Thomaston Staff, Author at Thomaston Auction

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries Live Auctioneer’s Auction Highlights:

If you're searching for an "estate auction near me," look no further! Thomaston Auction Place Galleries' first major sale and live auction of the summer will feature amazing collections of fine art and decorative rarities, including items from the Maine estate of songwriter and singer Dan Fogelberg (1951 - 2007). Fans of Dan Fogelberg songs will appreciate the unique opportunity to own a piece from his personal collection, making this estate auction even more special.

Additionally, we will have many important pieces from the Weston Priory (VT) archive of ceramics created by Brother Thomas Bezanson (1929-2007) while he was part of the monastic community between 1959 and the early 1980s.

To kick off the weekend auction, on Friday, June 28 we will present excellent selections of weapons and militaria, decoys, sports memorabilia & ephemera, toys, Japanese artifacts, and jewelry.

The live weekend auction continues on June 29. On Saturday the auction will include early paintings & sculpture, pre-Victorian furniture, Native American antiques, marine items, and Chinese artifacts.

And on the final day of the weekend, Sunday, June 30 we will offer a nicely curated group of fine art and decorative items from the 1850s through the 20th Century.

Live Auction Weekend Highlights:

· Cheyenne Native American 1870s fringed and beaded war shirt

· Steinway & Sons Model B grand piano

· Pair of 19th Century Blackamoor carved fantasy armchairs

· Circa 1910-25 double flag stargazer carousel horse by Parker Company

· Grand Tetons painting by Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)

· LC Smith Crown Grade SxS 12-gauge shotgun

· Tiffany & Co. gold chalice

· Bronze sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955)

· 1980 Moto Guzzi Le Mans CX 100 motorcycle

· 18K gold bracelet with cabochon amethyst by Mario Buccellati

How to Participate in the Auction:

Participating in a live auction at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is straightforward and accessible, whether you are a seasoned bidder or a newcomer, even if you aren't in Maine that weekend.

Here's how you can join in:

  1. Registration: Before you can bid, you need to register. You can do this in person at the Gallery in Thomaston, Maine, online through our website, or by phone. Make sure you have a valid ID and payment information ready.
  2. Preview: We offer a preview period where you can inspect the items in person. For this auction, the preview timings are as follows June 15 - 27th, 2024: Saturday 12-4 pm, Monday-Thursday 9 am-4 pm. This is a great opportunity to see the items up close and ask any questions you might have so you can bid with confidence. If you can't visit the Gallery, you may contact us to ask questions about specific lot items.
  3. Bidding Options: You can participate in the auction in several ways:
    • In-Person: Join us at the Gallery on the auction day. Our staff will assist you with the bidding process.
    • Online: Bid live in the auction from the comfort of your home through our online platform. Ensure you are registered and logged in before the auction begins.
    • Phone Bidding: Arrange to bid by phone with one of our staff members. This can be done by contacting us ahead of the auction. Our staff will call you just before your desired lot is up for bid and allow you to bid in real time over the phone.
    • Absentee Bidding: If you can't attend or be on a call during the auction, you can place an absentee bid. Submit your maximum bid in advance, and our auctioneer will bid on your behalf.
  4. Payment and Collection: If you win an item at the live auction, payment can be made by credit card, check, or wire transfer. After payment, you can collect your items in person or arrange for shipping. We offer assistance with packing and shipping to ensure your items reach you safely. We recommend obtaining a shipping estimate in advance to avoid any surprises in cost. Our team at the auction gallery can assist you with packing and shipping arrangements to ensure your items are delivered safely and efficiently.

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is committed to providing an enjoyable and transparent weekend auction experience. Whether you're looking to acquire unique art pieces or rare collectibles, our team is here to help you every step of the way. Happy bidding!

For you as a collector, it is important to arm yourself with the knowledge of how to spot common signs of aging in paper and how to care for your collection.  

Prints, books and ephemera – oh my! Delicate pieces that survive throughout history vary in their subject matter and intended purpose. Ephemera, collectible memorabilia that is used for a short period of time, is typically printed on paper. It can vary from baseball cards to playbills and postcards to broadsides featuring advertisements, announcements, personal information, and more.

Regular antiquarians, or people who collect rare books, should be familiar with the labor of love that went into writing, printing, and binding old books and how improper care can be a detriment. As time goes on, these pieces will be affected by their environment and consequently, their aesthetic and integral structure could be altered.

Collection of Andrew Wyeth – Olson House Memorabilia, Lot 2091 from Summer Auction Weekend 2018, sold for $2,000

Collection of Andrew Wyeth – Olson House Memorabilia, Lot 2091 from Summer Auction Weekend 2018, sold for $2,000 

What are Some of the Most Common Signs of Aging in Paper? 

Each piece will vary in condition and can be impacted by how it was made originally, from the paper that was chosen to the ink or paint that was used, and how the piece was stored and cared for after. Conditions will vary from piece to piece, but here are a few terms and common signs of aging in paper you as a collector should be familiar with when tending to and adding to your collection.  

Acidic Burn – appears as discoloration or brittleness caused by the presence of acid in either the piece itself or the materials it has encountered.  

Figure . An example of acid burn from Acme Framing, a common sign of aging in paper 

Discoloration – changes in the hues of media present (paper, paint, ink, etc.) 

Figure 2. Example of discoloration from Yale University (2014), a common sign of aging in paper 

Delamination – the piece becomes separated from the board or backing to which it was mounted. 

Figure 3. Example of delamination, a common sign of aging in paper, from The Fine Arts Conservancy, Stoneledge, LLC

Embrittlement – the support of the piece has become fragile to the point of breaking or snapping.  

Figure 4. Example of embrittlement, a common sign of aging in paper, from The Fine Arts Conservancy, Stoneledge, LLC 

Foxing – reddish-brown stains caused by the paper pulp degrading, exposure to humidity, or the presence of certain fungi.   

Figure . Example of foxing from Wikipedia 

How to choose an Art Conservator 

Now don’t be alarmed – should you find a common signs of aging in paper in a piece you adore, consult with a paper conservator. Search the American Institutes for Conservation “Find a Professional” to find someone near you. It is important to research your candidates before handing over your collection. Carefully look through their portfolio to see if there are similar projects done before. Standard procedures for treating foxing, discoloration, embrittlement, and others with positive changes after being treated are key clues to look for to indicate their capabilities.  

Word of mouth is priceless. It is important to check reviews online to see what previous clients have said and to reach out to others who may use conservators. Auction houses, such as Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, work with conservators we regularly trust for paper, furniture, paintings, and more. We can provide you with recommendations as well. Feel free to give us a ring! 

Preventative Measures to Avoid Common Signs of Aging in Paper 

How do temperature and humidity affect paper?  

To avoid common signs of aging in paper, your collection can be stored in a variety of ways, but make sure it is storge the right way. Paper is a delicate material and can easily degrade when stored incorrectly.

