Auction of American Paintings, Furniture & Decorative Arts on October 4, 2017
Featuring Paintings by Edmund Darch Lewis, George Inness, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait and Levi Wells Prentice, Among Many Others
Including a Silver Monteith by George W. Stewart of Kentucky, a Gorham Martelé Silver Loving Cup, and a Rare American Silver Cup from 1687 by Boston Silversmith John Coney
NEW YORK, NY -- On October 4, 2017, Doyle held an auction of American Paintings, Furniture & Decorative Arts. The sale showcased 18th and 19th century American furniture and decorative arts, including silver, ceramics, mirrors, folk art, quilts and samplers, in addition to Chinese Export porcelain and rugs. Special sections of the sale were devoted to fine 19th century paintings and Audubon, Currier & Ives and topographical prints.
With bidding in the salesroom, on the telephones and on the Internet, the sale totaled $913,875 against an estimate of $742,750-1,138,050, with an impressive 87% sold by lot and 89% sold by value.
Highlighting the sale was an 1860 view of Cuba by Edmund Darch Lewis (1835-1910) that achieved $53,175, well over its estimate of $25,000-35,000. A Philadelphia native, Lewis was of the most prolific and commercially successful American landscape painters of the late 19th century. His views of Pennsylvania, New York and New England were avidly collected by Philadelphia art patrons, and by the early 1880s he had amassed a fortune. The large, lush landscapes that he painted between 1860 and 1876 reflect the influence of his famous contemporaries Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt. The view of Cuba is surely one of his most beautiful tropical landscapes.
Wildlife painter Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819-1905), who often worked in the Adirondacks where he established a painting camp, was represented in the sale by a 1872 depiction of Deer at Water's Edge that soared past its estimate of $5,000-7,000 to achieve $25,000. Remarkable for its freshness and vivacity – a quality lacking in Tait’s later paintings – the work is inscribed on the reverse with an address at the YMCA on 23rd Street. Tait appears to have used the “Y” as a local address in the early 1870s, when he was spending the majority of his time in the Adirondacks. It is the address that he provided in the early 1870s when exhibiting at the National Academy of Design.
Strong prices were also achieved for works by Levi Wells Prentice, Henry Roderick Newman, De Scott Evans, Edward Moran and Jasper Francis Cropsey, among many others.
The silver section of the auction saw competitive bidding for examples ranging from the colonial era through the Belle Epoque. Highlighting the silver was a circa 1845 silver monteith by Kentucky silversmith George W. Stewart that fetched $28,125, far surpassing its estimate of $4,000-6,000. The monteith, together with a silver ewer by Samuel Kirk that sold for $5,625, doubling its estimate of $2,000-3,000, had descended through seven generations of the same family since the 1840s. The monteith had been presented to William Moses Brand (1803-1845) by his mother Eliza Haigh Brand (1782-1849). The Brands were a prominent family in early Kentucky, and the thistles decorating this piece refer to their Scottish birth. She was the wife of John Brand who had made his fortune in hemp bagging.
Gorham’s Martelé silver adhered to the Arts and Crafts movement’s principle of hand craftsmanship. The name Martelé is translated from the French word for hammered. Exhibited in 1897, Martelé silver was introduced commercially in 1900 and production ceased in 1912. One of only 180 Martelé loving cups made, the example in the sale was presented in 1907 to John D. Slayback on behalf of the Washington Square Methodist Episcopal Sunday School. Competitive bidding sent the loving cup far over its estimate to a strong $25,000.
Many pieces of 17th century American silver originated in church collections, such as the two-handled cup by prominent Boston silversmith John Coney (1655-1722), who is regarded as the greatest American silversmith of his generation. Property from the Estate of a New York Lady, the cup was one of a pair commissioned by the First Church in Salem, Massachusetts in 1687. The rare cup sold for $16,250, exceeding its estimate of $10,000-15,000.
Furniture & Decorative Arts
Highlighting the furniture and decorative arts was a handsome pair of circa 1775 Chippendale mahogany and parcel gilt mirrors from a New York City Private Collector. Surmounted by a scrolled pediment centering a phoenix, the mirrors sold for $10,000 against an estimate of $6,000-9,000. From the same collection was a set of six New York Federal mahogany lyre back side chairs that exceeded their estimate of $4,000-6,000, selling for $8,750.
The selection of clocks included a Federal tall case attributed to John Scudder that fetched $7,500, surpassing its estimate of $4,000-6,000. The refined clock case featured elliptical inlays and a circular panel in the base typical of fine New Jersey clocks of the early 19th century.
All prices include the buyer’s premium.
We Invite You to Auction!
Consignments are currently being accepted for the Spring 2018 auction of American Paintings, Furniture & Decorative Arts. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction appraisal. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection.
For information, please contact:
Anne Cohen DePietro, American Paintings, 212-427-4141, ext. 249, or paintings@Doyle.com
David A. Gallager, American Furniture & Decorative Arts, 212-427-4141, ext. 271, or american@Doyle.com
Todd Sell, Silver, 212-427-4141, ext. 269, or silver@Doyle.com
Cynthia Klein, Prints & Multiples, 212-427-4141, ext. 246, or prints@Doyle.com