News-Antique.com - Jan 26,2008 - MCMICHAEL-TILGHMAN FAMILY CHIPPENDALE CARVED AND FIGURED MAHOGANY TILT-TOP PIECRUST TEA TABLE BRINGS $1.8 MILLION
New York, New York – Sotheby’s 2008 Americana Week, including furniture, folk art, silver, prints and other decorative works of art, totaled $13,879,446 (est. $10.8/22.9 million*). Highlighting the offering was the McMichael-Tilghman Family Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany “Acme of Perfection” Tea Table, the carving attributed to the “Garvan carver,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1755, which sold for $1,833,000 to a bidder over the telephone. The two-day series of sales also included Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. George Fenimore Johnson which brought $3,470,253 and was highlighted by an Important Chippendale Carved Mahogany Easy Chair, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1770, which sold for $505,000.
Leslie Keno, Senior Vice President and Director of Sotheby’s American Furniture and Decorative Arts department, said: “We were very pleased with the results achieved for our sales over the past two days. We continue to see strong bidding activity in the marketplace for pieces which combine quality with rarity and certainly provenance.”
American Furniture and Folk Art
The top lot of Sotheby’s two-day series of sales was the McMichael-Tilghman Family Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany “Acme of Perfection” Tea Table, the carving attributed to the “Garvan carver,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1755, bringing $1,833,000 (lot 168, est. $2/6 million). This tour de force of Philadelphia Rococo craftsmanship, called “The Acme of Perfection in American Piecrust Tables” by William MacPherson Hornor in Blue Book Philadelphia Furniture (plate 223), published in 1935, is a rare document of the “Garvan” carver, the finest native carver working in America during the eighteenth century. Also commanding a strong price was a Chippendale Block-and-Shell Carved and Figured Mahogany Kneehole Dressing Table, attributed Edmund Townsend, Newport, Rhode Island, circa 1760, originally owned by William Ellery (1727-1820), a signer of the Declaration of Independence, son of the deputy governor of Rhode Island, and prominent Rhode Island politician during the late 18th century, which sold for $937,000 (lot 322, est. $750,000/1.5 million). From the Estate of Phoebe Wetzel was an Important Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Chest-on-Chest, attributed to Thomas Affleck, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1775, originally owned by Abel James (1726-1790), a prominent Quaker Loyalist merchant in Philadelphia which sold for $337,000 (lot 186, est. $200/600,000). Also among the top selling lots were a Very Fine and Rare Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Five-Legged Games Table, shop of Marinus Willett and Jonathan Pearse, New York, circa 1765, representing a signature New York form, which brought $277,000 (lot 283, est. $200/300,000) and a Very Fine and Rare Federal Inlaid and Figured Mahogany Breakfront, Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1805 which sold for $205,000, well above the estimate of $50/100,000 (lot 243).
Highlighting the offering of American Folk Art was a Set of Four Nautical Paintings by George Ropes Jr. of Salem, Massachusetts, dated 1813 (The Constitution and the Guerriere Sighting Each Other; The Constitution and Guerriere Firing on Each Other; The Constitution and Guerriere Dismasted; and The Constitution and Guerriere Burning) offered by the Woburn