East Dennis, mass. – Described as an “American masterpiece,” a Connecticut highboy circa 1770 leads from Eldred Annual fall sale, scheduled for November 19-20 at the company’s headquarters in East Dennis, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. The diverse sale of 950 lots will also include significant 19th-century and contemporary fine art, sports art, decoys and guns, marine art, oriental rugs, and American and European decorative arts. , and includes several real estate and private collections.
“I was delighted with how this sale went with such a diverse offering of real estate lots,” said Joshua Eldred, president of the company and head of its fine arts department. “We always try to bring as many fresh goods to the market as possible, and this sale is no exception.”
The highboy, in cherry wood with a mellow antique finish, has a sculpted and molded hood topped by two massive raised panels, very similar to those seen on the Goddard-Townsend examples. This piece is believed to originate from the North Connecticut coast, well within the sphere of influence of Newport-based cabinet makers.
“You want the room to be able to speak so you can find out who did it,” said Bill Bourne, Eldred vice president and head of its Americana department. “When you look at the amount of work and detail that has gone into the piece, from the beautifully sculpted finials and dentil moldings, to the fan and shell carvings and the beautiful tall feet, it can be considered a museum quality. ” The highboy is the most anticipated lot on the auction, with an estimate of $ 40,000 / 60,000.
The lot immediately following the highboy is a Chippendale hood secretary, also from the North Connecticut coast, that has baseboards, construction, and solid raised panels on the front of the hood.
“For a moment when I first saw the secretary at the house I thought, ‘Wow, that could be the same cabinetmaker as the big boy,’” Bourne said. Upon closer inspection, however, he concluded that it was not the same hand, and although it was a very fine example, the highboy “is a few steps above. “. The secretary has a more modest estimate of $ 3,000 / $ 5,000, although he also generated significant interest before the sale.
Other furniture lots in the sale include a Queen Anne lowboy attributed to Nathaniel Gould of Salem, Massachusetts, valued at $ 20,000 / 25,000, a Queen Anne tray tea table from Boston circa 1760, estimated at 5,000. / $ 7,000, and a Massachusetts circa 1780. Oxbow Chippendale office, estimated at $ 4,000 / 6,000.
The oxbow desk is from the estate of Carl and Mary Breyer of Massachusetts, one of the private estates and collections featured in the sale. The Breyers were avid collectors of 18th and 19th century American furniture and paintings, and Carl Breyer served as administrator of Old Sturbridge Village for many years. Other highlights of their collection include a set of four Queen Anne side chairs signed “E Stephenson”, which were said to have been signed by Widow Elizabeth Stephenson after purchasing the set with the relief funds she raised. received from the Great Boston Fire of 1760, estimated at $ 2,500 / $ 3,500, and a Simon Willard large case clock circa 1800 with a mahogany and mahogany veneer Roxbury case, estimated at $ 12,000 / $ 18,000.
The sale includes several important clocks, from large case clocks by Simon Willard and Aaron Willard, to a rare shelf clock by David Wood Massachusetts, valued at $ 8,000 / 12,000. Also included is a Blunt & Nichols astronomical regulating clock, which would have been a master clock used at Penn Station in Philadelphia. It brings to an estimate of 12,000 / 15,000.
Over 300 paintings and prints are included in the sale, “spanning the gamut from traditional 19th-century American landscapes to modernist works,” Eldred said. “I think this is one of the most comprehensive groups that we have dealt with in some time and I can’t wait to see how our clients react.”
Notable lots include a still life of fruit by Robert Spear Dunning (American, 1829-1905), the auction catalog cover lot, estimated at $ 20,000 / 30,000, a coastal landscape, possibly in California , by John Ross Key (American, 1837-1974), estimated at $ 8,000 / 12,000, “Harmony in Broken Colors” by Charles Green Shaw (New York, 1892-1974), estimated at $ 5,000 / 10,000, and “Butterfly” by Hunt Slonem (American, born 1951), estimated at $ 5,000 / 7,000.
An expected bestseller is a proof for “Formulation: Articulation”, the limited edition set of iconic prints by Josef Albers released in 1972. Albers himself selected the images to be included and chose to organize them according to color relationships rather than chronological order. The proof set, which bears the marks and notations of the printer, includes three additional files not present in the final version, although a dossier of the final version is not included in the proof. The set was donated by Albers to a friend and Sirocco Screenprints employee and then moved down to the current sender. It carries an estimate of $ 15,000 / 20,000.
