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Withington Auction Features ‘Dick’s 100 Choices’ Collection

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Sale At Withington Homestead In Hillsborough, N.H., Draws Full House On July 26


A selection of Shaker objects was among the pieces that spilled out of the barn on inspection day.


Dick Withington was quick to show off his Dunlap candlestand in the original red wash that sold for $35,200 to dealer Peter Sawyer. “This was in my bedroom,” Dick said, “and every time it rained I moved it away from the window.”


Right out of the Withington bedroom came this Eighteenth Century Queen Anne flat-top highboy with concave inlaid shell both top and bottom and secret drawer in top molding. It went for a single bid of $22,000.


Part of the Withington collection included a pair of Massachusetts Queen Anne side chairs with block and turned stretchers for $6,600, a Hepplewhite card table by Dunlap with a signed label that sold to dealer Peter Sawyer for $28,600, and two Nantucket baskets, the one on the left bringing $1,155 and the one on the right, $1,100. “When I got the card table it was covered in white paint,” Dick said, “and it had been in two exhibitions at the Currier Gallery.”


“This chest by Peter Bartlett came right out of my house,” Dick said, as he offered the Queen Anne graduated six-drawer chest in birch on bandy legs. It sold for $9,900.


“They don’t come much better,” Dick said as he auctioned his J.E. Norton, Bennington jug with deep blue decoration of a house, large tree and fence. Bidding came fast and it sold for $13,200.


“This bowl has been on top of my highboy in the bedroom, and since I sold the highboy, I have no place for the bowl,” Dick said as he held aloft a burl bowl measuring 19 inches in diameter. Brisk bidding took it to $5,060.


Bonnet-top secretary with shell carved lid sold for $4,620.


Going out at a low $1,210 was this Hepplewhite three-part banquet table in mahogany with drop leaf center and half-round ends.


Shaker items on display.


After selling the first 100 lots in the sale, The Withington Collection, Dick accepted a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience and retired to a comfortable seat to watch the rest of the auction.


Marcia and Larry Leizure, now in their third year as owners of the auction business, took over after The Withington Collection and sold the other pieces offered that day.


Dogs are welcome at the sale, providing they behave, and some accompany bidders under the tent while others are stay on the sideline in the shade of one of the many trees.


Withington auction review cuts and heads sent

Review and Photos By R. Scudder Smith

HILLSBOROUGH, N.H. — “When I was in grammar school I was too shy to stand in front of the class and talk,” Dick Withington said during the inspection of his July 26 sale. “Today you can’t shut me up,” he added. And he’s right. He was a constant flow of information and tidbits as he walked about the barn where several hundred objects to be sold were on inspection. “That was in my bedroom,” he said as he pointed his cane toward a Queen Anne highboy, then, pointing the cane in the opposite direction, “and that bowl was on top of it.”

For this sale Dick Withington selected 100 items from his house, some as large as a secretary and some as small as a child’s cup, each piece with a “Withington Collection” tag attached, to be the first lots sold. Dick, of course, did the selling and he insisted that “we will keep the prices down today, if we can.” All prices quoted in the review, and in the photo captions, include the ten percent buyer’s premium charged by the gallery.

A silver tea service, four pieces, went for $1,540, a Hester Bateman coffee pot sold for $2,860, and a pair of lemon top brass andirons sold for a mere $220.

A rare Queen Anne foot stool with block and stretcher base, a bit soiled on the upholstered top, “from my feet” Dick said, sold for $8,250, and a very nice Gonic redware jug, small chip in the rim, brought $1,980. A Samuel Pierce pewter deep dish brought $935, an unmarked pewter coffee pot sold for $330 and a flask, “Success to the Railroad,” went for $825. Another flask, green, Jackson and Washington, brought $660.

Two Bennington pieces were in the sale, a coachman bottle with pewter top, 1849 mark, $880, and a book flask, “Departed Spirits,” that went for $660. A rare Lacy Sandwich Glass compote had a bit of local history, as Dick mentioned the piece was bought by his mother for $25 years ago at a tag sale across the street. He saw a nice profit as it sold for $1,540.

The only sampler in the sale was executed by Mary Dechler, born 1815, June, and it sold for $3,960. It was bought by Joanie Rothstein of Woodstock, Vt., who said she loved the peaceful scene of plants, birds and a house. “It is full of life,” she said.

Dick had a few things to say after the 100th lot was sold, stressing, “We have had success because we run an honest business and never get mad. Besides that, I know what I am doing.” A longtime friend came forward and called Dick Withington a “New Hampshire treasure,” which brought the audience to its feet with a well-deserved round of applause.

“That’s a hard act to follow,” Marcia Leizure said as she took over the selling of the remaining lots, including a pair of decorated bellows in need of leather repair, $240; a dish-face clock, decorated case, $1,100; and a small Shaker sewing box, $300.

A nice wall cupboard with unpainted surface, two drawers and two cupboard doors with locking flap went for $742, and a pair of Shaker side chairs, Canterbury, replaced seats, #3, sold for $660 each. A Howard & Davis banjo clock from the Harpswell estate brought $6,820, while a large painting of ducks over a marsh by Harry Adamson sold for $17,600. A set of four Tiffany & Co. footed Peacock sandwich trays went for $6,600.

Withington Auction, Inc, will be back in the doll business with a sale on August 23 in Nashua, N.H., and will be back at the Withington Homestead on August 30 with a general sale.

“We have a nice general mix of things, 200 pieces of white ironstone and some carnival glass, in the next one,” Larry Leizure said. For information, 603-464-3232 or www.withingtonauction.com.

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