A Tisket, a Tasket – a Tea Table, a Chair and a Basket
Americana and the Weld Collection Total $3 Million at Skinner
BOLTON, MASS. – On August 12, a Philadelphia tea table sold for $409,500 at Skinner’s Americana auction against an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. The winning bidder was William Samaha of G.W. Samaha, Milan, Ohio. Underbidder Leigh Keno of New York City told correspondent Bob Jackman, “It is truly a great table. It has a wonderful finish. The layout of the carving on the leg, and the carving itself is outstanding. I like the proportions of the shaft, and it had a great stance in terms of the proportions of the legs and shaft.”
Auctioneer Stephen Fletcher commented, “We found the table in a Massachusetts home, and there was a pile of things on it when I first saw it. When I turned it over, the owners were surprised to learn there was a ragged crack on one of the legs near the tendon that joined the leg to the shaft. The family did not realize the table’s value. The owners watched the table sell. The poker-faced husband subtly gestured ‘Okay’ by forming a circle with his thumb and index finger. At the end of the sale he simply said, ‘Mr Fletcher, you are a master of understatement.'”
The Saturday Americana sale with various consignors grossed $1,368,111. When combined with the sales from the auction of the Weld collection on Sunday, total sales for the Americana weekend were $3,037,728, and that was a new Americana record for the firm.
On August 13, a great chair with a crown crest from the Weld collection brought $68,500. Two phone bidders contested the chair, which featured a crest with a tall profile of a crown with a star at the top center and a pierced heart below. This is perhaps the most desirable crest for such chairs. It is believed that chairs with this crest were produced in the Milford, Conn. area between 1745 and 1755.
At the same auction, an early Nineteenth Century New England red and green painted splint basket surpassed its $600 high estimate to sell for $29,900.
The Weld collection totaled $1,669,616. A full review will appear in next week’s Antiques and The Arts Weekly.