Stories for December '19

(Issue Story)

Books Received, December 2019
by M.A.D. staff

These are brief reviews of books recently sent to us. We have included ordering information for publishers that accept mail, phone, or online orders. For other publishers, your local bookstore or a mail-order house is the place to look. For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design, edited by Jeremiah ... (Read More)

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British Shipping Company Sentenced for Role in Smuggling Scheme
by M.A.D. staff

A British shipping company pleaded guilty on October 16 and was ordered to forfeit $175,000 for smuggling into the United States over 100 undeclared wildlife items, including items protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Keith Foster, 61, of Upperville, Virginia, operated an ... (Read More)

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Winterthur Garden Commemorated on a Postage Stamp
by M.A.D. staff

The 70-acre garden designed by Henry Francis du Pont that surrounds his house, museum, and library at Winterthur, Delaware, is one of ten classic gardens illustrated on a new pane of 20 postage stamps. The stamps feature ten different photographs of country estates and municipal gardens, taken between 1996 and ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Letter from London
by Ian McKay,

Something a little different for this month’s “Letter.” With two of the biggest three London rooms either busy selling in the Far East, focussing largely on modern art, or operating in collecting fields that I do not usually cover, I was relieved to find that Bonhams were up and running ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

A Deeper Understanding of the Past: Washington’s War Tent
by Lita Solis-Cohen

A Book Review "I want visitors to the Museum of the American Revolution to feel like they have walked through a movie,” said R. Scott Stephenson, president and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution, shortly after the museum opened at Third and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia in April 2017. Stephenson ... (Read More)

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Heritage Auctions Eclipses 1.25 Million Online Bidder-Members
by M.A.D. staff

Heritage Auctions has eclipsed 1.25 million online bidder-members who use its online platform (www.HA.com) to buy and sell objects across more than 40 collecting categories, the Dallas, Texas-based auction house recently announced. “Heritage Auctions remains at the forefront of auction technology, and our free database of nearly 5 million lots has ... (Read More)

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Seabrook Family Portraits on View at MESDA
by M.A.D. staff

A group of family portraits painted in Richmond, Virginia, during the American Revolution are now on exhibit at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The portraits of the Seabrook family are the work of the so-called “Payne Limner,” who worked in Virginia during the ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Passion in Collecting
by Baron Perlman

Passion: many collectors have it. Some believe it is the engine that keeps the collecting world turning and churning. It certainly leads to a variety of behaviors that those in the non-collecting world might consider unusual, even bizarre. (Of course, passionate love does the same thing.) I think of Brimfield ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

The Other Simon Willard, Clockmaker
by Bob Frishman

Photos courtesy Willard House & Clock Museum While not quite a household name, Simon Willard (1753-1848) is well known to American decorative arts scholars and collectors as an eminent and innovative Massachusetts clockmaker. His signed clocks, including the “banjo” style that he invented, continue to earn top prices. He was just ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Exhibitions, December 2019
by M.A.D. staff

Albrecht Altdorfer (German, circa 1480-1538), The Small Spruce, 1517-20, etching with watercolor, 6¼" x 4⅝". Albertina, Vienna (DG1926/1778). Image © The Albertina Museum, Vienna (Peter Ertl and Olga Pohankova). —Through January 20, 2020 —New York City The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) presents The Renaissance of Etching. Etching is an intaglio printmaking ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Suspect Seizure
by Clayton Pennington

Consider the plight of Wiscasset, Maine, dealer James Kochan and his rare Jacob Hurd (1702-1758) silver sword. Kochan was due to sell the sword—steeped in history—at Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Connecticut, to benefit his newest venture, the Mars & Neptune Trust, a nonprofit formed to foster knowledge of military ... (Read More)

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Hurd Sword Seized Hours Before Sale
by Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo

Photos courtesy Nadeau’s Auction Gallery Bidders were settled in their seats, and the phones and Internet were ready for bids at Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Connecticut, on October 19 for the sale of military and naval objects from the Mars & Neptune Trust, when the police showed up. Their quarry—lot ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Tea Table and “French” Chair Top Sale
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Pook & Pook, Inc., Downingtown, Pennsylvania Photos courtesy Pook & Pook, Inc. Pook & Pook, Inc., Downingtown, Pennsylvania, offered 1006 lots in a three-session sale, October 3-5, to kick off its fall season and sold 981 of them for $1,977,596 total (including buyers’ premiums), toward the high end of estimates. The sale ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Tiffany Tea Service Leads at Potomack
by Walter C. Newman

The Potomack Company, Alexandria, Virginia Photos courtesy The Potomack Company September 28 marked the beginning of a six-day auction marathon for The Potomack Company—September 28 and 30 and October 1-4. We are used to the firm’s staging a single live auction followed by a day or two of specialty online-only sales the ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Slavery and Abolition Documents Are Highlight of $1 Million-Plus Sale
by Jeanne Schinto

Swann Galleries, New York City Photos courtesy Swann Galleries Swann Galleries’ printed and manuscript Americana sale in New York City on September 26 achieved some phenomenal results, particularly for archives, family papers, diaries, and other unique items in the categories of slavery and abolition, Mormons, Latin Americana, and the American West. ... (Read More)

(Issue Story)

Colorful September Sale
by Mary Ann Brown

Antique Jewelry & Gemology Photos courtesy Heritage Auctions Heritage Auctions held its September 23 fall fine jewelry signature auction at its Beverly Hills, California, location. Jill Burgum, senior director of fine jewelry at Heritage, said, “The September sale was so colorful, and had lots of really pretty pieces to engage the eye—whether ... (Read More)

