Thomaston Place presents big three-day Winter Enchantment sale Feb. 23-25

THOMASTON, Maine — Thomaston Place Auction Galleries marks February with a huge three-day Winter Enchantment sale featuring nearly 1,100 lots of antiques, jewelry, and other collectible items. The event spans Friday, February 23 through Sunday, February 25, and the catalogs are now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Japan’s Muromachi era ran from approximately 1336 to 1573, marking the governance of the Muromachi shogunate. These 16th-century carved-wood garden statues represent Nios, wrathful and muscular guardians of the Buddha. Many Buddhist temples today feature a pair like these standing guard at the entrance. The two are together estimated at $9,000-$11,000.

Stultz & Co. was a New York-based builder of player pianos. This 1907 nickelodeon piano-xylophone-drum machine is in good working condition, and it appears this is a video of it in action. It comes with 13 player rolls for hours of musical entertainment from the turn of the previous century, and it carries an estimate of $5,000-$10,000.

Looking like it should be traversing the Nile in an Agatha Christie detective novel is a Marklin Blenheim tin clockwork paddlewheel steamer toy. At 30in in length, the piece features partial restoration and repaints with a detached wheelhouse. The largest paddlewheel steamer made by the company, it is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.

David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) was a Flemish Baroque genre painter who liked to depict everyday people doing everyday things. In Walled Castle with Three Travelers and a Dog, we see Teniers showing people and their trusty canine companion taking in the scenery. The 7.75 by 9.75in painting has a $25,000-$35,000 estimate.

As a key member of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s, Beauford Delaney (1901-1979) would eventually relocate to Paris and change his style to abstract expressionism. Untitled No. 4 is a mixed media on Arches paper, laid to hardboard and signed and dated 1963. As is typical with contemporary market demand for works by Delaney, the piece is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

Ann and Gordon Getty collection performed admirably at Stair

Bessarabian carpet, which sold for $20,000 ($25,600 with buyer’s premium) at Stair.

HUDSON, N.Y. – Finding antiques with the wow factor was Ann Getty’s forte, and she did it with great dedication, some good advice, and a formidable bank balance. When Stair Galleries sold more lots from the remarkable Ann and Gordon Getty collection on January 23-25, it meant more of the sumptuous English and European furnishings that made the $200 million-plus series of sales at Christie’s in New York such memorable events. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3).

Colin Stair had known Ann and Gordon Getty personally, having worked with them during his time at Sotheby’s and Stair Restoration. “Ann Getty was patience and taste personified”, he said. “She was, without a doubt, one of America’s greatest self-taught decorators.”

The 726 lots titled A Lifetime of Connoisseurship, Curiosity and Collecting brought together art, furniture, and objects from three California properties that were furnished in what was dubbed the ‘layered maximalism’ style: an Italianate manse in Pacific Heights; her childhood home outside of Sacramento, known as Wheatland; and Temple of Wings, the Greco-Roman-style estate in Berkeley Hills.

Many items included provenances to Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions in London and New York, bought from the late 1970s into the first decade of the 21st century. However, the difference between this and previous sales were the distinctly affordable estimates. Most entries were estimated under $2,000, and few had reserves.

Two distinctly different carpets led the first day of selling, bringing $20,000 ($25,600 with buyer’s premium) each.

Estimated at $4,000-$6,000 was a late 19th-century Bessarabian carpet of the type produced under late Ottoman rule in the area corresponding to modern Bulgaria and Romania. This example, measuring a substantial 9ft 5in by 9ft 7in, had been bought from London specialist dealer C. John in 1993.

Bringing the same sum against a modest estimate of $1,500-$3,000 was an Arts and Crafts rug of a similar date. Made at the Donegal workshop established by Scottish industrialist Alexander Morton in the 1890s, the design is probably one made by family member Gavin Morton in collaboration with colleague G. K. Robertson. A number of similar carpets formed part of Christie’s sale of selected contents from Temple of Wings that was furnished from the late 19th and early 20th century embracing the Arts & Crafts movement, the Gothic Revival, and the Aesthetic Movement.

The English furniture from the Getty sales has been particularly good. It’s no surprise to learn that the market is not where it once was, but in terms of quality and quantity, the Getty offering amounts to the finest dispersal of its type for a generation.

Among the more academic pieces in this sale was a George IV gilt-metal and scagliola top center table. The choice of materials is unusual and reflects its history: it was probably made for the Scottish Whig Member of Parliament and collector Alexander Murray (d. 1845), who lived at Cally House in the town of Gatehouse, Kirkcudbrightshire. This table is made in a similar way to steel fenders and was probably fashioned by a metalworker rather than a cabinetmaker, harnessing the local expertise available in an industrial center once known as ‘the Glasgow of the South’. It is thought to have been part of the contents of the Cally House auction in 1846, more recently selling at Christie’s in 2003 for £9,500 ($12,035). At Stair, it hammered for $14,000 ($17,920 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.

This sale comprised fewer period objects and more 19th- and 20th-century revivalist pieces. Its strength was the ‘just so’ objects such as a Napoleon III-style 4ft 6in settee upholstered in brocade, which hammered for $12,000 and sold for $15,360 with buyer’s premium to a bidder using LiveAuctioneers; and a provincial Italian rococo-style chest of drawers in dusty aquamarine and yellow paint that hammered for $7,000, or $8,960 with buyer’s premium.

