Asian Items Lead Sale As Grogan Celebrates Silver Anniversary

A Nineteenth Century pair of cloisonné covered vases realized $92,250.

DEDHAM, MASS. — Twenty-five years and going strong, Grogan & Company celebrated its silver anniversary with an auction June 16. Fittingly, a 20-inch American silver vase marked only “sterling” and inscribed “Aztec”’ that was estimated at $2/3,000 elicited $45,000. The vase was otherwise unmarked, had no history and was dented on the neck and body. The successful bidder said that the maker may have been an important New York silversmith of the late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century. The vase came from the third generation of an area collection.

Grogan staff commemorated the occasion with a cocktail party planned for Friday before the sale, but moved later to Thursday because of a civic event in downtown Dedham. Emails were sent and the party was packed on Thursday. Some never got the email and showed up Friday — so the party continued. The sale itself was international in nature, with material from around the globe and 63 countries represented in the bidding.

The day’s highlight was Chinese, however. A Nineteenth Century pair of cloisonné vases with gilt bronze realized $92,250. Its provenance includes Sir Leon Bagrit, the English automation pioneer whose firm was the largest outside the United States; the pair descended in the family. A 16-inch pair of Chinese porcelain rooster figures realized $15,990. Also with Bagrit provenance, a Chinese finely carved ivory tea caddy with two cut glass covered jars went for $6,000. With some condition problems, it was accompanied by a typewritten card that read, “With best wishes from Queen Mary.”

Other Chinese objects of desire included a bronze figure of a seated deity with gilt and polychrome that realized $19,680. Two Chinese silk robes sold for $6,765; one was embroidered with flowers and birds on a seafoam green ground, and the other with scenic embroidery on a red ground. A 64-inch Chinese scroll painting of birds on flowering branches went for $9,000, and a Chinese bronze archaic-style vase brought $9,600.

Another Asian lot of interest was a Japanese cloisonné tray depicting cranes in a misty moonlight by artist Namikawa Sosuke, imperial craftsman to the Emperor Meiji. Estimated $3/5,000, the tray sold for $15,600. Bidders believed in a group of 36 color block Ukiyo-e prints by Ando Hiroshige and drove the lot past the estimated $2/3,000 to $9,600.

Two copper architectural panels with dragons and other chinoiserie decoration had come from the Chinese Tea House at Alva Vanderbilt Belmont’s Marble House in Newport, R.I., and sold to a mid-Atlantic collector on the phone for $36,000. The panels originally comprised a single two-sided panel, a central feature of the 1914 tea house, and was blown into the ocean by Hurricane Carol in 1954. It was later recovered but an effort made to return it to Marble House was rebuffed. It subsequently turned up at Goldberg Antiques in Boston where it sold in the 1960s to the consignor’s father. In the 1970s it was separated into two panels, each framed in copper.

French furniture and decorations from an area collection proved to be the subjects of great interest. The furniture star was a Louis XVI table des muses in the manner of Paris ébéniste Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis Beurdley with elaborate marquetry representing the goddesses Urania and Calliope and ornate ormolu mounts. The table is a copy of one made for Louis XVI’s garde meuble and it realized $33,825. It is headed to China.

A Louis XV-style bureau plat with parquetry inlay and ormolu mounts was 65 inches wide and sold to the New York trade for $25,200, and an ornate Nineteenth Century Louis XV-style rouge marble three-piece garniture with ormolu mounts elicited $21,600 from a West Coast dealer. An Eighteenth Century French mythological tapestry depicting an archer brought $8,100 from the New York trade.

A pair of Vienna porcelain covered urns on stands from about 1900 with gilt decoration and reserves painted with mythological scenes was marked with beehives in underglaze blue and sold for $12,600.

An Irish Victorian brass eight-day skeletal clock bore the labels of watchmaker and philanthropist William Gibson of Belfast and came from a Camden, Maine, estate. It sold for $12,000.

Nearly 300 paintings and other objects of fine art crossed the block. “Old Iowa Barn,” a 1939 oil on board by Cedar Rapids artist Marvin Cone, was the top lot in that category when it went to a phone bidder for $51,000. The painting, which was signed and dated, included Isabel Howell Brown in its provenance; Brown and her husband William Brown were longtime supporters of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, where a larger version of the painting is on view. It is headed back to Iowa.

