Published: January 25, 2011
Christie’s capped its Americana Week auctions with the sale of a three-shell Newport bureau table with a blocked façade for $5,682,500, including premium, on January 21. The price, a record for the form, is the fourth highest at auction for American furniture. The $12.8 million session was Christie’s best result for the category since 2007.
Bidding on behalf of an undisclosed client, Pennsylvania dealer Todd Prickett claimed the iconic Newport piece, said to have been made around 1765 by master craftsman John Goddard for his daughter Catherine.
Prickett also acquired a delicately inlaid Pembroke table attributed to William Whitehead of New York for $194,500 and a Federal shield-back side chair with crisp carvings attributed to Samuel McIntire of Salem, Mass., for $662,500, setting a record for Federal furniture. The chair is from a set of eight made for Elias Hasket Derby and his wife Elizabeth Crowninshield.
To G.W. Samaha went a joined, carved and painted oak Connecticut “Sunflower” chest of 1675‱710 for $482,500 and a tall clock with English works and carving attributed to James Reynolds of Philadelphia for $290,500. A second carved and painted Massachusetts “Hadley” chest of circa 1700 went to Connecticut collector William Mayer, also for $482,500.
Altogether, it was a good day for the trade. Conservator Alan Miller won a Philadelphia William and Mary cedar dressing table for $482,500. Philadelphia dealer Elle Shushan bought a rare miniature portrait on copper of Samuel Barrett by John Singleton Copley for $386,500. Delaware dealer James Kilvington purchased a set of six Philadelphia Chippendale side chairs for $170,500.
Important American silver on January 20 added $2.7 million, bringing Christie’s two-day total to nearly $15.5 million. The session’s cover lots, a mixed metal gourd-form tray and related centerpiece, both designed by Edward C. Moore for Tiffany between 1878 and 1880, sold to an agent bidding for one client for a combined $425,000.
The action continued at Christie’s on Monday, January 24, with Syd Levethan’s much anticipated Longridge Collection of early English pottery and on Tuesday, January 25, with Chinese Export porcelain. Christie’s sale of Native American art grossed $1.1 million on January 18.
Look for a complete report in an upcoming issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly.
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