Published: November 20, 2018
PHILADELPHIA, PENN. — Freeman’s November 14 sale of American furniture, folk and decorative arts brought to auction nearly 500 lots of furniture, decorative arts, textiles and historical paintings from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. The undisputed highlight of the sale was a rare Chippendale carved mahogany looking glass, with original phoenix cartouche, attributed to John Pollard (1740–1787) and Richard Butts (active 1768–1778), circa 1770. Estimated $20/30,000, the 68½-inch looking glass went to a phone bidder for $298,000, which Freeman’s believes may be a record for an American-made mirror. Furniture scholar and conservator Alan Miller attributed the carving of the cartouche and side garlands to the workshop of Pollard and Butts. The craftsmen advertised their partnership in Philadelphia at the Sign of the Chinese Shield on Chestnut Street in 1773. Micro-analysis has determined the secondary woods of the glass to be white pine and Atlantic cedar. The mirror came by descent in the Detwiler family of Lancaster, Penn., to the late Richard R. and Emily M. Detwiler Uhl.
A full report on this sale will appear in a future edition.
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