Saturday, June 22, 2013

This was an interesting week at America's Hometown Auction, our house calls have yielded some exceptional consignments.  My favorite item is A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Commissioned painting by celebrated Cape Cod Artist Ralph Cahoon and this one is spectacular! Every artistic element a collector and enthusiast could wish for is here: Playful mermaids netted by Jack Tar Sailors, Ships, Whales, Hot Air Balloons, even Nobska Lighthouse in the background.  Painted in 1977, Oil on Board, titled Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, in the foreground, with the Atlantis Ship and a Sailors Valentine for "Alvin" (the famed deep sea submarine), on a whale's tail.  This beautiful Painting will be for sale to the highest bidder at our September 10th Auction.

We were fortunate to uncover some other interesting items for our September sale, including a collection of Early 19th Century American weight driven Mantel Clocks,  some rare and colorful early European Travel and Exposition Posters and I am crossing my fingers for a 1967 BMW R69S Motorcycle!  This bike is simply amazing!  Totally original paint, with matching numbers!  I can't use enough exclamation points to convey my excitement!!!!!  Sorry, classic bikes get me a bit overexcited.

I also had the opportunity to conduct a "roadshow style" appraisal at Plymouth Plantation this week.  I met some really nice people and appraised some interesting items.  My favorites included an iconic weapon of the American Civil War, an 1863 Remington Zoave Rifle in near Mint unissued condition, a bronze Eastlake style hotel inkw
ell, some 18th Century Georgian Silver and a Shreve Crump & Low Silver pocket watch.  I really enjoy these events, as you never know what will land on the table.  It can be a challenge meeting such a diversity of objects, but offers a great opportunity to learn.

We closed out the week in our office, finalizing our advertising piece for the July 16th Sale.  Looking through our lots I realized what a great sale we have put together!  Six weeks of gathering consignments from the four corners of the earth (including central Florida!) and the fruits of our labor can be viewed at our website  I am excited and can't wait for the sale.

It is time to catch my breath and do some fishing.  The Striped Bass have been hot in Plymouth Bay.  I have even heard rumors of early Pogies in the harbor.  Live lining Blue Fin at Stellwagen Bank, is just around the corner.

Monday, June 17, 2013

J. JAMES AUCTIONS : Martha's Vineyard House call.

Driving to the Cape this morning I realized how grateful I am for my career choice.  I was heading to my house call on Martha’s Vineyard to appraise some Art, French Faience Pottery and some other antiques.  I just made the 9:45 boat to Vineyard Haven, which Today was the cargo ship “Governor”.  I always enjoy the secondary boats which make up the Steamship Authority’s Fleet, these small boats lend a much more intimate experience crossing Vineyard sound, without the throngs of tourists.  Quiet reflection is encouraged. 

As we pushed off from Woods Hole, I noticed the diesel salt smell I grew up with and although the sky was grey, bright smiles lit the passengers faces including mine!  Wind was about 8-10 mph North West and Seas were 2-4 with occasional rollers shifting the deck noticeably.  I sat on the Port gallery seats, for a simply amazing view of Woods Hole with Nobska light house in the distance.   The sea was a deep green and the air crisp, a fine crossing lay ahead.

As the island slowly came into focus, I could clearly pick out individual boats mored in the harbor including the “Black Dog” schooner flying a fluttering Flag with the Labrador profile known far and wide.  As we touched land I quickly called my clients and met them at the wharf.  I told them how excited I was to be on island and happy to meet them both.  We hopped in their SUV and headed Up Island to Edgartown. My new friends shared some of their experiences living on the Vineyard and I confessed my envy. 

After a tour of their beautiful home, I was shown into the kitchen to behold an interesting collection of Art and Antiques.  My eye was immediately drawn to a fine 1950’s Nantucket basket, embellished with an artfully executed Scrimshawed Whales Tooth.  Some fine French Faience Pottery adorned the table with copious piles of Dedham Pottery behind.  A Nantucket street scene, done in pastel by Ron Abbe was leaning against the wall and a small plain box sat on the tables edge.  It held a vintage 1950’s 18K Gold Cartier Tank Watch.  Simply beautiful and in pristine condition.  My absolute favorite though was an Antique Porcelain Bay State Paint sign, with the Smiling  Painting Pilgrim.  I simply love the early signs, cool graphics and super colors.  Is there a better place to sell the smiling Pilgrim than at America’s hometown auction?

After a wonderful visit, my new friends asked me to lunch at on of my favorite Vineyard haunts, “News from America”, exceptional pub food, with a nice selection of drafts, including my favorite, Otter Creek Copper Ale.  I was relieved when my hosts ordered drinks, giving me the green light for a well earned afternoon Pint!

After a quick ride to Oak Bluffs for the boat home,  I find myself looking down at a Striped Bass Blitz under the wharf.  These were large fish 30-45” knifing in and out of a ball of sand eels.  Simply amazing you could sight cast on these silver beauties, if I only had my gear!  I was so engrossed with action, I almost missed my ride back, the “Island Home” ferry. I ran up the long dock to the boat and grabbed a prime spot on the stern weather deck. The afternoon sun was blazing in a blue cotton ball cloud sky, the breeze was light and I took a moment to acknowledge how grateful I was for my career choice.