• Important American Furniture,  auction at Christies

    Sale 2287

    Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver & Chinese Export

    21 - 25 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 355

    A CHIPPENDALE PIE CRUST TEA TABLE

    MASSACHUSETTS OR RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A CHIPPENDALE PIE CRUST TEA TABLE
    MASSACHUSETTS OR RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770
    29 in. high, 30 in. diameter


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    Dwight Blaney (1865-1944), prolific Boston collector and artist, greatly influenced the recognition of and the appreciation for early American decorative arts at the turn of the century. In 1910, he, Henry Kent, Eugene Bolles and Luke Vincent Lockwood founded the Walpole society - the first organization for collectors and students of the American decorative arts field. In 1945 Henry Kent remembers "He was possessed of real knowledge of our early crafts and craftsmen and, being a craftsman himself, he had a fellow feeling for other workmen; but he possessed, also, of what was even more important, the spirit of the times when such works of craftsmanship as those he collected were made and used" (Stillinger, p. 106). He was first employed in a tombmaker's shop, later at Boston architectural firm Peabody and Stearns and eventually retiring to pursue his talent for painting and zeal for collecting. Due to this background, Blaney's capacity to appreciate each object in his vast collection for the craftsmanship it represented separated him from other collectors of the time. Even foremost American Furniture dealer, Israel Sack, whom Blaney met in 1903 upon his arrival in Boston, was influenced by his enthusiasm for the subject. Although the collection he amassed over the course of his lifetime grew large enough to fill three homes - a double house on Beacon Hill in Boston, an early Farmhouse in West Massachusetts, and a Greek Revival farmhouse on Ironbound, and island off the coast of Maine - Blaney cared for and chose each piece individually. His preference for American pieces resembling simplicity in design, yet possessing a high standard of quality is evident in the present lot. It is important to note that furniture was only one aspect of Blaney's immense collection which encompassed his appreciation for American 17th, 18th and 19th century decorative arts and Impressionist paintings. (Elizabeth Stillinger, The Antiquers, (New York, 1980), pp. 105-112.).

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property of a direct descendant of the original owner


    Literature

    The Magazine ANTIQUES, January 1954, by Helen Comstock, American Furniture in California, p. 57, fig. 18.