THOMASTON, ME: In spite of a return to winter weather, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ Winter Enchantment sale on February 24 -26 generated aggressive bidding and strong results. The sale generated just under $1.7 million in sales and 85% overall sell rate.
“We had many in-house, phone and absentee sale participants – great news for a Maine winter auction, plus the online platforms were buzzing all three days;” Thomaston Place Auction Galleries Owner and Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux.
Modern art attracted strong interest. A 1956 modernist painting by Gertrude Abercrombie (IL/WI/Germany, 1909-1977), Leaf and Chaise Lounge, led the sale, sailing past its $20,000-30,000 estimate and bringing $51,250. Andy Warhol’s (NY, 1920-1987) 1968 signed and numbered serigraph, “Campbell’s Soup (Cream of Mushroom)” fetched the second-highest result, raising $42,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-30,000. “Shipboard Girl,” a 1965 offset lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein (NY, 1923-1997) raised $31,250.
A 1967 impasto oil on plywood work titled “Red Hills” by Spanish artist Benjamin Palincia Perez (1894-1980) created excitement when it rocketed past its $6,000 to $8,000 estimate and brought $22,500 from an online bidder. Three abstract paintings by Serge Charchone (Russia/France, 1888-1975) also fared well, generating total sales of $55,900, each within or exceeding pre-sale estimates.
There was frenzied bidding for a portrait cataloged as a German Renaissance style piece estimated at $1,000 to $1,500. After extended competition between the phones and internet, the painting brought $39,600.
Works by Maine artists also attracted interest. A beautiful winter scene by contemporary painter Linden Frederick fetched $25,000. “The Pirate Flag,” a watercolor painting on “Benner Island, Maine” letterhead by Andrew Wyeth (ME/PA, 1917-2009) that is framed back-to-back with a personal letter from Wyeth achieved $10,000, versus a pre-sale estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. George Hathaway’s (ME/RI, 1852-1903) amazing 1896 painting depicting the “USS Maine” in Havana Harbor raised $8,400, well over its $3,000 to $4,000 estimate. An 1881 Italian street scene by James Phinney Baxter (ME, 1831-1921), father of former Maine governor Percival P. Baxter (in office 1921-25), with a notation that this was his first oil painting, reached $7,800, versus a $500 to $700 estimate.
A humorous welded iron creation by Maine sculptor Barry Norling (US, 20th c.) depicting an anthropomorphic seated pig enjoying a lobster dinner exceeded its $2,000 to $3,000 estimate and brought $7,500.
Two Chinese lots greatly exceeded pre-sale estimates. A 17th Century Ming Dynasty gilded bronze seated Bodhisattva that brought $28,125 ($10,000-15,000 est.), and an 18th Century celadon glazed porcelain stem cup with Qianlong seat mark on base reached $27,600 ($1,000-1,500 est.).
High flying jewelry lots included: a vintage ladies platinum ring with a 4.55-ct diamond that brought $30,000, within its $25,000-35,000 estimate; a rare Edwardian moonstone and sapphire pendant necklace that zoomed past its $3,000 to $5,000 estimate and sold for $27,600; and an Elwood Van Clief platinum, emerald and diamond ring that sold within estimate at $12,000.
Other noteworthy lots were: a carved and painted eagle, possibly the figurehead off of a US Navy officer’s launch, that brought $16,250 ($3,000-5,000 est.); an 18th Century two-part French provincial armoire in blue paint that sold for $11,400 ($2,500-3,500 estimate); a Polyphon upright 22” disc music box (with 15 discs) that reached $10,200 ($3,000-5,000 estimate); and a group of ten 14K gold watch fobs with carved stone intaglios that brought $9,000 ($1,500-2,000 estimate).
A complete list of auction results can be found at www.thomastonauction.com. Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ next major fine art and antique sale will take place on July 7, 8 & 9, 2023.
Thomaston Place Auction Galleries will also present several upcoming one-day absentee Thomaston Light auctions, including: “Serendipity” on March 8, “Temptations” on March 22, “Panache” on April 19, and “Simple Pleasures” on May 3.
Additionally, sister company Vintage Accents will conduct regular timed online sales, including: “Worldly Wonders” ending on March 15, “Ravishing Rarities” ending on April 5, and “Mischievous Magpie” on May 10.
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.