Thomaston Place offers fine Americana, important art

THOMASTON, Maine—Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ Aug. 22-23 sale will feature a diverse group of important American antiques, paintings and sculptures, rare books and documents, and a selection of works by emerging Maine artists.

Thomaston Place owner and auctioneer Kaja Veilleux said, “With this outstanding group of items, I believe we will surpass the record results from our May sale. If you love Americana, fine art, or rare books and documents, you won’t want to miss this auction.”

A beautifully executed 1781 Boston Schoolgirl silk-on-canvas sampler (estimate $40,000-$60,000) will lead the Americana selection. This piece was sewn by Betsey Bentley, daughter of Joshua Bentley (who rowed Paul Revere across the river for his famous midnight ride). It is rendered in satin stitch with a floral and foliate border with a pheasant at the top. The central panel depicts a black spotted dog “treeing a buck,” large turkey, apple tree, strawberries, numbers and letters, and “Betsey Bentley, Her Sampler in the 13 Year of Her Age.”

The sale will also present an outstanding Federalist Period oil on canvas portrait of the Hopkins family of Swanton, Vt., painted in 1837 by an itinerant artist (estimate $20,000-$25,000); an 18th century two-part rampant tiger maple bookcase-top secretary desk (estimate $10,000-$15,000); a fine John Bellamy eagle in untouched condition with 25-inch wingspan and banner lettered “Don’t Give Up the Ship” (estimate $20,000-$25,000); a New Hampshire Queen Anne period figured maple two-part highboy that descended in the family of Governor Natt Head (estimate $10,000-$15,000); a fine mahogany Chippendale swing leg drop leaf table (estimate $8,000-$12,000); and two Massachusetts circa 1790 Hepplewhite card tables (estimate $5,000-$7,000 and $4,000-$6,000).

There will also be a fine selection of country Americana, such as Windsor chairs (including a writing arm chair), tavern tables, blanket chests, and trade signs; and nautical items, including 10 ship models, a captain’s desk, sailmaker’s tools, scrimshaw, and a 7-foot diameter ship’s wheel.

Important artwork to be offered will include: Out by the Bull, an oil painting by Jack Lorimer Gray (N.Y., 1927-1981) (estimate $35,000-$45,000); Self Portrait, a watercolor and pencil work by Thomas Hart Benson (Mo., 1889-1975) (estimate $20,000-$30,000); Mother and Child, an oil painting by Louise Nevelson (Maine/N.Y., 1900-1988) (estimate $20,000-$30,000); James Henry Beard’s (Ohio/N.Y., 1811-1893) sensitively rendered dog painting, The Poor Relation (estimate $35,000-$40,000); and a lovely painting of a crowd of women on a beach by French artist Paul Elie Gernez (1888-1948) (estimate $10,000-$15,000). The auction will also present works by many other 19th and 20th century artists, as well as contemporary artists.

The sale will feature works by outstanding Maine and New England artists, including (but not limited to): William Thon (N.Y./Maine, 1906-2000), Alison Hill, Clement Drew (Mass., 1806-1889), Samuel Peter Triscott (Maine/Mass., 1846-1925), Sally Caldwell Fisher (Maine, 1951- ), Carl Harold Nordstrom (Mass., 1856-1965), Mary Graham (N.H., 1956-), Caleb Stone (Mass., 1966-), David Gray, Charles Bayley Cook (N.Y./Maine, 1882-1932), Maurice ‘Jake’ Day, (Maine, 1892-1983), Emily Landsingh Muir (Maine, 1904-2003), William Zorach (N.Y./Maine, 1887-1966), Charles Gruppe (Conn., 1928-), and Percy Sanborn (Maine, 1849-1929).

There will be an excellent selection of rare books, maps and documents, such as an original copy of Psalterium Carolinum by John Wilson, the musical setting of the Eikon Basilike, that was either the personal property of or a gift from Charles II (estimate $20,000-$30,000); first edition copies of Cook’s First Voyage (estimate $12,000-$16,000) and Cook’s Second Voyage (estimate $8,000-$12,000); signed military appointments by John Hancock (estimate $3,000-$5,000) and Abraham Lincoln ($3,000-$4,000); and a rare deed signed by Henry Knox, the first U.S. Secretary of War (estimate $2,000-$3,000).

Eight early tall case clocks will also be sold, including fine examples by Isaac Grotz (Easton, Pa.), Frederick Wingate (Augusta, Maine), Timothy Chandler (Concord, N.H.), S. Hoadley (Plymouth, Conn.) and others.

Important silver will include a monumental St. Petersburg, Russia, melon-form silver tea server on stand marked 1827 (estimate $6,000-$8,000); a fine English sterling monteith bowl, marked London 1574 (estimate $2,000-$3,000); an English sterling two-handled covered urn by Nicholas Hearndon, London 1789 (estimate $1,500-$2,000); and a mid-18th century silver can bearing the mark of Samuel Minott, Boston 1732-1803 (estimate $1,000-$2,000).

The sale will also offer over 100 lots of estate jewelry, KPM and Rookwood plaques, early European and oriental pottery and porcelain, three fine floor harps, gold coins, Chinese and Japanese antiques, Native American items, antiquities, African and Pre-Columbian items, and a large selection of Oriental carpets.

Five hundred items will be sold per day, and the auction will begin at 11 a.m. on both sale days. A complete, full-color catalog, with detailed descriptions and photographs, is available, and all lots can be viewed on Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ Web site at

In addition to live bidding in the auction hall, Thomaston Place accepts bids via absentee, telephone, and on the Internet (via The buyer’s premium is 15 percent. Call 207-354-8141 for more information, or to reserve seats in the auction hall.

The Galleries will be open for previews Aug. 17-21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Aug. 22-23 from 9-11 a.m.

Photos courtesy Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.