Antiques & Collectibles: Americana market remains bullish

At Skinner’s American Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction, this pair of 1772 Paul Revere Jr. silver casters has a  $75,000-$150,000 estimate.
At Skinner’s American Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction, this pair of 1772 Paul Revere Jr. silver casters has a $75,000-$150,000 estimate.

A circa 1750 Paul Revere Jr. silver cann (or mug) and a circa 1930s wood carving of a life-size Boston bull terrier by Augustus “Gus” Wilson of South Portland, Maine, each from a single- owner collection, headline Skinner’s American Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction next Sunday at 10 a.m. at its Boston gallery. Each has a $125,000-
$175,000 estimate.

The cann is from the estate of Charles Paine Fisher of Framingham, a descendant of Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814), a signer of the Declaration of Independence and prosecutor of the Boston Massacre trial. Fisher, who in the 1960s invented the world’s first phantom-powered ribbon microphone, died last December.

The collection also includes a pair of silver casters made by Revere and which he recorded in his daybook, now owned by the Massachusetts Historical Society, as being sold on Jan. 9, 1772, to Robert Treat Paine.


A Federal carved and inlaid mahogany secretary and bookcase attributed to Boston cabinetmaker Thomas Seymour (1771-1848), which also descended in the Paine family, is expected to bring $100,000-$150,000.

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Another offering from the Fisher collection is an early-19th-century gilt-gesso convex mirror ($8,000-$12,000) that originally hung in the parlor at 87 Mount Vernon St., now the headquarters for the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

The wood carving of the bull terrier is from a 40-lot American folk art collection formed over 40 years by an Ohio couple and that is being sold following the wife’s death. The terrier is believed to be unique as Wilson (1864-1950), who was a decoy and bird carver, is said to have carved only a few other animals and they were exotic examples from his boyhood fascination with tigers.

Other highlights from the collection include a circa 1750-80 Queen Anne red-painted tiger maple tea table ($50,000-$75,000), a circa 1860 horse weather vane made by J. Howard & Co., West Bridgewater ($30,000-$50,000), and a circa 1915 landscape of a Vermont farm ($15,000-$25,000).

The 649-lot Americana auction also features a number of folk art paintings, topped by a portrait of a young girl seated in a rocking chair with her dog ($30,000-$50,000) by Sturtevant J. Hamblen (1817-84) of the Prior-Hamblen School of Boston and a portrait of a young girl in a blue dress holding a watch and standing on a patterned carpet ($25,000-$50,000) by the Leverett-born artist Erastus Salisbury Field (1805-1900).


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Property consigned by descendants of Condé Montrose Nast (1873-1942), founder of Condé Nast Publications and the publisher known for Vanity Fair, Vogue, Glamour, and other magazines, is among the offerings at Northeast Auctions’ Fall Weekend Auction Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at noon at Treadwell Mansion, 93 Pleasant St., Portsmouth, N.H.

Included are five lots of French vintage luxury luggage, including a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk ($900-$1,500) inititialed “C.C.N.” for Clarisse Coudert Nast, the publisher’s first wife, and a set of three Vuitton suitcases of graduated sizes ($1,500-$2,500) marked “C.C.O.,” Clarisse’s initials after her remarriage, to J. V. Onativia.

Music manuscripts, including a letter by the German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47), attest to the interests of the Nasts’ daughter, Natica (1905-88), and her husband, Gerald F. Warburg (1902-71), a professional cellist and conductor. The letter to his wife of six months, Cecile, written while Mendelssohn was at the Birmingham Festival in England premiering his Piano Concerto No. 2 and St. Paul Oratorio, has the composer’s wax seal enclosed within a handdrawn heart. Its estimate is $5,000-$7,000.

The estimate for the Nasts’ 1928 Steinway baby grand piano is $6,000-


Property from the auction’s other collections includes 22 schoolgirl needlework samplers dating from a circa 1790 sampler by Lydia Baker of Dorchester to an 1844 sampler by an 11-year-old New York girl. They are from the collection of Glee Krueger (1912-2002), who wrote books on samplers.

Furniture from a Connecticut estate includes a Massachusetts Queen Anne bonnet-top highboy ($15,000-$25,000) and a Boston Sheraton mahogany
card table

The expected top seller of the 700-lot auction is an extensive silver flatware service in Tiffany’s “English King” pattern, which is being sold with a custom-designed Queen Anne style mahogany silver chest. The estimate is $45,000-  
$65,000. The service for approximately 24 combines two sets from the estates of sisters Helen Elwyn Kremer and Elizabeth Elwyn Langdon, descendants of Governor John Langdon of Portsmouth. They lived in the 1784 Governor John Langdon House until the mid-1950s when ownership was transferred to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now Historic New England.

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The third annual Ellis Boston Antiques Show opens Thursday at The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts with a 5:30-8:30 p.m. preview gala to benefit Ellis Memorial, Boston’s first settlement house.

The show featuring 40 exhibitors continues through Sunday. Hours are Friday 1-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $15 and includes admission to the weekend shows.

Friday at 6 p.m. a talk on “Unexpected Treasures From Marblehead” will be given by Judy Anderson of Marblehead Architecture Heritage. Saturday at 3 p.m. a panel will discuss “From Past to Present: Demystifying the Historic House Renovation,” and Sunday at 2 p.m. Eric Cohler, the New York-based interior designer, will discuss how high- and low-end pieces can be mixed to create rooms that are both fresh and classic. Booth talks will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

“Family Treasures From Early Massachusetts,” the special loan exhibit by the New England Historic Geneological Society, which has been collecting, preserving, and making accessible family and local history material since 1845, will feature fine art and furniture from its collections.

For more information visit www.ellis
or phone 617-363-0405.

Virginia Bohlin can be reached at