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Antiques & Collectibles

This recently found painting is by the famed Gloucester artist Fitz Henry Lane.
This recently found painting is by the famed Gloucester artist Fitz Henry Lane.

A ship painting by the famed Cape Ann artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804-65), recently discovered in a Maine collection, will be offered with a $150,000-$250,000 estimate at James D. Julia’s Fine Art, Asian & Antiques Auction Aug. 25-28 at its Fairfield, Maine, gallery.

John Wilmerding, project adviser, and Sam Holdsworth, project director, for the Fitz Henry Lane catalogue raisonne being compiled by the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, have concluded that the 19½-by-27-inch oil painting is a work by Lane.

Information from a family manuscript dated “April 12, 1867” identifies the painting as a portrait of the bark Mary built in Medford in 1844 with Boston the home port. A notebook with extensive research accompanies the sale of the painting.

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Also highlighting the fine art offerings are a painting by the Philadelphia-born realist painter William James Glackens (1870-1938) and bronzes by the French sculptor Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and the German-American sculptor Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius (1869-1959).

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Glackens’s “Rockport, Mass 1936 No. 3”, a 12-by-16-inch oil on board study of a beach scene with bathers has a $175,000-$250,000 estimate, while the Degas 13¾-inch bronze of a ballet dancer has a $150,000-$250,000 estimate and Rungius’s 16½-inch-high, 17-inch-wide “Big Horn Sheep” a $125,000-$175,000 estimate. Accompanying the Rungius bronze is a Sept. 15, 1930, letter disclosing that the buyer paid $450 for it.

Chinese furniture made of zitan, the prized and scarce wood that only the imperial households were allowed to use in the 17th and 18th centuries, rarely comes on the market. Most pieces are in museums or in private collections, but two 19th-century zitan pieces, a carved canopy bed and a trestle-leg table, are being offered at Friday’s auction of nearly 600 lots of Asian works.

The nearly 8-foot-high bed, which has a $60,000-$80,000 estimate, and the more than 6-foot-long table (estimate $20,000-$30,000) are from a 57-lot estate collection of a Taiwan diplomatic family. Also among the collection’s top offerings are a 33-inch Chinese bronze figure of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, on a lotus stand ($160,000-$180,000) and a suite of jadeite, gold, and diamond jewelry including a necklace, a ring, and a pair of earrings ($90,000-$120,000).

Offerings from other consignors are highlighted by a circa 1900 Chinese 200-inch-wide by 26-inch silk scroll and a 27-inch carved limestone Buddha of the Eastern Wei period (534-550). The ink and colors scroll is titled “Imperial Hunt in a Palace Park” after Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shi Ning). Castiglione was an Italian Jesuit lay brother and missionary to China, where he became court painter for three Chinese emperors and took a Chinese name. The scroll has a $70,000-$80,000 estimate and the Buddha flanked by two attendant deities a $50,000-$70,000 estimate.

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Furniture, weather vanes, and history-related items are among the wide variety of offerings being auctioned at Tuesday and Wednesday’s sessions.

The furniture ranges from a rare circa 1700 William and Mary painted chair table ($5,000-$10,000) to a circa 1790 Connecticut Chippendale mahogany bow-front chest of drawers ($5,000-$10,000) that descended in the Chauncey family, whose forebear Charles Chauncey was Harvard College’s second president (1654-71), to an early 19th-century Salem sofa ($5,000-$15,000) to a 1965-70 George Nakashima round dining table with six chairs ($8,000-$12,000).

Topping the 17 tall case clocks is a circa 1760-75 Chippendale block-and-shell mahogany 98-inch clock, its dial signed by the noted Newport, R.I., clockmaker Thomas Claggett and the case made by Newport’s famous Goddard-Townsend School. The estimate is $70,000-$150,000.

The more than 30 weather vanes are topped by a late-19th-century hollow molded and gilt copper grasshopper vane attributed to L. W. Cushing & Sons of Waltham with a $60,000-$80,000 estimate.

Among the history-related items are a rare Revolutionary War powder horn, an early 1861 Confederate flag, and the Civil War drum of Lewis Eddy, a drummer boy from Boston.

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The 15-inch powder horn carved “Elijah Sexton, His Horn, A Son Of Liberty” has a $6,000-$8,000 estimate. Sexton is purported to have enlisted on April 21, 1775, two days after the battles at Lexington and Concord.

The 13-star, 53-inch cotton flag is one of the few known with stars and stripes in the shape of St. Andrew’s Cross. The estimate is $20,000-$30,000.

The drum of Private Eddy, who served with the 42d Regiment Infantry, Massachusetts Volunteers in Louisiana, is sold with the original drumsticks and an 1868 carte de visite (card photo) of Eddy when he was 17. The estimate is $6,000-$8,000. A longtime member of the Grand Army of the Republic’s E. W. Kinsley Post No. 113, Eddy died in Boston in 1917 at 66.

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A trove of photographs and slides of President Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy discovered this spring in Tampa will be sold at the estates auction of Central Mass Auctions on Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Vernon Hill Post, 267 Providence St., Worcester.

The more than 150 photographs and slides were found among boxes of memorabilia and collectibles in the home of Josephine Betley, a retired Air Force major, who died last October at 92. Danny Triplett, who manages estate sales in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, had been asked by a Pennsylvania family to check the contents of the boxes before their aunt’s property was put up for auction. When the photographs were found, the family asked Triplett to have them sold by Central Mass Auctions in Worcester.

“Probably because President Kennedy was from Massachusetts they looked for a Massachusetts auction house,” said Central Mass owner Wayne Tuiskula, who had had no previous contact with the Betley relatives or Triplett.

An early enlistee in World War II, Betley had served during her years in the Air Force as an intelligence officer overseas and as the executive officer to the base commander at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. It is not known what her connection was to President Kennedy and the first lady or how she acquired the photographs and slides, many of them of the slain president’s funeral.

All that is known is that Betley had amassed a large collection of mementos from the years of Camelot that Triplett describes as “an eyewitness to history.”

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Virginia Bohlin can be reached at vbohlin@comcast.net.