Jewelry and paintings highlight Grogan's 2 million dollar sale

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Jewelry and paintings highlight Grogan's 2 million dollar sale
Calder's untitled gouache inscribed Eastham soared to $72,000, selling to a European gallery over the phone.

DEDHAM, MASS.- Grogan and Company’s October auction was a resounding success, netting $2.1 million for the more than 900 lots of paintings, jewelry, furniture, and decorations. The two day auction, held over Columbus Day weekend, was well attended with more than 700 bidders participating directly with Grogan and Company and another 1,500 bidders participating via the internet.

The top three lots of the two day auction were paintings sold during Session One on Sunday, October 13th. A 17th century oil on panel, The Cunera Tower, Rhenen by Dutch master Jan Van Goyen sold in the first half hour of Session One for $96,000 over the phone to a European dealer. The painting, which was first only attributed to the artist, was deemed authentic once the signature and date of 1627 were revealed in the lower right corner of the panel. Additionally, obscure records of the work were discovered supporting that the painting had been in the collection of the early 19th century British attorney John Newington Hughes. Two of four works offered by Alexander Calder from a Cambridge collection brought the next highest prices of the sale. An untitled gouache of spirals and moons, created in 1949, sold to a bidder in the room for $87,000 against a $20,000-30,000 estimate. The other untitled gouache inscribed Eastham soared to $72,000, selling to a European gallery over the phone. American offerings included a Vermont snow scene, circa 1930, by venerated Cape Ann School painter, Aldro Thompson Hibbard. The 17 x 20 inch oil sold to an online bidder for $20,400 against a $5,000-8,000 estimate. Contemporary works were well represented by a collection of eight paintings by 20th century Chinese-American painter John Way. The top lot of the group, Untitled #1, a 50 x 25 ¾ inch oil sold to a Chinese collector for $7,800. A selection of fine prints included three works by American etcher Martin Lewis, which sold exceptionally well. Glow of the City brought $14,400; Down to the Sea at Night brought $15,600; and Morning on the River brought $11,400.

The jewelry offerings included 198 lots comprised of an impressive selection of rings, brooches, and bracelets from several prominent collections. The highlight of the jewelry offerings was an Emerald, Diamond, and Onyx Ring that sparked competitive bidding on the phone before finally selling to the trade for $43,200. Although the ring was not marked, it was thought to be by Cartier, a likely conclusion given the result. The next highest jewelry price was achieved by a Black Starr & Frost Platinum, Diamond, and Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring from the collection of Adelaide Downey Hastings. The ring, estimated at $10,000-15,000, sold for $31,200 over the phone; while Hastings’ Platinum, Diamond, and Sapphire Bracelet brought $20,400 against an $8,000-12,000 estimate. The jewelry alone netted a half million with a sell through rate of 96%.

“It was gratifying to have such a successful first auction with my family’s business,” commented Lucy P. Grogan, daughter of founders, Michael and Nancy Grogan, and the company’s new Jewelry and Paintings Specialist, “While Grogan and Company’s painting sales have always been strong, I was thrilled with the results of the jewelry and look forward to continued growth in that department.”

Sunday’s session ended with a selection of fine silver, including a Cartier Silver and Lapis Presentation Box, inscribed The Westminster-Biltmore Steeple Chase Association 1929, which far surpassed its $1,000-2,000 estimate, selling for $30,000 to a bidder in the room. A 19th century Engraved and Enameled Silver Singing Bird Music Box with a $500-1,000 presale estimate drew significant attention during preview and sparked competitive bidding over the phone before finally selling for $20,400 to a West Coast bidder. A rare Georg Jensen Silver Swan Bonbonniere designed by Johan Rohde sold for $9,600, against a $1,500-2,500 presale estimate.

Monday’s Session Two of Furniture, Decorative Work of Art, and Oriental Rugs included 468 lots, featuring a large pair of early 19th century Chinese Famille Verte Vases. The 36 inch vases with foo lion handles and applied serpents bore a presale estimate of $3,000-5,000 and quickly soared to $36,000 via an absentee bid left by a Chinese collector. One of the sleepers of the auction, a Pair of Asian Yellow Ground Jardineres on Stands, were estimated at $500-700, yet competitive bidding between the internet, phones, and the room drove the price to $16,200.

The two Aaron Willard clocks offered were a circa 1790 Tall Case Clock standing at 93 inches with Nantucket provenance and an 85 inch early 19th century example with a painted moon face dial. The taller example sold to a New York collector for $19,200, while the smaller example sold over the phone to the trade for $18,000. An historic 1794 shipping document bearing the original signature of our first President George Washington, as well as his Secretary of State Edmund Randolph, sold to a New England Institution for $6,600; while an impressive set of ninety-six pieces of Harcourt Empire Pattern Baccarat Crystal Stemware sold for $12,000.

The auction was held at Grogan and Company’s gallery located in historic Dedham, Massachusetts, where they conduct free verbal appraisal days every Thursday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All prices include a buyer’s premium. For a fully illustrated catalogue with results or more information about Grogan and Company's auction and appraisal services, please visit or call 781.461.9500.

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