Posts Tagged ‘Fine Art’

Auction Results for A Gentleman’s Collection

December 6th, 2013 by

Important English Furniture:
A Gentleman’s Collection

A pair of late George III patinated bronze and ormolu cassolettes

Achieving a total of £1,476,500, Sotheby’s London auction, Important English Furniture: A Gentleman’s Collection, featured the very best of 18th and early 19th-century English Furniture, offering a chance to acquire beautifully crafted works with timeless elegance.

Highlights of the sale included a pair of George III rosewood, tulipwood and marquetry commodes, circa 1775, attributed to Mayhew and Ince, which achieved £242,500, and a pair of George III ormolu mounted white marble candle vases attributed to Matthew Boulton, circa 1775, which sold for £98,500 – more than three times its pre-sale low estimate

All results are now available to view online: Here 

Blue Onion Porcelain

June 15th, 2011 by

Blue Onion is a popular china pattern that has been in use for hundreds of years, but did you know it was originally not an onion at all? European craftsmen in Meissen (outside of Dresden in Germany) interpreted the unidentifiable peaches and other fruit from older Chinese patterns. Before it was called the onion pattern, it was originally named the bulb pattern. The early patterns first produced were closely modeled by the Chinese in 1740. Blue Onion china was made into plates and bowls in the Meissen Factory that had a feel of one of a kind.  One of the early examples of this was the blue and white porcelains of the early, powerful Ming Dynasty in 1420. The colorful flowers and fruits pictured on the original Chinese pattern were unknown to the Meissen painters. Therefore, they created hybrids that were more familiar to Europeans.

The Blue Onion design most likely originated from an east Asian model, specifically Chinese. Its artistic style also demonstrates that Blue Onion derives also from European influence. The Blue Onion creative pattern was designed as a white ware decorated with cobalt blue. Some rare dishes have a green, red, pink, or black pattern instead of the more common cobalt blue. A very rare type is called red bud, because there are red accents on the blue-and-white dishes. Porcelain found in Europe with the onion pattern is manufactured in Czech Republic by the famous stock company Czech Porcelain.

A highly rare blue onion antique listed on is the Meissen Blue Onion soup tureen that includes an under plate. This primitive antique is from 1920. In the images below, you will see the mark of Meissen printed out and this denotes a 20th century manufacture of this very popular Blue Onion pattern. This distinguished mark of the crossed swords dates back to circa 1800. The under plate measures 15″ X 10″ and the tureen is 16″ from handle to handle and the height of the tureen to the top of the finial on the cover is 10 1/2″. The opening of the tureen is 11″ X 8 3/4″. The antique is in relatively in good condition with the exceptions of a few scratches. No restoration is currently needed. This Blue Onion antique is a real collector’s treat as tureens with under plates are rare to find, even in 20th century manufacture. The opening on the cover is for a ladle. We have a non matching white ladle that we will include in the purchase of this tureen. This exquisite antique is a collector’s dream and will not disappoint!

This American Folk Art Painting Is Worth Its Weight In Gold!

May 2nd, 2010 by

Who says vintage American folk art isn’t worth its weight in gold? The scales are definitely tipped in favor of this delightful painting I found last weekend at the New England Antique Show’s Spring Fever Antiques and Design Show and Sale. Let’s take a listen – and a look – at this intriguing piece of nautically inspired artwork by Cape Cod artist Ralph Cahoon.

Click here to see a video discussion of this great piece of art!

What “hangs in the balance” here is a painting entitled “Weighing in the Catch.” The piece itself is oil on board and measures 13.75″ by 11.5″. The painting depicts an unfazed fisherman “weighing” a lovely, bejeweled mermaid, much like he would his daily catch of cod or flounder. But this take is clearly a dreamy “catch of the day!” Don’t you wonder what he’s REALLY thinking? The painting’s details include a folksy “no fishing” sign crookedly hammered to a tree, a calm ocean bay, and a lighthouse in the background.

It would be fair to say that Cape Cod and the Atlantic 0cean were pivotal influences in Ralph Cahoon’s life and career as an artist. Born in Chatham, Massachusetts in 1910, Ralph spent his early years on the beach, sailing, and fishing – and skillfully sketching these carefree pastimes for fun. In 1932, he married fellow Cape-Codder Martha Farham. Martha and her family were known for their talents in hand painting furniture. After Ralph and Martha married, they started their own very successful decorating and antiques business in Cotuit, Massachusetts. They would paint tables, chests, chairs, boxes, bookcases… just about anything that suited their fancy.  Their collector base for these one-of-a-kind items really started to expand.

Fast forward a few years to 1953 and the Cahoons started reeling in the big catch. Ralph and Martha’s work was noticed and promoted by the wealthy New York socialite, art dealer, and future co-owner of the New York Mets, Joan Whitney Payson.   Payson worked with the Cahoons to transition their talents from furniture decorating to wall art painting.  She framed some of their paintings and displayed their works in her upscale Long Island shop, called the Country Art Gallery.  They became a sensation among affluent New Yorkers, who loved them for their happy, innocent themes of carefree life by the sea.  Ralph’s works depicting playful, not-quite-risque mermaids became his “signature” pieces.   The Cahoons would go on to an almost 30 year career of commercial success, showing at galleries across the United States and through their own studio on Cape Cod.

Ralph passed away in 1982, at the age of 72. He continued to paint up until his last days.  Martha lived through 1999, and like Ralph, was an active artist until the end.   After Ralph died,  Martha sold their Cape Cod home and studio to Rosemary Rapp, a friend and local art enthusiast who converted the building to an art museum.  Today, the Cahoon Museum of American Art features works by both Ralph and Martha Cahoon, contemporary artists, as well as other well known 19th and 20th century artists including Alvan Fisher, Ralph A. Blakelock, Benjamin Champney, and Martin Lewis.  It is a wonderful destination for art lovers visiting Cape Cod and well worth the trip.

