Purchase Story

The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here: He’s Going Strong

Daniel Buck Auctions, Lisbon Falls, Maine

Daniel Buck Soules is a survivor, having survived a possible heart attack, a fearsome bout with Lyme disease, some personal calamities, and a rocky start-up to his auction business. But it looks as though all that is in the rear view mirror. On January 27 at his renovated auction gallery in Lisbon Falls, Maine, he put together a strong presentation with some impressive original artworks and prints by 20th-century masters, leavened by a generous helping of folk art. “People have no idea what the last three years have been like for me,” he related before the sale. “I’m in a much better place, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.... As of right now, we have almost three hundred online bidders from eleven different countries, and we have a ton of phone bids.”

Soules starts all his items at one-half of the low estimate. If no bidders take him up, the lot is quickly passed. It makes for a fast and lively auction. One of the sale’s leaders was a chrome-plated cocktail shaker in the form of an airplane. The Solingen, Germany, firm of J. A. Henckels, established in 1895, manufactured the shaker and traveling bar around 1928, with detachable flasks that made up the wings and accessories stored inside the body. Apparently the company got considerable mileage out of the basic design. A similar but simplified version consisting mainly of the tapered body was marketed to celebrate Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s famous flying dirigibles. And another version featured the airplane converted to an Art Deco “smoker’s companion,” with the wings changed to cigarette cases, ashtrays in the cockpit, and a cigar-cutting propeller. The plane offered here took off at $1500 and landed at $4510 (including buyer’s premium).

The Internet was a big player at this auction, taking up the slack when the in-house attendees sat on their hands for some valuable opportunities. Fish and Skyby Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), a silver gelatin photographic print mounted over a lenticular underwater view, divided by the artist’s much favored dots, was signed in pencil on the lower right of the mat, numbered “154 / 200,” and housed in a Lucite box frame. It sold for a healthy $6600 to an Internet buyer.

For more information, visit (www.danielbuckauctions.com) or call (207) 407-1444.

This J. A. Henckels airplane-form cocktail shaker flew away for $4510.

This tramp art weather station tower stands tall at 30" high; it has a Seth Thomas clock, a thermometer, and a barometer. Despite some condition problems such as a cracked face, a missing hand on the thermometer, and a detached eagle finial, it sold for $577.50.

Fish and Sky by Roy Lichtenstein, screenprint and photographic print, 11" x 14" (sight size), $6600.

Here’s an unusual primitive tool, a surveyor’s wheel, also known as a clickwheel, hodometer, waywiser, and traveler, with calibrations on the gears and impressions on the shaft reading “ONE CHAIN / ONE FURLONG,” a furlong being one-eighth of a mile. There was no indication of the maker, and it sold for $330.

Boar’s tusk corkscrew with sterling silver mounts, carved horse heads with glass eyes, and a Walker bell, $357.50.

Even with a broken front pommel on the saddle, there was enough homespun charm to this hand-carved and painted rocking horse to drive it to a strong $1375.

This early 20th-century carousel cow was listed as “probably French, possibly the house of Bayol,” indicating carver Gustav Bayol (1859-1931), and it is reminiscent of his work, particularly in the treatment of the horns. It took a ride for $1265.

Wall sculptures by William Bowie (1926-1994) are intricate tangles of various metals and other industrial materials, welded into free-form structures, sometimes mobile. This 52" x 37" one consists of clusters of nails amid strands of tapered gilt metal strips. Signed “Bowie” near the center, it finished at $550.

A glistening eight-piece German .800 silver tea set, decorated with repoussé figures of putti in cameos amid fruit and flowers, consisted of a coffeepot, teapot, hot water pot, creamer, sugar bowl, tea strainer, burner stand, and tray, all for $2860.

Two-part William and Mary highboy with banded veneers around the drawer fronts, on trumpet legs, in mahogany veneer, $660.

Here’s a 25½" x 40" Grenfell Mission rug showing a squadron of four Canada geese, circa 1920, bearing the original label on the back, “Grenfell Labrador Industries / HAND MADE IN NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR.” It sold for a robust $825.

According to a biography written by the son of the artist, Louis J. Endres (1896-1989) was born in Cincinnati and painted extensively in North Africa. After several trips there, he set up a studio in Rabat, Morocco, where he lived for more than 30 years, before resettling in Rome and later in Switzerland, where he died. Most of his paintings feature North African subjects, often in Bedouin tribal attire, such as in this 25" x 19" (sight size) oil on canvas in rich colors and vibrant detail that came in under value at $687.50.

Marc Chagall (Russian/French, 1887-1985), color lithograph of Daphnis and Chloe in the cave of the nymphs, 12½" x 18½" (sight size), published by Les Editions Verve, Paris, in 1961. Daphnis and Chloe is the only known work of a second- or third-century A. D. Greek writer called Longus. Chagall paid homage to the story with a series of lithographs illustrating the tale of young love triumphing over adversity. Signed in crayon lower right, this one proved to be worth $1760.

I found the Portland (Maine) Lawn Sprinkler Company advertising its Little Giant model in 1892 and selling it in outlets as far away as Chicago. The water pressure would drive both the spinning arms and the tractor-like wheels, causing the gadget to propel itself across the lawn. NASA engineers might have found their inspiration here for the Mars rover. But this one fell to earth for a solid $715.


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

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