Published: October 17, 2006
Wiederseim Associates Auctioneers conducted a large two-day auction at Griffith Hall, Ludwig’s Corner Firehouse, on September 15 and 16. More than 400 bidders registered to bid on the 775-plus lots, which grossed some $850,000. The majority of the items sold came from two estates, Henry Carvill Lewis and Jane Biddle Lewis, from Chestnut Hill, Penn.
Many of the lots sold were offered for the first time and had come from “Andalusia” the ancestral home of Nicholas Biddle. When he died in 1844, Jane Biddle, wife of Edward Craig Biddle, took her share of the estate and by direct descent these items came to Jane Biddle Lewis.
The Friday night session started at 5 pm with many fine items offered. A ship’s log of the frigate “Raritan” dated 1844 exceeded its high estimate of $1,000 selling for $3,737. A 1901 Pope-Waverly electric car did well selling to a Massachusetts bidder for $18,400. He quickly loaded it on his pickup truck and drove away.
Two very rare miniature portraits attributed to James Peale sold for $14,950 and $16,100 respectively. Bidding was very competitive throughout the sale. A Chinese mandarin porcelain duck form tureen sold to the phone for $4,600. An English bracket clock with silvered engraved face signed Ralph Glover made $4,887. A set of very fine neoclassical bird’s-eye maple klismos-style chairs did well selling for $16,100. The chairs were originally from Andalusia.
Collectors and dealers alike marveled at the fine Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany tea table, circa 1770. It retained its old surface and had splendidly carved legs and ball and claw feet. It sold to the phone within estimate at $74,750. The last lot of the Friday night session was a portrait of Captain James Biddle (brother of Nicholas Biddle) by Thomas Sully. With activity in the room and six phone bidders it sold for $126,500, and will also be returning to Andalusia.
The Saturday session was also very strong. A pair of gilt classical candelabra which matched a chandelier at Andalusia sold for $4,312. A watercolor portrait attributed to Thomas Sully of Eliza Falconett Middleton of South Carolina sold for $34,500. Sully watercolors are extremely rare and this one proved no exception.
A large Remmy stoneware advertising pitcher with blue decoration incised, “H.N. Hopkins Importers and Dealers in Glass and Queensware, 612 Market St. Philadelphia,” made $7,475 and a blue floral decorated Remmy pitcher sold for $2,760.
The sale will be remembered for its paintings, a portrait of General George Washington attributed to Rembrant Peale went to the phone for $46,000 as did the miniature of Washington attributed to William Grimaldi (English, 1751–1830) for $12,650.
A portrait of Madame Adel Sigoigne, with a letter dated June 9, 1816, from Nicholas Biddle on his stationary as president of the Bank of United States, to Bass Otis, the artist, expressing his satisfaction with the portrait, sold to The Independence Seaport Museum of Philadelphia for $46,000, a record for an Otis portrait.
A large foxhunting painting by George Harding (American, 1882–1959) went for $6,000. A nice cherry two-piece corner cupboard sold for $4,600 and a Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany slant front schoolmaster’s desk made a reasonable $1,150.
The sale concluded with a German World War II collection with the best lot being a German army trumpet banner with silver bullion wire on green cloth field which brought $2,875.
All prices given include the buyer’s premium charged.
For more information www.wiederseim.com.
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