Historic Art Glass Window by George Maher, Louis Millet Sells for Record $120,000 at Treadway-Toomey A relic of Chicago’s Prairie School art glass circa 1901, the thistle window was designed for the James A. Patten house and implemented in vermilion, olive, opalescent and gold-foiled glass.
The dream house that Patten and his wife, Amanda, hired Maher to design for them was built in 1901 on a half-block lot at 1426 Ridge in Evanston. One of Maher’s finest commissions, the massive house was constructed of huge, rough-hewn granite slabs and cost $500,000 to build. It had 22 rooms, eight bathrooms, and a separate six-car garage with servant’s apartment above. To surround his house on three sides, Patten paid $90,000 for an 8-ft. high ironwork fence that Maher had designed for Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition.
"I haven't seen much from the Patten house except photos and the still extant Maher-designed fence, plus some big pieces of rock around the neighborhood in Evanston which seem to be from the house,” said Donald M. Aucutt, Maher researcher and editor of the GEO. W. MAHER QUARTERLY and its current successor, PRAIRIE. “The house was a major imaginative jump for Maher, who previously had been somewhat restrained. Amazing, really."
After Amanda Patten’s death in 1935, her children donated the house to Northwestern University to be used as a tribute to their mother. It was during the Great Depression, and to establish a girl’s scholarship fund, the house was placed on the market for a meager $50,000. The house idled for two years and finally sold in 1938. In December of 1938 the house was demolished to make way for nine colonial revival homes to be built on the site. According to newspaper clippings in the Evanston Historical Society’s file on the Patten house, wreckers removed the last of the stained glass windows with the thistle motif on December 11, 1938.
Luckily, anonymous caretakers throughout the past century valued the thistle window enough to keep it preserved in excellent condition with few cracked segments. The 105-year old window was set in a new oak frame and measured 44-inches wide by 50-inches high. This thistle window design was a variation on the one Maher had used in the front entryway of the Patten house.
Other surviving work from the collaboration of Maher and Millet includes windows for J.R. Watkins Medical Products Co. in Winona, Minn. and the Vicks residence in Vicksburg, Miss.
Treadway-Toomey Galleries’ proprietors are always seeking consignments. As specialists in 20th Century Design, both Don Treadway and John Toomey offer appraisal services, private consultations, as well as purchasing and acquisition services. In addition, Treadway Gallery now handles estate sales services.
For more information, call Treadway Gallery at (513) 321-6742 or John Toomey Gallery at (708) 383-5234 or visit www.treadwaygallery.com.
Contact: Tamera Herrod
(561) 753-2933 or firstname.lastname@example.org