AMERICANA WEEK 2015

MASTERPIECES OF RARITY AND HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE TO BE OFFERED ACROSS THE SALES OF IMPORTANT AMERICAN FURNITURE, OUTSIDER AND FOLK ART, SILVER AND CHINESE EXPORT ART

New York

New York – Christie’s is pleased to announce that Americana Week 2015, a series of auctions, viewings and events, will be held from January 16-26.  The week of sales is comprised of Important American Silver on January 22, Important American Furniture, Outsider and Folk Art on January 23, and Mandarin & Menagerie: The Sowell Collection and Chinese Export Art from Various Owners on January 26.  These sales are driven by important private collections, and include Property from the Estates of Jane Supino, Eric Martin Wunsch, and Victor Gail and Thomas H. Oxford as well as the Sowell Collection of Chinese Export Art.  In all, Americana Week 2015 will offer over 520 lots and is expected to realize upwards of $6 million.  In conjunction with the sales, Christie’s will also host the third annual Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts on January 21, honoring Arnold Lehman and The Chipstone Foundation.

 IMPORTANT AMERICAN FURNITURE, OUTSDIER AND FOLK ART - JANUARY 23RD

Christie’s sale of Important American Furniture, Outsider and Folk Art will present more than 200 lots from the 17th through 20th centuries and is expected to realize in excess of $3 million. 

Leading the sale is American painter John Singleton Copley’s 1764 Portrait of Samuel Phillips Savage (illustrated right; estimate: $500,000 - 700,000)This portrait remained in the Savage family for 200 years over five generations.  Patriarch Samuel Savage played an integral part of the events that led up to the American Revolution, as an active supporter in the American cause. He was the moderator of two open meetings held by Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty at the Old South Meeting House leading up to the Boston Tea Party, and he chronicled the event itself in his diary:  “16 december – 342 Chests of Tea shiped [sic] by the E India Company and Consigned to Richard Clarke & Sons, Benj Faneuil junr & Govr Hutchinson 2 Sons, Tho.’ & Elisha, was by a Number of persons unknown, disguised like Indians taken out of 3 Ships…& thrown into the Sea/ all done in 110 minutes.”  The painting comes to the sale from the Honorable J. William Middendorf II.  

 Following Copley’s portrait in the sale is a Chippendale carved cherrywood desk-and-bookcase from Lancaster, Pennsylvania made circa 1785 (illustrated below; estimate: $400,000 - 600,000).  A masterful expression of American regionalism, this desk-and-bookcase is one of the most significant survivals of the distinctive school of craftsmanship that flourished in late eighteenth-century Lancaster County. Combining English and Germanic woodworking traditions, this school made a variety of case forms but few are as elaborate as the desk-and-bookcase offered here.  Only four other desk-and-bookcases with relief-carved tympanums of comparable quality are known, three of which are in museum collections. The desk offered here is further distinguished by its old surface, Israel Sack provenance and ownership in the Coleman family for the past fifty years.

This sale tells the story of collecting and collections, and several prominent collections anchor the sale.  Property from The Estates of Eric Martin Wunsch, Jane Supino, and Allan Stone offer fresh-to-the market works sought after for their excellent condition and rich provenance. Property from the Gail-Oxford Collection of American Art and The Rosebrook Collection are impressive in their scope and quality.

 A Queen Anne parcel-gilt tall-case clock by William Claggett, circa 1740 (illustrated page 1; estimate: $100,000 - 150,000) is a stunning object from the Estate of Eric Martin Wunsch. This tall-case clock is an unusually elaborate and rare survival of early Rhode Island craftsmanship, combining the talents of Newport’s preeminent colonial clockmaker and a local cabinetmaker.

 In addition, Property from the Gail-Oxford Collection will offer more than 60 lots from Victor Gail’s (1929-2014) and Thomas H. Oxford’s (1927-2008) home in the Belmont Heights section of Long Beach, and includes examples of early American furniture, folk art and metalware. The proceeds of the sale of the Gail-Oxford Collection will benefit the American decorative arts collection at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, an organization the duo long supported.

 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM ESTEEMED COLLECTIONS

Property from the Estate of Jane Supino

Attributed to Ruth Whittier (1803-1882) and Samuel Addison (1803-1836) Shute

Portrait of Sarah Chandler Emerson

graphite, gouache and watercolor on paper

Estimate: $20,000 – 50,000

With an hypnotic stare and distinctive, exaggerated almond-shaped eyes, this work is one of the celebrated large-format portraits produced by the short-lived husband and wife partnership of Samuel Addison and Ruth Whittier Shute.

 

Property from the Rosebrook Collection

A Queen Anne Mahogany Turret-Top Card Table With Drawer

Boston, 1740-1760

Estimate: $30,000 – 50,000

This table represents one of the best examples of the form favored by Boston cabinetmakers in the decades before the Revolutionary War. Distinguished by its rich old surface, the table has graceful cabriole legs below bold turret-top corners and ogee shaping along the apron and knee returns. The work is a rare survival of a small group, probably numbering less than ten in total.

Property from the

Gail-Oxford Collection

A Carved, Painted And Polychrome-Decorated Figure Of Abraham Lincoln

Probably American, 19th Century

Estimate: $5,000 – 10,000

Property from the

Allan Stone Collection

A Carved, Painted And Polychrome-Decorated Cigar Store

Indian Princess

Attributed To Samuel Anderson Robb (1851-1928),

New York, Late 19th Century

Estimate: $30,000 – 50,000

 

Rounding out the sale is a selection of superb Outsider Art by some of the most important American self-taught artists, including William Hawkins, Bill Traylor, and Thornton Dial, among others.  This sale offers collectors the opportunity to acquire rare works from these critically acclaimed, widely-exhibited artmakers.

