(Hillsborough, N.C.) – A watercolor on Bainbridge board street scene by the renowned South Carolina painter Alfred Hutty (1877-1954) sold for $34,500 to take top lot honors at a Fine and Decorative Arts Cataloged Antique Auction held March 15 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. The multi-estate sale was held at the firm’s spacious gallery, at 246 Nash Street in Hillsborough.
By day’s end, nearly 550 lots had changed hands. The standing-room only crowd of about 250 bidders packed the gallery, but the sale also saw an online sell-through of close to 25 percent (via eBay Live / Live Auctioneers.com). Bids poured in from such diverse places as China, India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, England and France. Phone bidding was spirited, too.
“The top-tiered items were very strong, as expected,” said Leland Little, owner of the firm that bears his name. “That was true in this sale, as well as the auction that preceded it, on March 1st. We were extremely pleased with the high level of online activity and the keen interest from international bidders. Between the Internet component and the packed house, it was a very successful sale overall.”
The Hutty painting was the anticipated top lot, and it didn’t disappoint. Titled “Calhoun Street,” the charming street scene of Charleston, with figures, is one of the artist’s finest watercolors, illustrating a deep reverence for the people and architecture of his adoptive city. Hutty was a founding member of the Charleston Etchers’ Club. His work was influential during the Charleston Renaissance.
Taking runner-up honors was an intriguing untitled oil painting by the Indian artist Laxman Shreshtha (born 1939). The bold abstract work, housed in a wooden frame, was signed and dated by the artist and soared to a final hammer price of $24,150. The painting had previously been in the collection of a Duke University professor, who purchased it at the North Carolina Museum of Art back in 1979.
Additional highlights follow. Prices include a 15% buyer’s premium (20% for online sales).
An unsigned Boston School oil painting titled “Lady and Servant” (circa 1910), an intimate interior scene showing two ladies – one white, one African-American – seated at a small table set with irises, in a gilt wood frame, went for $8,625. Also, an oil-on-canvas work by Spanish artist Jose Rico y Cejudo (1864-1939), titled “Dance Hall” and showing a dance hall scene with figures, achieved $6,250.
A lovely French silk embroidered bed cover (circa 1910), tambour work on gold colored silk and depicting a central tree form with outstretched branches in black and ribbon-like motifs encircling the base, sold for $5,750; and a Moore County, N.C., chest of drawers (circa 1800), walnut with yellow pine secondary and three-over-three graduated and flush-mounted drawers, made $4,830.
An untitled oil-on-canvas landscape work by Carl Buergerniss (N.J., 1877-1956), depicting a young child in an impressionist springtime scene and housed in its likely original carved gilt wood frame, realized $5,290; and an oil-on-canvas winter scene along the Seine River, executed in an expressionist manner by Pierre de Clausade (French, 1910-1976), signed and framed, fetched $4,370.
A Qing Dynasty jade and celadon Ruyi sceptre, possibly from the Qianlong Period and classic in form, consisting of a curved green jade shaft with pierced geometric borders and simple carvings of fruit, brought $4,485; and a late 19th century four-panel Chinese screen, hand-painted on linen paper and showing a picturesque landscape with mountains, a forest and village scene, hit $4,320.
An oil-on-academy board work by Louis Charles Vogt (Ohio, 1864-1939), titled “Summer Garden,” an impressionistic garden scene with trees screening the view beyond and housed in a gilt composition frame, garnered $3,565; and an oil-on-board painting by Martha Walter (Penn., 1875-1976), titled “Kites on the Beach” and showing figures flying kites on the shoreline, realized $3,565.
A transitional French marquetry commode, made in the late 19th century in the manner of Pierre Antoine Foullet, rose to a respectable $18,400. The two-drawer commode featured a molded and shaped marble top supported by a conforming case; ormolu mounts throughout; light and dark kingwood inlays; and mahogany veneers. The piece, from a private collection, was 35.5” x 56” 24.5”.
An antique Bijar carpet from around the 1880s, 10′ x 5′ and with a geometric lobed central medallion with blue pendants on a salmon field within a camel field, in good overall condition, brought $3,450; and a large antique Swiss music box, unmarked (circa 1900), rosewood with string inlays and with an ebonized base and lid, internally refurbished and in operating condition, gaveled for $2,875.
A 64-piece sterling flatware service, Grand Baroque, Wallace, in estate condition and weighing 69.25 troy ounces, hammered for $2,185; a U.S. military silver gilt presentation tray made by the Codan silver house in Mexico City, likely a custom commission, realized $2,040; and a Georgian silver hot water jug, made in London around 1780 and weighing 26.45 troy ounces, sold for $1,800.
Twelve sterling silver fish knives by Tiffany & Co., in the “Tiffany” pattern, each piece engraved “Aitken” and in very fine estate condition (23.65 total troy ounces), rose to $1,800. And rounding out the day’s top lots was a Virginia hall tree crafted by the Rich Brothers around 1880. The oak piece featured a circular mirror with saw tooth edge and central five-point star. It reached $1,495.
Between now and the end of the year, Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd., has three more quarterly cataloged auctions planned – for June 14, September 13 and December 6. Watch the firm’s website for information and details: www.LLAUCTIONS.com. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at (919) 644-1243. Or, e-mail them at [email protected].