THOMASTON, Maine — To many, the pearl is considered ‘the queen of gems and the gem of queens’. This was proven true at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries on February 2-3 when a single strand of graduated natural pearls sold for $143,750. The necklace included 75 ivory colored pearls and a Tiffany & Co. 18-karat white gold clasp with three European cut diamonds.
Other pieces of estate jewelry also attracted strong interest in this sale. An antique brooch gold, silver, and Tahitian pearl brooch containing old mine cut and rose cut diamonds, plus a 2.03 carat briolette diamond, quickly exceeded its $6,000 to $8,000 presale estimate and sold for $35,650. A Belle Epoch period platinum brooch by Cartier, with sapphire, beryl, pink tourmaline and rose cut diamonds, brought $14,375 against a $2,000 to $3,000 presale estimate. Finally, bidders chased an Edwardian period marquise shaped platinum ladies ring with apple green cabochon jade, diamonds, and channel set rubies to a $11,500 result.
There were also some impressive results in the fine art category, with an oil on canvas painting by British artist Sir John Lavery (1856-1941) entitled ‘Mrs. Rosen’s Bedroom’, from the New York estate of Anne Bigelow Stern, achieving $115,000. An early Flemish oil on copper painting of the Madonna and Child rocketed past its $4,000 to $6,000 estimate and brought $16,100.
Five 1969 color lithographs by Marc Chagall (Russia/France, 1887-1985), all signed and numbered artist’s proofs from a Bangor collection, attracted bidder interest. ‘Le Cirque Ambulant’ sold for $16,100, ‘Le Bouquet Rouge’ fetched $13,800, ‘Passage du Midi’ and ‘La Famille au Coq’ each brought $9,200, and ‘La Baou de Sainte Jeannet II’ achieved $6,900.
Thomaston Place owner and auctioneer Kaja Veilleux said: “These results reconfirm the fact that rare items continue to attract interested buyers and high prices at auction. It’s also encouraging that we are now seeing some renewed interest in furniture.”
A strong performer in the furniture category was a Federal period mahogany two-part breakfront secretary that sold to the internet for $12,650.
Bidders competed aggressively for an early four-part copper engraved map of the Americas and West Africa by Henri Abraham Chatelain, driving this lot to a final selling price of $12,650. A framed, circa 1870-80 centennial made stars and stripes dress in a custom shadow box frame also attracted very strong interest and achieved $7,762.50.
There was enthusiastic bidding for three pieces of sculpture, resulting in prices that exceeded presale expectations. These included a 1956 work entitled ‘Anhinga’ (Snake Bird), by Charles ‘Chippy’ Greenough Chase (ME, 1908-1988) that brought $7,187.50; a 19th century softwood articulated artist’s mannequin, that sold for $6,900; and an 18th century Italian wooden polychrome child figure that reached $6,325.
Early American silver was well represented in this sale, and a standout performer from this group was an 18th century coin silver bell shaped tankard by Philadelphia silversmiths Joseph and Nathaniel Richardson. This piece surpassed presale expectations of $2,000 to $3,000 and brought a final price of $5,750.
A complete list of auction results can be found at www.thomastonauction.com. The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries sale will take place March 23-24, 2013.
Thomaston Place offers free appraisals each Tuesday at its Gallery on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston.
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