On December 29, 2006, Antique Associates At West Townsend (AAAWT) offered a private, single-owner collection titled the “Heart and Crown Collection,” an accumulation of more than 30 pieces of early American furniture masterpieces. The cornerstone of the collection was an elegantly styled Heart and Crown great chair originating in Fairfield County, Conn., between 1740 and 1770.
Within hours of the initial offering, Milwaukee’s Chipstone Foundation had captured the prize for its permanent collection.
According to Jon Prown, executive director and chief curator, Chipstone Foundation, “Chipstone Foundation was pleased to work with Antique Associates at West Townsend to acquire the premier example of Heart and Crown furniture. The chair will be featured in an upcoming dynamic interpretive installation within the American Collection Galleries at the Milwaukee Art Museum.”
David Hillier of AAAWT traveled to Milwaukee to meet with Prown and personally transport the chair; Hillier said that he was “struck by the sheer volume of exemplary objects, and pleased that the iconic great chair was placed where future generations will have the opportunity to study and enjoy this object of early American material culture.”
Lynn Morin, manager of AAAWT’s multivenue offering, commented, “It’s not often that a collection of this caliber surfaces outside of the auction venue, and we feel confident that there will be more to follow.” AAAWT’s Heart and Crown collection included two pairs of Heart and Crown side chairs and an overall total of 17 Heart and Crown chairs offered individually from $1,200 to nearly $200,000, an impressive collection by any standard. Also offered was an exceptional painted and carved hanging spoon rack at $75,000, Fairfield County document box at $15,000, several important examples of American looking glasses offered between $6,500 and $24,000, two New London turned great chairs at $28,500 and $65,000, and several more important items in all price ranges. A vast majority of the offerings sold in the first three weeks of the sale.
Rob Morin, AAAWT’s general manager, stated that AAWT does not disclose selling prices or names as a courtesy to both the dealer who may wish to resell, and to both consignor and new owner who may simply wish privacy. In this case, Chipstone welcomed the publicity. AAWT did not disclose the selling price. Additional information on the sale, and details on AAAWT’s brokerage programs can be seen at www.aaawt.com , or by contacting Lynn Morin at email@example.com or Dave Hillier at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-597-8084.