See All Ads

Gould Sells the Holden Holdings On Site

Mark Sisco | July 13th, 2013

Paint-decorated trunk in yellow and green floral and geometric designs, $16,100. Gould photo.

Tiny two-fingered and red-painted Shaker box, $10,350. Gould photo.

Bidders loved the pristine original surface on this 16" x 14¾" checkerboard with a blue and white playing field ringed with black and red pinstriping. They chased it all the way to a big $10,925. Gould photo.

A Parcheesi board with both square- and round-nail construction, in red, black, blue, and green paint, opened at a paltry $500 from some competing but naïve absentee bids and finished with a staggering $14,950. Gould photo.

Gould Auction Company, Madison, Maine

Tim Gould held the first on-site auction he’d done in many years at the estate of Glen and Pat Holden at their 1817 Cape Cod-style homestead in Madison, Maine, on July 13. “Chris [Chapman] and I said we’d like to do [an on-site auction] someday, and they don’t come along all that often,” Gould said. “What facilitated it was these brothers who have been friends of mine since high school called us and said, ‘Would you come over and look?’ The antique end of it was very sweet.” It was all unreserved, and additions from other sources made it even sweeter.

The rock star of the sale had to be artist Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (1892-1972). In his working life, the incredibly prolific Filipino painter produced over 10,000 works of his native land. At the onset of World War II, Amorsolo changed from painting bright scenes of lush natural settings to creating images of wartime suffering and destruction, centered on the time of the Japanese occupation. Four of his war-era oil paintings were offered here, all signed “F. Amorsolo” and dated 1945. A 12" x 15½" image of the bombed-out remains of a Manila church sold for $8050 (includes buyer’s premium). A 10" x 14½" scene of a rubble-strewn Manila street brought $9200. A haunting 9¾" x 14" scene of a mother nursing her baby while scrambling through a mass of wreckage and dead bodies hit $12,650. Gould called it the most powerful wartime image he’d ever worked with. And a rural 12" x 15½" image of a young couple riding a water buffalo with a city in the distant background topped the group and the sale at $18,400. The three wartime images all sold to the same phone bidder. Amorsolo later served as the chief artist for the Pacific Commercial Company and illustrated children’s books and magazines.

Competition was steep for the very first lot on the block as bidders contended for a 14' long double-sided dock sign for the “Coburn Steamboat Co.” from Greenville, Maine, and chased it all the way to $2990, where the Moosehead Historical Society won it to a hearty round of applause. The company piloted the famous Katahdin steamboat, first operating as a logging transport vessel. It hauls tourists around Moosehead Lake today.

The intricately detailed yellow and green floral and geometric painted designs on a brick red ground turned a $50 trunk into a $16,100 folk art treasure, marred only by damaged or replaced hinges. Even Gould seemed surprised when it brought that much. But pound for pound, nothing could touch a tiny two-fingered Shaker box, top only 3 5/8" x 2½" and 1 7/16" high, with an original coat of pristine brick red paint, that sold for $10,350.

For more information, visit Gould’s Web site ( or call (207) 362-6045.

Age, condition, and rarity combined to produce a $9200 winner on this early 18th-century New England hanging spice cabinet. It had a dovetailed case, scalloped back crest, original strap hinges, and a 19th-century overcoat of red paint to go with the rosehead nail and wooden peg construction. Gould photo.

“Coburn Steamboat Co.” sign from Greenville, Maine, $2990. Gould photo.

Four wartime works by the prolific Filipino artist Fernando Amorsolo (1892-1972) were the highlights of the sale. Top left, a 12" x 15½" image of the bombed-out rubble of a Manila church brought $8050; lower left, a rubble-strewn Manila street scene, $9200; top right, a despairing mother nursing her child through a scene of carnage and wreckage, $12,650; and lower right, a young couple riding a water buffalo, $18,400.

Carved and painted eagle by the Artistic Carving Company of Boston, circa 1950, in the original gold leaf and paint, $4025.

Cobalt-decorated two-gallon jug, twice stamped “A.A. GIBBS,” with images of pollinating birds and flowers on both sides, plus some interesting flathead screw decorations molded into the base of the applied strap handle. Probably from the Swansea, Massachusetts, area, it brought a strong $1725.

Relined oil on canvas of the three-masted schooner Susan N. Pickering by William P. Stubbs (1842-1909).  The Pickering was built in Belfast, Maine, in 1882 and was owned by the Pickering family. One source says that she was lost off Cape Cod in 1911, while another notes that she was still active in the granite trade around 1914. In the original frame, the painting brought $7475.

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

comments powered by Disqus