THOMASTON, Maine – Seven outstanding paintings created excitement and strong sales prices at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ May 21-22, 2011 sale. There were also important auction highlights among the collections of Chinese antiques, estate jewelry and Russian masterworks presented to the worldwide bidding audience.
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Thomaston Place owner and auctioneer Kaja Veilleux noted: “Active international participation in our auctions has made us a vital player in the global marketplace. Bids from around the world contributed to these great results.”
A monumental landscape painting with impeccable provenance by George Barrat, R.A. (Irish/UK, 1728-1784) led the artwork category by selling for $63,250. Another important work, “The Action Between the ‘Macedonian’ and the ‘United States’ in Mid-Atlantic, 12th Oct, 1812”, by Derek George Montague Gardner, R.S.M.A., (British, 1914-2007), fetched $60,375. All prices include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Bid cards were ready for action when a series of four well executed 19th Century Mexican oil on canvas landscape paintings came to the block. All of the works were unsigned, but they came with interesting provenance (from the estate of Caleb Cushing of Newburyport, MA, a Congressional representative from Massachusetts, Envoy to China, Brigadier General in the Mexican War, and later, Attorney General of the US under Pierce). The combined result for the four paintings was $71,300.
An unframed primitive oil on canvas portrait of a dog in a seashore landscape attracted enthusiastic bidding that ended at $16,100, well above its presale estimate.
Far eastern treasures also performed extremely well in the sale. A Chinese Qing Dynasty temple vase quickly blew past its $2,000 to $3,000 presale estimate and sold for $43,125. An antique jade carved pendant mounted with 14K gold fittings created much bidder enthusiasm and ultimately brought $25,300. A 19th Century carved jade figurine of a sleeping dog with a bird on its back brought $17,250 from an internet bidder. Other Chinese items that greatly exceeded presale estimates included: a pair of porcelain baluster vases with Jiaqing mark that fetched $9,775; a fine porcelain deep bowl with moriage oxblood background and four circular white medallions decorated with flowers and fruit that sold for $8,050; a bronze open censer with elephant head handles and accentuated with a flecks of gold that achieved $7,475; and a strand of 108 19th c Chinese Rhino Horn Prayer Beads that brought $7,475.
Telephone, floor and internet bidders aggressively pursued a circa 1910 gold Faberge egg shaped miniature portrait frame, with white guilloche face, seed pearl liner, deep blue enamel outer band, and gold riband top with ruby cabochon. Active bidding helped this piece achieve a final selling price of $57,300.
There were several finely crafted pieces that drew surprisingly strong prices, such as: a black walnut wood sculpture depicting the American Bald Eagle by Charles ‘Chippy’ Greenough Chase (Maine, 1908-1988), dated March 1974, that brought $13,800; an ornate Baroque style cast iron gate marked ‘Joseph Treat’ and featuring the torch of life that sold for $6,325; a Louis Vuitton trunk, that sold for $6,612.50; and an asymmetrical glossy faux agate painted storage cabinet, circa 1930s and originally from California, that raised $6,210. A beautiful 19th Century Syrian mosaic marquetry table sold to an internet bidder for $7,705.
Sterling silver also fared extremely well in this sale. A set of 12 Georgian English silver plates hallmarked London, 1799, by maker Robert Salmon brought $10,925; a 6-piece English Tea Service hallmarked London, 1787, by John Wakelin & William Taylor reached $6,900; and a set of 4 English Corinthian column form sterling candle sticks hallmarked London, 1772, by Thomas Whipham sold for $6,325.
Many pieces of estate jewelry brought interest and correspondingly strong sales prices. An important circa 1910-20 handmade platinum bracelet set with 262 diamonds achieved $86,250. An antique handmade 14K yellow gold and silver necklace with natural rubies and old mine cut diamonds sold for $23,000. Two pieces of Baroque period jewelry, a silver gilt bracelet set with rubies and garnets and a silver gilt necklace set with garnets and seed pearls, also sold well, bringing $11,500 each. The auction included many fine timepieces, led by a circa 1961 18K gold men’s Patek Philippe 37 jewel wristwatch that sold for $7,475.
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