Native American items fly high at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

An outstanding collection of Native American items, plus an important group of paintings and coins, were among the highlights of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ first sale of 2009 on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Many Native American items greatly exceeded ingoing estimates, including: a Plains Indian quirt, circa 1870, that sold for $36,800 (estimate $1,800-$2,400); a 19th century Sioux beadwork saddle bag that brought $9,775 (estimate $3,500-$4,500); and a Central Plains Indian pipe bag, circa 1880, that sold for $5,750 (estimate $4,500-$5,000). All prices include 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Thomaston Place owner and auctioneer Kaja Veilleux noted: “The Native American pieces were collected by a man doing survey work among various plains tribes in the late 19th century. These items had been stored under a bed in Liberty, Maine. Who would have imagined that a cardboard box full of Native American relics would fetch that kind of money?”

The sale also featured many excellent paintings, including: a Jack Lorimer Gray (N.Y., 1927-1981) oil on canvas of two fishermen that was bid up to $46,000; an Adirondack Valley landscape by William Louis Sonntag Sr. (Ohio/N.Y., 1822-1900) that attracted $25,300; a stream scene with man fishing by George Hetzel (Pa., 1826-1899) that went for $13,800; Autumn by Charles Warren Eaton (N.Y./N.J., 1857-1937) that sold for $11,500; and Dark Forest, an oil painting by William Bliss Baker (N.Y., 1859-1886) that brought $6,900.

A selection of coins also generated strong bidder interest, including: an 1867S Liberty Seated silver quarter that sold for $13,800; a grouping of 6 Austrian 1915 100 corona gold coins that brought $5,635; a $20 gold Liberty Head 1895 coin that attracted $1,725; and an American $5 Liberty Head 1837 gold coin that sold for $1,725.

Other high performing items included a late 17th to early 18th century Indo-Persian dagger that brought $12,650 and a large metal horse-head trade sign that sold for $4,600.

Several jewelry lots also created bidder excitement, such as: a platinum lady’s ring featuring a 14.05 carat yellow sapphire flanked by two 1.75 carat diamonds that generated $24,150; a rare black and white hard stone cameo brooch, circa 1860, depicting a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I set with 15 mine cut diamonds that brought $9,200; and a necklace featuring a strand of graduated silver gray South Sea pearls and a gold and pave set diamond clasp that sold for $8,740.

A nine-piece collection of art pottery by Brother Thomas Bezanson (Vt./Pa., 1929-2007) was another highlight of the sale. Every piece sold at or above its pre-auction estimate. A tall vase with rich oxblood glaze, bold shoulder, and wide flared rim sold for $6,613, and footed flask form vase with raised neck and wide flared rim sold for $4,313.

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is mid-coast 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.

Click here to share your thoughts in the Antique Trader Message Boards.