MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. — A folk art portrait of a cat proved to be catnip for bidders in Jeffrey S. Evans’ November 18 sale of the Collection of Jan and Watt White of Stamford, Conn. After a protracted bidding battle that began at just $2,500, a trade buyer, bidding online, prevailed against a private collector in France and won the lot for $152,100, including buyer’s premium. It was a result that auctioneer Jeff Evans thought might be a record for a folk art feline portrait.
The late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century painting depicted a black and white cat with a reddish-orange ball of yarn on a gray windowsill and was housed in an ebonized cove-molded frame measuring 17¾ by 14¼ inches. It had provenance to Don Olson of Rochester, N.Y., and a private collection in New Jersey and had also been illustrated in Johanna McBrien’s article, “Serenity,” published in the Autumn/Winter 2013 issue of Antiques and Fine Art.
The White Collection was offered on the second of four days of sales by the Mount Crawford firm, which also included a sale of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century ceramics and glass on November 17, the Americana Collection of Barbara M. and the late Charlie Hunter of Staunton, Va., on November 19, and Americana from various owners on November 20. A full recap of these sales will appear in a future issue.