Surveyor's compass hits $28,750 at Leland Little sale A rare North Carolina surveyor's compass made in the late 18th century by Camm Moore (1755-1845) sold for $28,750 at a quarterly cataloged auction held Mar. 21 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales.
News-Antique.com - Mar 30,2009 - (HILLSBOROUGH, N.C.) - A rare North Carolina surveyor's compass, made around the late 18th century by Guilford County artisan Camm Moore (1755-1845), soared to $28,750 at a quarterly cataloged auction held March 21 by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. It was the final sale held in the firm's South Nash Street location. Next month, it moves into new digs, at 620 Cornerstone Court.
“With the success of this cataloged auction, we were able to end on a very positive note at our present address,” said Leland Little, owner of the firm, “but we very much look forward to our move in April into a 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that is ideal for our needs.” An inaugural sale is slated for Saturday, April 11, and the next cataloged auction will be held the weekend of June 13-14.
The surveyor's compass was in working order, with an untouched natural patina. It had a silver (or silvered brass) dial, engraved with “Made by Camm Moore, Guilford” around the center ring. Four quadrants were marked “0-90” and the compass was set in a brass housing, with a lid and two hinged sighting posts. Moore was primarily known as a silversmith, but he also made surveying instruments.
Mr. Little estimated about 250 people packed his showroom to participate in the final sale of a ten-year run on South Nash Street. “It was standing room only all day long,” he said. “As usual, it was a strong collaborative effort that carried the day. We have a wonderful team and support staff.” Also, about 1,000 pre-bids were recorded via phone, absentee and online (through LiveAuctioneers.com).
Following are some top earners of the more than 600 quality consignments that crossed the block. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer's premium.
The top lot of the sale was a spectacular 84-piece sterling service in the “Aztec” motif by the renowned Mexican silversmith Hector Aguilar. The set, crafted sometime between 1940-1945, brought $37,950. If this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because a similar service by Aguilar – a 72-piece set, also in the “Aztec” motif – fetched $41,400 at Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd.'s Dec. 6-7 auction.
Other silver sets and pieces that did well included a coin silver tea service, comprising a teapot, cream jug with hinged cover, lidded sugar bowl and repousse tea ball, totaling 70.1 troy ounces ($4,830); an American coin silver ewer of Southern interest, 14.75 inches tall and 30.6 troy ounces ($2,760); and a 17th-century-style sterling silver chalice bearing the Coat of Arms for James I ($1,495).
Original works of art by noted, listed artists included a pastel on silk by Elizabeth O'Neill Verner (S.C., 1883-1979), titled Mary ($28,750); an oil on canvas painting by Margaret Dovaston (English, 1884-1955), titled Minuet ($19,550); an oil on board by Sheldon Parsons (N.M., 1866-1943), titled Springtime ($5,750); and a still life oil on board by George H. Hall (N.Y., 1825-1913) hit $4,370.
A vintage Louis Vuitton trunk (circa 1915), originally owned by a French Rear