Niche Delights: Tait painting, carved decoy, "woolies" lead Northeast sale

  • September 16, 2009 11:19

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Painted black duck decoy made around 1903 by A. Elmer Crowell of East Harwich, Mass., for his friend and employer Dr John C. Phillips sold privately on Sunday for $103,500 after passing in the room on Saturday

PORTSMOUTH, NH - Northeast Auctions' popular marine, China Trade, and sporting art auction on August 15 to 16 tallied around $3.4 million, including premium, on 1,200 lots, a smaller gross than in past years, when totals have approached $10 million. A graceful preening duck decoy by master carver A. Elmer Crowell, passed at $75,000, but auctioneer Ron Bourgeault later negotiated a private deal to sell the sculpture for $105,300, including premium. Strong prices went to a historical painting by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait ($381,000), sailor-made "woolies" and English pottery.

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