-era green jade bowl, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000, realized $31,995.
The sale’s selection of Asian furniture also struck a chord with bidders. A Chinese Zitan carved canopy bed realized $33,180, and a Zitan recessed trestle-leg altar table sold for $10,665. Finally, a set of nine rosewood mother-of-pearl inset chairs and tables proved itself a real jewel in this sale, changing hands for $16,590.
Upcoming auctions at James D. Julia, Inc. include an Extraordinary October 2016 Firearms Auction, Oct. 4-7, and a Lamp, Glass & Fine Jewelry auction slated for November, date to be determined.
For more information, visit www.jamesdjulia.com, email email@example.com, or call 800-565-9298.
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