Whether a book or a single sheet, the piece should be stored in a cool (about room temperature or below) and relatively dry (about 35% relative humidity) room with not much fluctuation in either. Water can cause mold and mildew to grow on the pages, risking biological degradation. Heat on the other hand can cause the pages to chemically break down the paper fibers, causing it to become brittle and yellow. Older pieces are comprised of inks of an unknown nature which can destabilize from the heat to differ from the intended shade.  

Why is acid-free storage important for paper collectibles? 

Give your piece the best chance at surviving another hundred years and consider your storage options. One of the simplest fixes can be switching its current mat, box, or folder to something acid free. An everyday mat, box, or folder is typically made of regular paper pulp. This pulp is full of lignin, a molecule key in the formation of most plants and becomes destabilized when processed into pulp. As the molecule breaks down, it produces acid and deteriorates not only the box, folder, and mat, but other paper-based products it encounters. For that reason, it is important to evaluate how your piece is stored.

If you find the mat on your piece is brittle or turning yellow, then it is not an acid-free mat. Look for mats and other storage solutions that are acid-free and conservation or museum rated. Acid-free solutions have been buffered with calcium to delay the breakdown of lignin and others are made of 100% cotton, inherently making it acid free. 

How can I Contact Thomaston Place Auction Galleries for a Condition Report? 

At Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, we take great pleasure in extending our services to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of each piece. If you have questions regarding the condition of the piece or are curious to see additional photos, contact our Condition Department. With the influx we receive each auction, we encourage you to submit your questions as soon as possible and wait no longer than a week before the auction. Please include your name, the lots you are curious about, and what questions you have for each. Our staff is eager to assist you in finding your next treasure.  

Art enthusiasts and collectors know that the thrill of an auction lies in the chance to discover rare and unique pieces. At Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, we've been curating exceptional antique, collectibles and art auctions for over four decades, bringing to light works from various eras and styles. Our commitment to excellence has made us a trusted name in the art auction world. To enhance your experience, we're thrilled to introduce our Online Auction Alerts, a free service designed to keep you informed about the latest treasures in our collection.

The Importance of Staying Informed in Art Auctions

Antique, collectibles and art auctions are dynamic events where the rarity and uniqueness of items are celebrated. Each piece has its own story and significance, making it crucial for collectors and enthusiasts to stay updated on upcoming auctions. That's where our Online Auction Alerts come in handy. By following specific artists, categories, or search terms, you'll receive notifications about new additions that match your interests, ensuring you never miss an opportunity to acquire that special piece.

“Each piece that arrives at our gallery is a unique moment in time, a story from history that we're privileged to witness. We feel honored to see every item, knowing we'll never see these objects again. Every piece represents a chapter in the vast book of history, and we're grateful to be part of their journey.”

Kaja Veilleux, owner and auctioneer

Personalize Your Auction Experience

Our platform allows you to tailor your experience by following our most popular keywords. Whether your passion lies in contemporary art, classic paintings, or specific artists, our alerts ensure you're always in the loop. This personalization leads to curated results, allowing you to focus on items that truly resonate with you.

Setting Up Your Art Auction Alerts

Getting started with our Online Auction Alerts is simple:

  • Sign in to your Thomaston Place Auction Galleries account.
  • Navigate to My Account.
  • Go to the My Followed Keywords section.
  • Click on Add New.
  • Enter the keywords, artists, or categories you're interested in.
  • Click Save.

Embrace the Digital Revolution in Art Auctions

The art auction world is undergoing a digital transformation, with technology playing a pivotal role in enhancing the experience for collectors and enthusiasts. As highlighted in an insightful article on Artsy, titled "The Impact of Technology on the Art Auction Market," the advent of online platforms and auction alerts is revolutionizing the way we discover and acquire art. This digital shift ensures that you're always connected to the latest offerings and trends, making services like our Online Auction Alerts more valuable than ever. Dive into the article to explore how technology is shaping the future of art auctions and how you can leverage it to enrich your collecting journey.

The Art of Discovery

Art auctions are not just transactions; they're a journey of discovery. With our Online Auction Alerts, you're equipped to explore the diverse world of art and find pieces that speak to you. Whether you're a seasoned collector or a budding enthusiast, our service ensures you're always ahead in the art auction game.

Start curating your collection today with Thomaston Place Auction Galleries. Sign up for our Online Auction Alerts and embark on a journey of artistic discovery, where the next treasure is just an alert away.

Here we are, the first grand feature auction of 2024! What better way to embrace the February aesthetic of frozen hills, snowy mountains and a lingering chill before the March mud season than celebrating what weather New England brings us.

We always enjoy providing a diverse array of fine art, especially landscapes. Our popular landscapes are usually summertime, coastal paintings with a few popular mountains, forestry in spring or fall. But what about wintry paintings? It’s such a niche category among collectors, as a large majority of art enthusiasts enjoy luscious, floral colors to bring life to their spaces.

Andrew Winter

Winter colors, however, can provide a serene, calming energy to any interior. We'd like to take this moment to highlight a special artist we have coming up in our February feature auction that brings that soft, sleepy aesthetic to the canvas.

Andrew Winter created this stunning piece entitled “Captain Upton’s House, Cape Elizabeth, Maine.”

Andrew Winter was born in 1892 in Estonia, and spent his early life on American and British ships, which led him to have a passion towards the beauty of the coast and the sea. He later immigrated to the US and became a citizen in 1921. Shortly after, he enrolled at the National Academy of Design. He took his artistic studies with him to Paris and Rome in 1925.

Winter and his wife, Mary Taylor, who also was an artist, found their forever home on the island of Monhegan, becoming full-time residents in the 1940s. He built his own studio, right where he could get a perfect view of the ocean to keep him inspired in all his paintings.

Not much else is known about the artist, but he is an artist that certainly captures both the duality of Maine and coastal beauty and ruggedness in his paintings.

Maine artists like Winter provide a lifeblood to the state, especially since the artistic ‘boom’ with the tourist economy. Winter, the Wyeth Dynasty, Carroll Thayer Berry, Dahlov Ipcar, William Stubbs, Winslow Homer, these artists are the main reason that Maine is now recognized throughout both the continent and the world as the home state of iconic artists.

Having fine art and sculpture from a Maine artist doesn’t just support the state, it supports and upholds the smaller artistic world that’s hidden just beneath the coastal mist.

Happy New Year, everyone! We hope you had a peaceful and warm holiday season, as well as a relaxing New Year’s Day.

In this post, we will discuss the types of gemstone cuts that are frequently seen and implemented in fine jewelry, especially ones we see the most here at Thomaston Place.

How does a gemstone get its cut? Who decides how it’s to be shaped before mounted into a ring, necklace or bracelet?

That is the task of a lapidarists. Lapidary is a craft that involves transforming rough gemstones into polished, faceted gems. The process of a gemstone’s cut is as follows:

  1. Selection of a raw gemstone
  2. Marking the stone, and making note of the inclusions and color.
  3. Cleaving/sawing the gem
  4. Grinding to remove excess material
  5. Preforming, the act of creating a basic shape and remove imperfections
  6. Faceting, the detailed and extremely precise art of cutting into the stone
  7. Polishing the stone
  8. Inspection and then setting the stone

Once the gemstone is cut and polished, it can be set into jewelry, such as rings, earrings, or pendants. The lapidarists decide, usually based on the client’s request, what shape the stone will take. The most popular cuts we see in the auction industry are listed below.

