WINDSOR, Conn. – A Federal mahogany Pembroke drop-leaf table, probably made in New York circa 1810, sold for $36,800 at a two-day, two-session sale held Oct. 20-21 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, earning top-lot status in the auction. The auction was held in the firm’s facility at 25 Meadow Road in Windsor.
The Saturday, Oct. 20 session featured American antiques, custom mahogany, silver, pewter, redware, stoneware, fine art, prints, decorative accessories and Oriental rugs. The Sunday, Oct. 21 session was dedicated to firearms and fishing reels (including fin noir), with the firearms featuring long guns, shotguns, pistols, modern ammunition, gunpowder and gun scopes.
“In the American antiques auction there was strong interest in our best pieces and even substantial interest in furniture, which surprised us because that category has been soft recently,” said Ed Nadeau of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery. “But we did very well with furniture, with strong bidding throughout the day. I’d say this was our strongest American antiques sale in three to five years.”
The first session featured 453 lots, whereas there were just over 100 lots offered the following day. “There weren’t many items,” Nadeau observed, “but it was quality merchandise and bidders responded in kind with robust in-house bidding, phone bidding and Internet bidding, through Artfact.com.” Nadeau’s is the only auction firm in Connecticut licensed to sell firearms.
The Federal mahogany Pembroke drop-leaf table was all-original and had been found in an unassuming home on West Haven, Conn. It had a conservative presale estimate of $3,000-$5,000, but it opened at $5,000 and quickly escalated to the hammer price of $36,800 (including the buyer’s premium). In the end, a bidder in the room won out over all seven telephone bidders.
The second top lot was also a nice piece of period furniture: a cherry four-drawer chest with an exaggerated serpentine front, probably made in Norwich, Conn., around 1800 ($25,300). The chest, 36 inches tall by 39 inches wide with pine as a secondary wood, featured flat block corners over a conforming case on cutout bracket feet, and drawers with the original brass pulls.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.
Keeping with American antiques, a Federal cherry tall case clock with painted porcelain dial marked Benjamin Hanks (Litchfield, Conn.), with moon phases, calendar and brass works, 90 inches tall, chimed on time for $10,350; and an 18th century poplar and oak primitive blanket chest with original paint decoration, marked Lisabeth Rit Tern (1786), topped out at $10,030.
A maple chest on frame (probably New Hampshire, circa 1750-1760), with a cornice molded top and original Chippendale brasses, made $9,200; a Serapi Oriental carpet measuring 10 feet 2 inches by 12 feet 5 inches, rose to $5,175; and a large brass yacht binnacle (a stand for housing a compass), marked “Ritchie Boston” and patented Aug. 17, 1875, commanded $4,888.
From the fine art category, an oil on canvas by Nelson Augustus Moore (1824-1902), titled Snowscape With Stream, signed, 13 inches by 16 inches, rose to $4,830; an 18th century Windsor chair with fan back and writing arm with drawer set on bold turned legs hit $4,600; and a pair of circa-1830 table globes marked Donaldson Terrestrial and Celestial went for $4,313.
A Shirvan prayer rug, 3 feet 9 inches by 4 feet 7 inches, brought $4,255; a four-piece American rococo silver tea set signed W. Adams (N.Y., circa 1842) hammered for $3,910; a full-bodied running horse and jockey weathervane made of molded copper, circa 1900, coasted to $3,910; and a rooster weathervane with directionals with a full body in old gilt finish hit $3,450.
A pair of 18th century petal base candlesticks marked underneath E. Durnall, 9 inches tall, changed hands for $3,220; a Gorham 148-piece sterling silver flatware service for twelve, weighing 117.5 troy ounces, fetched $3,220; a Queen Anne walnut mirror with beveled glass and candle holder went for $3,186; and a large pewter tankard standing 12 inches tall brought $2,990.
The top two lots of the firearms and fishing reels session were an Ithaca Gun Company field grade shotgun, 410 gage, with side-by-side 26-inch barrels and showing engraved birds on each side of the receiver ($9,440); and an Armas Garbi model 103 William Larkin Moore shotgun, side-by-side, 16 gage, with hand-engraved rose and scroll and double triggers ($4,538).
Top firearm lots three-through-seven were all by Armas Garbi. They included a model 103 William Larkin Moore side-by-side shotgun ($4,130); a model 100 L. Moore side-by-side shotgun ($3,570); a model 101 William Larkin Moore shotgun ($3,509); a model 100 William Larkin Moore shotgun ($3,186); and a model 100 William Larkin Moore shotgun ($3,068).
Three firearms lots realized identical prices of $1,416. They were a Winchester model 70 bolt action rifle with quality engraving and gold inlay having a relief inlay of an elephant on the floor plate; a Winchester model 70 “Classic Featherweight” 7mm bolt action rifle with high relief inlay of a nude woman on the floor plate; and a Schmidt & Bender 3-12×50 rifle scope.
Rounding out the firearms category, a Winchester model 70 Super Grade 7mm rifle with a custom exotic wood stock showing a gold nude figure on the floor plate hit the mark for $1,092; a Colt model 1903 semi-automatic .32 caliber pocket pistol with original box rang out at $1,089; and a Winchester model 70 300 Weatherby Magnum bolt action rifle breezed to $1,062.
“We weren’t sure how this auction was going to be received, since it had two very distinct offerings on back-to-back days,” Mr. Nadeau commented, “but our existing client base and the many new faces in the room quickly allayed our fears by enthusiastically embracing both of the sessions. It confirmed our belief that when quality is offered, bidders will rise to the occasion.”
Nadeau’s Auction Gallery’s next sale is slated for Dec. 1 and will feature contemporary furnishings, quality decorative accessories, estate silver and more. Then, the firm will conduct its big annual New Year’s Day multi-estate auction on Jan. 1, 2013. Offered will be Georgian and European antiques, mahogany pieces (including Margolis & Fineberg), Modernism, silver, pottery, fine porcelain, jewelry, coins and Oriental rugs. Consignments are still being accepted.
Nadeau’s Auction Gallery is always accepting quality consignments for its bigger sales, held throughout the year, and its general auctions, held every three weeks. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (860) 246-244, or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.