BOSTON, Mass – February 16, 2012 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of American Furniture and Decorative Arts on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in its Boston gallery. The sale features the collection of Gregory Rubin Reynolds, as well as items from the estate of Susan Parrish.
The Collection of Gregory Rubin Reynolds
Lots 1 through 182, the first part of the sale, will present The Collection of Gregory Rubin Reynolds. Proceeds from the sale of the collection will benefit the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (nvrh.org). The collection includes folk art, furnishings, decorative arts, paintings, and clocks. Reynolds was a discerning collector and possessed a wonderful sense for color and juxtaposition. He used these gifts to great effect by decorating his contemporary home in Peacham, Vermont with high-quality examples of painted furniture and folk art. Every piece was skillfully showcased and demonstrated his ability to create strikingly beautiful contrasts between the antiques in his collection and their modern setting.
Highlights include an appealing early 19th century folk portrait of a boy holding a book and his sister holding a cat (lot 32, estimated between $25,000 and $35,000); a red, yellow, and black-painted, geometrically carved pine lift-top box, (lot 1, $3,000 to $5,000); a Queen Anne black-painted high chest once owned by John Page, governor of New Hampshire from 1839 – 1841 (lot 33, $30,000 – 50,000); and a pair of folk art portraits of Henry and Anna (Bellinger) Ehle of Chittenango Village, New York (lot 43, $15,000 – $25,000).
The sale continues with lot 200, and features an excellent assortment of textiles, American furniture and decorative arts, paintings, and folk art.
The Estate of Susan Parrish
Nearly fifty lots, including textiles, furniture, weather vanes, and painted trade signs come from the estate of Susan Parrish, former owner of a respected antiques store in the West Village of New York City. Of particular note are the textiles, highlights of which include a pictorial hooked rug depicting celestial elements (lot 532, $2,000 to $3,000), a suffragette fund-raising quilt with stars and stripes (lot 645, $3,000 to $5,000), and a pieced and appliquéd floral pattern quilt circa 1860 (lot 654, $600 to $800).
American Furniture and Decorative Arts
In addition, the sale will offer fine examples of formal American furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries. A group of furniture consigned by the Smith College Museum of Art features a Queen Anne scroll-top fan-carved walnut and maple high chest of drawers from the north shore of Massachusetts (lot 215, $10,000 to $15,000).
Decorative objects include a silver cann (lot 200, $8,000 to $12,000) that once belonged to Samuel Whitney. Whitney took a leadership role in Concord during the Revolutionary War as “Muster Master,” and fought at the Old North Bridge as a member of the Concord Minutemen. Later he was a member of the Provincial Congress 1774-75, and the Committee of Correspondence. The Concord home in which Whitney lived still stands as “the Wayside,” a museum that commemorates two important subsequent occupants, Bronson Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
A group of early American pottery includes a stoneware face jug (lot 287, $800 to $1,200). The jug is descended through the family of a Massachusetts antiquarian who was actively collecting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The base of the vessel is inscribed “Aiken S.C.” An early 20th century note retrieved from the interior of the vessel reads: “Monkey Jug= made at Bath S.C. 1862 by negro slaves/Aiken S.C.” Also offered is a rare green-glazed covered Bristol County, Massachusetts redware pitcher found in Westport, Massachusetts (lot 286, $8,000 to $12,000).
The Apotheosis of Washington
An important study for The Apotheosis of Washington by Constantino Brumidi will be sold (lot 260, $250,000 to $350,000). This fresco, found on the ceiling of the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building, is considered to be the masterpiece of Brumidi’s career, which included other notable achievements such as the restoration of the 16th century frescoes in the Vatican’s Third Loggia. After the successful completion of this fresco, in what was to become the Agriculture Committee’s room, the government continued to employ Brumidi, earning him the moniker, “Artist of the Capitol.” While his frescoes decorate many hallways of the Capitol, The Apotheosis of Washington remains as his crowning achievement and is considered to be the most important fresco in America.
Folk Art Portraits
Folk portraiture is well represented with works by artists such as Pieter Vanderlyn, Asahel Lynde Powers, and Sturtevant Hamblen. Vanderlyn’s portrait of Elizabeth “Betje” Van Dyck Vosburg (lot 216, $200,000 to $300,000) depicts Elizabeth holding a patchbox inscribed with the letters “E” and “M,” her initial and that of her husband Martin. It is believed that this portrait commemorates their marriage in 1725, making it the earliest known portrait by Vanderlyn.
Maritime art and artifacts, including a rare painting by Solon Francis Monticello Badger will be offered. The painting (lot 411, $15,000 to $20,000) depicts a steam yacht, an unusual choice of subject matter for Badger, as his work typically portrays sailing ships. Finally, from the collection of Wright Ludington, founder of the Santa Barbara Museum, comes a bone and straw-work spinning Jenny (lot 413, $8,000 to $12,000). This Napoleonic War era prisoner-of-war artifact was made with primitive tools by a French prisoner of the British held under dismal conditions.
Previews, Events, Catalogue, and Bidding
Previews for the auction will be held on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, March 1, 2012, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Friday, March 2, 2012, 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, March 3, 2012, 12 p.m.-5:00 a.m., and Sunday, March 4, 2012, 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
A gallery walk, presented by Stephen Fletcher, Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts, will take place on Friday, March 2, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. The gallery walk is free and open to the public. Please visit this link for information and registration: http://conta.cc/mar-2-gallerywalk.
Illustrated catalogue #2585B is available by mail from the subscription department at 508-970-3240. It is also available at the gallery. Prices realized will be available at www.skinnerinc.com during and after the sale. Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogues, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive!
Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. 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, American & European Works of Art, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Silver, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site www.skinnerinc.com.
- Stephen Fletcher, Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts, 508-970-3228, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kate de Bethune, Director of Marketing, 508-970-3231, email@example.com