Today, Ralph Cahoon’s works continue to be of great interest for collectors. Recently, several larger pieces have sold in the $150,000 range.  This particular work, Weighing in the Catch, is available for $15,000 from Bradford Trust Fine Art of Harwich Port, Cape Cod.

Net-net, I would like to thank Roy Mennell of Bradford Trust Fine Art for hooking me up with this great piece of fishing-inspired American art. Bradford Trust Fine Art offers a wide selection of American and European 19th and 20th century art and specializes in artworks of coastal New England (including Maine and Boston area) and Cape Cod, particularly Provincetown.  For more information about this piece, please contact Roy at

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Keeping you appraised of an antiques and design show you just can’t miss!

April 18th, 2010 by

The countdown is on!

I can’t wait to see you at New England Antique Show‘s much anticipated Spring Fever Antiques and Design Show and Sale! This event – truly a breath of fresh air –  is April 24th from 10am to 5pm and April 25th from 11am to 4 pm.  It will be held at the historic Concord Amory, located at 91 Everett Street, Concord, Massachusetts. There is plenty of free parking.  And speaking of a good deal, click here for your two-for-one admission coupon, just for VIPs! (Val’s Important Pals!) Otherwise, a weekend pass is $7; Sunday only is $5. Children 16 and under are admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
It goes without saying that this show is a “can’t miss” for anybody interested in antiques, collectibles, and decorative items for homes and gardens of any size. Over 40 dealers from 10 states will showcase outstanding items just in time for the spring wedding, graduation, and Mother’s Day season. Expect to find treasures including estate jewelry, fine art and pottery, toys and games, rare books and maps, tabletop settings, furniture, rugs, silver, china, glass, and crystal.  Here on the left you see a wonderful garden antiques display by Debra Queen of South Dartmouth,  MA, who will be bringing her delightful wares to Concord. Personally, I hope to find some Fenton glass for my Grandmother, Blue Willow china for my Mom, and mohair Teddies and animals for me at the show!
And what’s an event without a special guest? In addition to high quality, exceptional merchandise, the show also features a valuation clinic lead by industry veteran Linda Roberts, an accredited member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA). Linda has vast experience identifying and valuing the full spectrum of vintage and antique collectibles.  Linda looks forward to speaking with you about your special treasures you bring from home.  Who knows…maybe that vintage vase you picked up at a tag sale for $0.50 a few years ago really is worth something?  It’s certainly worth finding out!  Each of Linda’s valuations is $5 with a show admission ticket, with a maximum of three items per person. All proceeds from the clinic will go to the Family Readiness Group of the 182nd Medical Company of the Concord Armory.
Val had the pleasure of speaking with Linda recently about her experience and the world of identifying and valuing antiques and vintage collectibles. Here’s some interesting highlights from the conversation…

Val: Linda, first of all, thank you so much for your time and participating in the upcoming Concord show.  Can you tell us what exactly is an “appraisal?”

Linda: Sure. An appraisal is a written, bound document with extensive research, photos and opinion of value usually done for a specific purpose such as estate taxes, insurance etc. A verbal approximation of value, which is what is given at events, fairs, shows, etc., is just that, a verbal approximation with very little or no research. Nothing is in writing.

Val: Can you tell us about the most unusual item brought to you at an event?

Linda: Let’s see.  I think the most unusual item was a dress worn by Judy Garland. The woman who brought it to me owned a costume store and would buy clothing from a dealer that purchased items from sales at movie studios.  This dress had a label stating that it was Judy Garland’s costume. It dated from around the 1940’s. It was very difficult to assign a final value to it without more research; for example, the movie in which it was worn would contribute to its value.  In a case like this, the owner was told to do some detective work and identify the movie in which the dress appeared. I suggested calling the archives at the studio or simply watching old movies! I eventually valued the dress in $1,800 to $2,300 range.
Val: Wow, that’s so cool!  Can you tell us about the highest valued item you have assessed?

Linda: Sure!  I was examining items in a home for an estate tax appraisal. I was crawling around a small storage area and found a few old paintings. One in particular was interesting to me because I recognized the artist immediately, even though it was in terrible condition.  I discussed the painting with my client and told him it was painted by one of the “Philadelphia Ten” by the name of Fern Coppedge.  Fern was an American artist who lived from 1883 through 1951. I was able to broker the painting and it sold for $250,000! The client was very happy and told me that if I were not there he would have sold the painting for $25 at a house sale!

Val: A quarter of a million dollar windfall… not bad!  Have you ever been stumped by something someone has brought to you?

Linda: Of course. No appraiser knows everything. It is important for the appraiser to know their limitations. It is not unusual for an appraiser to give a referral instead of a value especially at an appraisal fair. Sometimes the referral is to another expert or to do some detective work on their own. Part of our expertise is to have extensive contacts in all fields. A good appraiser will reveal their specialties.

Val: Speaking of specialties, are you a collector of anything?
Linda: Yes, I am a collector!  I love books with great illustrators such as those done by Margaret Tarrant. I love hand-painted porcelain as well as Lalique glass. My favorite is a rare large cockatoo that stands approx 12″ tall and has a 12″ wing span.  He was made by Rene Lalique in the early 20th century. To the left is a picture of my collectible cockatoo for your readers!
Val: Thanks for your insights and looking forward to meeting you – and all of our community site readers – soon in Concord!  And hopefully there is a Lalique treasure just waiting for you there!
The Spring Fever Antiques and Design Show and Sale is produced by Marvin Getman of New England Antique Shows. For more information please call (781) 862-4039 or visit NEAS’ website at