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Americana and Paintings Sale on the Cape

Jackie Sideli | July 31st, 2013

Norman Rockwell’s Study for Lunch Break with a Knight was signed on the lower right. It had been featured on the cover of the November 3, 1962, issue of the Saturday Evening Post. The lot included a framed copy of the magazine cover. It came from a private Massachusetts collection. The 13" x 10" oil on board sold for $44,840.

Robert C. Eldred & Co., East Dennis, Massachusetts

Photos courtesy Eldred’s

The July 31-August 2 sale at Eldred’s in East Dennis, Massachusetts, was three full days of all sorts of American ephemera, paintings, rare books, photography, silver, and Native American artifacts.

The high lot of the sale was the Norman Rockwell oil on board Study for a Lunch Break with Knight, which was signed on the lower right. The finished painting had been used on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on November 3, 1962. The painting measured 13" x 10" and sold for $44,840 (includes buyer’s premium).

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A buyer at the sale won this Ralph Cahoon painting called Family Introductions. It was signed on the lower right and had been in a private collection in Rhode Island. The 15½" x 21½" framed oil on masonite sold for $12,980.

This vibrant 24" x 29" oil on masonite painting by Ralph Cahoon, Cotuit 1776, has a wonderful dock scene and three mermaids and two sailors dancing while holding banners reading “Cotuit” and “1776.” Three barrels on the dock have labels for “Oysters,” “Rum,” and “Jams/Jellies.” A whale, ships, and balloons fill the background, and it was dated 1976. The painting opened with a $20,000 bid from the floor, and the price quickly escalated until it sold to a buyer at the sale for $31,860.

A colorful view of Provincetown from the water by Aldro Thompson Hibbard (1886-1972), dated, according to the catalog, from around 1919. The 15" x 18" painting, which was unsigned, is an oil on board and framed. It had been exhibited in the Massachusetts State House Senate Gallery in 2008. The painting had come directly from the artist’s wife to a private collection in Massachusetts. Bidding opened on the vivid picture at $15,000 and quickly escalated to the selling price of $21,240. A “happy pair of collectors” from Chatham, Massachusetts, went home from the sale with it.

This 16" x 20" oil on masonite by Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr. (1910-1982) is titled Home Sweet Home. It is signed on the lower right and has all the bells and whistles that Cahoon lovers want, including mermaids and ships in the distance. Dated 1978, it had sold at Eldred’s in 1998 for $26,400; this time around it brought $17,700.

A collector at the auction bought this Ralph Cahoon 16" x 20" oil on masonite. This playful Cahoon depicted three sailors and a mermaid engaged in a dockside game of poker. It was signed on the lower right and sold for $23,600.

This George III silver salver by Ebenezer Coker of London, 1770, in circular form with shell and piecrust border on four feet and 15" in diameter, was offered on the first day of the auction. With a weight of 49.2 troy ounces, it had been in a private collection in Charleston, South Carolina, and sold for $7080, significantly higher than the $3000/5000 presale estimate.

This outstanding collection of 60 Civil War-era cartes de visite of major generals and other soldiers was offered. Included in this lot were E. Upton, Charles A. Whittier, Hamilton Schuyler, George G. McClellan, U.S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee. Among the publishers were Brady, Goldin, Gardner, Butler, Addis, and more. After some spirited bidding, this lot brought $11,800.
This lot, as well as seven others, had been the property of Charles L. Wilson, a newspaper owner and prominent Republican supporter of Abraham Lincoln during his first election. He was close friends with General Philip H. Sheridan and with William Seward. Several of the items presented at this auction by Eldred were consigned by Wilson’s direct heirs.

This stunning Tlingit rattle in raven form with man and bird decoration in relief had a mask design on the base and was polychrome in red, black, and turquoise blue. It was bound with twine and measured 11¾" long. There were several phone bidders and lots of Internet action. The rattle, found in a collection in Hawaii, opened with a solid $10,000 bid. After a quick round of bidding, the rattle sold to someone at the sale for $29,500.

This is a seven-volume set of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories, Audubon and J.B. Chevalier, New York and Philadelphia, 1839-44. According to catalog notes, this set had belonged to Thomas Whitridge of Baltimore, Maryland, whose name is listed on the original subscriber list in Vol. I. There are ten plates missing, and pages 107 and 108 of Vol. VII are missing.  Presented early in the Eldred auction, this scarce set brought $25,960.

This circa 1960 Nantucket lightship basket with a swing handle was made by José Formoso Reyes (1902-1980). With a carved ivory whale plaque on an ebony panel, it is signed on the bottom with a map of Nantucket. It measures 5" high, 8" long, and 6" deep. It had an estimate of $1500/2000, but interest from the floor and the Internet pushed the price to $4425.

Originally published in the November 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest

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