HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – Over 700 lots of fine art, period furniture, decorative accessories and more – most of it fresh-to-the-market merchandise from prominent local estates and collections – will be sold Sept. 19, at 9 a.m., by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. It is just the second major auction to be held in the firm’s new gallery, at 620 Cornerstone Court in Hillsborough.
Featured will be the estate collection of the late W. Samuel Tarlton, a nationally known art dealer and past co-owner of the upscale Craig and Tarlton, Inc. antiques shop in Raleigh; entertainment and movie memorabilia items from the collection of Bill Morrison, former art critic for the Raleigh News & Observer; and fine art pieces acquired in the 1960s and ‘70s by the Mead Corporation of Richmond, Va.
“This could very well be one of our strongest sales to date, and especially for our new, state-of-the-art gallery location,” said Leland Little of Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. “The decision to build a new facility near the interstate has given us great access and visibility. We are better positioned to proudly offer the collections and estates we’ve been fortunate to represent.”
Online bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com. Around 300 bidders generally register online. The in-person audience, meanwhile, is expected to hit around 250 people. In addition, the firm has received nearly 1,000 absentee and phone bids for the cataloged auction. “These are all good signs heading into the fall season,” Mr. Little said. “Volume and quality were strong in the first six months of 2009.”
Mr. Tarlton was a dedicated collector of fine art and period furniture. Artwork from his estate will include a sunset oil on canvas painting by Elliott Dangerfield (N.C./N.Y., 1859-1932), signed lower center and housed in the original carved and gilt wood frame (estimate $15,000-$25,000); and a bronze figural work by Anna Hyatt Huntington (Am., 1876-1973), titled Yawning Tiger (estimate $3,000-$5,000).
Period furniture items from Mr. Tarlton’s estate will include a strikingly featured late 18th century Pennsylvania Chippendale tiger maple desk, probably Lancaster County (estimate $5,000-$10,000); a New Hampshire Federal bow front chest of drawers (circa 1800-1810), 12-panel form (estimate $2,000-$4,000); and a Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany game table, made circa 1770 (estimate $2,000-$4,000).
Noteworthy items from the collection of Bill Morrison include a signed first-edition copy of the book The Constant Sinner, by screen siren Mae West (1930); and a signed first-edition copy of Ayn Rand’s For The New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (1961). Art from the Mead Collection will feature an oil painting by Robert Harvey (b. 1924), Brother Home on Leave (estimate $1,000-$2,000).
Four oil on canvas paintings by William Frerichs (N.Y./N.C., 1829-1905) will cross the block. They include the unsigned but documented work Frozen Falls, housed in the original gilt wood frame (estimate $10,000-$20,000); The Blue Ridge, signed and in the original frame (estimate $8,000-$15,000); a landscape rendering, unsigned (estimate $6,000-$9,000); and a work depicting skaters (estimate $3,000-$5,000).
Foreign artists will also be represented. Offerings include works by Le Pho (Vietnamese/Fr., 1907-2001), Vilmos Aba-Novak (Hun., 1894-1942), Adolphe Binet (Fr., 1854-1897), and others.
A pair of nice hand-colored lithographs on wove paper by John James Audubon (1785-1851), from The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, published in 1846 (one depicting a male cougar, the other a cougar and her young), will come up for bid (estimate $4,000-$6,000 each). Also sold will be a lovely KPM porcelain plaque depicting a Renaissance beauty bedecked in jewels (estimate $2,000-$4,000).
Period American furniture pieces will include a North Carolina chest of drawers from the Holden family of Orange County (circa 1810), walnut with Southern yellow pine secondary (estimate $3,000-$5,000) and a mahogany Philadelphia stenciled Classical sideboard made circa 1830 (estimate $1,500-$2,500). Also sold will be an 1833 needlework sampler done by Jane Worsham of Petersburg, Va. (estimate $800-$1,200).
Returning to fine art, works by American artists include Rock Quarries by Julian Onderdonck (Tex., 1882-1922, estimate $30,000-$50,000); Mandala IV by John McCracken (N.Y., Calif, b. 1934, estimate $10,000-$20,000); Soft Corner Vermillion by Richard Anuszkiewicz (b. 1930, estimate $12,000-$18,000); and a portrait of David Hoadley (1774-1839) by Henry Inman (N.Y., 1801-1846, estimate $3,000-$5,000).
Two lamps should get paddles wagging. One is a Tiffany Studios counterbalance desk lamp with a bronze base marked with the Tiffany stamp (estimate $5,000-$8,000). The other is a Japanese Satsuma figurine from the 19th century, converted to a table lamp, with hand-painted decorations (estimate $400-$600). Also sold will be an 18th-century Siamese gilt bronze Buddha on a throne (estimate $400-$600).
Sterling silver services will be certain to wow the crowd. One is a 140-piece Dominick & Haff service for 12, designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1927 for the 11th exhibition of contemporary design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (estimate $6,000-$9,000). Another is a six-piece George III silver tea and coffee service by Peter and Ann Bateman, weighing more than 71 troy ounces (estimate $3,000-$5,000).
Rounding out the day’s top lots: a Jugtown Chinese blue Persian jar (circa 1930s), a rare form (estimate $3,000-$6,000); a pair of fine 19th century Rose medallion floor vases with dragon motif (estimate $1,000-$3,000); and a George Jones Majolica “Punch” bowl, featuring a recumbent Punch of “Punch & Judy” fame (estimate $1,000-$2,000). Also sold will be estate rugs, estate maps, foreign gold coins and an outstanding collection of music boxes, snuff boxes, tantalus, tea caddies and other collectible boxes.
Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd.’s next big Historic Hillsborough Auction will be held Dec. 5-6, also in its new gallery at 620 Cornerstone Court in Hillsborough. The firm is accepting quality consignments for that sale, as well as for all future estate auctions. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly, at 919-644-1243 or e-mail them at info@LLAuctions.com.
To learn more about Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd., log on to www.LLAUCTIONS.com.
Photos courtesy Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd.