Faberge teamed with Civil War rarities in Feb. 19 auction

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A massive, two-session cataloged antique auction featuring over 800 lots of period furniture, vintage clocks and lighting, firearms, militaria, antique and Russian silver, estate jewelry and highly collectible Civil War items will be held Feb. 19, by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. The Civil War items will be a session unto itself – over 400 lots.

Session One will begin at 11 a.m. on Feb. 19, and last until 4 p.m. A one-hour break will then be held, after which Session Two – the Civil War items — will cross the block starting at 5 p.m. The action will continue until the last gavel comes down – almost certainly close to 9 p.m., if not later. It will be the first cataloged antique auction of the new year for Fontaine’s.

One lot in Session One could bring up to $100,000 or more. It is a pair of Carl Faberge silver figural candelabra, 24 inches high overall and weighing 268 ounces. Two 9 1/2 inch winged putti stand on a large sphere, each holding a wreath above their heads, while branching from the top are three scrolling cornucopias. The lot has no breaks, repairs or losses.

Three French clocks expected to do well include a Chronos & Amour figural mantel clock with a “Love and Time” figural theme; an animated bronze gilt bronze cherub clock made around 1840, showing cupid; and a marble and bronze annular clock, circa 1880.

American-made clocks in the auction’s first session will include a 2-weight mahogany grandfather clock made by Walter Durfee & Co. (Providence, R.I.), with brass dial; a nice carriage clock with painted ivory panels, made circa 1880 by Bigelow Kennard & Co. (Boston); and a Seth Thomas No. 5 weight-driven wall clock with 7 1/2 inch dial and walnut case.

Works of art will be very much in evidence. Some of the better pieces will include:

  • A signed oil on canvas luminous landscape, signed Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (Fr., 1796-1875), showing a woman standing by the shore (est. $25,000-$35,000).
  • An oil on canvas rendering of a French battle scene by Wilfird Constant Beauquesne (Fr., 1847-1913), 33 inches by 51 inches, in great condition (est. $12,000-$15,000).
  • A terracotta bust by Alexander Ney (Russian Federation, b. 1939), red on a tan base and signed (1999), 17 inches tall and in excellent condition (est. $10,000-$15,000).
  • An oil on canvas landscape work by J. Francis Murphy titled Grey Weather, signed lower right and in very good condition, 30 inches by 36 inches (est. $8,000-$12,000).

Two other lots in Session One bound to get a lot of attention are a 1941 Ford pick-up truck with a 90 horsepower flathead V-8 engine, maroon with black fenders and red double stripes, fully restored by the consignor who’s had it for over 50 years (est. $20,000-$30,000); and a Russian silver and enamel architectural style salt chair, weighing 22.96 Troy ounces (est. $5,000-$7,000).

Civil War frock coatSession II

The Civil War session will be chock full of offerings, beginning with some very sharp frocks and jackets. These will include a circa-1860 U.S. New York Regiment militia frock coat, enlisted man’s gray with seven large New York state buttons down the front; a New York State 71st Regiment swallow-tailed full-dress dark blue jacket with a row of nine eagle buttons down the front; and a U.S. Louisville Legion-style wool frock coat, dark blue, with five Ohio buttons.

Revolvers and pistols will feature a wonderful cased pair of Durs Egg percussion dueling pistols, .62 caliber, with 5 1/2 inch octagonal barrels; a magnificent engraved and gold-filled Colt Model 1860 Army revolver in excellent condition and with all matching numbers; and a matched pair of circa-1812 flintlock sea service pistols, .69 caliber, with 9.25-inch barrels, needing repair.

Enlisted man’s gray shell militia frock coat
(circa 1860), U.S. New York Regiment, very clean.

Sword enthusiasts will not be disappointed. Two examples in particular will pique the interest of the crowd. One is a Model 1862 Infantry presentation sword with a 30-inch blade in near-mint condition and a tight leather handle; the other is an Ames Model 1832 artillery short sword with scabbard, signed and dated (1835) on the blade. Both could command up to $2,500.

Also to be offered in Session Two: a Model 1861 U.S. percussion rifle-musket made in 1864 and with papers from the New York Militia; a metal-bodied Queen’s Lancer drum, 10 1/2 inches high by 15 1/2 inches wide, colorful and complete with two drumsticks; and a hand-made Confederate leather belt with buckle (the “E Pluribus Unum” is upside-down) and cartridge box.

The auction will be held in Fontaine’s gallery facility, located at 1485 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield, but bidders will have the option to bid live, via absentee and phone bids, or online, through LiveAuctioneers.com or the Fontaine’s.  Previews will be held Feb. 18, from 10-4, and Feb. 19, the date of the sale, from 8-11 a.m. For more information, call (413) 448-8922 or e-mail the gallery.

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