MONROE, CONN. — As the mercury began to spike on Sunday, July 14, the auction room heated up inside Fairfield Auction’s gallery as a steady parade of choice lots hit the auction block and performed admirably, often above estimate.
“It was a pretty solid sale,” said auctioneer Jack DeStories. “We had a record number of online registered bidders — almost 800 — and a pretty good-size crowd in house.”
The sale started off with a Tiffany & Co. sterling silver eagle cane head from the early Twentieth Century boasting elaborate chase work that doubled its high estimate to fetch $1,610.
An hour or so into the sale, things really heated up, with a trio of star lots that sold within ten minutes of each other. First up was a Chorographical Map of the Province of New York by Claude Joseph Sauthier, published in 1779 by William Faden, London. The sizable map in three panels, each 25¼ by 55 inches and comprising two seamed sheets, opened at $2,760 and the bidding was all between the phones. The lot achieved $13,800.
The very next lot across the block was a Victorian tubular, chiming tall clock with silvered and gilt face and moon phase, with its tubes signed Durfee. The circa 1890 clock, measuring 8 feet 5 inches tall, sold just above high estimate at $11,500.
Then, a Panamint pictorial basket with an 11½-inch diameter by a weaver named Anna Hughes crossed the block. The beautifully made basket had great provenance in that it was offered with a small photo album showing the weaver with — and wearing — the basket, and dating the basket to 1926. It tripled its high estimate to bring $8,625 from a phone bidder.
The top lot of the auction came from the fine art category — a Venetian harbor scene near St Mark’s Cathedral, attributed to Jacobus Storck, in a period frame, that was a good buy at $14,950.
Paintings performing above estimate included a Henry Gasser oil on Masonite depicting a New England fishing village in winter for $7,475, Jay Hall Connaway’s “The Sea Wall,” a 24-by-36-inch oil on canvas for $6,900 and an Eighteenth Century, unsigned French School work in the manner of Nicolas Lancret titled “The Elegant Dancer” at $3,910.
Equally strong lots were an Arthur Gibbes Burton oil on canvas, “Cedars of Newfane,” that trumped its $200/300 estimate to bring $2,760 and Rockwell Kent’s “Lover’s Embrace” woodcut, pencil signed, that achieved ten times its low estimate to bring $5,750.
Other standouts in this diverse auction ran the gamut from an antique violin labeled C.A. (Claude Augustin) Miremont, from 1866, that realized $10,925 to a pair of French bronze and rouge marble candelabra with six lights that fetched $4,830.
Asked if the violin was a surprise, DeStories said, “It had the label of a significant maker, but I think that was a strong price even for the maker.”
Several fine watches were offered, led by an 18K gold pocket watch by the Unites States Watch Company, dated 1875, with a presentation on the inside cover, that made $5,750, far surpassing its $800–$1,200 estimate. Other watches sold included a man’s Rolex two-tone wristwatch, Oyster perpetual, for $2,760 and a Chopard 18K wristwatch with diamonds, Geneva, at $1,840.
A standout among jewelry was a diamond ring set in platinum, featuring a 1.69-carat center stone flanked by two baguette diamonds, which sold at its high estimate for $10,350. Other jewelry highlights included a 14K white gold diamond cocktail ring for $1,840, a 14K gold charm bracelet, having nine charms set with gems, at $2,300, and a Chinese green jade bracelet ($400/600) that fetched $3,220.
Leading the furniture category was a Queen Anne banister back side chair from coastal New England, carved in open work crest, early Eighteenth Century, that attained $7,475.
Also crossing the block were a matched pair of Venetian commodes in burled walnut with crossbanding, Eighteenth Century, having curved skirt and feet, selling within estimate at $6,325; an Italian baroque walnut trestle table with scalloped legs and stretcher, circa 1650, for $4,600; a Regency Pembroke table with a rosewood top and parcel-gilt ebonized base, 28 inches tall, that nearly doubled its high estimate to bring $2,530; and a French Empire style secretaire a Abattant with bronze mounts, late Nineteenth Century, at $2,300.
Highlighting the nearly two dozen Asian arts offerings in the sale was a Chinese celadon bowl with carved cover, together with base, 11¾ inches tall, surpassing its $300/400 estimate to fetch $3,910.
Shining bright among silver were a set of four Continental silver candlesticks, each depicting a different mythological figure, that realized $2,990, an American sterling repoussé tea set of six pieces, monogrammed and dated April 26, 1900, that took $2,760 and a 60-piece set of Jean Puiforcate silver flatware from the early Twentieth Century that made $2,070. A Gorham silver mounted ivory cup with a steeple chase scene (now faded) went out at $2,530.
Among the fine Oriental rugs crossing the block were a room-size Shiraz at 18 feet, 6 inches by 10 feet, 3 inches, that sold within estimate at $3,910 and a Persian Kerman at 7 feet, 6 inches by 12 feet, 2 inches for $1,495.
Rounding out the sale were a Russian carved agate baboon with ruby eyes that brought $4,140, an early fraternal sword with scabbard, having a 25-inch engraved blade, that sold for $2,530 and a Louis Vuitton trunk with fitted bottom and three removable trays going out at $3,680.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.fairfieldauction.com or 203-880-5200.