Skinner to Host Auction of American Furniture and Decorative Arts The March 4th American Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction in Boston features folk art portraits, maritime art, the collection of Gregory Rubin Reynolds, and the estate of Susan Parrish.
subsequent occupants, Bronson Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
A group of early American pottery includes a stoneware face jug (lot 287, $800 to $1,200). The jug is descended through the family of a Massachusetts antiquarian who was actively collecting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The base of the vessel is inscribed “Aiken S.C.” An early 20th century note retrieved from the interior of the vessel reads: “Monkey Jug= made at Bath S.C. 1862 by negro slaves/Aiken S.C.” Also offered is a rare green-glazed covered Bristol County, Massachusetts redware pitcher found in Westport, Massachusetts (lot 286, $8,000 to $12,000).
The Apotheosis of Washington
An important study for The Apotheosis of Washington by Constantino Brumidi will be sold (lot 260, $250,000 to $350,000). This fresco, found on the ceiling of the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building, is considered to be the masterpiece of Brumidi’s career, which included other notable achievements such as the restoration of the 16th century frescoes in the Vatican’s Third Loggia. After the successful completion of this fresco, in what was to become the Agriculture Committee’s room, the government continued to employ Brumidi, earning him the moniker, “Artist of the Capitol.” While his frescoes decorate many hallways of the Capitol, The Apotheosis of Washington remains as his crowning achievement and is considered to be the most important fresco in America.
Folk Art Portraits
Folk portraiture is well represented with works by artists such as Pieter Vanderlyn, Asahel Lynde Powers, and Sturtevant Hamblen. Vanderlyn’s portrait of Elizabeth “Betje” Van Dyck Vosburg (lot 216, $200,000 to $300,000) depicts Elizabeth holding a patchbox inscribed with the letters “E” and “M,” her initial and that of her husband Martin. It is believed that this portrait commemorates their marriage in 1725, making it the earliest known portrait by Vanderlyn.
Maritime art and artifacts, including a rare painting by Solon Francis Monticello Badger will be offered. The painting (lot 411, $15,000 to $20,000) depicts a steam yacht, an unusual choice of subject matter for Badger, as his work typically portrays sailing ships. Finally, from the collection of Wright Ludington, founder of the Santa Barbara Museum, comes a bone and straw-work spinning Jenny (lot 413, $8,000 to $12,000). This Napoleonic War era prisoner-of-war artifact was made with primitive tools by a French prisoner of the British held under dismal conditions.
Previews, Events, Catalogue, and Bidding
Previews for the auction will be held on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, March 1, 2012, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Friday, March 2, 2012, 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, March 3, 2012, 12 p.m.-5:00 a.m., and Sunday, March 4, 2012, 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
A gallery walk, presented by Stephen Fletcher, Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts, will take place on Friday, March 2, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. The gallery walk is free and open to the public. Please visit this link for information and registration: http://conta.cc/mar-2-gallerywalk
Illustrated catalogue #2585B is available by mail from the subscription department at 508-970-3240. It is