Published: November 14, 2000
New Hampshire Federal and Chinese Export Items Highlight Bourgeault Event
Currier Gallery of Art Purchases Top Lot
MANCHESTER, N.H. – On November 12, Ron Bourgeault’s Northeast Auctions sold a Federal desk/bookcase originally belonging to Jacob Wendell of Portsmouth, N.H., for $332,500. Bourgeault is the current owner of the Jacob Wendell house. The winning bidder acted as an agent, but it was not known at the time of sale whether the client was a museum, collector, or dealer.
Brock Jobe, author of Portsmouth Furniture, described the desk as the finest example of Portsmouth Federal furniture that he has seen; the piece is discussed at length in his book. New Hampshire furniture consultant Bill Upton called the desk the “Rosetta stone” of its genre.
The Currier Gallery of Art announced the following day that it had purchased the desk, made by Judkins and Senter, Portsmouth’s preeminent cabinetmaking firm at the time that city’s furniture achieved its greatest success.
“The acquisition of the Wendell secretary is a major event for the
In two parts, the 1813 French-footed lot features an upper bookcase with twin Gothic arched glazed doors opening to shelves over a row of short crossbanded drawers. The lower section displays a pair of cupboard doors with flanking bottle drawers, each with contrasting banded panels.
Also at the sale, a Chinese Export garniture set was auctioned for $206,000. Estimated $15/25,000, the tallest urn in the five-piece set stood some 19 inches high. The lot was part of the Livingston Family Collections from the Hudson River Valley.
According to the catalogue, family tradition named Captain Kidd as an owner who gifted the set to a Livingston family member. The lot, however, dates circa 1730; Kidd was hung in 1701. Each piece is decorated en grisaille with flowering prunus branches. The baluster vases feature russet Foo dog finials.
“This is the finest Chinese Export garniture set that I have ever seen,” Bourgeault stated.
The winning bidder was Josh Eldred. “All the rdf_Descriptions that I purchased today were bought on behalf of clients of AntiquesAmerica.com,” he stated, “made as part of Private Client Services [which] we expect to fully launch at the Winter Antiques Show in New York during the third week in January.”
Bob Jackman will provide a full report of this sale in an upcoming issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly.
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