The February sale at Thomaston Place Auction

Featuring fine art, decorative items and Inuit artifacts
Posted:  Sunday, February 4, 2018 - 8:00am
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Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ three-day Winter Auction on Feb. 16-18 will present an array of traditional and modern artwork, antiques, decorative items and ethnographic artifacts that will warm the hearts of collectors, decorators and dealers worldwide.

Thomaston Place owner and auctioneer Kaja Veilleux noted: “Our first sale of 2018 has us branching into new fields of art and antiques, while at the same time introducing a newly designed auction hall. I hope everyone will join us for great auction.”

An important Jasper Francis Cropsey (NY, 1823-1900) painting titled “Gray’s Elegy at Stoke Poges, Kent” (actually Stoke Poges Buckinghamshire), inspired by the poem by English poet Thomas Gray, will lead the sale. Cropsey, who resided in the United Kingdom between 1856 and 1863, created several works depicting the picturesque church at Stoke Poges.

Paintings by Charles Walter Simpson (UK, 1885-1971), William Aiken Walker (SC/MD, 1838-1921), Franklin Brooke Voss (NY, 1880-1953), Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins (PA, 1844-1916), Walt Kuhn (NY/CA, 1877-1949), and James Taylor Harwood (UT/CA, 1860-1940) will also be featured in the auction.

On Friday, Feb. 16,  the auction focus will be on two fine collections – a recently discovered cache of perfectly preserved modern art from a Camden, Maine estate, including works by a veritable who’s who of important late 20th Century contemporary artists; PLUS an extensive group of fine Inuit-crafted antiquities, art and artifacts, ranging from ancient tools and ceremonial items to contemporary sculptures. Best of all, everything on this day will be sold unreserved.

In addition to the many original works and signed fine art prints, the contemporary art collection includes many artist-signed exhibition posters, suggesting that the owner personally knew many of the artists, both American and European. The collection includes pieces by William Turnbull (NY/Scotland, 1922-2012), Robert Morris (NY/KS, 1931- ), Tina Girouard (NY, 1946- ), Dan Flavin (NY, 1933-1996), Damian Hurst (UK/NY, 1965- ), and many others.

The 333-lots of Inuit artifacts will be led by two nicely patinated 19th century carved wooden shamanic masks presented on metal museum stands. A circa 1000 AD fire starter fetish figure and a rare Okvik ceremonial grease bowl, both in carved fossilized mastodon tusk, will be presented along with many fine antiquities. Among the many carved stone works by artists of Quebec and the Northwest Territories will be: “The Shaman’s Dream”, a 24” high sculpture by Joe Nasogaluak (Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, Canada) depicting a man enveloped by a bird and seal, and Pauloosie Weetaluktuk’s (Inukjuak, Quebec, Canada, 1938-2012) 1960s signed grey serpentine carving of a hunter dragging a seal.

On Saturday, Feb. 17 the sale will include important fine art and antiques. In addition to the works by Cropsey, Simpson, Eakins, and Harwood, there will be an important elephant folio engraving by John James Audubon (NY, 1785-1851), “Red Headed Woodpecker, Plate 27” from the Havell Edition of “Birds of America”.

The 69-lot group of fine Asian antiques will include a 19th century Chinese temple vase with pate-sur-pate decoration of a nine-tiered pagoda, and a pair of Kangxi period famille verte porcelain plates with enameled decoration. There will be a nice group of 18th and early 19th century Chinese export armorial porcelain, led by a mid-18th century plate made for the Russian market and bearing the arms from the era of Catherine the Great; and three circa 1770 dishes made for the English market and painted with the arms of the Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton.

Many fine pieces of antique furniture will be presented on Saturday, including: an 18th century American Queen Anne cherry highboy, Sheraton bowfront four drawer mahogany chest, each drawer with three inlaid figured panels and original brasses; a monumental French Louis XVI walnut bonnet top armoire, circa 1780; and an 18th  century French provincial walnut two-part diamond point gent’s cabinet. And as always, the sale will include several pieces of Maine crafted antique furniture.

The marine category will feature the Edmund P. Skillin Collection of fine scrimshaw and antique nautical items (including several pieces from his great friend, Arctic explorer Rear Admiral Donald MacMillan) which has been on loan to a Maine museum for the past 35 years.

The Saturday sale will also offer a group of Middle Eastern and Indo-Persian treasures, such as: a Persian Qajar 19th century enameled hookah top and ghalian cup; a late 7th century BC silver Persian rhyton drinking cup; and a 6th to 7th century AD amber glass waisted flask.

On Sunday, Feb. 8 the auction will focus on jewelry and fine and decorative items of the late 19th and 20th centuries, including a Viennese gilt 900-silver, enamel and rock crystal compote; a five-piece sterling silver tea and coffee set by Georg Jensen; a 1931 Louis Vuitton crinoline trunk with lift out basket; and a 19th century framed KPM porcelain plaque depicting a penitent Mary Magdalene.

The large group of estate jewelry will include a ladies platinum ring center set with a 1.8 carat round brilliant cut diamond flanked by two oval diamonds and four baguettes and a vintage 18K gold, ruby, diamond and pearl necklace.

On Sunday, a unique and historic World War II era item will be offered -- the July-August 1943 page from Winston Churchill’s engagement diary containing notations regarding Churchill’s Campobello meeting with FDR at which initial D-Day plans were made.

There will be a collection of fine clocks, led by a 19th century Viennese enameled figural table clock with globe form case enclosing a horizontally mounted fusee clock, and a French gilt bronze Renaissance Revival shelf clock retailed by Tiffany & Co.

The Sunday furniture collection will include: a Wooten desk in American walnut with raised burled panels and an L. & J.G. Stickley seven-slat back settee in quarter sawn oak.

The auction will begin at 11 a.m. EST each day. A complete, full color catalog, with detailed descriptions and photographs, is available, and all lots can be viewed at www.thomastonauction.com.

 In addition to live bidding in the auction hall, Thomaston Place accepts bids via absentee, telephone, and on the internet (via Thomaston Live, Invaluable, or Live Auctioneers). The buyer’s premium is 17 percent for live, telephone, and absentee bidders and 20 percent for online bidders. Please call 1-207-354-8141 for more information or to reserve seats in the auction hall.

The gallery will be open for previews Monday, Feb. 12 through Thursday, Feb. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day;  and from 9-11 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning before the auction begins.