was ordered from a New York retailer who had it secretly made by an
accomplished Philadelphia workshop; the recipient, Hugh Maxwell, had prosecuted fraudulent corporate directors after the 1825 Stock Market crash.
Furniture, Folk Art and Carpets
Leslie Keno, Head of Sotheby’s American Furniture, noted, “With over two thousand visitors coming through our exhibition and a packed saleroom, there was a noticeable energy and enthusiasm this season among both long-standing clients and many first-time bidders. We saw renewed confidence among buyers, which generated lively competition and strong prices.” Nancy Druckman, Head of American Folk Art, said, “We were encouraged by the consistency of the quality of material on offer this season, and saw a perceptible energy and appetite among uyers.” Leading the Saturday morning session of Important America including furniture, folk art and carpets was The Important Ranlett-Rust Family Chippendale Figured Mahogany Bombé Slant-Front Desk, Probably by Francis Cook, Marblehead, Massachusetts, circa 1770, which totaled $698,500 (est. $400,000/1 million). The desk is one of the rarest surviving examples of the esteemed bombé form; only twelve additional examples are known.
Extensive research suggests the desk was made north of Boston, in Marblehead, Massachusetts and through careful comparison with extant signed pieces the desk has been attributed to Francis Cook. The Captain Samuel Morris Pair of Queen Anne Carved and Figured Walnut Rounded-Stile Compass-Seat Side Chairs, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1745, was also sought after, bringing $362,500 (est. $200/500,000). Standing as superior examples of the Philadelphia Queen Anne style, these side chairs display a unified sculptural design, extremely fine construction and high-quality carving rarely matched on other seating furniture in the era.
A recently discovered Important Federal Carved and Figured Mahogany Marble-Top Pier Table, attributed to Thomas Seymour with John Seymour, carving attributed to Thomas Wightman, circa 1805 sold for $218,500 (est. $100/200,000). The table is among the most sophisticated, ambitious and elaborate pieces of American Furniture made in the Federal period. Only three other tables of similarly ambitious design are known. The present table retains its original finish and imported marble top and has remained in a private Pennsylvania collection since the 1960s. Two Federal Paint-Decorated Klismos Side Chairs Attributed to John and Hugh Finlay, Baltimore, Maryland, circa 1809 representing the apex of Federal style jumped to $194,500 each (est.
$35/75,000 each). A Fine and Rare Molded Copper Figure of an Indian with Bow and Arrow, Probably Harris & Co., Boston, circa 1880, formerly in the esteemed collection of Dione Guffrey Kenzer, totaled $122,500 (est. $100/200,000). Four Carved and Painted Paine Corporation Head Portraits circa 1910 brought $56,250 (est. $25/60,000). Two New York Samplers by Jane Deall
dated 1768 and 1765 also exceeded the pre-sale high estimate, totaling $50,000 (est. $10/20,000).
Chinese Export Porcelain from the Private Collection of Elinor Gordon
Sotheby’s Americana Week continued with Chinese Export Porcelain from the Private Collection of Elinor Gordon, which totaled $1,695,324, in excess of the presale high estimate of $1.3 million. The saleroom was once again standing-room-only, with many lots seeing competition from as