Maine Treasures Create Excitement at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries on August 25 & 26

Oil on linen painting, 'The Great Blue Heron', by N.C. Wyeth (PA/ME, 1882-1945) that sold for $253,000 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries on August 25, 2012.

THOMASTON, ME:  In spite of perfect Maine weather on August 25 & 26, prospective bidders filled Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ saleroom floor to capacity.  They were attracted by the outstanding collections of important Maine artwork, estate jewelry, Russian antiques, Chinese items, and Native American treasures on offer in this sale. They were in for a battle for many of these pieces, as there were also record numbers of registered telephone, absentee and internet bidders.  


Thomaston Place Owner and Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux said: “It’s wonderful to see such strong interest across so many categories – that’s great news for our industry.  I was also very excited by the high number of in-house and remote participants – over 200 on the floor, and more than 1,100 registered phone, absentee, and internet bidders in 31 countries.”


N.C. Wyeth’s (PA/ME, 1882-1945) monumental oil on canvas painting, ‘The Great Blue Heron’, flew to the top of the results column by surpassing its $100,000 to $125,000 presale estimate and selling for $253,000. 


Paintings created on Monhegan Island were also a key feature of this sale, and many examples delivered sale prices significantly over presale estimates, including ‘Happy Lobstering Ground’ by Andrew George Winter (NY/ME- 1893-1958) that sold for $54,050, and two other Winter works; ‘Monhegan Winter Fleet’, that brought $32,200, and ‘Hauling in the Traps’, that fetched $21,850.   Other Monhegan pieces that generated strong interest were ‘The Harbor at Monhegan’ by William Trost Richards (PA/RI, 1833-1905) that achieved $17,250; ‘Sunny Day, Monhegan Beach’, a 1920s work by Mary Stuard Townsend Mason (ME/PA, 1886-1964) that sold for $9,200; and ‘Cliff Study - Granite Rocks of Maine' or 'Monhegan', by Aaron Draper Shattuck (CT/NH, 1832-1928) that brought $9,200.

Modern art also attracted strong interest. ‘Femme Assise au Chignon’, a signed and numbered linocut print by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), sold for $29,900; ‘Kakemono’ a gouache work by Alexander Calder (CT/NY/France, 1898-1976) achieved $29,900; a signed and number colored lithograph, 'Captain Bryaxis's Dream' by Marc Chagall (NY/France, 1887-1985) brought $18,400; and a serigraph, ‘Les Bijoux Indiscrets’ by Rene Magritte (Belgian, 1898-1967), reached $10,925.


A magnificent early 19th Century carved wooden ship figurehead in the form of the Federal Eagle that was found in a Bath, Maine barn sold for $40,250 after spirited bidding from the floor and phones.  Several other fine examples of wood artistry also appealed to bidders, including: a burl maple double handle bowl with leaf and scroll carving that brought $12,650; a painted pine Bellamy eagle that reached $8,625; and a group of 6 Eider duck decoys by a variety of makers that achieved $3,162.50.


There was aggressive bidding for several lots of imperial Russian objects.  A set of 6 19th Century clear glass goblets by the Imperial Glass Works of St. Petersburg sold for $21,850, and 12 porcelain dinner plates from the Alexandrinsky Service that were commissioned in 1899 by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna for the Winter Palace brought $17,250.  A circa 1800 Russian pastille box in Tula metal with gold and bronze appliqués sailed past its $2,500 to $3,500 presale estimate and sold for $10,350.


Three fine pieces of medieval art also exceeded expectations at the sale.  A limestone statue of a standing female saint with remnants of its original polychrome paint, most likely of French origin, brought $23,000; a 16th – 17th Century Flemish oil on copper painting depicting the Madonna and Child in a mystic landscape sold for $10,350; and a Gothic 15th Century carved gilt wood cupboard door with an oil painting of 'Ecce Homo', Christ before the Cross, achieved $8,050.


Bidder interest in the diverse selection of Chinese antiques was robust.  A circa 1750 Chinese Export gilt silver lidded box, identical in form to seven examples now in the Hermitage, sold for $10,925, and a matched pair of 19th Century blue and white porcelain octagonal garden seats brought $8,625.  Other high flying Chinese lots included: a reticulated celadon jade offering bowl with Qianlong mark (1736-1795) that reached $8,050; a two-piece late 19th c belt buckle in two-tone jadeite that made $8,050; an late Ming Period (1500-1700 AD) standing hardwood figure of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva that achieved $6,900; a Ming Dynasty temple offering table with exaggerated scrolled legs that sold for $5,290; and a Qi Ba Shi Ink Scroll study of a rake that brought $5,175.


High performing furniture lots included: a pair of 1930s vintage Ifugao carved teak chairs in the form of a seated man in loincloth resting his arms on his knees and the heads of smaller figures that sold for $21,850; a circa 1765-1785 Boston Chippendale Cuban Mahogany Block Front Kneehole Bureau that brought $16,100; a pair of circa 1950 Mies van deer Rohe's 'Barcelona' Modernist chairs made by Knoll of New York in tan leather and chromed steel that raised $6,900; and a custom artisan table made from a single tree section of burled maple that achieved $5,290.


Many jewelry lots also generated strong bidder response, with a ladies 8 carat emerald and diamond ring bringing $34,500; an 18K gold link chain necklace with natural emerald free form polished beads and 72 pave set diamond links selling for $32,200; and a custom made 18K gold carved jade necklace by David Webb reaching $20,700.


A complete list of auction results can be found at  The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries sale will take place on November 3, 4 & 5, 2012. 


Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is coastal Maine’s premier auction and appraisal company located on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston.  Thomaston Place is a leader in discovering Maine’s antique and fine art treasures by offering Free Appraisals each Tuesday at the Gallery, creating fundraiser events for civic and charitable organizations using its unique Mobile Appraisal Laboratory, and providing house call appraisal services.  Its 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 the 15% buyer’s premium.

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