Brilliant Cut

By far the most popular type of cut with jewelry buyers and bidders, the brilliant cut style is commonly seen with diamonds, especially in engagement rings and special occasion jewelry pieces.

This was originally developed in 1919 by Belgian engineer Marcel Tolkowsky, and noted the ideal proportions are 100% diameter, 53% table, 43.1% pavilion and 16.2% crown.

We’ve sold countless jewelry pieces with brilliant cut gemstones. Below is an example of what a brilliant cut diamond is that we’ve sold at our gallery, unmounted from its original ring to show its quality. This ring sold for $50,000 in a 2018 spring feature auction.

Step Cut

            Step cuts have different subtypes of gemstone cuts that carry rectangular facets both above the crown of the gem and below. These rectangular facets are always parallel to the girdle.

These are often seen especially with emeralds in most jewelry pieces, as it shows the color’s vibrancy the best. The most popular cuts are the emerald, for its given name, the baguette cut, and the princess cut.

An additional cut that many might recognize but not know its name is the Asscher, which is essentially a square version of the emerald cut.

We’ve sold countless jewelry pieces with step cuts, like this emerald ring that sold for $24,000 in a summer 2014 feature auction. Can you guess what kind of cut this is just from looking at it?

Mixed & Modified

Mixed cuts integrate features from both brilliant and step cuts, incorporating brilliant facets on the crown and step facets on the pavilion, or vice versa. In some instances, mixed cuts also incorporate a blend of cabbing and faceting techniques.

This style allows for creative expression and customized designs, like rose, cabochon, briolette and fantasy cuts, among others. Mixed and modified cuts are becoming more of a present-day popular choice, for its unique shape and branches slightly away from traditional cuts.

Of the aforementioned mixed cuts, there’s cabochon, seen here in this cabochon-cut moonstone necklace that sold for $23,000 in our 2023 Winter Enchantment auction. This necklace also features Ceylon-cut sapphires around the framed moonstone.

If you’re interested in taking a closer look at the jewelry, we have to see the types of gemstone cuts, we always welcome visitors in our gallery during our preview week, before each auction. Our jewelry counter is set up with the most dazzling pieces for any diverse taste, and one of our associates will be happy to let you try on any!

We’ve come to another segment of collector guides for our blog, and just in time to wrap up the 2023 year! We’ve covered Japanese antiques, general fine art, pottery, jewelry, and now… glass!

Glass collectibles are not as boring as you might think. From vintage atomizers, classic Coca-Cola bottles, to art glass sculptures by famous artists, Many collectors and dealers have made quite a handsome buck on especially unique glass items.

In this blog post, we will cover the unique glass antiques that collectors enjoy the most.

Uranium ware

First in the lineup is uranium glassware. Also known as Vaseline glass, this is a type of glass that has a yellow or greenish tint. It gets its color and ultraviolet glow from the addition of uranium oxide during the glassmaking process.

No, you can’t become Hulk or Dr. Manhattan if you eat or drink off it. Please don’t eat off Uranium glass dinnerware. Please.

Uranium glass contains small amounts of radioactive material, the radiation levels are generally considered to be very low and not harmful in everyday use. However, it is recommended to handle uranium glassware with care and avoid ingesting or inhaling any dust or particles from damaged pieces.

Uranium glassware comes in various forms, including vases, bowls, plates, and even jewelry. Collectors and enthusiasts appreciate its distinct color and the fascinating glow it exhibits under UV light. It's important to note that if you own uranium glassware, it's best to handle it responsibly.

An example of the iconic uranium glass would be this collection of uranium glass on display.

Depression glass

Depression glass refers to a type of colorful glassware that was made and distributed during the Great Depression, which lasted from the late 1920s to the early 1940s. It was produced to be affordable and accessible to people during a time when money was scarce.

Depression glass comes in various vibrant colors such as pink, green, blue, and amber. It was often given away as a promotional item or as part of a purchase incentive, such as by purchasing certain products or attending a movie. People could also collect it by saving box tops or coupons from various products.

This glassware was made in a range of styles and patterns, including plates, bowls, cups, and serving dishes. Some common patterns include "Cherry Blossom," "Cameo," and "American Sweetheart." The designs were often intricate and featured geometric shapes, flowers, or ribbed textures. While depression glass was not considered high-end or luxurious at the time, it gained popularity among collectors due to its nostalgic value and historical importance of a challenging era in American history.

If you own depression glass, it's important to handle it with care as it can be delicate. Washing it by hand is recommended to prevent any damage.

An example of depression glass would be this lot of pink depression glass we sold for $132 in a 2017 auction.

Murano

Murano glass is made on the island of Murano, near Venice, Italy. It has a long history and is known for exceptional craftsmanship. Murano glass is highly regarded and sought after by both collectors and art enthusiasts around the world.

Murano glassmakers pass down their secretive skills through generations in the island guild. Artisans heat the glass to a high temperature until it’s molten, then shape it using various tools to create different forms like vases, bowls, and figures. The glassmakers use techniques like millefiori ("thousand flowers"), where thin glass canes with colorful patterns are fused together, then shaped into different objects.

One distinctive feature of Murano glass is its array of vibrant color. Artisans add different minerals and oxides to the glass mixture, which create a wide range of hues and patterns. Frequent colors include bright blues, reds, greens, and shimmering golds.

When purchasing Murano glass, it's important to ensure its authenticity, as there are imitations out in the market. Look for the "Vetro Artistico Murano" label, which guarantees the piece is made by a certified Murano artist.

Our favorite piece of Murano art glass we sold so far is this Vistosi Murano bird form by designer Alessandro Pianon, with the final price reaching a whopping $7,406!

Bohemian

Bohemian glass is made in the region of Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic.

One of the notable characteristics of Bohemian glass is its exceptional clarity and brilliance. The glassmakers strive to achieve a high level of transparency, giving the glass a sparkling and luminous appearance. This quality is achieved through precise control of the melting and cooling process.

Bohemian glass is also famous for its intricate decorations and embellishments. Artisans use various techniques like cutting, engraving, and painting to create beautiful designs on the glass surface. They may incorporate motifs such as flowers, geometric patterns, or even scenes from nature and mythology.

The use of vibrant colors is another hallmark of Bohemian glass. Glassmakers achieve these colors by adding metal oxides to the glass mixture. This results in a wide array of hues, including rich blues, deep reds, emerald greens, and golden yellows.

Bohemian glass has a rich heritage and is highly valued by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. Each piece is considered a work of art, reflecting the skill and creativity of the glassmakers. Whether used as functional items or displayed as decorative pieces, Bohemian glass adds elegance and beauty to any space. When looking to purchase Bohemian glass, it's important to ensure its authenticity. Genuine Bohemian glass is often marked or labeled to indicate its origin. The "Made in Czech Republic" label or the Bohemian glass symbol are good indicators of its authenticity.

