(Hillsborough, N.C.) – A pair of oil-on-canvas renderings of farmyard scenes, showing horses, ducks, chickens and other animals in a farm setting by the noted British artist John Herring, Jr. (1820-1907), sold for $31,050 at a quarterly cataloged auction held December 1 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. The auction was held at the firm’s spacious gallery, in Hillsborough, N.C.

herring-paintings.jpg“This was our highest grossing sale to date,” stated Leland Little, president and owner of the company. “By the end of the day the tally had reached $670,000, and nearly all the lots had been sold, many for more than their high estimates. We had more absentee and phone bidders than ever before, plus over 1,000 registered online bidders” (through “It was a great sale.”

Mr. Little attributed the sale’s success to an abundance of quality merchandise, especially in the areas of fine art, Oriental objects, regional pottery, period furniture, jewelry, rugs and decorative accessories. “From all aspects, it comes down to the merchandise,” he observed. “If you have quality consignments, then people will turn out in great numbers to add those items to their collections.”

About 300 people – a standing room only crowd — packed the showroom for a 9:30 a.m. start. The last lot crossed the block at 5:10 p.m. The Herring paintings represented the top lot of the day. Second place also went to a piece of art: an oil-on-cradled-panel illuminated woodland interior work, signed by the French artist Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Pena (1808-1876), realized $16,675.

Following are additional highlights of the sale. All prices include a 15% buyer’s premium.
One of the pleasant surprises of the day was a Roanoke River basin Chippendale side chair, crafted around 1780 and featuring a simple lobate pierced back splat with shaped crest rail and seat supports. The piece sailed past the high estimate of $2,000 to garner $13,800. Also, a nice Chippendale American ribbon back side chair, circa 18th century, probably made in Massachusetts, realized $1,670.

A rare Chinese five-colorware ovoid jar (Shun-Chich of K’ang-hsi, 10” x 13”), a vessel exhibiting a great deal of carefully thought out workmanship, soared to $9,200. A pair of flambé glazed Chinese “archers” vases incised with the marks of Chien Lung and both with a squared pear shape, fetched $5,635; and an early 19th century Chinese export porcelain Canton ewer made $2,185. Also, a pair of Japanese bronze and mixed metals vases (circa 19th century) changed hands for $1,150.

Regional pottery also did well. A North Carolina North State vase, first stamp (circa 1924-1925), salt glazed stoneware vase with cobalt “thumbprint” design above the middle ridge line, went for $1,495; and a North Carolina Jugtown Chinese blue Tang vase, with blue glaze (circa 1930s), achieved $1,095.

irish-tall-clock.jpgAn antique Irish mahogany veneer tall case clock crafted in the early 18th century, with brass movement and engraved “Robt. Evers / Dublin,” chimed on time at $15,525. The star of the jewelry category was a stunning 6.25-ct. diamond ring in a platinum setting; it sold for $23,000. Also, a ladies’ Tiffany watch in the Art Deco style, with platinum and 155 cut diamonds, fetched $2,875.

A Southern black walnut and poplar North Carolina Piedmont two-over-three chest of drawers (Jesse Needham School, Randolph County, early 19th century) commanded $9,775, to lead the field in the period furniture category. Also, a tall-post plantation bed (American, circa 1840), rosewood veneer, attained $6,615; and a marble-top Griffin pedestal, heavily carved, late 19th century, hit $2,875.

A handsome Gorham sterling silver Art Nouveau punch bowl, with three-handled trophy form on round foot and chased floral design, hammered for $8,340; a Gorham Martele silver entree dish (circa 1904), hand wrought fine silver, with the Martele mark, changed hands for $6,040; and an English Delft center bowl (circa 1730), probably made in Bristol, England, tin glazed, made $2,415.

A Confederate Virginia belt plate, a Model 1860 Ames Cavalry Saber with a 34.5” blade, and a Model 1860 Colt Army revolver (.44 caliber, 6-shot) – all identified to Private William G. McGhee, Company A, 2nd Virginia Cavalry, C.S.A., sold as one lot for $11,500. Also, a letter written by Confederate Colonel Mosby, dated February 26, 1897, one page, commanded $1,670.

A 64-piece sterling flatware service, Old Maryland engraved by Kirk, went for $1,725; a pair of French Neoclassical style chenets (andirons), gilt and patinated bronze, of urn form and with acorn finials and cast and applied motifs, hit $1,380; and a brass candlestick, probably Dutch and made in the 17th century, with a straight aperture, graceful baluster stem and domed base (6.75”) rose to $920.

A very finely knotted antique Feroghan Sarouk rug, a hexagonal medallion of blue field within a larger floral medallion on a cream field (4′ 7.5” x 3′ 2.5”), changed hands for $1,840; and an Oriental semi-antique Kurdish rug, with an overall multicolored floret design on a brown field with a geometric and line border (8′ 3” x 4′ 1”) found a new owner for $1,552. Estate rugs, overall, did very well.

Returning to fine art, an oil-on-canvas painting by Leonard Ochtman (Connecticut, 1854-1934), titled “Frosty Morning” (1894), signed and dated lower left and depicting an expansive landscape with cows, made $16,100; and an oil-on-canvas rendering of a lone figure in a field on a hazy summer day, by William Picknell (Mass./Calif., 1853-1897), titled “Summer Field,” went for $12,940.

A still-life oil-on-canvas painting of fruits, vegetables, eggs and a pewter dish by the Dutch artist Jan Strube (1892-1985) saw a high bid of $12,075; an oil-on-canvas seascape by Alexander Harrison (Calif., New York, 1853-1930), signed lower left, achieved $11,500; and an oil-on-canvas laid on board of a winter landscape by Aldo Hibbard (Mass., Vermont, 1886-1972), fetched $10,350.
Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd.’s next big sale is scheduled for Saturday, March 1st, in Concord, N.C. It will be an on-site auction for a single-owner estate. Featured will be period furniture, fine art, Oriental rugs, silver, books, china and more, all of it top-quality merchandise.

After that, the next regular cataloged auction will be held on Saturday, March 15th. Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. has been holding high-end sales and quarterly cataloged auctions since 1999. To learn more about the company, click on WWW.LLAUCTIONS.COM . To consign a quality item, estate or collection, you may call them at (919) 644-1243. Or e-mail to [email protected]