Works by John F. Herring, Jr., top $80,000 at Little sale

Original works of art by the noted British painter John F. Herring, Jr. (1820-1907) sold for more than $80,000 at a multi-estate sale held June 9 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd., in Hillsborough, N.C. “Farmyard” realized $18,700, while a hunt series of four paintings went for $61,600.

[ClickPress, Wed Jul 11 2007] Original works of art by the noted British painter John F. Herring, Jr. (1820-1907) sold for more than $80,000 at a multi-estate sale held June 9 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. An oil-on-canvas work titled “Farmyard” realized $18,700, while a hunt series of four paintings sold as a single lot for $61,600. All prices quoted include a 10% buyer's premium.
Around 650 lots changed hands at the quarterly cataloged auction, which grossed $550,000. “I was very pleased with the results,” said Leland Little, adding, “Our quarterly sales tend to do well, as we are always packed with quality merchandise. The market remains strong for the middle- to high-end items, especially fine art and period furniture pieces. A lot got shipped overseas. It was a busy day.”
The sale was held at Leland Little's spacious gallery in Hillsborough, N.C., a town located near the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and accessible to major markets like Atlanta, Charleston and Washington, D.C. Hillsborough is convenient to Interstates 40 and 85. The sale attracted about 200 people. Over 1,000 phone and absentee bids were fielded; online sell-through (via eBay Live) hit 18%.
In other highlights:
Fine art accounted for some of the day's top lots. A European School portrait of Louis XV, showing the young king in full battle armor with military honors, rose to $20,000 despite being done by an unknown artist. The 3/4-length portrait was probably done in the late 18th or early 19th century. Also, a naturalistic rendering of two swans, done around 1890 by Albert Bailey (British), garnered $12,100.
Two paintings fetched identical sums of $7,700. One was an oil-on-canvas harbor scene by Louise Herreshoff Eaton (Rhode Island/New York, 1876-1967). The work, signed lower left, was a bright, Impressionistic scene, likely painted in Gloucester, Mass. The other was a half-length portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, signed and dated (1953) lower left by the 20th-century British artist Mary Eastman.
Leading the way in the period furniture category was a stunning 18th-century Louis XVI commode that gaveled for $9,350. The piece was mahogany, with inlaid cross banded veneer and line inlay, and a top with moulded edge over three lipped and moulded drawers. Also, a gorgeous inlaid Sheraton sideboard (English, 19th century) sailed past its high estimate of $2,000 to hammer for $4,620.
A terrestrial 18” globe on a stand, made in 1911 by G. W. Bacon & Co., Ltd., and retailed by J. R. Hammett Company of Boston, New York and Philadelphia, crossed the block at $3,850. And a handsome Limbert mission oak server, made around 1910 and with a good mellow brown finish that appeared original, realized $2,640. The piece featured a shaped backsplash, with plate restraining bar.
From the militaria grouping, a one-page Confederate blockade runner stock certificate, printed on July 5, 1864, in Charleston, S.C., for the S.S. Druid, in very fine condition, was a hit at $7,425. Also, a North Carolina Confederate soldier's archive, comprising 19 letters of approximately 80 pages written by John H. McDade to Annie Kerr from September to November 1861, sold for $2,200.
Pottery pieces did well. A beautiful set of twelve Bernardaud Limogues plates, circa late 19th century, found a new owner for $5,720. The plates featured a wide border in a deep Chinese red color, with raised gilt scrolled foliate design and finely worked floral reserves. Also, a Rookwood standard silver overlaid vase, signed by Frederick Rothenbusch and with a tulip design, reached $2,200.
An exceptionally well-portrayed King Charles Seated Spaniel, by the renowned North Carolina folk artist Billy Ray Hussey, achieved $1,155; a four-gallon storage jar executed by the Western North Carolina potter J. F. Seagle (Lincoln County, 1829-1892) garnered $3,080; and a half-gallon storage jar by Daniel Seagle (Lincoln County, Western North Carolina, 1805-1867) hit $2,420.
From the textiles and clothing category, an important Orange County, N.C., sampler, signed by Margaret F. Stookards and dated Oct.12, 1830, fetched $3,630; an identical amount was realized for a 19th-century Flemish tapestry, hand-woven of wool and linen and depicting a lush landscape; and a Spanish Colonial needlework, circa late 18th century, depicting Madonna and Child, sold for $1,980.
The top lot of the Native American group was a fanciful, pre-Columbian style burial urn, a monumental decorative lidded vessel topped with a seated god flanked by corn ears. It brought $4,620. Also, a large pre-Columbian style lidded bowl, deaccessioned from a Southern museum, made $4,620; and three pre-Columbian style pottery jars, deaccessioned from the same museum, went for $1,870.
Silver pieces were in evidence, with a sterling kettle by Black, Starr & Forest leading the way at $1,540. The 11” tall piece was in very fine estate condition and totaled 57.25 troy ounces. Also, a sterling three-piece tea service in the “Chantilly – Countess” pattern, by Gorham, rose to $1,100; and a silver goblet made by Grosjean & Woodward for Tiffany & Company (circa 1854-1865) made $660.
From weapons and hunting gear, three items deserve mention: an early 19th-century French Imperial guard's cuirass (cavalryman's armor of two steel halves, with applied brass plates and brass rivlets) commanded $2,860; an Imperial Japanese Samurai sword, with a 26” blade and 35” long overall, went for $1,980; and a vintage Marbles Bowie knife (circa 1930s), with 10” blade, hit $440.
Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd., has been conducting high-end sales and quarterly cataloged auctions in Hillsborough, N.C., since 1999. The next cataloged sale will be held in September. For more information, you may visit them online at The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call (919) 644-1243. The e-mail address is

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