Published: January 23, 2017
NEW YORK CITY – Hundreds of lots went under the gavel during Americana Week in New York. The balmy weather made dashing from Christie’s midtown galleries to Sotheby’s on the Upper East Side easier than it usually is this time of year. All that was needed was stamina, concentration and, as the highlights here underscore, deep pockets. Sotheby’s got things rolling on January 18 with the much-anticipated sale of a family archive of letters and manuscripts largely by or to Alexander Hamilton. Altogether, the trove achieved $2.6 million.
Christie’s sale of Chinese Export Art, most of it porcelain, on the same day made $1.8 million. Christie’s Palmetto Hall sale attracted avid interest. The collection of mostly Southern paintings and English decorative arts garnered $5.4 million on January 19. A dedicated sale of Outsider art at Christie’s reaped another $1.2 million. Christie’s concluded Americana Week on January 20 with its various owners sale of furniture, folk art and silver, auctioned for $3.8 million.
Following the Hamilton archive, Sotheby’s ambitious series continued on January 19 with high-style American furniture gathered by George S. Parker II with the help of the respected expert Alan Miller. Sold by the Caxambas Foundation, the Parker holdings made just over $5 million. Iris Schwartz’s broadly representative collection of American silver drew another $1.8 million. A choice collection of Pennsylvania decorative arts from the E. Newbold and Margaret du Pont Smith collection realized $3.4 million at Sotheby’s. Heavy on portraits, the Ralph and Susanne Katz folk-art collection tallied $1.4 million. Sotheby’s finished off the week on January 21 with Important Americana. Including pieces gathered by Joan Oestreich Kend, the slew drew $5.1 million. An analysis of the sales will appear in a later issue. Prices realized includes buyer’s premium.
Queen Anne carved and figured mahogany block and shell kneehole bureau table, circa 1765, $672,500 ($300/500,000). Previously published as an early case piece attributed to Job or Christopher Townsend of Newport, this chest of drawers is now thought to be from Providence, R.I. It previously belonged to collector Lansdell K. Christie (1903–1965). Sotheby’s, George S. Parker II From The Caxambas
“Portrait of Mary Margaret Deuel” by Ammi Phillips (1788–1865), circa 1829, oil on canvas, 30 by 24 inches, sold to New York dealer Leigh Keno bidding on behalf of a client for $391,500 ($100/150,000). Christie’s, Important Americana.
Silver brandywine bowl by Gerrit Onkelbag, New York, circa 1700, $372,500 ($300/500,000). The provenance on this piece goes back to the original owners, John Harris, born 1678, and his wife, Jannetje Nissepadt, born in 1680. The couple appears to have lived in New York. Sotheby’s, Important Americana.
“Lion” by William Edmondson (1874–1951), circa 1937, sold to folk art collector Jerry Lauren for $511,500 ($200/400,000). Accompanying the figure is a photographic contact sheet depicting Edmondson with the carved limestone and mortar piece, which stands 37½ inches tall. There are four known Edmondson lions, including examples at the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville. Christie’s, Courageous Spirits: Outsider and Vernacular Art.
Chippendale carved and figured mahogany scalloped-top tea table with open ball and talons feet, Newport, R.I., circa 1765, $912,500 ($800,000–$1.2 million). This tea table is one of two examples likely originally owned by Nicholas Brown (1729–1791), a wealthy Providence merchant. Sotheby’s, Various Owners.
Hollingsworth-Humphreys family Chippendale carved and figured pie crust tilt-top tea table, probably from the workshop of Thomas Affleck, carving attributed to John Pollard, Philadelphia, circa 1779, $636,500 ($150/250,000). Sotheby’s, George S. Parker II From The Caxambas Foundation.
“North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain at Mandeville” by Richard Clague (1821–1873), oil on canvas, 36- by 60¼ inches, $1,627,500 ($120/180,000). The painting hung at the entrance to the Oval Office in the White House during the administration of Jimmy Carter (1977–81). Christie’s, Palmetto Hall: The Jay P. Altmayer Family Collection.
Famille Rose enameled porcelain dish, Yongzheng Period (1723–35), diameter 21 inches, $118,750 ($20/30,000). Christie’s, Chinese Export Art.
Silver wine cup, mark of John Hull and Robert Sanderson, Boston, circa 1660, $150,000 ($150/250,000). Christie’s,
Silver, mokume and mixed-metal three-piece tea set, mark of Tiffany & Co., New York, 1878, $65,000 ($40/60,000). Christie’s, Important Americana.
Pair Of American silver candlesticks by Myer Myers, New York, circa 1750–65, $150,000 ($150/250,000). These sticks form a rare set of four sticks with a pair in a private collection. Only one other set of four candlesticks by Myers is known, made for Catherine Livingston Lawrence and now divided between the Metropolitan Museum and Yale University Art Gallery. Sotheby’s, Iris Schwartz Collection of American Silver.
“View of the Berks County Alms House” by John Rasmussen (1828–1895), signed and dated 1880, oil on zinc, 32 by 40 inches, sold for $516,500 ($80/120,000) to a collector in the room, underbid by Patrick Bell of Olde Hope Antiques. The fine condition and lively detail make this one of the best works by Rasmussen to come on the market. Sotheby’s, Ralph and Susanne Katz Collection.
Queen Anne carved cherry wood tall case clock, works by Peter Stretch, case attributed to John Head, Philadelphia, circa 1750, $348,500 ($150/300,000). A closely related clock with a movement by Peter Stretch and a case attributed to John Head is in the collection of Bayou Bend. Sotheby’s, E. Newbold and Margaret du Pont Smith.
Miniature William and Mary turned and joined walnut flattop high chest of drawers, Chester County, Penn., circa 1725, sold to New York dealer Leigh Keno on behalf of a client for $612,500 ($80/120,000). Sotheby’s, E. Newbold and Margaret du Pont Smith.
Silkwork flower picture, Philadelphia, circa 1800, $212,500 ($60/80,000). “It closely matches and complements the other example I acquired for the same clients at Sotheby’s years ago,” said buyer Leigh Keno. Sotheby’s, Various Owners.
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