THOMASTON, Maine – An extensive collection of Monhegan art will be featured at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ summer auction Aug. 25-26, 2012. Artists have frequented this secluded Maine island over the past 150 years, and their resulting works have been sought after by museums and collectors ever since.
“We have the makings of a perfect Maine summer auction, with many great pieces that represent our State’s brilliant artistic and nautical trade history,” said Kaja Veilleux, owner of Thomaston Place.
The George X. Schwartz Memorial Monhegan Art Collection will be the centerpiece of the fine artwork presented at the auction, featuring works by 35 different artists, including: Andrew George Winter (NY/ME- 1893-1958), William Trost Richards (PA/RI, 1833-1905), Robert Van Vorst Sewell (NY/CA, 1860-1924), Eric Hopkins (NY, 1864-1932), Frank Alfred Bicknell (CT, 1866-1943), Alice Kent Stoddard (PA, 1883-1976), and Constance Cochrane (PA, 1888-1962). Schwartz spent many years supporting Monhegan’s lobster business and he developed a deep appreciation for its art during his many visits to the Island.
The auction will also feature a diverse array of artwork created by an assortment of Maine artists. An oil on canvas painting, ‘The Great Blue Heron’, by N.C. Wyeth (PA/ME, 1882-1945) will lead this group (est. $100,000-125,000). There will be two works by Andrew Newell Wyeth (PA/ME, 1917-2009), an India ink drawing titled ‘In the Georges Islands’ (est. $70,000-80,000) and a watercolor/gouache, study for “The Insider”, painted in 1971 (est. $20,000-30,000). Other Maine artists will include Carl Sprinchorn (ME, 1887-1971), William (Horace) Muir, (ME, 1902-1964), Lee Winslow Court (MA/ME, 1903-1992), William Thon (NY/ME, 1906-2000), Abraham Bogdanove (NY/ME, 1886-1946), and others.
The marine category will include fine ship paintings by S.F.M. Badger (MA, 1873-1919), William Gay Yorke (NY, 1817-1892), and Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen, (NY/NJ, 1850-1921). A standout in the nautical collection is a magnificent early 19th Century carved wooden ship’s eagle form figurehead, probably from a US Customs cutter, that was found in a Bath, Maine barn (est. $5,000-7,500). The sale will also include a variety of ship models, dioramas and other items representing Maine’s rich maritime history.
Works by contemporary Maine artists such as Colin Page, Ronald Frontin, Eric Hopkins, Brian Kliewer, Timothy Parks, Marlene Loznicka, and Peter Rolfe will also be offered.
New England antique furniture and decorative arts at auction
A circa 1765-1785 Boston Chippendale Cuban mahogany block front kneehole bureau (est. $18,000-25,000) will lead the furniture category. Other important furniture offerings will include: a Dutch 18th Century mahogany three-part secretary with an elaborately fitted inlaid interior and original brass pulls and finials (est. $5,000-7,000); an English figured mahogany thirty-drawer apothecary cabinet (est. $4,000-6,000); a New England Queen Anne figured maple chest on frame (est. $4,000-6,000); a set of four Sheraton form Indian silver dining chairs with ram’s head finials to rails and frames entirely covered in vine repoussed silver (est. $4,000-6,000); and a circa 1800 American Hepplewhite mahogany octagonal rent table (est. $4,000-6,000).
The estate jewelry category is likely to be lead by an 18K white gold ring set with an 8.00 ct oval shape natural emerald surrounded by 14 round, brilliant cut diamonds (est. $30,000-40,000); a platinum Art Deco design handmade link bracelet set with sapphires and diamonds (est. $12,000-15,000); an 18K gold and diamond collar-form hinged necklace signed LEB (est. $5,500-6,500); an Art Deco 18K white gold and diamond oval brooch (est. $5,000-8,000); and 18K white gold link Art Deco necklace set with 573 diamonds (est. $5,000-7,000).
More than 75 lots of outstanding Native American items will be featured, including collections of important Navajo blankets and rugs, Hopi-Tewa and Santa Clara Pueblo pottery, Apache baskets, 19th Century northern Plains/Sioux beadwork items, Inuit art and Northwest Indian carvings.
In the silver category, the highlight will be a circa 1745 sterling tea pot by Boston silversmith Jacob Hurd (1703-1758), one of 17 known to exist in the small globular Queen Anne form with asymmetrical Rococo decoration that Hurd introduced to the Colonies (est. $20,000-25,000). Other examples of fine silver will include a Russian enameled silver tea cup and saucer made in Moscow between 1899 and 1908 by the Grachev Brothers under the Imperial warrant (est. $2,000-3,000); a pair of ornate English sterling master salts with gold washed shell atop leafy vine, scroll and leaf reticulated base, hallmarked London, 1827 by maker John Bridge of Rundell & Bridge, Jewelers and Goldsmiths to the King (est. $1,500-2,500); and a 1930s sterling silver coffee & tea service by Juvento Lopez Reyes of Mexico City (est. $1,500-2,000).
This auction is by no means focused solely on American antiques, items from the Marvin Sadik collection of Far Eastern antiques highlight much of the Asian art and antiques group. Sadik, an art expert, served as museum director at Bowdoin College was a founding director of the Art Museum at the University of Connecticut, and, from 1969 to 1981, was director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Highlighted Asian pieces will include: a Chinese Han Dynasty wood and lacquer flask (Bian Hu) with gilt bronze base rim and mouth rim (est. $25,000-35,000); a puddingstone top Chinese altar with 19th Century red lacquer stands as supports (est. $5,000-7,500); a Chinese Qing Dynasty rhino horn domed brush washer with small beaded pot (est. $4,000-6,000); a late 19th to early 20th Century Japanese cloisonne tray attributed to Namikawa Sosuke featuring a cock and hen on a celadon field (est. $4,000-5,000); and a reticulated Chinese celadon jade offering bowl with Qianlong mark on underside (1736-1795) (est. $3,000-4,000).
The auction will offer several lots of Imperial Russian porcelain and glass produced in St. Petersburg for palace use in the late 19th and early 20th Century. A rare Civil War Iron Pivot Cannon made by Sparrow Foundry of Portland, Maine will also be sold (est. $4,000-6,000)
For more details, visit Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
The Monhegan Legacy of George X. Schwartz
George X. Schwartz was a seafood wholesaler, who lived his entire life in Philadelphia. He specialized in selling live lobsters to the finest restaurants in Philadelphia. He sought to deliver to his customers the finest lobsters he could find, and in the winters, this became a particular challenge because Maine lobsters were typically not harvested in the winter.
In 1953, Schwartz read an article published in the Saturday Evening Post about Monhegan Island, where lobsters were harvested in the winter. He travelled there for the first time in the 1960’s, and established a relationship with the Odom brothers, lobstermen who also ran the Monhegan Store. Schwartz purchased significant quantities of Monhegan lobsters for many years, and developed a brand in Philadelphia, of “Monhegan Lobsters.” Schwartz took his son there many times in the summers, and his son and family visited Monhegan for many years after Schwartz died in 1997. After consulting with the Odom brothers, the Town Assessors agreed to allow Schwartz to be buried in the Monhegan Cemetery.
Schwartz loved the art that was painted on Monhegan. As a legacy to Schwartz’s vision of Monhegan and the love he had for its art and sense of community, his son built the art collection offered during the Aug. 25-26, 2012 auction. Many of these paintings have been exhibited at the Monhegan Island Museum and in fine galleries. We believe it is the finest art collection of Monhegan Island art ever assembled for sale at one time that reflects the sense of community and its rich heritage.
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