Published: February 14, 2018
While it is the artist’s job to adequately tell the story of a scene through the subject, it is sometimes a fun mental exercise to imagine “what if.” What if the scene in Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait’s upcoming painting at Clars Auction, which depicts a bared-tooth dog harassing a group of cows and sheep, was indeed a comical rendition that happened the other way around. Realizing their numbers, the farm animals decided to assault the lone dog, who was sleeping and defenseless, as retribution for the years of abuse at his jowls. This was all well and organized and sanctioned by the barnyard constitution, as their engaged huddle and collective attention clearly shows consensus. So, when the leader of the cows decided to nip at the dog’s hind, the flock of sheep moved to close off his egress and force him into retreat, thereby establishing dominance and shifting the paradigm of authority on that farm forever. In a world where the meaning of art is subjective, perhaps mine is just deluded. Or fantastical. Either way, it is surely fun.
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (American, 1819–1905)
Untitled (barnyard confrontation), 1896, oil on canvas, signed and dated lower left, 32 by 48 inches.
Red Crown & Polarine Summer Or Winter Double Sided Tin Sign with Car & Driving Graphic
The harder-to-find double-sided version. Side one shows good color and gloss throughout the field. Side two shows very nice color with low gloss shown throughout. Copyright 1913 and maker marked “Passaic Metal Ware Co. Passaic, NJ.”; 27 ½ inches high.
Rare French And Indian War Powder Horn
“Dan L. Clous His Horn Lake George (NY),” with inscribed well-detailed map and crest, 11 inches length.
George Washington ‘Pater Patriæ’ Inaugural Button
A 25-millimeter copper shell with lead-filled back. Inscribed “General Washington Pater Patriæ.” This is the only portrait button in the accepted canon of George Washington inaugural buttons, it may also be the earliest artifact that refers to Washington as the “Father of His Country.”
Starting Bid: $20,000
Robert Field (American, 1769–1819)
Portrait of a gentleman, oval watercolor, 8 by 5½ inches, monogrammed lower right and dated 1804.
Silk Needlework American Eagle Emblem
49 by 42½ inches in frame.
Walter Schnackenberg (1880–1961)
Restaurant Preysing Palais. Schnackenberg was an unusual graphic artist: a cultured and sophisticated aesthete who created only a handful of posters, mostly for his acquaintances in Munich theatrical circles. His sense of design was highly individual, a strange, mischievous amalgam of caricature and fantasy that he called ‘suggestive dreams.’
Daniel Quare Queen Anne Marquetry Tall Case Clock
A Queen Anne marquetry tall case clock with an overhanging cornice resting on columns over a square brass dial with winged cherub spandrels and silvered chapter ring. Signed for Dan Quare, London, in a case decorated with scrolling foliate and cherub marquetry inlay.
Rare 12-inch matte green jardiniere and pedestal, Zanesville, Ohio, circa 1910.
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