• EAST DENNIS, Massachusetts
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  • November 12, 2015

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Rare Litchfield County, Connecticut Highboy, circa 1730. Lot 1399 in Eldred's Americana, Paintings & Maritime Art Auction

East Dennis, Mass. – An expansive yachting scene by English maritime artist Montague Dawson and a pair of portraits by Ammi Phillips that descended in the family of the sitters are the expected top earners in Eldred’s upcoming Fall Americana, Paintings and Maritime Art Auction, being held November 19-21. The wide-ranging sale, which features a private collection of mechanical banks and items from an important Martha’s Vineyard estate, includes more than 1,300 lots of paintings, fine furniture, Oriental rugs, sporting art, collectibles and much more.

Other significant lots include a circa 1805 Aaron Willard tall-case clock that retains its paper label from the Boston clockmaker, which has a pre-sale estimate of $10,000/15,000, a large and vibrantly colored Serapi, estimated at $15,000/20,000, and a circa 1730 Litchfield County, Connecticut Queen Anne Highboy, carrying an estimate of $35,000/50,000. The highboy is one of 209 lots of furniture in the sale; other highlights include a Hepplewhite Pembroke table from the workshop John Townsend, a circa 1760 Hudson Valley Queen Anne tea table, and a Hepplewhite card table from the workshop of John Goddard.

The firm has seen a resurgence in furniture prices over the last year’s auctions. “We’ve certainly seen an uptick in bidder participation in furniture lots over the past year,” said Joshua Eldred, company Vice President. “Many of them are first-time buyers or new collectors. It is very encouraging to see this market hopefully beginning to rebound.”

Paintings continue to be a consistent sale category for the firm. In addition to the portraits of Deacon John Guernsey and his wife Mercy by American itinerant portrait artist Ammi Phillips (1788-1865), estimated at $20,000/30,000, notable works in the sale include a 30” x 50” oil of fisherman hauling traps attributed to Franklin Dullin Briscoe, a fall landscape by J.J. Enneking, a portrait of a Massachusetts militia officer by William Matthew Prior, and a Rockport street scene by Jane Peterson. The catalog cover lot is a still life by Lillian Burk Meeser, one of seven works by the artist from her estate. The sale also includes a number of works by Provincetown Art Colony members Henry Hensche, Ada Rayner Hensche, Nancy Whorf and Carol Whorf Westcott, the majority of which come to auction from two private Cape Cod collections. A number of contemporary Massachusetts artists, including William R. Davis, Joseph McGurl, Richard K. Loud, Doug Brega and Elizabeth Mumford, will also be represented in the sale.

The Montague Dawson oil on canvas, which comes to auction from a private Cape Cod, Massachusetts collection with a pre-sale estimate of $30,000/50,000, is the centerpiece of the sale’s Maritime Art category, comprised of more than 100 lots of marine paintings, ship models, sailor crafts, nautical instruments, Chinese Export porcelain, yachting memorabilia, etc. Other highlights in this category include a model of the sponging schooner John B, made by a grandson of J.P. Morgan, a 19th Century portrait of a naval commander, and a ship model made from fig tree pith by Azorean artisan Euclides Silveira da Rosa (1910-1979). Maritime Art will be sold during the auction’s second session, on Friday, November 20. Also on the block that day will be nearly 100 lots of silver, including a rare toilette set by Andre Aucoc of Paris, more than 40 antique samplers, folk art, glass, ceramics, metalware and more.

The sale will kick off Thursday, November 19 with almost 100 cast iron mechanical banks from a private Massachusetts collection, some of the most eagerly anticipated lots in the sale. This meticulously curated collection includes many rare examples exhibiting strong original colors. “Some of these banks are in really great condition,” said Eric Mulak, head of the Collectibles department at Eldred’s. “Response from collectors has been really enthusiastic so far.”

Thursday’s session will also includes more than 75 lots of sporting art, notably a rare life-size decorative carving of a sanderling by A.E. Crowell, three fish carvings by legendary angler Stan Gibbs, a three-panel folding screen with a hunting scene painted by Reginal Fairfax Bolles, and “Guarding the Bag”, an oil on canvas by English artist John Gifford (d. 1900). More than 100 lots of weapons, militaria, ephemera and books will round out the day.

The sale will conclude on Saturday, November 21 with items from an important Martha’s Vineyard estate, featuring an early 19th Century New England Blanket Chest with exceptional sponge-painted decoration, and an 18th Century Delaware Valley armchair. The majority of the sale’s paintings and furniture lots will also be sold during this session.

Eldred’s is looking forward to continuing the momentum of its spring and summer slate of auctions, which saw record results highlighted by the $276,000 world-record sale of “Elk Buffalo”, an important bronze by American sculptor Henry Merwin Shrady, and the $72,000 world-record sale of a patriotic-themed sand art bottle by Iowa artist Andrew Clemens.

The Fall Americana, Paintings and Maritime Art Auction will take place at the company’s facility, located at 1483 Route 6A, in East Dennis, Massachusetts. Interested bidders can visit for a complete sale listing and to register to bid via phone, absentee bid or online. Online bidding will also be hosted by Those wishing to bid live in the audience may register at the offices the day of the auction. The auction will begin at 11 a.m. EST on Thursday, November 19, and at 10 a.m. EST on Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21. Preview hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, and the mornings of the sale starting at 8:45 a.m.

The Robert C. Eldred Co., New England's oldest established antiques and fine arts auction house, holds approximately 25 auctions per year encompassing Americana, paintings, Asian art, European decorative art, maritime antiques and collectibles. . It was recently named one of the top worldwide auction houses by Art + Auction. For more information please call (508) 385-3116 or email

Robert C. Eldred Co., Inc.
1483 Route 6A
P.O. Box 796
East Dennis, Massachusetts

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