Eagles--and more--landed at Marine and China Trade Auction

So many nice items, such high prices!

Story, photos by Jim Cerny

Northeast Auctions held their annual sale of Marine and China Trade items on the weekend of August 18-19 in Portsmouth, under the tent in the backyard of the historic Treadwell House. Auctioneer Ron Bourgeault quipped that he hoped we liked the air conditioning they had installed, as the temperature was a comfortable 70 degrees.

Antique auctions are a reminder of how much we like to acquire nice “stuff” and what an assortment of nice “stuff” exists. This interest is reflected in the popularity of Antiques Roadshow on television, and NHPTV was filming this auction for an edition of New Hampshire Crossroads. The “stuff” for sale at this summer’s auction was an amazing selection of marine items, carved birds, prints and paintings, furniture, fishing and hunting gear, and much more, with nearly 1500 lots in all. Many items resonated with the marine history of the seacoast and locally made items included several Bellamy eagles.

The following photographs give you a glimpse of some of the unusual items sold. These are biased toward objects that caught my eye and that were accessible to photograph. Prices shown include the 16% buyer’s premium. The complete auction catalog and realized prices are available at the Northeast Auctions Web site.

During preview, a china cabinet with displayed auction items.

During preview, a marble fireplace with displayed auction items.

Figurehead of a woman with golden hair, item 997 at $98,600.

Figurehead of a woman holding flowers, item 1000 at $29,000.

A large porcelain vase, item 126 at $2,204.

A pair of ivory-handled dueling pistols in case, item 37 at $1,972.

Celestial globe with stand, item 109 at $1,972.

Slant front China trade desk, item 953 at $32,480.

Ivory hawk on stand, item 992 at $24,300.

Upland sandpiper, just 9-1/2 inches high, made by Elmer Crowell, item 706 at $67,280.

Half-figurehead of a master mariner, item 999 at $29,000.

Half-figurehead of Admiral Collingwood (Battle of Trafalgar fame), item 1001 at $20,880.

Half-figurehead of a fashionably dressed woman, item 998 which passed.

Carved figure of a jack tar, item 892 at $6,960.

Pilot house eagle, item 866 at $9,280.

Small carved emperor penguin, item 764 at $4,176.

Painting of Charles Morgan, part of a pair, item 84 at $13,340.

Carved figure of a man with sextant, item 147 at $2,204.

Painting of the clipper ship "Starr King" by Fitz Hugh Lane, item 748 at $479,000.

September, 2007