WHITE'S AUCTIONS, John White & Kathryn Black, is an independent, privately owned auction company established in 1993 in Middleboro, MA. The company conducts approximately four to five catalogued general antiques, fine arts and decorative arts auctions per year. The sales offer a varied selection of fresh to the market items to include, antique furniture, paintings, glass, porcelains, Art Pottery & Glass, sterling silver, coins, jewelry, antique toys, tools, advertising, military & historical items. Each sale is unique and extensively advertised. Publications include the Maine Antique Digest, Antiques & the Arts Weekly, The Journal of Antiques & Collectibles, New England Antiques Journal and the Fine Arts Trader. White’s mails auction notices to its extensive mailing list which includes approximately 3,000 dealers and collectors.
On-line exposure includes www.auctionzip.com & www.invaluable.com, as well as coverage within this website. The auction offers absentee bidding, phone bidding and on-line bidding to bidders around the world. Through the Invaluable site, White's Auctions' on line catalog will also be available for bidding through Ebay.com as well as internet bidding platforms in China and Europe.
White's held its 20th Anniversary auction on June 9th, 2013, with some very exciting highlights including an Old Town Canoe Salesman's Sample selling on the floor (against 14 telephone bidders and in house competing bids, for $29,900 (including premium). The top sale for the auction was an oil painting by William Herbert Dunton, (signed W. Herbert Dunton, Montana '06). The painting sold to one of 17 phone bidders for $138,000 (including premium). It was an early work by this important American Western artist, executed at the age of 28. Accompaning the painting was an important authentication letter from a foremost Dunton authority.
John P. White, Partner, Auctioneer, MA Lic #1988
Massachusetts Auctioneers Association
Kathryn A. Black, Partner, Manager
From a small antique shop in Middleboro, Massachusetts grew the firm of White’s Auctions nearly twenty three years ago. Early on John White learned the antique business from the bottom up, knocking on doors, doing flea markets, exhibiting at Brimfield and Farmington CT, working as a runner for others auctioneers and pouring over reference books and auction catalogs. White’s partner, and now his wife, Kathryn Black remembers rescuing her first antique from the trash while she was in the fifth grade and spent years scouting every shop in the area.
In 1992, John opened what became a very busy antique shop in town. Kathryn would put together a nice window display on Sundays and by 9:30 Monday mornings it was all gone. Dealers would often wait outside for him to return from a day of buying to snag fresh merchandise. This seemed the perfect time for White to pursue his dream and goal to become an auctioneer. The Black and White couple combined their shared interest and efforts to create an antique auction business. They got a book from their local library and began to study the requirements auctioneer licensing requirements for Massachusetts. They set about their business plan and structure and in August of 1993 the partners conducted their first successful auction on a shoe string in White’s antique shop where the overflow crowd spilled out onto the sidewalk.
White’s Auctions second Auction was held at a function hall and included an oil painting of a woman in a row boat by Hudson River School artist Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837-1908). The painting sold for a record price of $67,000 at that time. This was before internet or phone bidding so interested buyers had to attend the auction and several New York art dealers came probably expecting that they could snatch up this important piece in an unknown, country auction.
White's celebrated its 20th anniversary in June, 2013 and it was an appropriate sale for this special occasion. The sale offered a western scene, oil on canvas, by William Herbert “Buck” Dunton (1878-1936). Dunton’s artistic vision and goal was to capture the allure of the vanishing West and its lifestyle, a lifestyle he sadly saw as disappearing quickly. The painting was an early work (1906) was executed when he was 28 years old. It sold for $138,000 against seventeen aggressive phone bidders. The consignors were present at the auction to experience this exciting sale. Dunton was a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists and is noted for paintings of cowboys and the southwest. He became one of the country’s top illustrators as early as his twenties, illustrating approximately 50 publications and books, including the Zane Gray novel series. At the same auction, White's also sold a salesman's sample Old Town canoe, setting a record at $29,900. The previous record was $18,000.
Other noteworthy earlier sales includes the December 2013 sale featuring several pieces of mid-century modern furniture designed by Edward Wornley and manufactured by Dunbar. The furniture came from a 1950s home in Brockton, Massachusetts “frozen in time”. A hot pink leather sofa sold for $5,750 with a matching loveseat selling for $3,450. Two matching mosaic tile top coffee tables sold for $5,462 each. These pieces sold to a phone bidder in Houston, Texas.
The same December sale included a rare mocha pitcher with applied marbleized medallions, c.1805-1815. The pitcher had been "dug" in Lexington, Massachusetts and had been on loan to the Museum of Our national Heritage, in Lexington from 1984-1986. It was featured in the catalog of the exhibition, "Unearthing New England's Past". Having been dug, this very rare pitcher had several repairs which didn't seem to deter bidders. It sold for $14,950. The lot included the exhibition catalog, invitation to the exhibit and the receipt from the museum.
In March, 2014 White's sold an important scrimshawed whale's tooth, commemorating Commodore Thomas McDonough's victory in the Battle of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain during the War of 1812 which ended the British supremacy on Lake Champlain. The June 2014 auction featured an American Revolutionery Star of Stars bayonet and signed scabbard belonging to Captain William Smith William Smith (1755-1816). Smith married John Quincy Adams’ daughter Abigail and served in US House of Representatives from New York. This historical artifact sold for $4,140.
Conveniently located in downtown Middleboro, Massachusetts, approximately 1 hour or less from Boston, Cape Cod, Metro West and Newport, or Providence, Rhode Island.