Bohemian glass continues to be cherished for its exquisite craftsmanship, timeless beauty, and artistic value. It stands as a testament to the rich glassmaking traditions of Bohemia and remains a treasured part of the region's cultural heritage.

An example of bohemian glassware we’ve sold in the past includes this set of eight wheel cut cordials for $911.50 in a past auction.

Scandinavian

Scandinavian glassware is solely made in the Scandinavian area, obviously. This region includes Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. Scandinavian glass is known for minimalist designs.

Scandinavian glass is often characterized by simplicity and functionality. The designs are often sleek and modern, with a focus on clean lines and geometric shapes. The glassmakers prioritize creating pieces that are both visually appealing and practical for everyday use.

One of the distinctive features of Scandinavian glass is its transparency. Glassmakers strive for the luminous effect that light naturally brings when reflected. This gives the glass a sense of lightness and elegance.

Scandinavian glass is also known for subtle colors and natural elements. Many pieces feature soft tones like pale blues, greens, and grays, complementing the minimalist aesthetic. Additionally, glassmakers often incorporate nature-inspired motifs such as leaves, flowers, or landscapes, reflecting the region's connection to the surrounding environment.

When buying Scandinavian glass, it's important to look for reputable brands or artists who are known for their quality craftsmanship. Brands include Orrefors and Kosta Boda from Sweden, Iittala from Finland, and Holmegaard from Denmark.

The craftsmanship of Scandinavian glass is highly regarded, with a focus on precision and attention to detail. It embodies the Scandinavian design philosophy of functional elegance, making it a timeless and valuable addition to any home or collection.

While we have not yet sold any Scandinavian glass in a while, here’s an example picture from the Design Forum.

Empoli

Empoli glassware is produced in the town of Empoli of Tuscany, Italy.

Empoli glass gets its reputation for its vibrant colors, often in popular hues of greens, yellows, pinks, blues and reds. Enhancing its beauty with traditional smooth, elegant shapes and curves, it also bears decorative textures like fluting. You can find them in any form like other collectable glassware.

When looking to purchase Empoli glassware, double check its authenticity. Genuine Empoli glass is marked or labeled with "Empoli" or "Made in Italy" to ensure their provenance.

Empoli glass is a testament to the rich glassmaking tradition of the region, and continues to be appreciated for its craftsmanship and unique aesthetic.

While we have not sold Empoli glass in a while, here is an example image of what these collectible pieces look like.

Carnival glass

Carnival glassware was popularized in the early 20th century, known for its iridescent appearance and intricate patterns.

On a historical note, carnival glass gets its name from the fact that it was often given as prizes at carnivals and fairs. Its shimmering, rainbow appeal occurs when artisans apply a layer of metallic salts to the surface. If you own carnival glassware, it's important to handle it with care to avoid damage, as the iridescent coating can be delicate.

While carnival glass was initially produced as a more affordable alternative to expensive art glass, it gained popularity among collectors due to its unique appearance and historical significance. Today, it is cherished as a nostalgic and decorative collectible.

An example we sold at auction includes this Arts & Crafts bronze floor lamp with the shade made of orange carnival glass for $840 in 2017.

Milk glass

Milk glassware refers to a type of opaque glass resembling the color of milk. It has a distinctive white or creamy appearance and a smooth, non-transparent surface.

No, it does not contain milk within the glass.

Milk glass was first produced in the 16th century and gained popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was commonly used for tableware, but has expanded into general decor.

It is made by adding opacifying agents, such as tin oxide or bone ash, to the glass mixture during the manufacturing process. These agents give the glass its milky and opaque appearance.

An example we sold in the past is this 19th C. brass student oil lamp with a milk glass shade, with the price at $150.

Opalescent

Opalescent glassware exhibits a play of colors, similar to opal stones. It has a translucent or semi-transparent appearance with a captivating iridescent effect.

Opalescent glass is created by incorporating specific chemicals, like fluorides or phosphates, into the glass mixture during the manufacturing process. These chemicals cause the glass to have a milky or cloudy appearance, and when light passes through, it scatters and refracts, producing a stunning display of colors.

The colors visible in opalescent glassware can vary, but they often include shades of blues, pinks, purples, and greens. The glass may have a base color with contrasting or complementary hues appearing as highlights or swirls.

Opalescent glass is highly valued by collectors and enthusiasts due to its unique and ethereal appearance. It adds a touch of elegance and vintage charm to any space, whether displayed as a standalone piece or used for serving and entertaining.

A fine example we sold in a previous auction is this signed Lalique vase, which sold for $1,725 in 2015.

Satin

Satin glassware refers to a type of glass with a matte finish, resembling the texture of satin fabric. It has a soft and diffused appearance, differentiating it from the usual glossy or transparent glass.

One common method to achieve this appearance involves etching or acid treatment, which creates a frosted or opaque surface. Another technique is sandblasting, where fine particles of sand are used to create a matte finish.

Satin glass can be found in a variety of forms, including vases, bowls, lampshades, and decorative objects. It is known for its understated beauty and often features gentle curves or intricate patterns. Some pieces may also incorporate other decorative elements like hand-painted designs or raised textures.

Satin glass is appreciated for its diffused and muted appearance, creating a sense of gentle elegance. It is often used as decorative items, displayed on shelves or tables to add a touch of sophistication to a space.

If you own satin glass, it's important to handle it with care to avoid scratching or damaging the delicate finish. Regular gentle cleaning using mild soap and water is usually sufficient to maintain its beauty.

Satin glassware stands out for its subdued and velvety texture, making it a desirable choice for collectors and those seeking a unique and sophisticated glassware option. Its matte finish offers a distinct look that adds a touch of refinement to any interior décor.

A final example that sold with us is this art nouveau French satin glass vase, in a gorgeous green shade, for $550 in 2010.

There are multitudes of other collectible antique glass, ones that we don’t frequently see here at our gallery. But with the amount of antique stores and flea markets around bearing all kinds of glass art, the world is your (glass) oyster! Antique glass is a creative and sustainable way to provide a beautiful and elegant touch to any space whether it’s through tableware, artful displays or simply to bedazzle your fireplace mantle depending on the season.

Are you interested in starting or growing your glass collection further? Subscribe for our e-newsletter and be notified whenever glass antiques come up for auction!

You probably noticed we have a very special collection of decoys in our November feature auction. While we always try to grace each auction with a selection of folk art and Americana, there is no doubt that decoys are always a fan favorite.

But what makes this specific selection so special? It’s because our first day of Autumn Majestic leads the entire sale with decoys made by folk artist Joseph Lincoln.

Joseph Lincoln, or Mr. Lincoln as he was properly called by his community, was born in Accord, Massachusetts in 1859. As a young man, Joe's need for his own decoys started his carving career. Over time, local hunters saw his work and admired the well-sculpted lines and durability, which led them to ask Joe to make decoys for them. As time went by, the demand for his full-size decoys and miniatures grew. At his passing in 1938, he was one of the most highly respected decoy makers in New England, leaving behind a legacy for the folk art and decoy communities.

