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Unique harbor painting leads 20th century decorative art offerings

An uncommon painting of a harbor scene in Maine by Marsden Hartley soared to a selling price of $169,650 during Thomaston Place Auction Gallery's August auction.

THOMASTON, Maine — Enchanting 20th Century decorative art inspired aggressive bidding at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ Summer Sale. The salesroom was crowded and there was strong phone, absentee and internet activity from participants around the world.

All prices for the Aug. 25-27 20th century decorative art auction include a 17% buyer’s premium.

Painting of Maine Harbor Scene Soars Above $169,000

Marsden Hartley oil on canvas painting

Unique oil on canvas by Marsden Hartley, titled "Landscape," depicting clouds over a Maine harbor, commanded $169,650 to lead all lots. (All photos courtesy Thomaston Place Auction Galleries)

Maine artist Marsden Hartley’s (1877-1943) oil on canvas painting depicting the sun breaking through clouds over a Maine harbor topped the sale, with multiple phone bids pushing this item to its $169,650 selling price. An untitled gouache on paper painting by Alexander Calder (NY/France, 1898-1976) attracted enthusiastic bidding and fetched $64,350. A large 1925 oil on canvas work by Waldo Peirce (NY/ME/MA, 1884-1970) depicting two women in a French Riviera apartment achieved $33,000, and James Taylor Harwood’s (UT/CA, 1860-1940) 1930s Paris painting depicting Pont Neuf raised $28,080, to claim the top three SOLD spots of this 20th century decorative art auction.

The sale included nine lots by Dahlov Ipcar (ME, 1917-2017), and all brought strong prices. Enthusiastic bidding for her oil on canvas painting titled “The Butterfly Collection” propelled its selling price to $19,305, a new sales record for this artist. “Glacier”, 1961 oil on canvas work by her mother, Marguerite Zorach (NY/ME/CA), sold for $12,870.

Works by Ossorio Surpass Expectations

Poster for art exhibition by Ossorio

Poster drawn by Alfonso A. Ossorio for a 1984 exhibition of his work sold for more than 14 times its estimate, commanding $8,400.

Three modern works by Alfonso A. Ossorio (NY/Philippines, 1916-1990) surprised the crowd as internet bidders drove selling prices well beyond pre-sale estimates. An artist drawn poster promoting “Ossorio y Yangco”, a 1984 exhibition of his work, brought $18,000 over a pre-sale estimate of $1,000 to $1,500; and a smaller artist drawn poster from the same exhibition that was estimated to bring between $400 and $600, sold for $8,400. Ossorio’s untitled assemblage of resin and other objects mounted on plywood brought $15,600; well above its presale estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

Four early 20th Century bronze floor lamps by Tiffany Studios exceeded their presale estimates after frenzied bidding from the floor, phone and internet. The strongest performer was a counterbalance floor lamp with green linen fold glass panel shade that brought $16,800. An Aladdin lamp with acorn design leaded shade sold for $15,600. A counterbalance lamp with gold Damascene Tiffany Favrile glass shade achieved $9,600, and a gilded Dore bronze lamp with gold/amber linen fold glass panel shade raised $9,000.

Eclectic Objects Rounds Out 20th Century Decorative Art Sale

Other strong performing 20th Century lots included: a collection of 50 letters and notes from

Vistosi Murano blown art glass bird

Vistosi Murano blown art glass bird by Alessandro Pianon, circa 1960s, realized $7,020.

philosopher and author George Santayana (1863-1952) to Harvard alumnus and businessman Herbert Lyman (1864-1941) that brought $18,135; a Faberge egg form enameled perfume flask that reached $10,530; and a Vistosi Murano 1960s art glass bird by designer Alessandro Pianon that fetched $7,020.

The auction included a diverse collection of fine antiques, including: a circa 1770s pair of Salem or Boston mahogany demilune gate leg card tables that brought $18,000; an ancient Egyptian stone bust depicting the head of Amun, ca. 1336-1327 BC that achieved $17,550; a pair of Chinese coromandel framed hardstone panels inlaid with semiprecious stones that sold for $14,400; an antique cased boardroom size half hull ship model that raised $9,360; and a full body copper running fox weathervane by L.W. Cushing & Co. (Waltham, MA) that brought $8,775.

A complete list of auction results can be found at The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries fine art and antique feature auction will take place on November 18 & 19, 2017.

For more information, visit, email, or call 207-354-8141.

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