The sale also includes two works by modernist E. Ambrose Webster (American, 1869-1935), “The Cabbage Patch, Bermuda”, estimated $ 15,000 / 20,000, and “Provincetown Garden, 1916”, estimated $ 12,000 / 15 000. Both feature the vigorous use of color and light by the Fauvist-inspired artist.
The best-selling painting in the auction is “The Wedding Dance” by Ralph E. Cahoon, Jr. (American, 1910-1982), valued at $ 30,000 / $ 50,000. The Chinese-influenced scene of sailors, women and mermaids dancing near a seaside teahouse with Chinese junks and clippers anchored offshore, is one of five works by Cahoon or his wife , Martha Farham Cahoon (American, 1905-199), included in the auction. It is marketed from a private New England collection, another of the groups featured in the sale.
The Websters and the Cahoons are among a large selection of other Cape Cod and Provincetown artwork included in the sale, showcased by two large-scale oils by Anne Packard (American, b.1933) depicting a red dory in a sparse seascape, estimated at $ 10,000 / 15,000 and $ 20,000 / 30,000. Paintings by contemporary artists William R. Davis, John Dowd, and Robert Cardinal are also included, as are works by early to mid-20th century painters Karl Knaths (American, 1891–1971), William Formby Halsall (American, 1841 -1919) and Hans Hoffman (American, 1880-1966).
Several of Provincetown’s works come from an estate in the Provincetown area, notably “After Church, Provincetown”, an oil on canvas by Ross E. Moffett (American, 1888-1971), estimated at $ 15,000 / 20,000, and “Moon Light (Sheepshead) Provincetown 1941”, a woodcut by Oliver Newberry Chaffee (American, 1881-1944), estimated at $ 3,000 / 5,000.
The estate also has a large collection of material relating to award-winning children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, including signed original editions, custom sketches, and ephemeral documents.
Other estates and collections featured in the sale include contents of a home in Chatham, Massachusetts, showcased by a lowboy Queen Anne of Pennsylvania valued at $ 2,000 / 3,000, the collection of renowned craftsman Bill Roth and artist Sandra K. Bliss Roth, which includes several pieces of her period reproduction furniture as well as antique examples and the Kelton collection of marine art and artifacts.
Eldred’s is auctioning off items from the massive collection of businessman and philanthropist Richard Kelton in multiple auctions in 2020 and 2021. Offers in this sale are focused on the mid-1980s ‘Clipper Ship Era’. 1800s and include a large group of prints by Nathaniel Currier depicting the most famous ships of the time, as well as fine model ships and ship portraits by American, British and Chinese artists. Highlights include a view of the schooner George bailey off Sandy Hook by William Gay and Mary E. Yorke, estimated at $ 8,000 / 12,000, and a shipbuilder’s plating half-hull model Lismore, estimated at $ 2,500 / 3,500.
Other highlights of the sale include an important and extremely rare political cartoon of War of Independence interest, valued at $ 2,500 / 3,500, a rare Lady Liberty copper and zinc weather vane, estimated at $ 20,000 / $ 30,000, several lots of garden statues, including a pair of bronze French Gladiators estimated at $ 20,000 / $ 25,000, a large selection of AE Crowell decoys and bird sculptures, estimated to range from from $ 700 / $ 1,000 to $ 6,000 / $ 9,000, a holstered Perazzi shotgun estimated at $ 6,000 / $ 8,000, and a rare Old Town canoe vendor. sample model, estimated at $ 10,000 / 15,000.
All lots from the Fall Sale can be viewed on Eldred’s website, www.eldreds.com, and a catalog is available to order by mail. Online, telephone and mail order auctions are available; in-person submission options to be determined. A public exhibition is scheduled for November 17 and 18, and private preview meetings are also possible. Since notices from Massachusetts regarding the spread of COVID-19 could impact auction options and exhibition schedules, potential bidders are encouraged to confirm them by calling 508-385-3116 or visiting the website.
The Robert C. Eldred Co. is New England’s oldest antique and fine art auction house, now in its third generation of owners within the Eldred family. In addition to its corporate headquarters on Cape Cod’s historic Old King’s Highway in East Dennis, Mass., The company also has an office at 5 Roosevelt Avenue in Mystic, CT. Eldred’s, the nation’s leading marine art auction house, holds approximately 25 auctions per year encompassing Americana, paintings, Asian art, European decorative art, sports art, and collectibles in addition to marine art. It was recently named one of the world’s top auction houses by Art + Auction and holds auction records in a wide range of collection areas.
For more information, please call (508) 385-3116 or email [email protected]