Cincinnati works fare well close to home for Holman

There was music in the air at Stuart Holman Auctioneer's Fall Select Auction in Cincinnati on Nov. 2. The music got a lot sweeter when a Regina music box #55497 was presented to the audience of over 350. This handsome table-top tune maker, in a tiger oak paneled cabinet with beaded trim, having the original print of cherubs to the interior top, 22.5in wide by 12in high by 20.5in in diameter, was in great condition and had a mellow rich tone. Accompanied by 20 15½in original discs, this jewel brought an astonishing $6,600, including a 10 percent buyer's premium, the top lot of the day. Good examples of the Regina in the 15.5in disc size from around the turn of the 20th century normally trade in the $3,000 range.

The top furniture lot was a fine 18th century Chippendale mahogany chest on chest with all matching narrow dovetailing, original brass bails and eschutcheons, cockbeaded drawers and a rich old finish, 64in high by 43.5in wide. It commanded a respectable $4,510. It was followed closely by a Cincinnati-made Federal cherry chest having four graduated drawers flanked by turned and turreted columns with ball turned feet in the Salem style. It had original bird's-eye maple pulls, shaped back splash and apron and a single-board 27in wide pine back. It sold, along with a copy of The Furniture Makers of Cincinnati 1790 to 1849 in which it was illustrated, for $3,575.

Regina music box, oak case with 20 original discs, $6,600.

Cincinnati-made cherry Federal chest, original pulls, single board back, $3,575.

Other furniture from the area included pieces by Cincinnati manufacturer Globe-Wernicke. A double-wide four-stack oak barrister bookcase in Mission style generated $1,100 while a single-wide six-stacker made an impressive $990 and a three-stacker went for $770. An Arts and Crafts library table attributed to L. & J. G. Stickley but looking a lot like a Gustav #616, with a 54in top over two drawers with hammered pulls and through tenons sneaked through at $1,980, and a Gustav Stickley H-back rocker made $412.50.

The early 19th century was represented by a mahogany games table, circa 1820, with Sheraton reeded legs, serpentine sides and an elaborately inlaid apron. It played out at $3,300. A Federal games table, Hepplewhite, with vine and leaf inlay went for $1,540 and a second Hepplewhite games table, D-end, circa 1820, managed $990. An early 19th century shelf clock with an Eli Terry attribution, mahogany case in pillar and scroll design with freestanding columns and a reverse-painted door with a scene of Mount Vernon brought a timely $1,320. A later 19th century entry, an unusual double wide hall seat, in cherry, from the Victorian era, with outstanding lions' heads settled in at $2,420.

Original art with a local flair was an important part of the sale. A 19 by 24in oil on canvas painting entitled Lilacs signed by Cincinnati artist Thomas C. Lindsay (1845-1907) earned the third highest bid of the sale at $4,125. A work signed by another artist with Cincinnati ties, Victor Casenelli (1867-1961), an Indian trail scene with two braves, oil on canvas laid on board, 19 by 13in, made a very good $3,190. Sadie O. Schwartz Myers' Portrait of a Woman 1907, oil on canvas, 21 by 17in reached $1,210.

Included in the sale were 31 works from the Trust of Sallie Weis Rollins, wife of local artist and art professor John Ellsworth Weis (1892-1962). He had served as a faculty member of the Cincinnati Art Academy for 38 years. His watercolor Covington (Ky.) View, 20 by 13in, was the top seller of the Weis grouping at $990. Others included Hillside Village, oil on board, 13 by 16in, $770; Lonely Wayfarer, oil on canvas, $770; and the 1929 oil on canvas Mountainside -- Taos, 25 by 30in, $660.

Oil on canvas painting by Victor Casenelli of Cincinnati, Indians on trail, 19 by 13in, $3,190.

Rookwood wax matt vase by Shirayamadani, 1939, 6in high, $3,520.

Rookwood had a good presence with 11 artist-signed pieces. An exceptional wax matt vase by Shirayamadani, red and pink poppy blossoms with yellow and green centers on a deep violet to pale green background, 1939, #6194D, 6in high, ink signature, brought an exciting $3,520. McDonald designed Rookwood bookends, 1924, held up at $825.

A bronze of a female nude on a marble base, signed M.G. Riviere, in original brown-green patina, 17in high, showed off at $880 and an outstanding Art Deco table lamp, 12in high, of bronzed metal with a beautiful kneeling woman holding an incense burner, under a leaded glass dome shade of mottled green glass with red jeweled highlights, marked Ronson, did well at $660.

Owner and auctioneer Stuart Holman remarked that bidding was spirited throughout the entire sale, both in the room and on the busy phones. He noted that good early furniture is running strong, and interest in art is even better than ever.
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