Speaking of the folk art community, we were very lucky to work with Byron Bruffee from the Medomak Gallery, and receive their expertise and assistance with our collection of decoys at this auction.

In Byron’s words,

“Joseph Lincoln is a legend among the decoy collecting community. His works grace the shelves of most of the prominent private collections in the nation, as well as the finest museum collections in the country. Lincoln was somewhat of a renaissance man: besides his decoy carving, he was known to repair bicycles and clocks; made his own cameras; and was an award-winning cultivator of prize-winning dahlias at the Boston Flower Show.

Lincoln was well-respected in his community. A lifelong friend, Hingham resident, and Lincoln historian once told me that no one ever referred to him as Joe. It was always ‘Mr. Lincoln.’

The following 21 lots represent the finest grouping of miniatures by Joe Lincoln ever presented at auction. They exemplify Lincoln at the pinnacle of his career, and exhibit paint patterns and detail never before seen.”

An example of some of his works includes this incredibly rare miniature loon, the “rarest of the rare,” as Byron states. Listed as Lot 1001 in our Autumn Majestic auction, this one is slightly oversized and boasts a highly stylized and elaborate paint pattern never before seen on any Lincoln loon.

Another sampling of what we have in our Lincoln collection is Lot 1003, a Canada Goose.

“A superb example of a swimming Canada goose,” wrote Byron for the lot’s description.

“This bird has a very delicate feathering pattern (the stippling is heavier on most of his geese), and delineations on its wing tips, something almost never seen on geese. Overall, a wonderful example worthy of any collection.”

Interested in decoys and folk art works? You can sign up for our e-newsletters specifically for them! Simply fill out the form on our ‘Join E - Mail List’ or email catalog@thomastonauction.com with your special interests!

If you are interested in the Medomak Gallery, we highly recommend you check out their website at www.medomakgallery.com, and visit them at 2834 Atlantic Hwy in Warren, on Route One. We cannot thank them enough for their generous knowledge during the creation of this sale!

This October holds an important observance day, Indigenous People’s Day. With the history this day brings, it would be a good time to reflect how we as an auction gallery can promote respect and appreciation for indigenous history and art.

We have sold countless handmade jewelry, pottery, fine art and textiles from tribes across the country, all from either collectors or individual artists themselves. We have partnered in the past with collectors and repatriated items to the original tribes on items that hold historical significance.

But how can you, a bidder, repatriate items? We’ve had this question occasionally, often from bidders who feel intimidated by the process.

Let’s start at the beginning. What is repatriation?

Repatriation is the process of bringing items to the original indigenous group or community that created/held them. These often hold spiritual, historical, or political significance.

The process of repatriation of artifacts varies depending on the country, the gallery or museum’s policies, and the nature of the items you purchased.

Here are some general steps to help you repatriate your auction purchases:

Understand the Gallery's Policy: Before participating in an auction, carefully read and understand the gallery's terms and conditions regarding repatriation of items. Auction houses often have specific rules and procedures for this.

Payment and Fees: Ensure that you have paid for your items in full, including any buyer's premiums, taxes, and any additional fees associated with the purchase. Some galleries may require payment before they release the items.

Arrange Shipping: Determine whether the auction gallery provides shipping services. Some galleries have in-house shipping. If this is an option, inquire about costs and timelines.If the auction gallery doesn't provide shipping services, you need to arrange your own. You can use international shipping companies or freight forwarders. Consider factors such as size, fragility, and value of items when selecting a shipping method.

Customs and Import Duties: Be aware of the customs regulations and import duties in your home country. Different countries have varying rules and taxes on imported goods, and you may need to declare your purchases and pay import duties.

Documentation: Ensure that you have all the necessary documentation, including the auction invoice, receipts, and any certificates of authenticity. These documents may be required for customs clearance.

Packaging and Insurance: Properly pack your items to prevent damage during transit. Consider purchasing insurance for high-value items to protect against loss or damage during shipping. Maintain clear communication with the shipping company or freight forwarder, and track the progress of your shipment. Ensure that you receive updates and delivery estimates.

Customs Clearance: Depending on your country's regulations, you may need to go through customs clearance. Prepare to provide the necessary documentation and pay any applicable import taxes or duties.

Receiving the Items: Once your items have cleared customs, arrange for their delivery to your desired location. Inspect the items upon delivery to ensure they are in the expected condition.

Feedback: Provide feedback to the auction gallery regarding your repatriation experience, whether positive or negative. This can help improve their services for future buyers.

Remember that the process of repatriating purchases can be complex, especially for international buyers or for high-value items. It's essential to plan ahead, do your research, and seek professional advice if needed to ensure a smooth and successful repatriation process.
        Thomaston Place Auction Galleries has experience with repatriating items, and can assist buyers with any questions or concerns regarding repatriation. We embrace the arts across all cultures, and wish to celebrate them all within our galleries and share them with our clientele.


When it comes to high-end jewelry, auction houses are the best sources to go to. Beyond the glitter and grandeur of these events lies a language all its own — a lexicon of terms that can make or break a sale, and can turn an ordinary necklace into an extraordinary masterpiece.

In this beginning segment called ‘Bling’s Anatomy,’ we'll explore the important anatomy of jewelry, and unravel just how vital the terminology is.

Whether you're a passionate collector, an aspiring buyer, or simply someone who appreciates that gemstone shine, understanding jewelry terminology can unlock a world of possibilities.

There are three major categories that all jewelry collectors, as well as makers, must know by heart: Setting, Clasp, and Chain Type.

All jewelry pieces begin and end with the clasp, and is a key fixture in all accessories, from cufflinks, to necklaces, to bracelets and earrings. While we have seen an array of clasps, chains, and settings that are modified or mixed, we will focus on the most popular styles that come through our gallery.

Spring Ring

This is one of the top most common clasps in jewelry, along with the lobster claw. It’s  relatively simple and is designed to be inexpensive in bulk for jewelry creators, but with precious metals like platinum or gold, it can drastically increase the value of the jewelry piece.

There is a reason this is the most common in jewelry creation, as used in this pearl necklace we sold years ago.

Lobster Claw

This is another extremely popular clasp used in jewelry, and by far a favorite for many jewelry makers! A fun design and easier to use compared to the spring ring, the lobster claw is also known as the trigger hook or my personal favorite, the bocklebee clasp!

            A great example of the iconic lobster claw clasp would include this diamond and yellow gold bracelet we sold.

Box Clasp
            Box clasps are quite common in estate and high-end jewelry, as these clasps can morph into a hidden clasp with any surface designs or decorations. The chain or bar on the opposing side of the necklace, or bracelet, is placed within the teeth of the bar and clamps tightly. Compared to the two previous clasps, the box is the most secure and optimal choice for many jewelry enthusiasts.

An example of a box clasp is this platinum and diamond encrusted bracelet by Cartier.

Toggle
            While commonly used in fashion jewelry and less so in high-end or estate accessories, the toggle is another favorite by enthusiasts as it's the easiest clasp to adjust and wear. These are mostly seen on bracelets, but necklaces can sport a stylish toggle as well. The toggle provides a unique and fun personality compared to the others, and can be treated as a secondary pendant.

