Published: July 9, 2019
It can certainly be said that Samuel Johnston (1733–1816), one of the great early North Carolina politicians, was a believer in humility. Johnston served on the first four Provincial Congresses in the state, presiding over the third and fourth. When Britain fled the colony, Johnston’s position in the Provincial Congress made him the highest ranking official in the state until the fifth Provincial Congress ratified the state’s constitution and elected a governor. North Carolina would send Johnston to the Continental Congress in 1780 and 1781, where he was elected the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled. He politely declined, with personal letters citing poor health and the position’s non-existent salary. Thanks, but no thanks. He was later elected governor of North Carolina from 1787 to 1789 and the state’s senator from 1789 to 1793. One might think that Johnston would have been the object of attention in North Carolina, but Brunk Auctions claims his portraits number to one. Granted, it’s a good one. A portrait miniature by James Peale Sr depicting Johnston approaches the block at Brunk Auctions, reportedly done when Johnston served as a senator. It joins other top lots from around the United States in this week’s picks.
Sale Date: July 19–20, 2019
James Peale, Sr. (1749–1831)
Governor Samuel Johnston, 1793, completed at the time he was serving as a US Senator from North Carolina, signed “J.P. 1793,” watercolor on ivory, 2½ by 1-7/8 inches. Casework, tests 14-karat plain bezel frame with cobalt glass surround and window with braided hair, with red leather case.
Sale Date: Through July 17, 2019
“H. Pharazyn / Phila / Right Secured” Figural Whiskey Bottle
America, 1860–80. In the form of an Indian maiden, light to medium golden yellow, sheared mouth — smooth base, 12-3/8 inches high. H No. 1173, color plate XV.
Sale Date: July 16–18, 2019
Neil Armstrong’s Childhood Toy Teddy Bear
Directly from The Armstrong Family Collection, CAG Certified. Brown cloth bear toy with articulated head, body, arms and legs. No tags as to maker or date, very possibly handmade by a relative.
Opening Bid: $1,500
Sale Date: July 20, 2019
Important and Unique Stoneware Presentation Jug with Incised Federal Eagle Decoration
Inscribed “Liberty for / Ever” and “L. Riggs / May the 5th 1819,” South Amboy, N.J., origin, 1819, 13 inches high.
Sale Date: July 21, 2019
Rockwell Kent (1882–1971)
13 proof illustrations, circa 1930, all signed in pencil lower margin. Original proof sheets made from Kent’s famous illustrations for the 1930 Lakeside Press edition of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
Sale Date: July 20, 2019
1788 General Washington Presentation Urn
A Georgian-form neoclassical hot water urn with fine engraved inscription “Presented to General Washington July 10th 1788 thanks to the people from Congress.” Dark-patinated copper body with brass mounts, 22 inches high.
Sale Date: July 19, 2019
George I Bachelor’s Chest
England, first quarter of the Eighteenth Century, burled walnut with oak secondary. Top and drawer fronts have banded inlay, solid ends, dovetailed drawers and bracket feet. Lift top writing surface, 30½ inches high.
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