Published: May 23, 2017
Back in the simpler times of 1931, it took only one year for the tallest building on Earth to be built. The Empire State Building was a sight to behold, and still is, so when Vanity Fair photographer Edward Steichen was put on assignment to photograph its completed construction, he did so in a way that accurately depicted the way the world felt when looking up at it: dizzied. In his book, A Life in Photography, Steichen said that he “conceived of the building as a Maypole and made the double exposure as to suggest the swirl of a Maypole dance.” The building would become an icon in Manhattan as the rest of the city would follow suit to rise and dance around it. A group of Steichen photomurals surfaces at Tremont Auctions as other top lots from around the United States make their way to the block in this week’s picks.
Sale Date: June 4, 2017
Collection Of Original Photomurals By Edward Steichen
Steichen’s multiple exposure of the Empire State Building was done in 1932. Steichen was under assignment for
Vanity Fair, and he called it “The Maypole.” The mounted murals may have originated in different exhibits, and then reprinted for the 1933 World’s Fair. Included are five poster-sized gelatin prints, mounted, with Steichen studio imprimatur on back, along with handwritten notes. “Rockefeller Center” (1935–38), “New York Harbor” (circa 1931), “George Washington Bridge” (circa 1931), “Steel-work of the George Washington Bridge” (circa 1931), “The Maypole” (Empire State Building, 1932). Also included are items from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair installation in the New York State building, architectural blueprints of the exhibit hall, five sheets, stapled together on left edge and dated November 1, 1932.
Sale Date: June 3, 2017
Important Delaware Valley Lowboy
American Queen Anne cherry lowboy retaining the original large overhanging molded edge top with dimpled corners, the case having two over two graduated drawers with the original brass willow bail pulls, resting on boldly shaped cabriole legs terminating in a highly articulated Spanish foot. Secondary wood is heart or hard pine. Delaware River Valley, mid-Eighteenth Century, 29 by 35 by 20¾ inches.
Sale Date: June 4, 2017
Rookwood Vellum Plaque
Large and important Vellum glaze scenic plaque painted by Ed Diers in 1929, showing an early morning view of Venice with buildings, boats and people under a Turneresque sky. The large structure beyond the sand bar, surrounded by boats, is a religious shrine maintained and frequented by those who make their living at sea. Diers has signed his initials in dark slip in the lower left corner. Marked on the back with the Rookwood logo and date. There is an original paper label with the typewritten notation “Venetian Shrine E. Diers,” 14¼ by 16-1/8 inches.
Sale Date: June 2, 2017
Germania Exchange Mechanical Bank
J. & E. Stevens Co., circa 1880s, made of cast iron with a painted lead goat on top. Placing a coin on the goat’s tail and turning the faucet allows the figure to deposit a coin and seemingly present the depositor with a stein of beer, very attractive in scarcer paint scheme colors.
Online Only — Bidding Closes June 2, 2017
Book of Hours, Use of Rouen, Illuminated Latin Manuscript On Parchment
Rouen, circa 1470–1490. Quarto-format manuscript featuring 11 full-page miniatures within borders featuring fruit and floral designs, arabesques and geometric patterns; calendar pages and text leaves bordered in the same fashion; with two smaller square-shaped textual miniatures, depicting Christ and Judas (ten lines) and the Pieta (11 lines each in height); 106 leaves (of 108), no catchwords; calendar text in Latin with entries in red and blue, and major feast days in gold, with some spaces left blank (calendar includes feast days that pertain to Rouen); this copy bound in full brown French morocco, likely from the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century, tooled in gold, slight worm-holes to spine, headcap sympathetically repaired, lacking endband at the foot of the spine, 7 by 5 inches.
Sale Date: May 31, 2017
Jean Dufy (French, 1888–1964)
“La moisson dans l’Oise (Vexin),” 1927, oil on canvas, 25-5/8 by 31-7/8 inches, signed “Jean Dufy” and dated “27” lower right; titled on stretcher.
Sale Date: June 3, 2017
New York State Heavy Barrel Percussion Picket Rifle By Edwin Phillips
.49 caliber, 27½-inch heavy target weight barrel with a bright, about excellent bore with telescopic sight. Edwin Phillips was active in New York City from about 1854 to 1864; it is highly likely this rifle would have seen use as a sharpshooter’s arm during the American Civil War. Phillips was known for very well-made guns, including examples with full-length telescopic sights. Overall a very nice and very complete example that features its original muzzle accessories.
Online Only — Bidding Closes May 31, 2017
William Reusswig Original Illustration Art
“Donner Pass,” 24 by 42 inches, gouache on board, signed lower right. For True Magazine December 1955 issue.
Sale Date: June 5-6, 2017
Robert Seldon Duncanson (American, 1821–1872)
“Young America,” signed and dated “Duncanson 1846” (lower left), oil on canvas, 15¾ by 12¼ inches, unframed, painted in 1846.
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