A great example of a toggle clasp is this 14k yellow gold charm bracelet.

Hidden

Seen frequently with high-end jewelry and desired by most, if not all, jewelry collectors, hidden clasps provide top-tier security as well as maintain the gleam and extravagance of the piece. Usually these hidden clasps are designed to appear as the main centerpiece or are hidden as one of the many beads or chains.

(And because of this, we occasionally have to help previewers in the gallery because they’re so neatly hidden within a bracelet or necklace. Sometimes even we can’t find them at first!)

Jewelry setting can definitely make or break the entire ensemble. Every gemstone that’s cut and placed for a necklace, ring, or bracelet will define the overall allure of the piece. If you’re in the throng of people who are currently looking for wedding bands in time for the season, these terms are of high importance depending on the ring you’re looking for!

This is also where the buyer’s tastes highly affect the popularity of the jewelry piece as well, as the gem’s foundation can affect that final bid.

Bezel
           
A bezel setting is something most jewelers are quite familiar with, as well as prong and channel settings. It is a secured groove holding the crystal or stone, a pretty basic form of a jewelry setting.

These two gold and diamond earrings with white gold bezels show the detail of the setting.

Prong
           
Prong settings are often seen in rings, especially engagement rings. The tongs, or ‘prongs,’ form a secure claw that holds the gemstone or crystal above the band. This allows light to create a more dazzling effect on jewelry compared to bezel, bar or gypsy settings. You can see an example of prong settings within this gold, diamond and sapphire bracelet we sold in a past auction.

Illusion
           
This is also a common form for engagement rings, as the illusion settings create an effect where the diamonds (or stones in general) appear larger than they actually are. Along with the metalwork of the band, there is a mirror effect that evokes a more dazzling tone for the wearer. It also uses some forms of the bezel setting, too.
            A great example of an illusion setting includes this white gold engagement ring with diamonds.

Gypsy
           
This is also known as a flush or burnish setting, and is when the gemstone is set into the metal of the band or chain. This is one of the oldest forms of jewelry setting known in the world, you will often find ancient Roman, Greek or Byzantine jewelry with this type of embellishment!
            In modern day, they are quite popular for men’s jewelry, and are the most secure and preserve the stone’s surface clarity.
            You can see the gypsy settings of diamonds within this men’s platinum ring we sold a while ago.

Bar
           
Common in eternity bands and rings, bar settings are quite easy to spot for beginning collectors and enthusiasts, as they have inset stones separated by the band’s metal in a ‘bar’ shape. For those seeking the most security and durability for their jewelry, this would be a premium choice.

An example includes this 14k wedding band with diamond stones we sold in the past.

Channel
           
Channel settings are by far one of the most popular jewelry settings across not just rings, but also bracelets and necklaces. These offer a sleek and sophisticated appearance with their geometric patterns and uniform shapes, and are known to be quite durable through time and wear.

A great example of channel set jewelry we sold includes this lot of men’s yellow gold cufflinks, bedazzled with sapphires and diamonds.

Pavé
           
Pronounced, ‘pah-vay,’ is a fun jewelry setting that uses tiny gemstones, usually diamonds, across the body of the jewelry piece in a tight design, much like a paved street. Hence the name, derived from the French word for ‘paved.’

Pavé is a popular setting style for those looking for bright, dazzling and glamorous appeal. The louder, the more prouder!

Finally, we get to the most essential element of all jewelry terminology, it’s the chain. The chain, much like the setting, defines the overall style, cost, and allure of the piece. Obviously, there is a multitude of chain styles, but the most common and popular you’ll see within auction galleries and jewelry boutiques are the ones that follow below.

Herringbone
           
A popular choice among necklaces, herringbone is also known as the ‘broken twill weave.’ This style of chain bears an iconic V-shape design. It received its name for its similarity to that of the skeleton of a herring fish.

A dazzling example of herringbone chains include this gold bracelet with diamonds, pearls and sapphires.

Box
           
This type of chain is quite literally a box-style chain, with square or rectangular links throughout. Smooth and sleek, this style is pendant friendly for necklaces and typically feature lobster, box or illusion clasps.

This pearl and gold pendant seen below dangles off a box chain necklace, which sold in a previous auction years ago.

Cable

Again, a very straight-to-the-point name, it resembles much like an electric cable.  By far the most durable of all chains, and come in various thickness levels. Due to their sturdy and minimalistic design, it’s also the easiest for owners or jewelers to clean.

This yellow gold bracelet is mostly just a cable chain.

Rope

Rope chains are easy to discern due to their twisting design, resembling a rope or cord. This chain design is popular with collectors and makers, and is a classic and timeless piece for any wardrobe. Unlike the cable chain, rope chains do take more time to clean, but overall are the easiest to maintain in good condition.

This long 18k yellow gold chain sold at auction a while back for $4,000.

Curb

Finally, the last but certainly not least of them all, the curb chain contains flat, interlocking links that create a smooth and classic design. There are a variety of styles for curb chains, and are often seen in popular culture worn by celebrities, singers and entertainers to display their wealth and style. They are extremely versatile and are easy to maintain and clean.

This diamond and yellow gold necklace sold in a past auction years ago for $12,000.

In another upcoming blog post, we will follow up the Bling’s Anatomy series with gemstone cuts and the creative hybrids behind them.

If you find yourself hoping to acquire more estate jewelry pieces to add to your collection or wardrobe, feel free to sign up for our e-newsletters and be the first notified of any and all special jewelry lots coming up soon! Or, if you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and looking to consign jewelry to an auction house near you, you can email our appraisal team at appraisal@thomastonauction.com or stop by for Free Appraisal Day every Tuesday. Check out our Free Appraisal Day page on our website to view our morning and afternoon session times.

Pottery is a timeless collectible and art form that has continuously prospered since the dawn of human civilization. It comes as no surprise that it still holds an iron grip in the art market, let alone within antique dealerships and auction galleries like ours.

If you’re starting to get into collecting, making, or learning more about pottery, we can provide a list of our most popular forms of pottery that we see come through our gallery.

WEDGEWOOD

Wedgwood is an English fine china and porcelain created by Josiah Wedgwood and Sons in 1895. Its rapid success made it one of the largest manufacturers of Staffordshire pottery.

Many collectors would know Wedgwood just by looking at it, especially with its iconic Jasperware, which has an unglazed exterior and often displays Roman or Greek classical figures.

A great example of Wedgwood is this 19th c. Blue Jasperware Portland Vase with Classical figures, which sold in our March 2019 auction for $1,930.

ROOKWOOD

Rookwood stems from the American company, Rookwood Pottery.

During its popular years, it was a recognized manufacturer of decorative American art pottery and sought after by not just artisans but architects as well. The company was hit hard by the Great Depression and rapidly declined. It has since seen a resurgence in collector admiration in recent years.

A fine example would be this Vellum Glaze Vase decorated by A.R. Valentien, which sold in our August 2013 feature auction for $26,267.

