FAIRFIELD, Maine – Optimism filled the bidding arena at Julia’s Feb. 3-4 antiques and fine art auction. Many in the standing room only crowd were in awe as many lots reached pre-recession prices. The two-day event presented an array of nearly 400 American and European paintings, as well as a full day’s worth of furniture, folk art, and accessories from collections and estates from across the country.
There were also selections from the museum and private collection of Dorothy-Lee Jones. Some years ago, Mrs. Jones started a glass museum and research center in Douglas Hill, Maine, and her collection and the regular presentations that took place were well known throughout North America. One such piece from her collection was a rare and highly desirable Marblehead Pottery vase. Consisting of stylized flowers with applied slips on a beautiful matte finish green body, it was originally estimated at $1,000 to $1,500, but after the catalog was published, Bill Gage learned this was a very rare piece of Marblehead pottery. In fact it was one of only six known by sale time. After a dramatic bidding battle, the vase brought a final price of $86,250.
European art made a strong showing, highlighted by a busy town scene by Dutch artist Andrianus Eversen. Showing a cobblestone avenue lined with shops and townspeople milling about, the piece brought $56,350 against expectations of $3,000 to $5,000. From the Woolworth collection were numerous important paintings such as an oil on canvas scene by British artist Heywood Hardy showing a group of fox hunters on horseback congregating in front of a tavern in preparation for a hunt. This work exceeded expectations of $10,000 to $20,000 to sell for $29,325. Belgian artist Bernard Pothast’s interior scene of a provincial mother tending to her young children surpassed its $9,000 to $12,000 estimate to finish up at $20,700.
A generous and fresh selection of Emile Gruppe paintings offered included an oil on canvas winter scene of a stream winding through a sunlit forest. A departure from his usual harbor scenes, it sold for $16,100 against a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.
Day II of the auction consisted of nearly 800 lots and showcased a variety of folk and nautical art. Of particular note was a rare and important Cushing & White steam locomotive and tender weathervane. Hailing from the late 19th century, this recent estate discovery, constructed of zinc, copper, and tin was modeled with precise details and still retained its original metal plaque and remnants of an early painted surface; it sold for $43,125, within an estimate of $35,000 to $65,000.
A grouping of carousel figures was highlighted by a Herschell-Spillman carved and paint-decorated carousel frog. Depicting a fanciful crouching green spotted frog inspired by “Wind in the Willows.” In old paint, he sprang to $10,350, within his $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.
For more information, contact the offices James D. Julia offices at 207-453-7125.
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