Purchase Story

Glass, Maritime Art, and Americana in Marion

Marion Antique Auctions, Marion, Massachusetts

Estates and collections make up most sales at Marion Antique Auctions in Marion, Massachusetts, bringing to market antique and historical objects and art from the area lately termed the “Southeast coast.” For the November 25, 2017, auction at the Marion Music Hall, Frank McNamee and C. David Glynn presented lots from many estates and collections that found favor with a standing-room-only crowd of bidders.

This 19th-century green glass overlay rose bowl, 10" high, came from the Bryden estate and stirred up the Internet as bidders on two platforms competed, driving it to $26,250, paid by a Florida collector. The bowl, whose maker is undetermined, was estimated at $200/300. Some thought it might have been made by J. Hoare & Company or Dorflinger.

Seven phones chased this late 19th-century singing bird music box that opens to reveal a singing bird with real feathers. The pop-up lid is enameled with an image of a lake amid mountains on one side and flowers on the other. The engraved gilt-metal case is enameled, the bird-form key is original, and the music box is in working condition. Estimated at $2000/3000, it sold for $30,000.

Gleanings from the estate of Cynthia B. Bryden of Marion attracted some strong attention. According to her obituary and Mt. Washington & Pairpoint Glass(2011), volume two, by Kenneth M. Wilson and Jane Shadel Spillman, Bryden was the daughter of Edwin V. Babbitt, owner of the Gundersen-Pairpoint Glass Company in New Bedford, Massachusetts, among other companies. She married Robert Bryden, whom she met when they were Arthur Murray dance instructors, and he went to work at Gundersen-Pairpoint. The couple eventually reorganized the company as the Pairpoint Glass Company and moved it to East Wareham, Massachusetts. It soon closed, and they moved to Spain, where Robert made glass marked “Pairpoint Glass / Made in Spain.” In 1970, they returned to Massachusetts and opened Pairpoint Glass Works in Sagamore. In the 1950s they had also owned a retail store called The Pairpoint in New Bedford. Her estate featured some fine glass examples. All prices in captions include the buyer’s premium.

For more information, go to (www.marionantiqueauctions.com) or call (508) 748-3606.

This 10" x 16" oil on canvas view of fishermen in boats working off Gay Head by Lemuel D. Eldred (1848-1921) realized $5520 (est. $3000/5000). The painting retains a label from the Crane collection.

By Boston artist Frank Vining Smith (1879-1967), this 27½" x 41½" oil on canvas scene of a whale ship preparing to launch its whaleboats is signed and dated 1927. It realized $4200.

This 32½" x 26¼" oil on canvas portrait of Clement P. Covell, master of the New Bedford whale ship Parnasso, was accompanied by a framed 1820 customs document and a port of New Bedford document affirming that there were “no contagious diseases, prevailing fever or mortal sickness.” The portrait and the documents brought $2520 (est. $1500/2500).

This snowy landscape with an ox sled, figures, and farmhouses, 28" x 48", oil on canvas, by New Hampshire artist William Preston Phelps (1848-1923) sold for $8400. The painting is untouched and came from an area collection. Marion Antique Auctions photo.

 When auctioneer C. David Glynn tried to open bidding on an architectural 19th-century whalebone and whale ivory scrimshaw watch hutch at $1000, the Internet jumped the bid immediately to $1800. The hutch, which came from a Florida collection, brought $4560 (est. $1000/2000) from a buyer in the gallery.

The same bidder took the scrimshaw miniature bow saw with provenance of the Starbuck family of Nantucket that dated to 1853. The saw, in a modern case, retains the original frame, and it brought $1020 (est. $200/400).

It was speculated that this 26½" high 18th-century Queen Anne mahogany dish-top candlestand might have been a Rhode Island stand, maybe even Newport. Despite old refinish, water stains, and an estimate of $200/300, it sold in the gallery for $1140. It came from a Fall River-area estate. Marion Antique Auctions photo.

Two phone bidders pursued this early 19th-century needlework on silk, 17½" x 14", of the Olcott family crest and an eagle above a garland with bows. It brought $3720 (est. $200/300). The textile is backed by newspaper. The presence of garlands held by bows suggests a Connecticut origin; the Olcott family was among the earliest settlers there.

Singing birds from the automaton collection of E. Mason Thrall created a happy noise and garnered much attention. This late 19th-century Breguet singing bird automaton in an embossed gilt metal case, 2 3/8" x 4" x 2 5/8", retains the original bird-form key and is marked “Breguet 3718.” Estimated at $2000/3000, the box sold online for $9062.50.

This 17½" high bronze figure of a boy holding his cat, mounted on a marble base, is by Marblehead, Massachusetts, sculptor Beverly Benson Seamans (1928-1912), granddaughter of marine painter John P. Benson and great-niece of Frank W. Benson. The boy and his cat fetched $630. It was a gift from the artist to the consignor’s mother. Marion Antique Auctions photo.


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

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