Purchase Story

A Great Thanksgiving Day Auction

Tim Isaac Antiques, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Tim Isaac had a great Thanksgiving Day auction on Monday, October 9, 2017, at the Saint John (New Brunswick) Trade and Convention Centre. This was Tim Isaac Antiques’ 48th annual Thanksgiving Day sale. In addition to seeing Tim and Liz Isaac, it was nice to see so many of their staff with whom they have been working for so many years.

Close to 500 people showed up to bid on a great selection of art, furniture, and accessories. The top lot was a painting by local artist Miller Gore Brittain (1912-1968), which sold for an amazing $120,000 Canadian ($95,668 U.S.). Isaac does not charge a buyer’s premium. The entire room was in awe when Tim Isaac finished with “sold,” and loud applause filled the room for several minutes.


Miller Gore Brittain’s Mother and Children, a 36" x 48" oil on masonite, was painted in 1955. A number of labels are on the back of the painting, including one for a 2007 exhibition of Brittain’s works at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick. This was apparently Brittain’s own favorite oil painting, and it sold for $120,000 ($95,668 U.S.).


Walking Figure, a 24" x 18" pastel on paper by Miller Brittain, signed and dated 1967, sold for $5200 ($4146 U.S.).


A Quebec Interior, a 16" x 25" signed oil on canvas by Quebec artist Charles Édouard Huot (1855-1930), sold for $3900 ($3109 U.S.).

Besides a number of great paintings, three pieces of furniture by Thomas Nisbet, Saint John’s best cabinetmaker of the early 19th century, were also offered. A drop-leaf table in excellent condition sold for $6500 ($5182 U.S.); a sofa table sold for $4200 ($3348 U.S.); and a rare bergère brought $3900 ($3109 U.S.). Many good early pieces of formal and country furniture and Victorian furniture did well, and, as usual, there were some good bargains.


This drop-leaf table by Thomas Nisbet went at $6500 ($5182 U.S.). In mahogany with pine secondary wood, it has typical acanthus-leaf carvings, ebonized ring turnings, rope-turned legs, and quarter-round pine turnings in the drawer. Detail view of a leg of the Thomas Nisbet drop-leaf table shown at right.


Here’s another piece by the great Saint John, New Brunswick, cabinetmaker Thomas Nisbet (1777-1850), who came from Scotland. This sofa table in mahogany with pine secondary wood fetched $4200 ($3348 U.S.).


Also from the workshop of Thomas Nisbet, this rare bergère in mahogany made $3900 ($3109 U.S.).

Some great folk art from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did well too, plus there was a nice variety of accessories, pottery, and native art.

For more information, contact Tim Isaac at (506) 652-3222; website (www.timisaac.com).


This 22½" x 35" hooked mat, a cartoon of card players, got $950 ($757 U.S.).


The smaller of these two birch bark boxes is signed on the bottom by Tomah Joseph (1837-1914), a Passamaquoddy artist who lived at Peter Dana Point in eastern Washington County, Maine, and worked each summer on Campobello Island. The boxes sold as one lot for $1350 ($1076 U.S.).


The Titanic, 13½" x 43½", made and signed by the well-known New Brunswick ship model builder and sailor Albert Carty (1882-19??), according to Isaac’s catalog listing, went for $1200 ($957 U.S.).


Canadian artist Lucy Jarvis (1896-1985) painted this 23½" x 29½" oil on canvas, Flowers in a Vase. Signed and dated 1945, it sold for $2600 ($2073 U.S.).


This early 19th-century tiger and bird’s-eye maple worktable with two drawers and original brasses got $2100 ($1674 U.S.).


The group of six folk art painted chickens by Ewald Rentz (1908-1995) fetched $2000 ($1594 U.S.).


Originally published in the January 2018 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2017 Maine Antique Digest

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