Past Auction

Cherished: American Folk Art & Toys from the Estate of a Private Collector

Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 10am EST |
New York
  • Auction of Cherished: American Folk Art and Toys from the Estate of a Private Collector on January 23, 2020 at 10am
  • Including Toys, Mechanical Banks, Samplers, Decorative Art, Paintings and Works on Paper
  • Scheduled during Americana Week in New York

NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle held the successful auction of Cherished: American Folk Art and Toys from the Estate of a Private Collector on January 23, 2020. This landmark single-owner collection comprised over 400 lots, including tin and other toys, mechanical banks, samplers, decorative art, paintings and works on paper. The collector had a keen interest in childhood, as seen by the myriad objects that were made by or treasured and cherished by children in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Together they wove a tale of the delights and education of the child throughout American history.

With competitive bidding in the salesroom, on the telephones, and via the Internet the auction totaled a successful $924,069 against an estimate of $787,175-1,247,475, with an exceptional 91% sold by lot and 90% sold by value.

Highlighting the sale was a circa 1831 portrait of two children of the Prescott family of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by Ruth Whittier Shute and Samuel Addison Shute, a husband and wife team of itinerant painters who worked in New England and New York State. The tender portrait in watercolor and ink on paper sold to a bidder in the saleroom for $100,000.

The sale began with toys and mechanical banks. These objects developed during the Industrial Revolution when toys began to be mass produced in metal instead of the traditional homemade toys of cloth and wood. Cast iron mechanical banks were a novel way to promote savings among children. Often depicting a historical figures or a humorous scene, their appeal was shared by children and adults.

The sale also included a large group of important girlhood samplers and needlework pictures, which would have been wrought in silk or wool from the mid-18th century through the mid-19th century by young girls aged five to eighteen. Examples included renowned schools such as Mary Balch’s School in Rhode Island and Mrs. Buchanan’s School in Pennsylvania.

The collection featured fine examples of portraiture from some of America’s most noted folk painters including works by William Matthew Prior, Jane Anthony Davis, Jacob Maentel, and Ruth and Samuel Shute. These artists captured the vitality of their subjects and give us a glimpse into the lives of the citizens of our young nation.  

The cohesive collection offered a wide array of folk art and furnishings that give a glimpse into the of the world of the collector.

All prices include the Buyer's Premium.


We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for the April 2020 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:
Paintings: Bill Fiddler, 212-427-4141, ext. 249, or [email protected]
Furniture and Decorative Arts: David A. Gallager, 212-427-4141, ext. 271, or [email protected]
Silver: Todd Sell, 212-427-4141, ext. 269, or [email protected]

Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

David A. Gallager
212-427-4141, ext 271
[email protected]

Bill Fiddler
212-427-4141, ext 249
[email protected]

Norman R. Scrivener
212-427-4141, ext 273
[email protected]

Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
[email protected]

  • Property from the Estate of a Private Collector

A Selection of Auction Highlights

View All Lots