(Show)

The York Show
by Lita Solis-Cohen

Original Semi-annual York Antiques Show and Sale, York, Pennsylvania The weather was gorgeous the last weekend of summer, September 20-22, when the 173rd Original Semi-annual York Antiques Show and Sale set up in Memorial Hall East at the York Fairgrounds, York, Pennsylvania. It was smaller than usual, with 20-some fewer dealers ... (Read More)

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Vintage Paper, Book, and Advertising Show
by Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo

Paper Town, Boxborough, Massachusetts Paper Town, a regional vintage paper, book, and advertising show, set up shop on September 21 in Boxborough, Massachusetts. The 36-year-old show was a lesson in patience for one reporter. Just about anything in or of paper attracts buyers of the same. Paper shows are extremely interesting—and ... (Read More)

(Auction)

"Environs of Milford" Tops American Art Sale
by Julie Schlenger Adell

Sotheby’s, New York City Photos courtesy Sotheby’s A 142-lot auction of American art at Sotheby’s in New York City on the morning of September 17 totaled $3,740,250 (with buyers’ premiums). The sell-through rate was 62%. Sotheby’s offered bidders the opportunity to bid online before the live auction—a first for one of its American ... (Read More)

(Show)

Third Time’s the Charm at Thompson’s Point Show
by Mark Sisco

Maine Antiques Exposition at Thompson’s Point, Portland, Maine When I approached the entrance to Goosefare Antiques and Promotions’ Maine Antiques Exposition at Thompson’s Point, Portland, Maine, held on September 14 and 15, I passed Maine and Texas dealer Gordon Stanley heading out after making the rounds of the show. I asked ... (Read More)

(Auction)

September Is a Very Hot Month in New Orleans
by Karla Klein Albertson

Neal Auction Company, New Orleans, Louisiana Photos courtesy Neal Auction Company Fall is famously a strong season at the Neal Auction Company. While collectors anticipate the Louisiana Purchase Auction in November, the fall estates auction, held this year on September 14 and 15, has become a major occasion with strong results of ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Weschler’s Sale Not Jinxed by Friday the 13th
by Walter C. Newman

Weschler’s Auctioneers and Appraisers, Rockville, Maryland Photos courtesy Weschler’s Auctioneers and Appraisers Weschler’s Auctioneers and Appraisers held its cataloged fall Capital Collections auction on September 13. The sale consisted of 259 lots of fine antiques and contemporary art from across most categories. While there were exceptions, this sale was dominated by examples ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Connoisseurs of Blue Glass Enjoy Session II of Aprill Collection
by Susan Emerson Nutter

Norman C. Heckler & Company, Woodstock Valley, Connecticut Photos courtesy Norman C. Heckler & Company "There are connoisseurs of blue just as there are connoisseurs of wine,” wrote the French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954). Those who desire blue antique glass and bottles couldn’t agree more. Session II of the sale of the Dr. ... (Read More)

(Auction)

There’s a New Kid on the (Auction) Block
by Mark Sisco

Casco Bay Auctions, Freeport, Maine Andrew Davis is the answer to the always troubling question of why younger people aren’t getting into the antiques business. The answer is that they are. Davis isn’t new to the auction business, but he is new to his own auction business. He held his first ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Art of the West
by Marice Richter

Heritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas Photos courtesy Heritage Auctions The American West has long fascinated historians, filmmakers, and artists. The unsurpassed beauty of rugged mountain ranges, wide-open vistas, spectacular sunsets, and free-roaming wildlife has been a source of inspiration and imagination for Americans since speculators and settlers first began venturing into new territories ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Folk Art and Americana in a New Location
by Don Johnson

Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers, Columbus, Ohio Photos courtesy Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers A sandstone carving tucked in a corner of the room said a lot about the country Americana sale held by Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers on September 7 at the company’s new location, the former Municipal Light Plant in Columbus, Ohio. In ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Smith Labor Day Auction
by Jackie Sideli

William A. Smith, Inc., Plainfield, New Hampshire Photos courtesy William A. Smith, Inc. The large auction hall was full to overflowing for the annual William A. Smith, Inc., Labor Day antiques auction in Plainfield, New Hampshire, on September 2. At least part of the reason was that Smith does things the old-fashioned ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Foster Auction Signals Change of Season
by Mark Sisco

Robert L. Foster, Newcastle, Maine By the beginning of September the Maine summer visitor season is almost over. As he’s done for the last several decades, auctioneer Robert Foster laid out his traditional end-of-summer Labor Day weekend auction in Newcastle, Maine, held this year on September 1. He offered the usual ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Diamonds Are an Auctioneer’s Best Friends
by Mark Sisco

Bruce Gamage, Jr., Rockland, Maine After diverting much of his attention to appraisal work for the Robert Indiana estate, Bruce Gamage is back in full auctioneering mode. Historically, his late August sales have kicked off a week of wall-to-wall Maine auctions. But with various other scheduling changes, this year his August ... (Read More)

(Auction)

Farewell to Treadwell Auction
by Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo

Bourgeault-Horan Antiquarians & Associates, LLC, Portsmouth, New Hampshire The word “bittersweet” and the phrase “last hurrah” hung in the air at Bourgeault-Horan Antiquarians & Associates’ August 18 auction at the Treadwell Mansion in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Billed as “Our Farewell to Treadwell Mansion” in advertising, the auction attracted buyers old and ... (Read More)
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