Published: February 3, 2004
The gallery was full, some people were standing at the back of the room, when Sotheby’s continued its sale of Important Americana, kicking off session two on Friday morning, January 16, immediately following the sale of the Egan collection.
Ninety lots, 77 sold, crossed the block for a total of $1,966,900.
This time around paintings registered the highest bids, with Ralph Fasanella’s view of New York City taking honors as the top lot, selling for $366,400. Second place went to lot 314, The Village of Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania, a Nineteenth Century American School oil on canvas. This work sold to a private collector.
Several pieces of needlework led the sale, including lot 272, estimated at $6/8,000, a sampler and family record, Jane Glenn, Mrs Buchanan’s School, Marietta, Penn., dated 1826. This piece was worked on a gauze ground in dark blue, green, yellow, gold and pink stitches, the figure having real hair and spangles on the clothing. It measures 20 by 171/2 inches, some small holes and fabric loss, and sold for $42,000.
A bid of $39,000 for a carved and painted pine cigar store figure of an Indian, attributed to Thomas Brooks, New York, third quarter of the Nineteenth Century. It measures 80 inches tall and there was some restoration to the paint. A rare “Peaceable Kingdom” applewood walking stick, signed Isaac S. Beecher, Owego, New York, dated 1878, carved with quotations and figures from the prophecy of Isaiah, 331/2 inches long, sold for $13,200 to dealer David Wheatcroft.
Several dealers and collectors prior to the sale expressed interest in lot 299, a young mother and her child depicted on a clock face panel portrait, American, circa 1820. It depicted a young fashionably dressed and coiffed woman seated in a yellow side chair, her child in a red dress standing in her lap, the surrounding panel gessoed and gilded to resemble an ornate verre eglomise mat and frame. It measures 71/4 by 9 inches and was sold by Sotheby’s in the 1986 sale of Don and Faye Walters. The high estimate was $7,000, and it sold for $42,000.
A First Confederate National flag presented to the Dancyville (Tennessee) Grays, 1861, approximately 86 by 58 inches, blue silk canton containing 12 finely hand sewn stars, three stripes, sold for $48,000, while a map of the most inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole province of Maryland, with part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina, drawn by Joshua Frye and Peter Jefferson, 1775, 351/2 by 493/4 inches, sold well over the high estimate of $7,000 at $45,000.
A fine pair of papier mache and fabric dolls, probably German, circa 1850, with carved and painted legs, still wearing the original glazed cotton and lace dresses, pink ribbons and white pantaloons, sold for $1,800.
“The dolls appear never to have been played with and are in perfect condition,” said a happy Judy Herdeg who bought the pair on behalf of Winterthur. $7,800 was paid for a painted and polychrome decorated diminutive pine dome-top chest, New England, first half of the Nineteenth century, yellow ground with red circle decoration, green border, 11 inches high and 193/4 inches wide. It sold for $7,800 and appears to have the original hardware and hinges.
As for the sale, after it was all over Andrew Holter, director of the American Furniture Department, said, “The strong prices seen this season are a very good indication of the strength of the Americana market, and there was a healthy mix of private and trade buying.”
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