Portsmouth, NH — Paintings with a local flavor led the way Monday at the Bonhams 92 percent-sold, single-owner sale of "Furniture & Decorative Arts, Paintings and Maritime Works of Art from an Important New England Collection," held at the Frank Jones Center in Portsmouth, NH. The top lot of the sale, which brought $48,750, was "Seascape" by Newell Convers Wyeth. Before the auction, there was much discussion as to whether the rocky coast depicted in the piece was from Maine or the Isle of Shoals.
In keeping with the same theme, a small coastal scene by William Formby Halsall was the subject of a protracted bidding war, which hammered down at $6,500, against a presale estimate of $1,000-1,500. Again, speculation as to the location of the view was a topic of the day. Other paintings of note included "Along the Coast," a large seascape by Frederick Judd Waugh, sold for $20,000; Andrew Winter's "Burnt Head," an oil on panel, sold for $9,375 (est. $6,000-8,000); William Formby Halsall's "Seascape with Lighthouse," an oil on canvas, sold for $8,125 (est. $1,000-1,500); and Emile Gruppe's "Harbor," an oil on canvas, sold for $6,875 (est. $4,000-6,000).
The auction sailed along with a strong selection of Maritime works. Highlights from the section included a fine shipbuilders' model of the passenger ship S.S. Sicilia for the P&O Line by Barclay Curle & Co., of Glasgow, circa 1900, sold for $18,750; a shipbuilders' model of the S.S. LanFranc, The Booth Steamship Co., Scottish, circa 1906, sold for $16,250; Anthony D. Blake's "Fair Wind to Victory," an oil on canvas, sold for $16,250; a carved and polychromed stern board, depicting a wingspread eagle holding an American shield, sold for $10,625 (est. $5,000-7,000); and the American School painting "The American ship William Jarvis headed out to sea," sold for $10,000 - more than twice its high estimate of $4,000.
Maritime highlights also included Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen's "The S.S. Ponce at sea," an oil on board, sold for $9,375; a mirrored back presentation half model of the steam yacht Lyndonia, American, 20th century, sold for $6,250; a pair of Soviet Navy surplus deck mounted binoculars, circa 1970, sold for $6,875 (est. $2,500-3,500); Anton Otto Fischer's "To the Rescue," sold for $5,625; and the diorama "Taking on a Pilot," by Kenneth Britten, depicting the whaler Charles W. Morgan, sold for $4,125 (est. $3,000-4,000).
Gregg Dietrich, the specialist for the Maritime section of the sale stated: "We are extremely pleased with the result of the Maritime section of the sale today. There was buying from both the trade and private buyers, with interest in all aspects of the market, whether ship models, paintings, collectibles or instruments showing strong interest in this collecting niche." He added, "We are looking forward to our next two sales: Books & Manuscripts, with a section on Titanic material, slated for Tuesday, December 4, 2012 and our annual Maritime Paintings & Decorative Arts slated for Friday, January 25, 2013."
A great selection of lamps lit up the sale's top ten, led by two first-quarter 20th century, Tiffany Studios Turtleback tile Favrile glass and patinated bronze Geometric table lamps, sold for $27,500 and $21,250, respectively, and a first-quarter 20th century, Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and Suess patinated bronze Geometric table lamp, which brought $27,500.
Additional shining highlights, most from the first quarter of the 20th century, included a Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and patinated bronze Geometric table lamp, sold for $13,125; a Duffner and Kimberly and Handel leaded glass and patinated metal Banded Trumpet Vine floor lamp, sold for $10,625; a Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and patinated bronze Amber Geometric table lamp, sold for $10,000; a Handel reverse-painted glass and patinated metal San Marco table lamp, sold for $10,000 (est. $5,000-7,000); and a Tiffany Studios gilt-bronze Venetian table lamp base, sold for $9,375 (est. $6,000-9,000).
Strong prices in this sale reflected the collector's eye for good quality and condition in his diverse collecting, which included varied examples of Americana and decorative arts. Examples included six English glazed earthenware character jugs, sold for $8,750 (est. $400-600); six late 19th/early 20th century, painted wood barber poles and an electric barber pole of the mid-late 20th century, sold for $7,500 (est. $1,200-1,800); nine 20th century, carved eagle wall plaques, sold for $6,000 (est. $2,000-3,000); a George V sterling silver six piece tea and coffee service and a similar George V sterling silver two-handled tray, sold for $5,375; a late 19th/early 20th century, carved, parcel gilt and painted eagle and banner plaque, sold for $5,250 (est. $1,500-2,500); ten 20th century, carved, painted and parcel gilt wooden eagle wall plaques, sold for $5,000; a first-quarter 20th century, Unique Art Glass leaded glass and patinated metal Hibiscus table lamp, sold for $5,000 (est. $2,500-3,500); and a Royal Doulton glazed earthenware large figure of a toreador and a charging bull, sold for $3,125 (est. $400-600).
Rounding out the sale was a large group of political and presidential memorabilia, sold for $6,875 (est. $1,000-1,500) and flags: a printed 36-star Centennial flag with Lady Columbia, circa 1876, sold for $10,625 (est. $1,500-2,500); a 37-star United States flag, circa 1867-1877, sold for $8,125 (est. $1,000-1,500); a 37-star Nebraska statehood flag, circa 1867-1876, sold for $8,125 (est. $1,500-2,500); and a rare 34-star Civil War period flag of unusual elongated form, circa 1861-1863, sold for $7,500 (est. $3,000-5,000).
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com