One of the top lots of the sale was this 10'5" x 7'1" Sarouk carpet with a russet field and blue border. It sold for $6210.
This primitive 18th-century sawbuck table with a single wide board top and breadboard ends sold for $3565.
This Ethan Allen running horse weathervane with a molded copper head and body brought $1380.
Here’s the steam engine model, probably made by Edward Buffum Varney, that sold for $2213.75.
This 35" model canoe by Sylvester Francis, canoe and model maker for Old Town Canoe Company, Old Town, Maine, was probably from about the 1950’s and was complete with paddles. It sold for $1351.25. Hap Moore photo.
Hap Moore Antiques Auctions, York, Maine
Hap Moore’s January 12 auction in York, Maine, brought forth a good assortment of “Maine-iana,” to coin a new phrase, along with a good assortment of Orientalia, and “Europe-iana.”
There were about 13 paintings by Maine artist Gibeon Bradbury (1833-1904), who is often misidentified as Gideon Bradbury. He began a successful carriage-painting business in Portland, Maine, before turning to landscape painting. Some of the works were signed and some weren’t, but all were attributed to Bradbury via family history. “They came from the Kimball family farm,” Moore related. “They were given to the family by Gibeon, who lived about a mile away. He was good friends with the family back in the nineteenth century.” One titled Coffin Dam was probably a scene of the Saco River, one of Bradbury’s favorite haunts. It sold for $805 (includes buyer’s premium). Another by Bradbury, titled Mayflowers in Buttertown, also depicted the banks of the Saco River and brought $805. It seemed as though buyers were willing to pay good market prices for the paintings, even though some were unsigned and the glow of the attribution might dim once they left the auction hall.
Several pieces of furniture in the sale came from the homestead of the Perkins family, whose progenitors settled in Hampton, New Hampshire, in 1638. A primitive sawbuck table from the 18th century generated the most interest. At least five phone bidders competed with bidders in the audience. It had a single wide board top with breadboard ends and quickly shot up to $3565.
Physically towering over the sale was a clock by Dutch maker Antony Janszen that was tall enough to give the ornamental angels nosebleeds. I found references to Janszen operating in Amsterdam circa 1750. The burlwood case and bonnet were topped with angel and Atlas ornaments, and the brass and silver filigreed face was engraved with the Janszen name. The $3450 selling price looked pretty strong for a European, albeit early, clock selling on this side of the pond. “The alarm was not set up,” Moore noted, “but it was working in the house.”
Then there was the little engine that could and did when it hit $2213.75. In 1925, Edward Buffum Varney (b. 1868) of Massachusetts and Maine was issued a patent for something called the “Varney Veneer Vat.” It was an improvement on the process of placing logs into tanks of boiling water to prepare them for conversion to veneers. In his patent application, Varney noted that operators of the vats were “liable to accidentally step into the vat, usually with fatal results.” Varney’s invention was essentially an auxiliary platform structure that allowed a sleepy or inept operator to open and close the vat without getting himself cooked and turned into plywood. That invention became Varney’s main claim to fame.
The little gizmo Moore offered, however, didn’t seem to have anything to do with Varney’s previous creation. It was described on an accompanying tag as “Made by Edward Buffum Varney, No. Berwick, ME., Inventor of the Varney Veneer Vat Hoist” in all capital letters, and it appeared to be a model of a derrick-type steam engine. It may have been a patent model for some other Varney invention. The buyer was Charles Chiarchiaro, director emeritus of the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine. Chiarchiaro expressed some doubt as to whether Varney actually built the model, noting that it appeared to predate his veneer vat invention by perhaps half a century. Nevertheless, he was well pleased with the creative little piece of machinery.
For more information, visit (www.hapmoore.com) or call (207) 363-6373.
This mid-Atlantic mahogany sideboard with spade feet and stop-fluted legs and columns that reflected the decorations in the center panel brought $1035. Hap Moore photo.
This Stieff sterling silver repoussé chocolate pot or pitcher, 10½" tall, brought $2530.
|This is a tall clock by 18th-century Dutch maker Antony Janszen. The case is burlwood. With Atlas and trumpeting angels as the finials, the clock has a silvered and brass face with raised brass spandrels and a moon phase tombstone dial. It sold for $3450. Hap Moore photo.
Originally published in the May 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest