Nye & Company, Bloomfield, New Jersey
Photos courtesy Nye & Company
The sale at Nye & Company in Bloomfield, New Jersey, on January 15 included antiques from the collection of Ralph (d. 2009) and Roberta “Bobbie” (d. 2019) Carpenter that did not meet Christie’s minimum $3000/5000 per lot. The sale at Nye was held the week before Christie’s Americana sale where the Carpenters’ dressing table attributed to Christopher Townsend sold for $81,250 to the Chipstone Foundation and four side chairs possibly by John Goddard sold for $67,500 (see M.A.D., March 2020, p. 123). The Carpenters’ silver, furniture, and decorations sent to Nye brought more than expected, some a lot more.
Their George III-style dining table that Ralph Carpenter had bought in London has a silver plaque with the words “This Table / Was in constant use October 1943 to May 1944 / for the Deliberations of General Eisenhower / Allied Commander in Chief and his Staff / who were then planning the Victorious / Allied Advance on Germany. / It was also used by General Marshall and / Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Army / when plans for ‘D’ day were put into operation / whilst staying at Stanwell House, England. / May to June 1944.” The table sold for $54,400 (includes buyer’s premium); the minimum bid was $5000.
The “D-Day” George III-style dining table from the Carpenter estate, late 19th/early 20th century, with two D-shaped ends and a central drop-leg section, all on square tapering legs with stylized ogival-arched panels, has an inset silver plaque reading “This Table / Was in constant use October 1943 to May 1944 / for the Deliberations of General Eisenhower / Allied Commander in Chief and his Staff / who were then planning the Victorious / Allied Advance on Germany. / It was also used by General Marshall and / Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Army / when plans for ‘D’ day were put into operation / whilst staying at Stanwell House, England. / May to June 1944.” Measuring 27½" x 47½" x 9'4" long extended, it sold online for $54,400 (minimum bid $5000).
The Carpenters enjoyed telling their dinner guests that Eisenhower and Marshall had sat at the table. The midwestern collector who bought it will now have the fun of telling that story too. Wonder if the same bidder bought the Carpenters’ six English silver dinner plates with 1771 hallmarks of Parker and Wakelin? The plates sold along with two Smith and Sharp plates for $3840, topping the $1000 minimum bid. Or perhaps the collector got the Carpenters’ bottle coasters by Peter and Ann Bateman, with a 1799 London hallmark. The bottle coasters sold for $1024; the minimum bid was $200.
Nye lists minimum bids instead of estimates in his online catalogs. LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable give a range of estimates, but those bidding on the Nye & Co. platform know what they have to bid to be in the competition. It makes the sale go faster.
Nye’s catalogs are online only, with lots of pictures of all sides and parts of furniture. Those in the salesroom can follow the sale on their phone, tablet, or computer; there is no need for paper. Half the bidders bid online, and they have the online catalog in front of them when they click to bid.
Three mezzotint engravings from the Carpenter estate brought far more than expected. Sold as one lot, the images included an engraving of John Hancock, published by C. Shepherd, October 25, 1775; Peter Pelham’s depiction of the Reverend Henry Caner, A.M., after a painting by J. Smibert, circa 1750; and an image of Eton Oh Koam, King of the River Nation, by J. Simon, after J. Verelst. They sold for $24,600 (minimum bid $600) after 47 bids. The priced catalog available online gives the number of bids on every lot. Another lot of two mezzotint portraits, which included one portrait of Samuel Adams, published by Charles Peak and Samuel Okey in Newport, Rhode Island, in April 1775, together with a 1744 mezzotint portrait of the Reverend James Honyman by the same printer, sold for $12,300 (minimum bid $2000) after 25 bids were recorded.
There were a number of other consignors to Nye’s successful sale. Some rare English ceramics from a Westchester, New York, collection sold at the end of the sale. John Nye said many went back to England even though it was late at night in the U.K. by the time the overseas buyers were bidding. The sale was not over until 7:30 p.m. A pair of 12" high first period Worcester cobalt covered vases sold for $27,675 ($2500 minimum bid); a Worcester punch pot, circa 1770, sold for $4612.50, well over its $1000 minimum bid; and an agateware pecten-shell teapot sold for $7995 (minimum bid $1500). Delft, English pottery, and China trade wares from the Carpenter estate sold well too.
This pair of first period Worcester cobalt covered vases sold for $27,675 (minimum bid $2500). The 12" high vases of hexagonal form, decorated with exotic birds and branches on a blue scaled ground, were from a Westchester, New York, collection.
Three gelatin silver prints of dunes were offered. One by Edward Weston sold for $20,910, and two by his son Brett sold for $6150 and $14,760. All three prints had come from a house in downtown Newark, New Jersey, according to Nye. The owner had brought them to the auction house to see if they had value.
The sale of Ralph and Bobbie Carpenter’s collection was a window into the golden age of living with antiques. There are still some who enjoy the accouterments of their brand of gracious living. Most lots sold above modest estimates, but Bobbie’s mink coats failed to get a bid. Animal rights activists have killed that market.
The sale of 627 lots, of which 80% sold, brought a total of $660,000. Nye said he holds nine similar sales each year plus a dozen discovery sales of lesser material. See the website (www.nyeandcompany.com) for well-illustrated catalogs of past sales with results and current sales on the calendar.
Rare pair of first period Worcester bough pots, English, circa 1770, with molded scroll-edge rims, decorated with exotic birds on a blue scale ground, 7" x 8½" x 5", from a Westchester, New York, collection and with a Leo Kaplan, Ltd., provenance, sold for $10,455 (minimum bid $2500).
Three mezzotint engravings from the Carpenter estate included one of “Eton Oh Koam, King of the River Nation,” by J. Simon, after J. Verelst; one of “The Reverend Henry Caner, A.M.” by Peter Pelham, after J. Smibert, circa 1750; and one depicting “The Honble. John Hancock,” after Littleford, C. Shepherd, publisher, October 25, 1775. The lot sold for $24,600 (minimum bid $600).
Queen Anne japanned walnut mirror, 51" x 19¾", English, 1720-40, sold for $1845 (minimum bid $1000). Ralph Carpenter had bought it from Israel Sack, Inc., in March 1953 for $500.
Eight silver dinner plates purchased from Eric Shrubsole by Ralph Carpenter in 1970 included six plates hallmarked by Parker and Wakelin, London, 1771; one plate by David Smith and Robert Sharp, 1771; and one plate by Smith and Sharp hallmarked 1766. The lots sold for $3840 (minimum bid $1000).
Pair of Chinese famille verte vases, 19th century, fitted as lamps, decorated with figures of noblewomen and a man on horseback, from the Carpenter estate, sold for $3200 (minimum bid $350).
Hand-painted and stenciled brush, 13½" long, New England, early 19th century, decorated with a medallion of Andrew Jackson, from the Carpenter estate, sold for $1599 (minimum bid $200).
Pair of bottle coasters by Peter and Ann Bateman, London, 1799, with a pierced border, with Robert Ensko provenance, from the Carpenter estate, sold for $1024 (minimum bid $200).
Four 19th-century leather fire buckets, each 13" high, marked “A. T. Wilder / No. 2.,” “Daniel T. Carpenter / 1820,” “M. Tyler,” and “Deluce / No. 1,” from the Carpenter estate, sold for $1536 (minimum bid $400). They were possibly used as wastebaskets; one is filled with kindling or long matches.
Pear-shaped fruitwood tea caddy, 6½" high, English, with a hinged cover and stem, lacking the key, losses to the hinge, from the Carpenter estate, sold for $676.50 (minimum bid $100).
This group of tin, bronze, and steel objects, including a 14" tall wall sconce, a bell, a footed mortar, a lantern, and a pair of hogscraper candlesticks, from the Carpenter estate, sold for $1045.50 (minimum bid $200).
Federal mahogany sideboard, New York, 19th century, drawer divider of a later date, 41¼" x 5'11½" x 20½", sold for $1920 (minimum bid $500).
Watercolor of Flight & Barr Works, Worcester, England, 1798, by A. Thomas, églomisé frame, titled Worcester showing Flight & Barr’s Works, 14½" x 20" (including frame), from a Westchester, New York, collection, acquired from Moylan-Smelkinson/The Spare Room, Baltimore, Maryland, sold for $1920 (minimum bid $500).
Edward Weston (1886-1958), gelatin silver print of dunes, 7¼" x 9½" (sight size), signed and dated “1936” in pencil on mat, with an inscription on the back, sold for $20,910 (minimum bid $15,000). Not shown, two 1934 gelatin silver prints of dunes by Weston’s son Brett (1911-1993) with aminimum bid of $5000 sold for $6150 and $14,760.
This 1776 hand-colored engraved map of Newport, Rhode Island, by Joseph F. Wallet Des Barres, 29½" x 21", from the Carpenter estate, sold for $5842.50 (minimum bid $250).
There were 22 bids for this Staffordshire agateware pecten-shell teapot with a griffin knop, circa 1750, 4¾" high, and it sold for $7995 (minimum bid $1500). It was from a Westchester, New York, collection.
Barr, Flight & Barr Imari porcelain partial service, early 19th century, including two oval bowls, an oval serving platter, two round serving bowls, and 18 plates, from a Westchester, New York, collection, sold for $8610 (minimum bid $1500).
First period Worcester punch pot, English, circa 1770, in the Japanese Fan pattern, with a color transfer of a fox with the words “Tally Ho” on the base of the spout, 9" high x 11" across spout and handle. The Westchester, New York, collector had bought it from Leo Kaplan, Ltd., New York City. The punch pot sold for $4612.50 (minimum bid $1000).
Tin-glazed ceramics with various losses, cracks, and chips: a 13½" long Delft charger, two Delft tiles, plates with dates “1693” and “1692” and two dated “1722,” and a plate with a landscape motif. From the Carpenter estate, the lot sold for $8320 (minimum bid $300).
Originally published in the April 2020 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2020 Maine Antique Digest