East Dennis, Mass. – A Judkins and Senter Federal server, a William Fitz tall-case clock and a William & Mary gateleg table with possibly its original red-wash finish are three of the most notable lots from the New Hampshire Collection of Lawrence and Dorothy Perkins, a featured section of Eldred’s Summer Sale, slated for July 30-31 at the firm’s headquarters in East Dennis, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.
The Perkins, residents of New Hampshire, carefully and thoughtfully acquired their collection over twenty years from New England’s leading antique dealers and auction houses. Like the Judkins and Senter sideboard, which carries a $35,000/50,000 pre-sale estimate, and the tall-case clock by William Fitz, estimated at $60,000/80,000, many of the pieces are from Portsmouth, New Hampshire-area makers, including four pieces by cabinetmaker Joseph Clark. Other highlights include the William & Mary gateleg table, estimated at $35,000/50,000, a William & Mary highboy, probably of Rhode Island origin, that descended in the Rogers family, estimated at $10,000/20,000, and a Federal work table with painted decoration by Sarah Eaton-Balch of Dedham, Massachusetts, estimated at $5,000/10,000. The collection also includes metalware, ceramics, Hannah Davis bandboxes and other fine art and Americana.
“The Perkins shared with me how they started to collect,” said Bill Bourne, vice president of Eldred’s and head of its Americana department. “They took courses at the MFA on American antiques and then proceeded to connect with some of the top dealers in their area. Obviously, between their eye and the dealers’, they chose wisely and formed a very select group of New England and Portsmouth-focused quality pieces. We’re very excited to bring this collection to market as it forms the nucleus of a very strong sale.”
The sale’s anticipated top lot is N.C. Wyeth’s “The Bonaventure”, a scene of a sailboat at the foot of towering cliffs. The painting, illustrated in three volumes on Wyeth (Pennsylvania/Maine/Massachusetts, 1882-1945), is estimated at $250,000/350,000. It comes to auction from an important Newport, Rhode Island private collection but has a lengthy provenance dating to Charles Scribner’s Sons pre-1949.
“Perhaps because consignors were inspired by the Perkins Collection, the painting selection came together quite organically,” said Joshua Eldred, president of the firm and head of its fine art department. “There is a remarkable Maxfield Parrish in the sale as well as a wonderful group of 19th Century White Mountain School works that are a perfect complement to the Perkins Collection.”
The Maxfield Parrish (New Hampshire, 1870-1966), titled “Evening, Cornish, N.H.”, is from the same Newport Collection as the Wyeth and is estimated at $80,000/120,000. The painting was illustrated in the May 1930 issue of American Magazine in an article about Parrish and described as “Parrish at his best. He painted it solely for his own artistic satisfaction”.
The featured 23-lot New Hampshire Collection of Paintings is highlighted by a Francis Seth Frost (Massachusetts, 1825-1902) view of Mt. Desert Island, estimated at $5,000/10,000, and also includes pieces by Frank Henry Shapleigh (New Hampshire, 1842-1906), Alfred T. Ordway (Massachusetts/New Hampshire, 1821-1897) and several other artists with ties to the White Mountains and northern New England.
The sale includes nearly 200 paintings in total, with other significant examples including a “View of Provincetown, Mass.”, a rare scene of the famed Cape Cod resort town by Ralph Eugene Cahoon, Jr. (Cape Cod, 1910-1982), and a portrait of the Gold Rush steamer Wilson G. Hunt by artist-brothers John and James Bard (New York, 1815-1897), from the Kelton Collection of Marine Art & Artifacts. Both works carry a $40,000/60,000 pre-sale estimate. Notable works by John Mecray, John George Brown, Paul-Cesar Helleu, Ammi Phillips and Charles Herbert Woodbury are also included, with estimates ranging from $10,000/15,000 to $25,000/35,000.
“The outstanding New Hampshire and 19th Century works balance our traditionally strong group of Cape Ann and Cape Cod-themed works,” Eldred said. “In this new world of social distancing, perhaps these paintings will allow the buyer to at least mentally escape to the pure air of the mountains or the salty breath of the sea.”
The Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth DeLong Collection of Bird Carvings, mostly comprising a fine assortment of miniature and decorative carvings by A. Elmer Crowell, is also a featured collection in the sale, with estimates ranging from $250/350 to $9,000/12,000. The DeLongs, of Cape Cod, acquired their collection over 50 years, according to Bill Bourne, who has known the couple since his childhood. Other important sporting art pieces in the sale include a rare pair of life-size bobwhite quail and a golden plover decoy in eclipse plumage, both by Crowell, and a red-breasted merganser in flight mounted on a seascape-painted plaque by Nantucket carver/artist James Walter Folger. All three carry a $15,000/20,000 pre-sale estimate.
Noteworthy furniture in the sale outside the Perkins Collection includes a Litchfield-area Chippendale Secretary descended in the same family of the original owner, estimated at $40,000/60,000, and Queen Anne tea table attributed to Thomas Elfe, a Charleston, South Carolina-based cabinetmaker, estimated at $10,000/15,000. Chinese Export, a fine group of weather vanes and needlework samplers, Oriental rugs and traditional Americana are also included.
There is also a prominent group of mid-Century and contemporary art and design, notably pieces by Hunt Slonem, Peter Max, Charles Green Shaw, Pedro Friedeberg, Howard Kottler, Charles and Ray Eames and Herman Miller.
“Over the last few years we have made a concerted effort to diversify our sales and move beyond just brown furniture and 19th Century art,” Eldred said. “This sale is a perfect example of this evolution, with top-quality items from as far back as the 17th Century to works created in the last few years. It makes for a varied and rich experience for the auction-goer and sales that truly offer something for everyone.”
All lots in the Summer Sale can be viewed on Eldred’s website, www.eldreds.com, and a catalog is available to order by mail. The auction is slated to have floor bidding, with phone and absentee bidding available with pre-registration. Online bidding is also available through the firm’s website and Invaluable.com. A public exhibition is scheduled for July 29, but private preview appointments are also available. As Massachusetts advisories pertaining to the spread of COVID-19 could impact bidding options and exhibition schedules, prospective bidders are encouraged to confirm these by calling 508-385-3116 or visiting the website.
The Robert C. Eldred Co. is New England's oldest established antiques and fine arts auction house, now in its third generation of ownership within the Eldred family. In addition to its headquarters on Cape Cod’s historic Old King’s Highway in East Dennis, Mass., the firm also has an office at 5 Roosevelt Avenue in Mystic, Ct. Eldred’s conducts approximately 25 auctions per year encompassing Americana, paintings, Asian art, European decorative art, maritime antiques, sporting art and collectibles. Eldred’s, the nation’s leading marine art auction house, conducts approximately 25 auctions per year encompassing Americana, paintings, Asian art, European decorative art, sporting art and collectibles in addition to marine art. It was recently named one of the top worldwide auction houses by Art + Auction and holds auction records across a wide range of collecting areas.
For more information please call (508) 385-3116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1483 Route 6a
East Dennis, Massachusetts
Eldred's is New England's oldest established antiques and fine arts auction house. Approximately 25 auctions are held year-round encompassing Americana, Asian Art, Americana and European paintings, European decorative art, Maritime antiques, and collectibles.