EARTHENWARE

Earthenware is made from clay that is fired at a relatively low temperature. It's one of the oldest and most common types of pottery found around the world. The clay used for earthenware is usually red or brown.

Earthenware has a porous structure, meaning it has tiny holes that can absorb water. This makes it less watertight compared to other types of pottery.

To make it more waterproof, a layer of glaze can be applied to the surface before the final firing. The glaze is a special liquid that, when fired, forms a glassy coating on the pottery, sealing the pores and making it more suitable for holding liquids.

A fine example would be this 16th-17th c Tin-Glazed Earthenware Bracket, which sold in our January 2012 auction for $2,300.

MOCHAWARE

Mochaware originated in the late 18th century and is known for its distinctive swirled or marbled patterns. The name "mochaware" comes from the word "mocha," which refers to the port in Yemen where the pottery was believed to have been traded.

Creating mochaware involves a unique technique called "mocha diffusion." To begin, a potter starts with a vessel made of earthenware clay, such as a bowl or a mug. The potter then applies different colors of liquid clay, called slip, onto the surface of the vessel.

Using a tool, the potter drags or swirls the slip on the surface, creating the characteristic patterns. The slip colors can be layered, allowing the potter to create intricate designs.

After the slip decoration is complete, the pottery is fired at a relatively low temperature. The firing process causes the clay to harden and the slip to fuse with the vessel, creating a durable and decorative piece of pottery.

Mochaware was especially popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries in England and the U.S. It was often used as tableware and prized for its visually appealing patterns.

Today, antique mochaware is highly sought after by collectors, and contemporary potters continue to create modern interpretations of this distinctive style.

A great example would be this Earthworm Pattern Bowl, which sold in our July 2023 feature auction for $700.

SPONGEWARE

Spongeware gets its name from the technique used to create its pattern. The pattern resembles a sponge texture by applying paint or glaze using a sponge-like tool.

After the application of the sponged pattern, the pottery is fired in a kiln, which hardens the clay and sets the glaze or paint. This firing process gives the pottery its durability and makes it safe for use.

Spongeware is known for its rustic appearance. The technique allows for endless possibilities in terms of color combinations and patterns, making each piece unique.

Spongeware has a long history, dating back to the 18th century, and has been popular in different parts of the world. It continues to be appreciated today for its nostalgic aesthetic, adding a touch of character to any setting.

A great example would be this lot of 19th c. Stoneware Lemonade Pitchers, which sold in our August 2013 feature auction for $2,170.

AGATEWARE

Agateware is known for its marbled patterns, similar to the natural patterns found in agate stones. It is created by combining different colored clays or clay bodies together, resulting in a unique and eye-catching appearance.

Potters start with two or more clay bodies of different colors. These clay bodies can be natural or clay mixed with pigments. The clays are kneaded together to create a uniform consistency.

The potter then shapes them into various forms. The potter can choose to layer the clays, stack them, or swirl them together to create the desired pattern.

After shaping the clay, the pottery is typically left to dry to a leather-hard state. At this stage, the potter can refine the form and add any additional details or textures.

Finally, the agateware is fired. The firing process vitrifies the clay, transforming it into a durable material. The temperature and duration of the firing depend on the specific type of clay used.

Agateware has been practiced by various cultures throughout history. It continues to be appreciated for its striking appearance.

A fine example would be this Large Deep Fruit Bowl which sold in our February 2019 feature auction for $250.

STAFFORDSHIRE

Staffordshire refers to a type of ceramic ware that originated in England. It became popular during the 18th and 19th centuries, and played a significant role in the development of the ceramics industry.

Staffordshire encompasses a wide range of products, including dinnerware, figurines, decorative items, and tiles. These items were made using different types of clay, such as earthenware or porcelain, and were often decorated with colorful glazes or painted designs.

One of the most notable aspects is the production of Staffordshire  figurines, often referred to as Staffordshire figures or dogs. These figurines depicted animals, historical figures, or scenes from everyday life. They were mass-produced and affordable, making them popular for middle-class households.

Staffordshire also played a significant role in the development of transfer printing, a technique that allowed intricate designs to be applied to ceramics using engraved copper plates. This method revolutionized the ceramics industry, enabling the mass production of highly detailed and affordable wares.

The popularity of Staffordshire extended beyond England, with its products being exported worldwide. The ceramics from Staffordshire became a prominent feature in many households, contributing to the cultural and artistic heritage of the region. Today, Staffordshire is highly collectible, and antique pieces can be found in museums and private collections.

A great example would be this lot of five hand painted Staffordshire hens on baskets, which sold in our August 2010 feature auction for $2,500.

BLACKWARE

Blackware is known for, as its name states, its rich black color. (Same goes for similar colors like yellowware, redware, etc.)

It is created using a specific firing technique that involves restricting the oxygen supply during the firing process. This lack of oxygen causes the clay to turn black instead of a natural color.

To make blackware pottery, a potter starts with clay that has a high iron content. The clay is shaped into the desired form, such as a bowl or a vase. The pottery is then dried completely before it is placed in a kiln.

While firing, the potter controls the oxygen supply to the kiln. By reducing the amount of oxygen, the clay is prevented from fully oxidizing, resulting in a blackened color.

Blackware has a long history and has been created by different cultures throughout time. It is associated with various indigenous regions, including Southwest Native Americans from the U.S. and pre-Columbian tribes from Mesoamerica. It is often appreciated for its elegance and versatility, and blackware pieces can be found in both functional and decorative forms.

A great example would be this San Idelfonso Blackware Bowl by Maria Martinez & Popovi Da, which sold in a June 2013 auction for $2,100.

SPATTERWARE

Spatterware is known for its colorful and speckled appearance. It gets its name from the splattering technique used to create its distinctive patterns.

The potter, once done crafting and glazing their piece, takes another glaze color and flicks it onto the surface of the pottery using a brush or sponge. This process creates tiny specks or splatters of color that scatter across the base glaze. Once the pattern is finished, the pottery is then fired.

Spatterware has a playful aesthetic, reminiscent of confetti or paint splatters. It can be found in a variety of forms, from tableware like plates and mugs to decorative items like vases and jars. It is often celebrated for its lively and whimsical appearance, adding a touch of fun and color to any setting.

A fine example would be this 19th c. Soft Paste set, which sold in our August 2013 feature auction for $805.

BASALT

Basalt pottery is made from a type of volcanic rock, called basalt. Basalt is dark-colored, dense, and hard, which forms from the solidification of lava flows. When used in pottery, it creates durable ceramics.

To make basalt pottery, a potter starts by obtaining basalt rocks and grinding them into a powder. The powder is then mixed with water to form a clay-like consistency.

The firing process transforms the basalt clay into a vitrified, or glass-like, material. It strengthens the pottery, making it resistant to heat and provides durability.

Basalt often retains the natural dark color of the basalt rock, giving it a sleek and elegant appearance.

Basalt is appreciated for its unique aesthetic and the striking contrast it can create when paired with other materials or colors. It is commonly used for decorative purposes. The use of basalt in pottery adds a touch of nature and strength to ceramic creations.

