Skinner To Hold Americana Auction In Boston February 17, 2008

The George A. Cluett Collection

Skinner is pleased to offer pieces from George A. Cluett’s personal collection through his descendents. Cluett amassed one of the great collections of American furniture beginning in 1910. For the next 50 years, he purchased the finest work of the best-know cabinetmakers including McIntire sofas, labeled Seymour tambour desks, and Lannuier pier tables. During his half-century of serious collection, he bought four examples of many important pieces, so that each of his children would have an equally fine collection.

Highlights of the collection include: a Queen Anne tiger maple dressing table from the mid 18th century (lot 99, est. $10/15,000); a rare federal carved mahogany sofa, attributed to Duncan Phyfe, America’s best known cabinet maker (lot 100, est. $30/50,000); and a set of six federal mahogany inlaid side chairs (lot 101, est. $30/50,000) that was exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1936.

Property Descended from Meshech Weare

Skinner is also pleased to present items originally from the collection of Meshech Weare, the first governor of New Hampshire. Although most Americans in the 21st century would not recognize the name of Meshech Weare as a leading patriot, those of the 18th century certainly would have. In New Hampshire, Weare was considered the most important political figure and generally acclaimed as the one indispensable man in New Hampshire through the critical period of the revolution. The collection features his slat-back great chair (lot 142, est. $40/60,000) of 17th century origin. Also from his collection are a pair of carved and turned black-painted maple side chairs, c. 1730 (lot 143, est. $50/75, 000). Both chairs are offered by the Dodge-Healey Family, Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, from the Meshech Weare auction of his belongings to the Healey family, thence to the consignor’s husband.

Portraiture and Marine Paintings

A local highlight includes Family Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Waterhouse and Their Two Children of Pembroke New Hampshire, attributed to Mr. Willson, New Hampshire, 19th century (lot 80, est. $100/150,000). According to Paul S. D’Ambrosio and Charlotte M. Emans in Folk Art’s Many Faces, Mr. Willson did portraits with a New Hampshire provenance. The subjects “”are depicted in bust-length, three quarter view, with their bodies turned to the right, against a neutral background. Facial features- the profile nose, upper eyelid and mouth are delineated with a single line of paint…ears are rendered as oval shapes with a heavily shadowed inner ear.””

Another stunning example is an unsigned Portrait of a Woman in White, American School, 19th century (lot 27, est. $15/20,000). The oil on canvas painting depicts a brown haired, brown eyed woman wearing a lacy white bonnet and a white high-waisted dress with lacy ruff, holding a round container in her hand. A remarkable piece featured is the Portrait of the Ship, P.N. Blanchard, William Pierce Stubbs, American, 1842-1909 (lot 120, est. $10/15,000). The ship P.N. Blanchard was built in Yarmouth, Maine in May of 1876 by the Blanchard family. She was named after Captain Perez N. Blanchard, who was a well-known master mariner, ship builder, and prominent resident of Yarmouth.

Another feature is the Portrait of Walter Smith Lyon (1790-1867) of Bedford, Westchester County, New York, (lot 153, est. $15/20,000). In addition, a portrait of the Johnson Family, by early 19th century folk watercolorist Joseph H. Davis, will be featured (lot 154, est. $20/30,000). Also noteworthy is William Matthew Prior’s Portrait of a Young Boy, c. 1852 (lot 248, est. $15/25,000), which features the child seated wearing a red dress in white. The impressive Portrait of Mary Sophia Carroll (Bayard) of Baltimore, 1822 (lot 187, est. $18/25,000) features a bust portrait of Mrs. Bayard, daughter of Charles Carroll of Homewood. Charles Carroll was the son of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The portrait is attributed to Thomas Sully (1783-1872).

Currier & Ives

The sale also features a significant collection of Currier & Ives prints (approximately 50 lots) including an exquisite lithograph, Central-Park, Winter, The Skating Pond (lot 579, est. $10/15,000). The large folio lithograph ranks number 3 in the original Best 50 and number 7 in the New Best 50 large folio. Express Train (lot 569, est. $1200/1800) ranks number one in the original Best 50 and number 27 in New Best 50: for small folio lithographs. And finally, The Road,-Winter, lithograph ranked number 22 in the original Best 50, and number one in the New Best 50 for large folios (lot 597, est. $15/25,000).

Fine Clocks

Several unique clocks are highlighted in the upcoming sale including an E. Howard No. 67 oak regulator wall clock (lot 517, est. $30/50,000) with carved decoration, a full length glazed door and 16 inch painted zinc astro dial; a Chippendale mahogany tall clock (lot 65, est. $30/50,000), with paper maker’s label engraved by Paul Revere; and a Federal mahogany tall clock, Aaron Willard, Boston, c. 1810 (lot 94, est. $15/25,000).

Furniture & Decorative Arts

Skinner auctions are known for their excellent offerings of formal, country and painted furniture, and this sale is no exception. Rounding out the auction is over 140 lots of furniture, plus a wonderful variety of trade signs, painted boxes and hooked rugs.

Previews and Special Event

Previews for the auction will be held Wednesday, February 13th from 12pm-5pm, Thursday, February 14th from 12pm-8pm, Friday, February 15th from 12pm-8pm, Saturday, February 16th from 12pm-5pm and Sunday, February 17th from 8am-10am. On Friday, February 15th, there will be a gallery walk at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are limited for the event, which will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. All those interested in attending should R.S.V.P. to 617-350-5400.

Catalog Information

Illustrated catalogue #2397 is available by mail for $32 ($39 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 978-779-6241 x240. It is also available at the gallery for $29. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sales. For more information on the auctions, auction preview times, and the gallery walk, visit Skinner’s website at Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, and order catalogs online.


About Skinner

Skinner, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art and the only major auction house headquartered in New England.  With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices.  Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business.   Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, Paintings & Prints, English & Continental Furniture & Decorations, Fine Ceramics, Jewelry, Couture, 20th Century Furniture & Decorative Arts, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Art, Fine Judaica, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Science & Technology, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, and Discovery.  Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Bolton, Mass.  For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site

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