GARTH’S ANNUAL LABOR DAY WEEKEND AMERICANA AUCTION – IN GREAT FORM! “Good distinction over time about form and surface: that is the key to materials from collections in this sale”, commented Garth’s Auctions CEO, Jeff Jeffers as he offered details regarding which will
marked "Ale" and a yellow frog inside (estimate $400-700).
A particularly fine group of portraits will be sold throughout the two sessions, many including children. A grouping of three family portraits is by Isaac Augustus Wetherbee (also spelled Wetherby) who painted these portraits when he was 20 years old. Born in Providence, Rhode Island on December 6th, 1819, the artist was painting in the Norfolk County / Boston area in the late 1830-early 1840s. The 1842 Boston City Directory lists him as a portrait painter and he is thought to have been one of the earliest Daguerreotype photographers. The first pair (estimate $3,000-6,000) is thought to be George Holbrook (1767-1846) founder of the Holbrook Bell Foundry and his 2nd wife, Roxana Hills Holbrook (1782-1889). The second pair (estimate $3,000-6,000) of another Holbrook husband and wife is signed verso "Mr George Handal Holbrook / bell Founder Clock and Organ / builder. East Medway. Mass / aged 41 years / this portrait painted / aug. 1839 / by Isaac a. Wetherbee". The companion portrait shows his wife, seated on a chair matching her mother-in-law's, wearing a wide lace collar, one arm around her son, George Handal (1838-1842). The third (estimate $2,000-4,000) depicts grey-eyed siblings, fifteen-year old Edwin (1824-1904), in a yellow vest, holds his three-year-old sister, Ellen (1836-1917) wearing white with a coral necklace and holding a rose. The Holbrook Bell Foundry started in 1816, when George Holbrook (1767-1846) cast a bell for the East Medway (Norfolk County, Massachusetts) meeting house. The firm remained in the family for three generations, manufacturing over ten thousand bells.
Of the additional portraits of children, an unsigned oil on canvas of three siblings is a stunning example. Showing two sisters dressed alike in lace trimmed white dresses, gold beads at their throats, and the elder holding a vine of morning glories, they girls are joined by their brother wearing a pale yellow suit and holding out a stem of flowering nasturtiums. The 39" x 39" canvas is anticipated to bring $10,000-15,000. A double portrait of a boy in wide white collar with his arm protectively around his sister is attributed to Ruth and/or Samuel Shute(New England/Kentucky, first half 19th century). The sister is dressed in blue and has a string of coral beads at her neck, but both are pointing to a colorful basket of flowers on the table before them (estimate $ 12,500-17,500).
A highly detailed American watercolor on velvet theorem of a basket with an overabundance of fruit, bird and butterfly, resting on a slab of marble on grass is projected to reach $6,000-12,000.
Garth's Labor Day Weekend Americana Auction catalog is online at www.garths.com. Garth's, located at 2690 Stratford Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015, will have preview hours in its gallery from August 27 through September 1. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 740-362-4771.