NEW YORK CITY — “The sale was a solid success, we did just over $2.3 million and it was 86 percent sold,” Leigh Keno, president and owner of Keno Auctions, said the day after his January 22 sale. As part of Americana Week in New York City, the auction, which offered 291 lots, was staged at the Church of St Ignatius Loyola, Wallace Hall, 980 Park Avenue South at 84th Street.
The $2.3 million fell in the middle of the low/high estimate, $1.73/2.97 million, and a third of the buyers were successful through the Internet. Prices noted in this review include the buyer’s premium.
Following the sale of lot number one, a Queen Anne armchair (pictured), folk art crossed the block, including a gilt copper steer weathervane, probably L.W. Cushing & Sons, 23 inches long, that went for $4,030 against a high estimate of $600. A pair of oil on canvas portraits depicting two girls in white dresses, 18 by 16 inches each, went for $5,230, just over the high estimate, and a wood, tin and iron figure of a rooster, American, 1830–1890, 221/3 inches high, brought $4,340, surpassing the $2,500 high estimate.
A Brant decoy, dating from the first half of the Twentieth Century and carved and painted by Chauncey Wheeler, brought $3,750, just slightly over double the high estimate. The carving was branded “WFB” on the base, and measured 18 inches long, 7 inches wide.
The property of a New York lady included an American School portrait of a boy holding his top hat and with his dog seated at his right side. It was dated 1849 lower right, an oil on canvas measuring 48½ by 38 inches. It realized $13,640, and the provenance lists Hirschl & Adler Galleries. It was followed by an American pictorial hooked rug of a hen by Laura H. Loeffler, 1920–1930, measuring 35½ by 26 inches, and bringing $2,232. A classical painted and decorated dressing table with painted splashboard depicting a departing sailor and ship with an American flag, New England, Nineteenth Century, sold just under the high estimate at $9,300, and a grain painted and smoke decorated cupboard, Lancaster County, Penn, 1840–1860, 84 inches high, went for $43,400, below the low estimate of $60,000.
Estimated at $60/100,000 was a portrait of a young girl in white dress and red shoes holding a peach in her left hand and patting here dog with her right hand. This work, circa 1830, a pastel on paper measuring 25 by 20½ inches, was by Deacon Robert Peckham (American, 1785–1877). It sold for $86,800.
An oblong burl bowl with open handles, probably Woodland, late Eighteenth or early Nineteenth Century, 8½ inches high, 19 inches long and 16 inches wide, went for $4,340, just over the low estimate. A Chippendale walnut valuables chest, Lancaster County, Penn., circa 1780, 20 inches high and 117/8 inches wide at the base, went just over high estimate, selling for $8,680.
A set of five matched painted sack back Windsor armchairs and a tall painted sack back Windsor armchair, Rhode Island, circa 1795, the tall sack back of Connecticut origin, circa 1770, sold for $9,920 against an estimate of $3/6,000. The provenance lists Patty Gagarin of Southport, Conn., 1984.
A miniature carved classical chest of drawers, McIntire School, Salem, Mass., circa 1810, Samuel McIntire, measuring 19½ inches high, 16¾ inches wide and 9¼ inches deep, sold for $12,400, twice the high estimate. The next lot, a pair of Chippendale brass engraved andirons, probably English for the Charleston market, 1780–1800, 28 inches high, brought $10,540, just a pinch over high estimate.
Among the case pieces of furniture was the Blake family Chippendale mahogany blockfront chest, Boston, circa 1760–1780, measuring 30 inches high, 36 inches wide and 22 inches deep. The provenance lists Kenneth Van Blarcom, Natick, Mass., and the final bid was $24,800, well below the low estimate of $40,000.
A Chippendale mahogany birdcage piecrust tea table, Philadelphia, circa 1765, sold within estimate at $49,600. It measures 28½ inches high and 30½ inches in diameter and David Stockwell is listed in the provenance. The following lot, a Queen Anne tiger maple tri-drop leaf table with pivoting top on a triangular base, New England, probably Connecticut, circa 1735–1770, 27¾ inches in diameter, sold for $21,080, just over the low estimate.
A Chippendale tall case eight-day clock in walnut, Ellis & Isaac Chandlee, Nottingham, Md., circa 1792–1804, with the dial inscribed in black paint, brought $14,880, against a high estimate of $12,000, and among the works by Edward Lange (American, 1846–1912) was a watercolor and gouache on paper, 6¾ by 23½ inches, John C. Tottan, Cold Spring, Long Island, that brought the same price.
A Chippendale shell carved mahogany slant front desk, attributed to Samuel Loomis, Colchester, Conn., 1774–1800, brought $55,800, just under the high estimate of $60,000, and a Chippendale birch wood reverse serpentine secretary desk and bookcase, New England, probably New Hampshire, circa 1800, realized $12,400, twice the high estimate.
Lots of interest was shown in a group of six carved and painted wood Alice in Wonderland figures, including the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the White Rabbit, and Alice, American, circa 1900, that sold for $39,680, far exceeding the $8,000 high estimate. After the auction catalog was printed, a signature was found on the bases, that of Augustes Davies (American, 1867–1951).
A bid of $16,120 took a Federal ivory serpentine front inlaid cherry sideboard, probably Connecticut, circa 1800, measuring 42 inches high, 72 inches wide and 26 inches deep.
A polychrome painted Noah’s Ark with animals, American, Nineteenth Century, 10½ inches high and 20 inches wide, sold for $2,108, while an Edward Lange watercolor on paper, “Summer Sturtevant’s House in Nyack, New York,” 1875, 12½ by 19½ inches, brought $11,160, well over the $3,500 high estimate.
A leaping stag weathervane, attributed to Harris & Company, Boston, 25 inches long and 30 inches high, went for $19,840, and a redware copper oxide and manganese decorated ovoid jar, New England, late Eighteenth to early Nineteenth Century, brought $4,340.
Arie Kopelman left his duties as chairman of the Winter Antiques Show long enough to go to the Keno auction and bid on a painted cast iron full length figure of Uncle Sam, designed as a mailbox holder by the Columbia Iron Foundry, Columbia, Penn. It measured 61 inches tall and sold for $13,640, a bit over double the high estimate. “There is a certain spot in our Nantucket home where it will fit in perfectly,” Arie said.
A federal tilt-top candlestand with game board top, Parcheesi, was of New England origin, circa 1815, that sold for double the high estimate at $8,060, and a sewing basket on stand with cabriole legs, Nantucket, Mass., circa 1890, 25½ inches high and 35 inches wide, brought $26,040, against a $3/6,000 estimate. The provenance lists two Winter Antiques Show exhibitors, Suzanne Courcier and Robert Wilkins, and Wayne Pratt, 1997.
A Navajo rug depicting seven homes, American Southwest, circa 1920, measuring 40½ by 37 inches, sold for $8,680, and a painted tall sack back Windsor armchair, New England, probably Connecticut, 1790–1810, went for $5,580.
A painted sheet iron sign, “Eat,” dating from the Twentieth Century, sold for $4,030, with a Judith and James Milne provenance, and a white painted wooden porch support in the form of a lady, southern Michigan, first half of the Twentieth Century and also with the Milne provenance, brought $1,736. Also with a Milne provenance was a zinc Lady Liberty head architectural element, American, late Nineteenth Century, that fetched $3,100.
Keno Auctions is headquartered at 127 East 69th Street in Manhattan. For information, http://kenoauctions.com or 917-848-6593.