Thomaston Place February sale sees strong, steady results

THOMASTON, Maine — The Feb. 6-7 sale at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries brought a standing room only crowd, busy phone lines, and very strong Internet bidder registration — great news for a Maine midwinter auction in challenging economic times. Even better was the excitement of great sales results in many auction categories, including fine art, furniture, Americana, Oriental antiques, estate jewelry, carpets, and ephemera.

Thomaston Place owner and auctioneer Kaja Veilleux said, “These results signal the start of a very promising year. It’s reassuring to see strong interest across such a broad array of items. Additionally, the spectacular performance of certain extremely rare and unusual objects demonstrates their continued growth in value.”

‘Kurds Near Kandahar,’ an oil on canvas painting by Russian artist Alexandre Evgenievich Iacovleff (France/Russia/Africa, 1887-1938) was the top lot in the sale. Phone bidders on every available line, plus the floor and Internet bidding, pushed it to its final price of $172,500. All sale prices quoted include 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Several other paintings also attracted high bids, including: the ‘Church St. Rocco, Venice’ by Rubens Santoro (Italy, 1859-1942) that sold for $43,125; an oil painting depicting a the naval battle between the H.M. Clyde and French Frigate Vestale of Gironde by Derek G.M. Gardner, R.S.M.A. (British, 1914-2007) that brought $36,800; Frank Henry Shapleigh’s (NY, 1842-1906) ‘The Watch Tower, Fort Marion, St. Augustine’ that generated $23,000; Haystack Between Road and River by John Henry Twachtman (NY/CT, 1853-1902) that attracted $18,400; and an old masters painting fragment of coastal traders that sold for $14,950 – shattering its pre-auction estimate of $600 to $800.

Results indicated renewed interest in the furniture, including: a State of Maine country Hepplewhite paint decorated mustard yellow lamp table that sold for $24,150; an English Georgian period bracket back chest with fold out top that brought $4,312; a 16th century Italian curio cabinet with enameled inset plaques that sold for $4,025; a pair of French Deco smoking chairs that generated $3,680. Several pieces of early English oak furniture from the estate of actress Barbara Bel Geddes also attracted bids that exceeded their pre-sale estimates.

Several important pieces of historical memorabilia and Americana created excitement. A rare platinum print photo album, entitled Pueblos – Taos to Isleta, including over 100 images of the American West by Adam Clark Vroman (American, 1856-1916) brought $54,625; a Grand Tour era album decorated with black lacquer and gilt featuring albumen photos of scenes in Japan brought $2,645; and a large framed chromolithograph ‘View of Richmond, Va.’ By F. Palmer that sold for $8,625. A group of Native American baskets, including pieces by Navajo and Plains tribes, was bid to $4,887 – rocketing past the $600-$900 presale estimate; a 19th century gilt copper and zinc weathervane with a sunflower top over a banner with Masonic emblem brought $3,737; and a Rookwood Pottery vellum glaze vase made in 1928 by artist Fred Rothenbusch sold for $2,875.

Oriental antiques also generated strong interest, including: a 1796 carved Chinese burl root brush pot that fetched $4,887; a pair of antique Chinese cloisonné lions that sold for $4,830; and a Buddhist traveling altar that brought $3,737.

Jewelry was also a strong performing category. Selling within estimates were a handmade platinum pendant set with a 34.34 carat indicolite tourmaline and 22 diamonds on platinum chain ($21,275) and a circa 1910-20 platinum ladies ring set with 3.99 carat brilliant cut diamond ($20,700). An antique 18 karat gold and platinum 3-D hummingbird brooch set with gemstones shattered its pre-auction estimate to bring $10,062, and a dazzling Victorian 18 karat gold necklace set with sapphires, diamonds and pearls by Luigi Pallotti, Venezia in original box sold for $8,050.

This sale included many desirable silver lots, including: a cased lot of 176 pieces of Gorham’s Mythologique pattern flatware that sold for $12,075; a pair of silver figural candlesticks in the form of elephants set with coral, turquoise and jade that brought $3,737; and two groups of figural silver plate napkin rings that exceeded ingoing estimates to bring over $1,700 for each lot.

For more information on Thomaston Place Auction Galleries and their auctions, visit

Photos courtesy Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.


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