Inaugural Trust Benefit Auction Results
The Mars & Neptune Trust held its Inaugural Sale of important martial and naval arms, militaria, manuscripts and related early Americana on Saturday, October 19, 2021, hosted by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Connecticut. The cataloged sale of 182 lots, which included deaccessions from three museums, resulted in more than $500,000 in hammer prices (not including buyer premiums) for the 151 lots sold, with an additional $65,000 for three lots in accepted post-sale offers. Leading the sale was the portrait of a colonial American artillery officer painted by William Williams in 1772, which hammered at $55,000, a new record for this important, but obscure English artist working in Philadelphia (1747-1769) and New York (1769-c. 1776) who is credited with being the first painting instructor of Benjamin West. Other notable sales included an illustrated, 1778 manuscript copy of William Congreve’s Exercise and Manouvres for two Light 6 Pounders at $17,000 hammer, Mather Brown’s magnificent oil of Smugglers Pushing Off Their Boat at $25,000 hammer and a French Model 1717 Rampart Musket for $22,500. We are happy to note that the majority of pieces sold were acquired by American and Canadian museums. All net proceeds from the auction are dedicated to support Trust programs and those of their partner museums.