Bidders Crazy for Maine Art at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ August Sale

by | Aug 31, 2022

THOMASTON, ME:  The August 26-28 “Splendor” sale at Thomaston Place yielded brilliant results – with total revenue of just under $3.5 million and robust totals for many individual lots, particularly for artwork by a large contingent of Maine artists.  There was a large in-house audience throughout the sale, plus record numbers of registered telephone, absentee and internet bidders from around the world.

“This auction offered important and rare items from beginning to end, so the bids poured in throughout the sale. It kept me on my toes every day, even after eight solid hours of selling;” said Thomaston Place Auction Galleries Owner and Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux.

A group of original works by members of the Wyeth family, from the estate of esteemed art collector and dealer Gary Haynes, attracted frenzied bidding. Jamie Wyeth’s (PA/ME/DE, 1946- ) mixed media work “Study for Lighthouse” brought $192,000 – exceeding its $100,000-150,000 pre-sale estimate and topping the sale. “Kyle and the Influence”, another Jamie Wyeth painting, raised $180,000.

Three watercolor paintings by Andrew Wyeth (PA/ME, 1917-2009) also generated strong interest – “The Pantry” fetched $162,000; “Granary and Mill” sold for $54,000; and a letter with painted image of a skiff called “The Edward” achieved $24,000. N.C. Wyeth’s (PA/ME/MA, 1882-1945) charcoal study for “Lincoln Delivering his Second Inaugural Address” reached $27,000.

A beautiful mid-19th Century oil on canvas painting by African-American artist Robert Scott Duncanson depicting a boatman on the Shenandoah River blew past its $40,000-60,000 pre-sale estimate and raised $138,000. And, French Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley’s (1839-1899) work titled “Banks of the Loire” brought $60,000.

Among the many Modern art paintings that generated excitement were: a cubist landscape by Albert Gleizes (France, 1881-1953) that sold for $132,000; a color composition by Beauford Delaney (TN/NY/France, 1881-1973) that brought $102,000; and a signed print by Pablo Picasso (Spain/France, 1881-1973) titled “Minotaure Aveugle”, that raised $78,000. Additionally, a serigraph titled “Crying Girl” by Roy Lichtenstein (NY, 1923-1987) fetched $36,000, and two wall-hanging fiber tapestry works by Alexander Calder (CT/NY/France, 1898-1976), both artist proofs, brought $30,000 and $31,250, versus estimates of $10,000-15,000 each.

In addition to the Wyeth pieces, works by other Maine artists also fared very well in the sale, many exceeding pre-sale estimates. Leading the pack were: “Handle on Tree”, oil on Masonite by Lois Dodd (NY/ME, 1927- ), that reached $30,000; “Leopard and Birds”, oil on canvas by Dahlov Ipcar (ME/VT, 1917-2017) that brought $22,800; a charcoal and ink portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Waldo Peirce (NY/ME/MA, 1884-1970) that sold for $16,250; an oil on linen Maine winter lumber harvesting scene by Andrew George Winter (NY/ME/MA, 1893-1958) that brought $15,000; and an ink, graphite and colored pencil image of a lobster by Nils Obel (NY/Denmark, 1937- ) that raised $15,000.

There was strong bidder interest in a Chinese Qing Dynasty carved jade Gu form vase that exceeded its $5,000-7,000 pre-sale estimate and brought $21,875, and a Chinese peach bloom glaze porcelain water pot passed its $3,000 to $5,000 estimate and sold for $10,200.  Several jewelry items also generated aggressive bidding, including: a ladies Edwardian era platinum, diamond and Burmese ruby ring that fetched $21,250; an 18K gold and diamond ring center set with an approximate 15.9 carat aquamarine that brought $17,500; and a rare early 19th Century cased Berlin iron filigree jewelry suite that achieved $15,000.  

Other items that generated high flying results well above pre-sale estimates included: a large 19th Century prancing horse weathervane by Jewell that brought $16,800; a cased set of Tiffany & Co. Hampton pattern sterling silver flatware that reached $12,500; an ancient Egyptian wooden funerary sarcophagus mask that sold for $11,875; and a rare English George III period green tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl harlequin tea caddy that sold for $10,625.  

A complete list of auction results can be found at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ next major fine art and antique sale will take place on November 11, 12 &13, 2022. 

There will also be a variety of upcoming specialty auctions, including: Eastern  Odyssey on Friday, September 9; Coins, on Friday & Saturday, September 23 & 24; and Practical Chic on Friday, September 30.

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is Northern New England’s premier auction and appraisal company located on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston.  Thomaston Place is a leader in discovering antique and fine art treasures: offering Free Appraisals each Tuesday at the Gallery, creating fundraiser events for civic and charitable organizations, providing house call appraisal services, and creating new selling strategies to serve the changing needs of consignors and buyers.  Their expertise in researching and marketing antiques and fine art has earned Thomaston Place the respect of buyers, collectors and experts worldwide.

NOTE:  All prices include buyer’s premium.