Another country house favorite was a Chinese Export six-panel screen decorated in black lacquer and parcel gilt. It had been sold as 18th century when offered by Christie’s in London in June 1986 as part of the property of the Victorian industrialist Viscount Leverhulme. Here undated, it was estimated at $2,500-$5,000 and hammered for $25,000 ($32,000 with buyer’s premium).

Dining at Ann and Gordon Getty’s Californian residences could seldom have been dull. Guests were treated to a sense of the theatrical with the choice of countless Tiffany and Limoges porcelain dinner services, flatware from Christofle electroplate to Delarboulas stainless steel and pink acrylic, and seating styles from William Kent to Craig Nutt.

The dinner party conversation piece par excellence was an early 20th-century painted wood and antler chandelier in the form of a mermaid. Made in the Swiss region of Brienz known for its wood carving shops (traditionally called Black Forest furniture) it measured an impressive 4ft 1in across. Bought by Ann Getty from the San Francisco dealership Gaylord Antiques in 1996, it hammered for $13,000 ($16,640 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $700-$900.

Similarly estimated was a pair of circa-1930 painted metal, shell, and faux coral wall sconces by uber-fashionable French designer-decorator Bolette Natanson (d. 1936). Typical of her love of under-the-sea fauna and surrealism, these went to a LiveAuctioneers bidder at $14,000 ($17,920 with buyer’s premium).

Even Santa Claus made a belated appearance on the final day, arriving behind the wheel of a Tipp & Co. clockwork roadster. Dated circa 1928, this Nuremburg lithographed tin toy profusely decorated with images of toys, teddies, and colorful balloons carries a revolving Christmas feather tree on its trunk. Given that another in better condition had sold for $25,000 at Bertoia Auctions in September 2012, it was perhaps no great surprise to see this one roll past its estimate to bring $11,000 ($14,080 with buyer’s premium).

A final Getty sale at Stair, titled A Confluence of 19th and 20th Century Design, is scheduled for Thursday, February 29. The proceeds of all the sales benefit the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for the Arts.

Bertoia Auctions wraps Schroeder toy collection series at $5.7M

Kyser & Rex (Philadelphia) Roller Skating cast-iron mechanical bank, excellent condition retaining bright original paint colors. Sold for $24,000
Kyser & Rex (Philadelphia) Roller Skating cast-iron mechanical bank, excellent condition retaining bright original paint colors. Sold for $24,000
Kyser & Rex (Philadelphia) Roller Skating cast-iron mechanical bank, excellent condition retaining bright original paint colors. Sold for $24,000

VINELAND, N.J. – After the toy community had the excitement of bidding on treasures from the 60-year Aaron and Abby Schroeder collection in March and September 2021, only one question lingered: was there more? Indeed, there was. With a heady $5.7 million subtotal from last year’s events as its foundation, the third and final installment put the exclamation point on the series. On October 14th, Bertoia’s presented “Abby’s Attic Finds,” a 500-lot discovery selection that added another $550,000 to boost the grand total to $6.25 million.

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Rare Marx prototypes claim top honors at Milestone’s $500K toy auction

The top lot of the sale was a Marx prototype Speedboy 4 motorcycle with a soldier driver, ‘AMMO’ box, and spring-loaded cannon for shooting projectiles. Sold for $16,800 against an estimate of $6,000-$9,000

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – There’s no great mystery as to why vintage toys are so popular with collectors. They’re colorful, they’re fun, and they invariably prompt the comment so familiar to auctioneers and toy dealers: “Wow! I had one of those when I was a kid!” One of Milestone Auctions’ specialties is antique and vintage toys, and the nostalgia factor that drives today’s prices for clean, crisp vintage toys is something they witness at each of their sales, including their January 29 Winter Antique Toy Spectacular that took in just under half a million dollars.

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Milestone to auction sensational collection of rare antique toys, Oct. 2

Paya tin windup motorcycle with sidecar, 11in long, Spanish. Rare all-original and complete example with working bellows. Estimate $3,000-$5,000

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Collectors of rare antique and vintage toys – whether manufactured in Europe, Japan or the USA – are in for a treat on Saturday, October 2nd. That’s when Milestone Auctions of suburban Cleveland, Ohio, will present its Fall Antique Toy Spectacular starring one of the most diverse collections of fine toys ever amassed. With the exception of a few select additions from other consignors, the 704-lot auction is devoted exclusively to the marquee collection, whose superlative holdings are a testament to decades of searching and networking within the toy hobby. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Featured: 138 rare toy motorcycles, 117 Lehmann & Gunthermann windups, George Brown masterpiece + museum-quality Ives toys, Marx prototypes, character toys

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European antique toys ruled the playing field at Milestone’s June 26 auction

Late-19th-century German tin clockwork ‘Woman Blowing Bubbles,’ in working order, sold for $9,900 against an estimate of $1,000-$1,500

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Even the best-connected toy buyers in Europe surely would have been surprised by the contents of the Margaret and Joel Weissman antique toy collection, which was offered by Milestone Auctions on June 26. The couple’s beautiful assemblage of German, French and English toys included examples of clockwork and hand-painted toys; automobiles, boats, airplanes, go-rounds and penny toys that are seldom seen on either side of the Atlantic. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

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