Arthur Parton Painting Brings $13,800 at Leland Little Auction

. June 25, 2008

(Hillsborough, N.C.) – An original oil painting by New York artist Arthur Parton (1842-1914), titled “Eventide Landscape,” sold for $13,800 at a multi-estate sale held June 14 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. The oil on canvas rendering, signed lower left, was a pastoral landscape, depicting a stream meandering through a meadow toward a forest, beneath a luminescent evening sky.

The painting, beautifully housed in a period Barbizon School frame, was the top lot in a sale that grossed a little under $500,000 and saw around 580 lots sold of the 605 offered. About 225 people packed Leland Little’s spacious showroom in Hillsborough, while over 600 bidders were registered online through eBay Live and Online sell-through overall was about 16 percent.

“This sale commanded national and international attention,” commented Leland Little. “We’re seeing a continued incline in interest from outside markets – in particular bidders from Russia, China and India – not just America. We’re also talking to French, German and Italian buyers as well. In fact, we recently hired someone who’s fluent in French to help with translations. We’re truly international.”

Mr. Little observed several trends from the sale results. “There is a continuation of strength in silver, fine art, continental furniture and high-end collectibles,” he said. “However, there is some softening in mid-level American furniture and country furniture. But even there, the high-end, top-quality merchandise is still attracting the better dealers and collectors. That’s a trend I see continuing.”

Following are additional auction highlights. All prices quoted include a 15% buyer’s premium.

Historic samplers piqued the interest of the crowd. An important North Carolina sampler (Gates County), signed and stitched by Sarah Riddick on October 4, 1821 and featuring decorative design In the fine and period furniture category, a beautiful set of eight Louis XV-style open arm chairs (circa 1900), carved mahogany with shaped crest rail, nicely carved central fan and needlepoint upholstered back, achieved $8,625.

Also, an Italian credenza from the late 17th or early 18th century, carved walnut, with upper relief carved central drawer with raised diamond element, realized $4,600.

Silver did well. A five-piece Russian silver tea and coffee service (circa 1910) – including a coffee pot, teapot, sugar with hinged cover, creamer and handled rectangular tray, plus a Rococo-style tea strainer – fetched $4,140; a Baltimore silversmith’s sterling repousse pitcher (circa 1903) earned $3,795; and an early 20th century seven-piece Chinese silver tea and coffee service rose to $2,990.

North Carolina long rifles hit the mark. One example, made around 1850 for Evan Johnson of Jamestown, N.C., and stamped “Evan,” with figured maple stock, engraved hammer and lock plate, octagonal barrel and rear sight (overall length, 55”) made a bull’s eye for $4,370; while another from the same era, made for Thomas Merritt (stamped “T.F.M.” and 61” long overall) rang out at $2,415.

Fine art, a staple at most Leland Little sales, did exceedingly well and dominated the list of top lots. An oil on canvas landscape by John Bunyan Bristol (N.Y., 1826-1909), titled “Valley View,” a brilliant expansive view of the Lake Champlain region, signed and framed, chalked up $7,475; and a pair of oil paintings by William Thornley (British, 1857-1898), both maritime renderings, hit $6,325.

A signed oil on canvas rendering of the Seine River and an ornate bridge in Paris by the French artist Alexis Vollon (1865-1945), still housed in its original gilt wood frame with applied composition ornament, soared to $5,175; and an oil on canvas work by Francoise Gilot (French, b. 1921), signed, a strongly composed landscape with Greek ruins framed by a large tree and the sun, coasted to $4,888.

A magnificent Caucasian Kazak area rug (circa 1920s, 8′ 6” x 4′ 9”), with an elongated central medallion on a dark blue field and a light blue border with double ivory border with ram’s head motif, commanded $4,830; and a Victorian trumeau — with the upper panel an oil on canvas rendering of pheasants dancing under a floral canopy and the bottom panel a looking glass mirror — brought $2,415.

A 19th-century watercolor on paper American School miniature portrait of a seated woman in a blue dress with balloon sleeves and a white cap, holding her baby, both with sweet facial detail, in a tiger maple frame, climbed to $1,840; and an American silhouette of a mother and child (circa 1830s), full length profile, with the mother holding a bouquet of flowers and the child a riding whip, hit $863.

An applied ornament and gilded American frame (circa 1870), rabbet size, changed hands for $1,840; a color lithograph work by Karel Appel (Dutch, 1921-2006), titled “Sunshine People,” signed, dated and numbered (1974, #24/110), from the artist’s “Sunshine People” series, reached a high bid of $1,265; and a lustrous 1904 Liberty $20 gold double eagle coin, graded NGC MS64, earned $1,610.

Returning to furniture, a country Chippendale painted cupboard (circa early 19th century), poplar with a red painted surface and a single hinged door having three raised panels opening to pairs, garnered $2,760; and an American table top display cabinet (circa late 19th century), poplar with red wash, in rectangular box form with a hinged lift front glazed lid and delicate turned feet, made $1,160.

Rounding out the top lots, a large, Rosenthal studio-linie “Metropol” 68-piece china set, a wonderful modern-style service, found a new owner for $2,070; and an antique French pocket watch, crafted by an unknown artisan in the early 20th century, railroad style, with German silver case and porcelain dial with insets (recording month, days of week and month, plus seconds), achieved $1,035.

Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd., has two more quarterly cataloged auctions planned for 2008: September 13 and December 6. Watch the website for more details: The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly at (919) 644-1243. Or, e-mail them at

Category: Antiques News

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