Rare Monhegan Island-style red-breasted merganser drake carved by Augustus Aaron Wilson (1864-1950) of South Portland, Maine, circa 1900, with carved crest and eyes, relief-carved wings, and a slightly turned head, 16½" long (pre-auction estimate $100,000/150,000). One of three known from the same rig, it was purchased from a fish shack in Cape Porpoise, Maine, in the early 1980’s. Bidding opened at $55,000, and Christie's auctioneer John Hays knocked it down for $124,900 to a New York collector in the salesroom. The underbidder was on the phone.
Allegory of the Masonic Virtue of Wisdom, oil on canvas, 40¼" x 48", signed and dated “S. Jones 1836” and inscribed with the words “Wisdom” and “Strength.” Estimated at $20,000/30,000, it sold to New York collectors in the salesroom for $56,250, underbid on the phone.
Estimated at $20,000/40,000, this small folk art chest sold for $23,750 to a dealer in the salesroom.
Description: Grain-painted seed box, attributed to John Palm Boyer (1833-1901) of Brickerville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1870- 1900. It has its original white porcelain pulls, and each drawer is inscribed with the name of a seed. The high bracket feet, scalloped skirt, porcelain drawer pulls, and slanted lid are typical of Boyer’s work. Made of recycled wood, this one incorporated a shipping box for Johnson & Son, a wood finish company, as the baseboard. Three rows of six drawers are unusual; most have three rows of an odd number of drawers and a fourth row of smaller drawers. For more information on seed chests, see John Long and John Boyer: 19th-Century Craftsmen in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania by Donald Herr, published by the Heritage Center of Lancaster County in 2006.
I think it pays to be in the audience if you really want something.
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