Roy Lichtenstein’s serigraph “Forms in Space,” a play on the flag, was signed, numbered 82/125 and dated 1985; it sold to a collector in the gallery for $48,000.

“Leda and the Swan,” a Ripolin on Masonite scene by Australian artist Sir Sidney Robert Nolan, was dated 15 May 1960, had been part of the collection of Sir Leon Bagrit and sold on the phone for $46,800. The picture was one of a group Nolan painted of the mythological Leda and the Swan and it is headed back to Australia.

“Poems of Jules Laforgue,” a set of 22 color screen prints on Neobond synthetic paper by Twentieth Century English artist Patrick Caulfield, celebrates the work of the Nineteenth Century French Uruguayan Symbolist poet. The lot realized $26,400 from a London dealer and the proceeds benefit the Hasbro Children’s Fund.

English artist George Romney’s circa 1797 oil on canvas portrait of James Morley, registrar of the East India Company in Bombay, brought $16,800. The painting will be included in the catalogue raisonné of Romney’s works in preparation by Alex Kidson.

The French Modernist oil on canvas “Still Life with Pitchers” by Claude Venard brought $19,200, and his abstract still life went for $3,600, while his abstract still life with apples was $3,075, the latter two against the estimated $800–$1,200.

“Tête de Rachel, Le Tragedienne,” an oil on canvas portrait of Mademoiselle Rachel by French neoclassicist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, was a good value for one absentee bidder who paid $18,000 for it.

The Nineteenth Century Italian painting “Girl in Garden with Basket of Flowers” was signed by Florentine artist Francesco Vinea and dated 1893. It sold online for $13,530. The consignor, reported auctioneer Michael Grogan, wanted something in the 25th anniversary sale.

Emile Gruppe’s oil on board “Beach Scene,” a Cape Ann view, sold online for $20,910, while his semi-snowy oil on canvas “Beech Trees” fetched $5,400.

“Still Life of Fruit” by White Mountain artist Robert Spear Dunning was signed and dated 1873 and realized $19,200.

Texas artist Julian Onderdonk’s oil on canvas “Landscape with Figure on a Path” made $21,600. The painting will be included in the catalogue raisonné in preparation by Harry Halff Fine Art in San Antonio and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The bronze “Pan of Rohallion” by Frederick MacMonnies sold for $15,990. The figure of the god of nature is one of many bronze reductions the artist made after a fountain in the garden of a New Jersey estate. This example was signed by the artist and marked “copyright 1894, Paris 1890” and stamped “JA Boeuf & Bouard Fondeurs a Paris.” A French bronze of Napoleon aboard a horse in gilt and patinated bronze with an ivory face and hands was signed by Jules Edmond Masson and stamped “Made in France.” It realized $6,765.

The multitalented, 90-year-old Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró is a prominent and self-taught painter, ceramicist, muralist, writer and architect. His signed and dated 1958 abstract oil on board “Paseo Por El Malecon” sold for $13,200 against the estimated $400/600. It is headed back to Uruguay.

A selection of material from the studio of Boston artist Allan Rohan Crite included a lot of two ink and marker drawings, “A Few Words” and “More Words,” that sold on the phone for $7,200. Another lot was a 1996 watercolor view of the old Dover Street Station that went online for $5,228.

All prices quoted reflect the buyer’s premium. For information, www.groganco.com or 781-461-9500.

Roy Lichtenstein’s serigraph “Forms in Space” brought $48,000.

Marked only “sterling” and inscribed ”Aztec,” the American vase was estimated at $2/3,000 and elicited $45,000.

Two copper architectural panels from the Chinese Tea House Marble House in Newport, R.I., sold for $36,000.

The Louis XVI table des muses in the manner of Paris ébéniste Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis Beurdley is a copy of one made for Louis XVI’s garde meuble. It sold for $33,825 to a buyer in China.

A 16-inch pair of Chinese porcelain rooster figures fetched $15,990.

Nancy Grogan is seated on one of three stylish playing card chairs with needlework by decorative arts consultant and needlepoint expert Lou Gartner and faux painting by Isabel O’Neil Studio in New York. Missing the fourth, the diamond, the three sold for $840.

Two ink and marker drawings by Boston artist Allan Rohan Crite, “A Few Words” and “More Words,” sold for $7,200.

The Chinese ivory tea caddy was carved and sold for $6,000.

Auctioneer Michael Grogan welcomes guests to the party celebrating the 25th anniversary of Grogan & Company.
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