A great example would be this set of three Greek vases, which sold in a February 2013 feature auction for $6,641.

Obviously, this is just a smidgen of what kinds of ceramic and pottery creations you can discover at any auction gallery, but certainly these are bidder favorites! Which are you most interested in?

Would you like to see a similar blog post on antique collectible glassware or woodwork? Let us know!

If anyone remembers our first feature auction of 2023, Winter Enchantment, they may recall that we offered and sold a multitude of William H.D. Koerner paintings. For those fans of the American painter and illustrator, you’re in luck! Not only do we have a great selection for July Splendor, but also our next feature auction, August Grandeur.

For those, however, who don’t know Koerner or his work, you’re probably wondering: What’s the big deal? What’s the hype behind him? Well, besides the fact that he’s the guy who dominated the art world of the American West, and grew in recognized fame even further once former Pres. George W. Bush hung a painting by him called, ‘A Charge to Keep,’ in the Oval Office.

But let’s delve further into what makes Koerner such a worthwhile and noteworthy artist of our country’s history.

William Henry Dethlef Koerner was born as Wilhelm Heinrich Detlev Körner November 1878 in Prussia. At three years old, his family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Clinton, Iowa. Despite his lack of artistic training, his illustrative skills and sketches were noted by his family as he grew up.

By the time he was 20 years old, Koerner found employment at the Chicago Tribune as an artist, and then quickly moved on to become an art editor at the United States Daily. Once that paper fell out of business, he and his wife moved to New York City, where he worked at Pilgrim Magazine.

Koerner later enrolled at the Art Students League, then applied and was accepted into Howard Pyle's illustration school in Wilmington.

As he studied under Pyle’s mentorship, he shared his own skills and knowledge with other students, including Stanley Arthurs, Harvey Dunn, Frank Schoonover and N.C. Wyeth.

In 1912, the first exhibition by Pyle's students was presented to the public, and Koerner's works were a popular attraction and he gained significant traction by the audience and critics alike.

In 1919, the Saturday Evening Post invited Koerner to illustrate two articles with Western themes, which propelled him further into his art career. Koerner was captivated with the American West once he took on the role, and soon became one of America’s most recognizable artists.

Koerner illustrated more than 200 stories with Western themes and painted over 600 pictures for periodicals.

It is estimated he completed nearly 2,000 illustrations of which about 1,800 were done for magazines.

Maxfield Parrish influenced Koerner's color theory. Parrish illustrated "The Great Southwest" articles by Raymond Stannard Baker which appeared in Century Magazine.

A prolific and versatile artist-illustrator, "Big Bill" Koerner's work gained considerable visibility through his cover and story illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post, The Ladies' Home Journal, Harper's Magazine, McClure's Magazine, American Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Redbook.

At the time of his death in 1938 at 58, the artist received commissions for over 500 paintings and completed drawings for more than 200 western-themed stories. Each week he produced at least one full oil, a head, and a vignette.

During the last three years of his life, Koerner was seriously ill and unable to paint.

Koerner's illustrations are compared with those of Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Philip R. Goodwin, and Harvey Dunn. They are known for his bold brushwork with a vibrant color palette which enabled his vigorous depictions of the "Great American West," emblematic images of those untamed territories.

We are very lucky to have such an array of gorgeous pieces by Koerner, and most sold at astonishing prices. In our Winter Enchantment 2023 feature auction, this painting by him entitled, “When Christian Burned the Bounty,” sold for $10,000.

In our approaching July Summer Splendor auction, we will have five more gorgeous paintings available for bidding, including this somber piece entitled, “The White Geese.”

Our Koerner pieces in this sale will be available for bidding Sunday, July 9, by Lots 3417 to 3421. We highly recommend being an in-person, absentee or phone bidder for these paintings, as we’ve noticed that Koerner is seeing a resurgence in popularity between museums, galleries and collectors alike!

And just a little teaser for our August Grandeur feature auction, which will be held Aug. 25 - 27, we will have the last of our Koerner paintings embellished throughout the sale, including this stunner entitled, “Women of Pitcairn Island,” based off a scene from the book by James Hall and Charles Nordhoff.

Excited to see our next 21 paintings by Koerner this August? Sign up for special interest alerts by emailing our Marketing Associate and Outreach Coordinator, Emma Testerman, at emma@thomastonauction.com!

Or, you can call ahead and fill out a phone bid form by dialing 207-354-8141. This is not a collection to be missed!

As we enter into our next topic for our Elements of Art Movements series, we must look back on our previous topic of Art Nouveau. This movement shaped the path towards the next, which we all know as Art Deco.

For those who don’t know the significant differences between Art Nouveau and Art Deco, here are a two major points:

  • Art Deco’s style is more geometric in shape, with rigid symmetrical designs, while its predecessor contained a more natural, organic and flowing style.
  • This movement lasted from 1990 to 1945, whereas the Art Nouveau movement occurred before in 1890 to 1905.
  • Cubism, art nouveau, Bauhaus and decorative accents inspired from the Native Americans and Ancient Egyptians influenced Art Deco as a whole

Like many artistic movements and endeavors, Art Deco, also known as style moderne, originated in 1920s Paris, France. Like Art Nouveau, its popularity spread across not just paintings and prints but also architecture, sculpture, and fabric design.

Now that manufacturing facilities were seeing an all-time boom in demand, the art form quickly spread in popularity on an international basis. Creators and artists of the Art Deco era wanted to quickly move away from the Art Nouveau style, as its originality and luscious, organic designs promoted a type of elite aesthetic that the average middle-man can’t acquire or afford, whereas Art Deco was a more attainable art style for everyone to enjoy and have access to in their home, storefront or gallery.

This distinguished style promotes clean, geometric patterns and shapes that are meant to provoke simple sophistication and elegance. It’s during this movement that products like Bakelite, plastics, silver, chrome and obsidian became popular, as they were frequently used by companies and artists in their designs.

In aspects of architecture, you can still see the Art Deco design in today’s many popular buildings and locations, especially the Rockefeller Center in New York City, which was constructed from 1920 - 1940, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. And in the 1930s, there soon grew an entire district in Miami, Florida, dedicated to the art movement.

Iconic and noteworthy artists that dominated the movement include Rene Lalique, Louis Cartier, Romain de Tirtoff and Paul Landowski.

Some examples of Art Deco arts and antiques we’ve sold here at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries include this stunning handmade Art Deco period platinum bracelet with diamonds, which sold for $75,000 in our 2013 Summer Feature Auction.

Another Art Deco antique we’ve sold is this Russian 14K yellow gold cigarette case with a sapphire clasp for $3,250 in our 2016 Spring Feature Auction.

And from a more architectural standpoint, we have also sold interior items like this chrome chandelier with frosted glass shades by Verrerie D’Art Degue for $4,000 in the same 2016 feature auction.

While many art movements have come and gone, Art Deco continues to hold design and architecture in an iron grip, as it struck favoritism in America with its sleek simplicity, yet geometric genius that many skyscrapers and metro buildings to this day bear with pride.

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