Fairfield, ME ~ August 25-28, 2015. Billed as the auction event of the summer, this amazing sale did not disappoint! With over 2,600 lots of world-class fine and decorative arts, antiques, folk art, Asian articles, historical items and archives on offer, Julia’s was all abuzz with almost 800 house bidders and 5,000 online bidders from 53 countries throughout the course of the four day event. After the hammer fell for the last time, 57 lots realized $10K or above. In addition, over 14 lots realized $25K or more, and 3 lots broke the six figure mark!
Day one hit the ground running with 450 lots of remarkable paintings and sculpture. Bidders were ringing the doorbell on a gorgeous Gloucester Doorway painting with provenance by Maine artist Abbott Fuller Graves, which was estimated at $20,000-40,000 and sold for $59,250. Other highlights included “Der Menschen Frosser” by German artist Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert (estimated at $150,000-200,000, sold for $165,900;) “St. Patricks” by Guy Wiggins (estimated at $10,000-15,000, sold for $16,590;) “Boats off Rockport” by Max Kuehne (estimated at $7,000-10,000, sold for $20,145;) an unsigned 18th/19th century Florentine School painting entitled “Death of the Virgin” (estimated at $5,000-7,000, sold for $22,515;) and Edgar Alwin Payne’s “Glacier, Sierra Mountains, ” which was estimated at $20,000-40,000 and sold for $23,700. Notably, an outstanding collection of over two dozen paintings by Waldo Peirce – acquired directly from the artist’s daughter – brought in almost $70,000.
Fine bronzes also weighed in heavily as part of the auction’s first day highlights. Enthusiasts climbed every mountain for leading Carl Rungius’ “Big Horn Ram” which was estimated at $125,000-175,000 and sold for $225,150. One lucky bidder feathered their nest with Paul Manship’s extraordinary “Adjutant Stork,” which was estimated at $30,000-50,000 and sold for $50,362.50.
Auction days two and three featured 1,300 lots of fine antiques, furniture, and accessories at center stage. Clock and furniture sales highlights include a Chippendale block-and-shell carved Goddard Townsend mahogany tall case clock which sold for $47,400 and a Chippendale Cherry Highboy from a private Maine home, which was estimated at $10,000-15,000, and sold for $19,552.50. The needle in the haystack for these categories was most definitely a 19th century American Empire Mahogany Sewing Stand, which was estimated at $800-1,200 and sold for $17,775.
This auction had a fantastic array of lighting and silver, and equally luminous results for these decorative item categories. Enthusiasts turned the switch on a Tiffany Studios Acorn hanging lamp (estimated at $10,000-15,000, sold for $11,850;) and a fine Handel reverse painted scenic table lamp, which was estimated at $3,000-5,000, and sold for $10,665. One silver collector took a shine to a remarkable 6 piece Tiffany Chrysanthemum pattern tea and coffee service, which was estimated at $10,000-20,000 and sold for $23,700.
Buyers looking to deck their halls – with the finest folk art, paintings, and posters that is – certainly left happy from this sale. A recently discovered ship portrait by Fitz Hugh Lane – which was featured in a recent New York Times article – also made headlines when it realized $118,500 at this sale. An exceptionally rare Peugeot automobile broadside By Rene Vincent, estimated at $8,000-10,000, ruled the road at $20,145. And everyone was floored when a folk art hooked rug entitled, “Always Save The Women First,” estimated at $2,000-3,000 finally realized $16,590 after an enthusiastic bidding battle.
Other fine categories featured during the second and third days of this momentous sale included Native American and historical items, motorcycles, and weathervanes. Highlights of these specialty categories included a Plains Buffalo Hide Box and Border Robe (estimated at $1,500-2,500, sold for $9,480;) a spectacular 19th Century Gold Encrusted Caucasian Shashka (estimated at $8,000-12,000, sold for $24,885;) and a fabulous American/Confederate 13 star American flag from the estate collection of John W. Armiger, Jr., which was estimated at $20,000-30,000, and sold for $31,995. A 1916 Harley Davidson from the estate collection of Michael Urioste, estimated at $3,000-6,000, got motorcycle collectors’ engines revving when it realized over $22,000. And buyers certainly had the wind blowing in the right direction when it came to the fine selection of weathervanes available through this sale, with the tornado being a Fiske full body New Jersey Steer which was estimated at $25,000-35,000 and sold for $52,732.50.
Julia’s fourth and final auction day was dedicated to Asian Art, and realized over $1.2 million in sales. These results leave no room for doubt that Julia’s remains the emerging leader in this most important area.
Artwork and paintings were featured prominently during the Asian portion of this auction. Collectors clearly got the warm and fuzzies from Leonard T. Foujita’s “Book of Cats,” which was estimated at $10,000-15,000 and sold for $32,587.50. Another official highlight was a portrait of a Hong Merchant of the 3rd rank, which surpassed its low estimate by a factor of 9 and realized $18,960.
Julia’s selection of decorative jades, porcelains, Peking glass, and cloisonné on offer were second to none, and buyers could not get enough of these precious Asian items. A white jade carved covered vase with elephant mask handles, estimated at $15,000-20,000, made for a memorable sale at $17,290. Porcelain highlights included a large painted famille rose tripod censer with raised handles (estimated at $30,000-50,000, sold for $ 35,550;) a finely painted famille rose moon flask (estimated at $3,000-5,000, sold for $44,437.50;) and several examples of Ge-Type porcelains, with the finest being a Hu Form Vase. This petite treat, estimated at $3,000-5,000, realized a huge $25,477.50! This sales event also offered over 30 lots of jewel toned Peking glass. Perhaps the most unique item in this category was a pair of ruby red glass ritual disks; they were estimated at $500-700 but circled back to realize almost $8,100! And a five-piece cloisonné enameled garniture set, estimated at $16,000-30,000, caught the eye of a most discerning collector to realize $18,960.
According to Bill Gage, James D. Julia’s Fine Art, Asian, and Antique Division, “It was great to see strength and buyer’s interest across the diverse categories offered during our four day sales event. Our team worked extremely hard on behalf of our consignors and customers, and I do think the results speak for themselves. Our next will be held in February, 2016, and my department is already accepting consignments for this much anticipated sales event. ”
About James D. Julia, Inc.:
James D. Julia, Inc., one of the top ten antique auction antique houses in North America, is headquartered in Fairfield, Maine. The company also has an office in Woburn, Massachusetts. In business for over 45 years, the company conducts high-end antique, collectible, and decorative arts auctions throughout the year. Julia’s has routinely establishes new world records through its sales events. The company consists of three key divisions, including rare firearms and militaria; fine and Asian art and antiques; and lamps and glass. Each division is regarded for its excellence and is staffed with world-class specialists to insure fair and professional authentication, identification, and valuation services. For more information on James D. Julia, Inc., please visit www.jamesdjulia.com.
Department Head, Fine Art, Asian, and Antiques Division
James D. Julia, Inc.