Five For Friday: Nadeau’s Auction Gallery Steers Us Across Categories

Rebekah Kaufman
Published on
New Hampshire License Plate, 1905. Photo courtesy of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery.
New Hampshire License Plate, 1905. Photo courtesy of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery.

Buckle up your seatbelts! Nadeau’s Auction Gallery of Windsor, Connecticut, is holding its annual Fall Americana, Folk Art, Chinese & Fine Art Auction on Saturday, October 24th. This event kicks off with two classic automobiles and presents collectors with over 600 lots of museum-quality fine and decorative art pieces, furniture, and other exciting collectibles. Auction Daily spoke with the father and son team of Ed and Eddie Nadeau of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery to learn more about this signature sale. 

Auction Daily: COVID-19 has changed the way auction houses conduct their business. What has Nadeau’s done to adapt to this public health situation? How has it impacted or altered your day to day routine and the way you conduct your live sales?

Nadeau’s: We offer appointments for previews with lots of spacing in the galleries. We’ve spaced our chairs and created areas to sit amongst the furniture. We have hand sanitizer stations. We also require everyone to wear masks while in the gallery and during auctions.

Auction Daily:  What is the story behind lot #3, the New Hampshire license plate from 1905 estimated at $8,000-12,000? What makes it so interesting from the collector’s perspective?

Nadeau’s: We actually sold the matching plate at auction on April 5th, 2014, for $16,100! The three things that make this plate so valuable, eye-catching, and rare are its age, the fact that it only has two digits, and its amazing condition.

Portrait of William Thompson Lusk by Jonathan Eastman Johnson. Photo courtesy of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery.
Portrait of William Thompson Lusk by Jonathan Eastman Johnson. Photo courtesy of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery.

Auction Daily: This sale offers a number of lots with ties to the New York Academy of Medicine. Tell us about these paintings and their connection to the organization. 

Nadeau’s: These all came from the New York Academy of Medicine. Most of the portraits were past presidents of the Academy. Many of these leaders were famous for developing cures or treatments for serious medical conditions and illnesses. These paintings should be of interest to health professionals and physicians; all of these men were instrumental in laying the foundation for the medical field as we know it today. For example, lot #104 is Jonathan Eastman Johnson’s (American, 1824 – 1906) portrait of William Thompson Lusk (1838 – 1897). Lusk was a Fellow at The New York Academy of Medicine in 1871 and is best known for his classic work, The Science and Art of Midwifery, which first appeared in 1882. 

Auction Daily: This sale tempts collectors with a nice range of porcelain, glass, and cloisonne objects. Which catch your eye, and why?

Pair of Cloisonne Vases by Hayashi Kodenji. Photo courtesy of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery.
Pair of Cloisonne Vases by Hayashi Kodenji. Photo courtesy of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery.

Nadeau’s: We do have some really great pieces on offer in the decorative arts categories. First is lot #81, a pair of signed Hayashi Kodenji (1831 – 1915) Meiji period cloisonne vases, estimated at $1,000-2,000. These are visually stunning, magnificently produced, and fantastically detailed. Second would be lots #251 through 258, a collection of St. Louis clear, gold-encrusted Massenet crystal, all in excellent condition. We feel this grouping is one of the best, if not the best, set of St. Louis crystals to come to auction in memory. And lot #325, a large Chinese blue and white porcelain vase, decorated with a painted landscape and courtyard scene, is really eye-catching. It is estimated at $1,000-2,000.

Auction Daily: And finally, Nadeau’s enjoys a well-deserved reputation for offering breathtaking estates from Connecticut and the mid-Atlantic area. Your upcoming event features a collection of paintings and furniture from the estate of Dr. Thomas & Alice Kugelman of Bloomfield, CT. Who are these consignors, and what is their most important lot on offer through this sale?

Nadeau’s: The Kugelmans, along with a few colleagues, authored the important reference book Connecticut Valley Furniture: Eliphalet Chapin and His Contemporaries, 1750-1800 in 2005. As you may suspect, Dr. and Mrs. Kugelman were major American antique collectors with a great passion for Connecticut Valley materials from the 18th century. All eyes are certain to be on lot #191, a Chippendale cherry reverse serpentine chest from the Kugelman estate. This remarkable example is estimated at $2,000 – $4,000 and is signed by William Flagg (East Windsor, CT, 1772–1858) on the back of the first drawer in graphite. This exact chest is pictured in the Kugelmans’ book on page 168, plate 70.

Chippendale Cherry Reverse Serpentine Chest. Photo courtesy of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery.
Chippendale Cherry Reverse Serpentine Chest. Photo courtesy of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery.

For more information on Nadeau’s Auction Gallery and their October 24th, 2020 Annual Fall Americana, Folk Art, Chinese & Fine Art Auction, please visit the auction catalog.