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Eldred's Americana and Decorative Art Auction

Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo | April 4th, 2014

Delivering the New Hat by British artist Edmund Blair Leighton went to the New York trade for $70,800.

This 18th-century Boston silver pear-shaped cann with a double scrolled handle decorated with an acanthus leaf, a molded flared rim, and circular splayed foot was marked with a cursive “P.R.,” a mark similar to some found on silver spoons by Paul Revere Jr. It was approximately 11.4 troy oz., measured 5" high, and fetched $18,800.

This late 18th-century linen sampler (18" x 13¼" sight), worked in 1793 by Abigail Stacey “in the Twelfth Year of my Age…,” with the alphabet and numbers, a verse, and a basket of flowers with birds, and bordered by a trailing vine with more flowers, sold for $23,600 against the $5000/10,000 estimate. An unidentified but prominent folk art dealer suggested that it is most likely a Shaker work.

A Nantucket lightship basket (3¾" x 5½") by S.P. Boyer with a single swing handle sold at $1936, just shy of five times the low estimate.

Robert C. Eldred Co., East Dennis, Massachusetts

Photos courtesy Eldred’s

It was all about paintings at Eldred’s Americana and decorative art sale on April 4 and 5, where the most-contested lots were works of art. Bidding came down to two phones vying for the 35¼" x 15¼" oil on canvas Delivering the New Hat, a scene by British artist Edmund Blair Leighton of a preening dandy gawping at a young woman in a doorway holding a hat box. Signed “E.B.L. 1904,” the painting went to one of the phones, a New York dealer, for $70,800 (includes buyer’s premium). The painting came from a Boston collection. In 1996 it sold for $25,300 at Christie’s under the title A Source of Admiration. It had also passed through the London gallery Frost & Reed where it was also Delivering the New Hat.

An Italian school oil on canvas scene of a woman and child outside the door of a religious building was described as a monastery courtyard. Unsigned, but well painted, the picture, which came from a Rochester, New York, estate, brought $12,980 against the $800/1200 estimate from a dealer on site.

Three works by Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr. sold. Hero, an oil on masonite (13" x 16") scene of a sailor amid four mermaids with a garland of flowers was $14,160 (est. $6000/8000). Shocking Incident at the Picnic, an 18" x 24" oil on masonite, was signed “R Cahoon Pinxt” and titled in gold over black. A scene of a man abandoning his family in the midst of a picnic to run off with a mermaid, it brought $10,030 against its $8000/12,000 estimate. Martha Cahoon’s 19¼" x 15¾" oil on board Come Down and See Me Sometime, a scene of a mermaid underwater beckoning a man sitting on the shore, was $7080 (est. $5000/7000). All three pictures came from a California collection. Ralph Cahoon’s signed still life with scrimshaw, a 16" x 20" oil on masonite work, was $2950 (est. $6000/9000). Is Cahoon cooling, perhaps?

A 19th- or early 20th-century seascape by Dutch artist Johannes Hermanus Barend Koekkoek with five men in a dory rowing toward a fishing vessel under sail, a larger two-masted French ship, and a lighthouse sold for $6050, just above the high estimate.

Twenty-six lots of 19th-century sketches and studies created by White Mountains school artist Benjamin Champney came from a Minnesota collection. They were found in a barn. Catalog notes suggested that the artist most likely made the images in the White Mountains over the summer and painted from them in his studio over the winter. The highlight was a group of 11 mountain views, which were mostly unsigned, untitled, and executed in mixed media on various paper sizes and in varying degrees of completion. They sold for $5900. Another lot of six pencil sketches of Chocorua (lake and peak) went for $5310. The overall total for the Champneys was $52,522.

Two still lifes with fruit, one attributed to Severin Roesen and the other from the studio of Roesen, failed to find buyers. One had been irreparably restored; Elmer’s glue was mentioned. The cover lot, Alexander Pope’s Still Life of Macaw, Chinese Vase and Fruit, 28" x 24" framed, was estimated at $12,000/18,000 and sold after the auction.

For information, check the Web site ( or call (508) 385-3116.

Unsigned Italian school oil on canvas scene of a woman and child outside the door of a religious building, described as a monastery courtyard, from a Rochester, New York, estate, brought $12,980 against the $800/1200 estimate from a dealer on site.

This early 19th-century Napoleonic prisoner-of-war bone model of a warship with two gun decks and 44 guns, a helmeted soldier figurehead, and carved trailboards sold for $5900.

Cape Cod artist Charles Drew Cahoon’s oil on masonite view of a fisherman and his dory on a beach measured 8¾" x 12" framed and sold for $9680.

This Chippendale mahogany oxbow slant-lid desk with a fitted interior, a fan-carved skirt, and four graduated drawers sold for $2420.

Moonlight over Crashing Waves, a 35½" x 56¼" oil on masonite seascape by Pennsylvania-born Cape Ann artist Philip G. Shumaker (1921-1967), sold for $8850 (est. $1000/1500).

Furniture offerings included a maple tavern table with an oval top on a boldly figured curly maple base that was made in the first half of the 18th century with block and turned splayed feet and a box stretcher. It realized $4720.

Originally published in the June 2014 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2014 Maine Antique Digest

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