 

OUTSIDER ART SALE HIGHLIGHTS

William Hawkins (1895-1990)

White Elephant, dated to 1989

enamel and collage on Masonite

Estimate: $20,000 – 40,000

Renowned self-taught artist William Hawkins is known for his graphic, large-scale images depicting animals, architecture, religious scenes and historic events. In 1989, the artist was particularly interested in both animals and grayscale work, though these two areas of exploration are not often found within the same composition. White Elephant is an excellent and unusual marriage of the technical and content-based concerns that mark this period of the artist’s creation. This piece is a study in texture and paint manipulation. A collaged, printed human eye, likely drawn from a magazine, brings the elephant to life and adds a humorous pop of color to the form.

 

Bill Traylor (1854 -1949)

Black Mule, dated circa 1939-42

opaque watercolor and graphite on found card

Estimate: $20,000 – 40,000

This large-format mule renders a strong and solid animal through bold opaque watercolor. After a lifetime on a plantation, former slave Traylor moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in his old age. Crippled with rheumatism, he began to draw.  Traylor worked on found cardboard, and per later accounts would hang his drawings by a small loop of string along a nearby fence. Black Mule retains this string fastened through a puncture at the top of the composition.

 

Property from the Collection of Calynne and Lou Hill

Thornton Dial, (b. 1928)

Got Big. Picking Up, dated 1999 

charcoal and graphite on paper

Estimate: $3,000 – 5,000

Dial’s works on paper address more intimate subjects than his mixed-media constructions, and the solid, sweeping lines paired with subtle highlights of color in Got Big. Picking Up create a sophisticated balance of strength and softness.

IMPORTANT AMERICAN SILVER - JANUARY 22ND

The Important Silver sale on January 22 will offer more than 50 lots of American Colonial silver from the 17th and 18th centuries. The selection includes four pieces consigned by Old South Church in Boston, and many other pieces fresh to the market, including examples by America’s earliest silversmiths, John Hull and Robert Sanderson, and their successors Jeremiah Dummer, John Coney, Jacob Hurd, and Paul Revere. The silver craft in New York is represented by works by Jurian Blanck Jr., the city’s earliest silversmith, and the important makers Peter Van Dyck and Myer Myers. 

 Highlighting the Colonial section, and among over 40 lots from the Estate of Eric Martin Wunsch, is a silver teapot by Paul Revere made for his important patron Moses Michael Hays (estimate: $200,000 -300,000). The Andrew Diamond silver serving plate by Jeremiah Dummer, circa 1690, is a new discovery; this  previously unrecorded plate features extremely rare and elaborate baroque engraving, and is only the fourth known serving plate of the early Colonial period (illustrated left; estimate: $250,000-350,000). Also by Jeremiah Dummer, who was America’s first native-born silversmith, is a massive 17th-century silver wine cup from Old South Church (estimate: $150,000-250,000).

 Highlighting the selection of 19th and 20th century American works is a whimsical Alaskan style silver ice bowl, featuring icicles and polar bears on ice floes, circa 1868 (estimate: $20,000-30,000); a rare pair of Martele silver ewers with Poseidon and mermaid handles from Gorham’s art nouveau silver line (illustrated right; estimate: $100,000-150,000); and a pair of silver Chrysanthemum-pattern seven-light candelabra by Tiffany, which are among the 20 lots of this popular pattern in the auction (estimate: $40,000-60,000).  

 

SILVER HIGHLIGHTS

A Silver ice bowl in Alaskan style

Gorham Mfg .Co., Providence, circa 1868

Estimate: $20,000 - 30,000

  

A pair of silver Chrysanthemum-pattern seven light candelabra Tiffany and Co.

New York 1907-47

Estimate: $40,000 - 60,000

 

A rare  silver-drum form teapot and cream jug made for Moses Michael Hays

Paul Revere, Boston, 1783

Estimate: $200,000 - 300,000

MANDARIN & MENAGERIE:

The Sowell Collection and Chinese Export Art from Various Owners - JANUARY 26th

 MANDARIN & MENAGERIE: The Sowell Collection, formed over the last 25 years by Texan James E. Sowell, is comprised of Chinese export porcelain birds, animals and figures, including rare and important examples as well as small, charming pieces. The sale also features an old American private collection of European subject porcelain, highlighted by a rare Don Quixote plate (illustrated at right; estimate: $12,000 -18,000). Top lot is a famille rose rooster tureen and cover, circa 1785 (illustrated page 1; estimate: $100,000 - 150,000); also included is an unusually good selection of China Trade paintings in oil and on paper. The sale offers almost 200 lots and is expected to make in excess of $2 million.

 

 

CHINESE EXPORT SALE HIGHLIGHTS

A Massive Blue And White Jar And A Cover

Kangxi period

Estimate: $12,000 - 18,000

 

 

A Large Pair Of Famille Rose Court Lady Candleholders

Circa 1770              

Estimate: $40,000 - 60,000

AMERICANA WEEK

Important Silver |Thursday, 22 January 2015 | 10am

American Furniture | Friday, 23 January 2015 | 10am

Mandarin & Menagerie: The Sowell Collection and Chinese Export Art from Various Owners | Monday, 26 January 2015 | 10am

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.