Published: October 5, 2010
Important American furniture, folk art and prints formed the September 29 sale at Christie’s, bringing in a total of $4,748,887, with lot 95 the major contributor to that amount.
Auctioneer John Hayes opened the bidding at $280,000 for the Chippendale carved mahogany easy chair, possibly the shop of Benjamin Randolph (1737‱791), Philadelphia, circa 1770. The chair, 45¾ inches high and estimated at $300/500,000, appears to retain the original upholstery foundation and sold for $1,022,500 to a bidder in the room.
Another star of the sale was lot 10, a carved and painted spread-winged eagle by Wilhelm Schimmel (1817‱890), Cumberland County, Penn., circa 1870. This carving measures 17 inches high, 33½ inches wide, and sold for $314,500, well over the high estimate of $90,000, to a phone bidder. The provenance lists Henry F. Du Pont, Southampton, N.Y., and the piece was exhibited at the Whitney’s 1974 exhibition “The Flowering of American Folk Art: 1776‱876.”
The sale was 79 percent sold by lot, 91 percent by dollar, and a complete review of the sale will be in a forthcoming issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly .
⁒. Scudder Smith
Barsalona Collection In Sotheby’s Americana
Forty-one lots, the property of Frank and June Barsalona, were the first to cross the block on Thursday, September 30, at Sotheby’s Important Americana sale, with a portrait by Zedekiah Belnap sharing top dollar from the collection with a standing Indian “Massasoit” weathervane, each bringing $122,500.
The Belnap portrait of a child in a red dress and red-ribboned shoes, holding a basket of fruit, Dorman Theodore Warren of Townsend, Mass., oil on panel, circa 1829, measures 26½ by 22 inches. The estimate was $100/150,000, and the provenance lists Bihler and Coger, Ashley Falls, Mass.; William Wiltshire III, Richmond, Va.; and an April 1981 sale at Sotheby Parke-Bernet.
Lot 72, the Parkman-Scollay family Chippendale carved and figured mahogany bombe chest of drawers, attributed to Thomas Needham Sr, Boston, circa 1780, sold for $782,500, over the high estimate of $500,000. The piece appears to retain the original surface and cast brass hardware, and measures 32 inches high, 36½ inches wide and 19 inches deep.
The sale was 75 percent sold by dollar, 40 percent by lot.
Nancy Druckman, head of the American Folk Art Department, said, “The great things did what we expected and the sale was very solid in that respect.”
She also noted that there are not many buyers today for the good but not great things, many of which are selling at very fair prices. “People who are setting up new homes, especially the young ones, should be taking advantage of these bargains, especially with today’s economy,” she added.
The sale grossed $3,646,000 and a full review will be in a forth coming issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly .
⁒. Scudder Smith
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