CRANSTON, R.I. – A matching pair of samplers, done by young sisters in Ohio in 1806 and 1808, sold as one lot for $10,000 at an Antique, Fine Art & Jewelry Auction held March 2 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
The samplers (above) were beautifully executed in Wallingford, Ohio, by the Kirkland sisters – Nancy, age 7 in 1808, and Sara, age 8 in 1806. Each sampler was decorated with a central house motif, surrounded by birds with berry bushes and trees. They were done with silk and linen, with both measuring 14 inches by 11 inches. Both were framed, with no glass in one of the frames.
“What a thrill it was to hammer down the samplers for $10,000,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “You’d think the market for early Americana is depressed, but the best always performs,” adding, “Associated paperwork went to the same buyer for $1,125.”
The auction boasted an array of furniture, decorative arts, paintings, jewelry, Asian antiques and modern design, 417 lots in all. Over one-third of the lots were paintings, drawings and multiples.
“The strong results prove the strength of us New Englanders,” said Bruneau & Co. president and auctioneer Kevin Bruneau. “Even in blizzard conditions, any day is a good day for an auction.”
Two monumental oil paintings drew the interest of bidders. One was an Impressionistic work (below) by Rene Maurice Fath (French, 1850-1922), signed and dated 1896 lower left and impressive at 94 inches by 76 inches (in the frame). The oil on canvas, depicting a thicket of trees, wild grass, shrubbery and flowers beneath a blue sky with billowing clouds, gaveled for $10,000.
The other was a 48-by-72-inch oil on Masonite by Leonardo Nierman (Mexican, b. 1932), signed “Nierman” lower left and titled Genesis on verso. The abstract expressionist composition featured vibrant orange, white, blue and black waves of color and was pulled from the collection of an Uxbridge, Massachusetts, man. The painting went for $4,375.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices include the buyer’s premium.
A Fauvist oil on canvas board autumn landscape painting by John Adams Spelman (Minn./Ill. 1880-1941), depicting a rolling valley with farmhouses and trees along a meandering river with a mountainous background, found a new owner for $2,812. The 33½-by-30½-inch (framed) work was signed lower right and exhibited influence from the artistry of painter Birger Sandzen.
A rare quadruplet carved marble mantel, crafted in the United States in the 19th century, finished at $2,500. The shimmering white marble was profusely carved with bellflower and rose uprights supporting a central frieze of quadruplet babies seated with drapery between swags of rosebuds. The mantel stood 51¾ inches tall by 57½ inches wide.
A pastel on paper marine rendering inside a 39-by-31-inch frame by Maine artist Wade Zahares, plus four children’s books illustrated by Zahares, sold as one lot for $2,250. The pastel painting depicted a large boat creating a huge wake as it approached colorful wooden buoys floating in the background. It was signed “Zahares” lower left and was in overall good condition.
A 19th century French ormolu bronze rouge marble inkwell with a patinated bronze model of a lion sculpture after a model by Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795-1875), brought $2,250. The 17-inch-tall piece included a shaped marble plinth on bronze bun feet with inset acanthus leaf ormolu frieze adorned with a patinated bronze model of the lion, which was flanked by inkwells.
Rounding out just a handful of the day’s top performers, a circa-1930 Turkish Oriental rug measuring 16 feet 5 inches by 13 feet 3 inches, having a large blue field with an allover floral and tendril design within layered polychrome borders, made from wool, brought $1,750.
For more information contact Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers at 401-533-9980.