Press Release – May 2023 Americana & International Auction
Pook & Pook is pleased to announce details of our Americana & International sale, May 4th & 5th, 2023. The antiques and artworks assembled for this sale are significant for their representation of hallowed makers, illustrious owners, and famous sales of the past. Many have been off the market for decades, some half a century or more. This sale affords the opportunity to purchase antiques from noted collectors Israel Sack, Titus Geesey, Ada Musselman, the Machmer family, the Garvan family, William K. duPont, H. Richard Dietrich, Jr., Margaret Berwind Schiffer, and famous collections such as The Pioneer Collection of Dr. Donald and Mrs. Shelley, of Drs. Donald and Patricia Herr, Howard & Jean Lipman, Edgar & Bernice Garbisch, the Fenimore Art Museum, and the Packwood House Museum. Seven of the thirteen colonies are represented by early craftsmen such as Nathan Star, William Will, Samuel McIntire, John Seymour, Henry Adam, John Dixwell, Lebbeus Dod, Thomas Affleck, Joseph Barry, and John Pollard. Historic owners include the Penn family, a 1732 Pennsylvania monastic settlement The Ephrata Cloister, the 1752 Mayor of Philadelphia Robert Strettell, Revolutionary War privateer Captain John Southward, The Empress of China Captain John Green, and a heroic Civil War U.S. Cavalry Colonel.
Day One launches with an exceptional Marklin clockwork New York paddle wheel river boat, early 20thc. Part of a New Jersey Educational Institution’s collection for half a century, this colorful and elaborate vessel is in excellent condition. Another highlight from the same institution is an important English Staffordshire slipware decorated doll cradle, dated 1698 and initialed MC.
Susan Fetterolf and Jeff Gorrin began their collection thirty years ago, developing a focus on the Oley Valley in Berks County, Pennsylvania. They acquired a number of rare and known provenanced works. One of the best-known is an outstanding Lancaster County, Pennsylvania pine drysink, late 18th c., found in the Ephrata Cloister and illustrated in Wendy Cooper and Lisa Minardi Paint, Pattern, and People. Another noted item is a Berks County pine hanging corner cupboard, ca. 1790, exhibited at Winterthur in Colorful Folk: Pennyslvania Germans and the Art of Everyday Life. A Pennsylvania German painted poplar schrank is exceptional for being one of the very few robust examples of early 18th furniture of German design. Six Pennsylvania bent arrowback side chairs attributed to the shop of Joseph Jones of Chester County, ca. 1820, are one of the finest sets we have ever seen. Other highlights include an important early 19th c. Pennsylvania painted two-part corner cupboard with original vibrant surface; an excellent New Jersey gumwood and walnut kas, ca. 1790 by Matthew Egerton Junior; an 18th c. Lancaster County Conestoga wagon box with elaborate tulip-form wrought iron hardware; a Franklin Eshelman oil on canvas of The Snyder Farm in Oley Valley, ca. 1895; a painted pine tavern table, mid-18th c. originally found in a Kintnersville chapel; and an early 19th c. Oley Valley pine blanket chest, with original abstract grain decorated surface and an arresting painted eye motif.
A rare Samuel Plank wall box, a last-minute addition to the sale from a private collection, is set to cross the block on day one.
Noted highlights from A Prominent Delaware Collector feature Chester County, Pennsylvania William and Mary banister back chairs, ca. 1720, including both a rare pair of side chairs and a rare armchair. A Chester County William and Mary walnut desk on frame, ca. 1755 is probably by James Milhaus of New Garden Township and descended in the family to at least 1854. Also noted is a superb Philadelphia Queen Anne walnut tall chest in two parts, ca. 1770, and a set of four Pennsylvania Queen Anne walnut dining chairs, ca. 1740. Philotesia Owen (1697-1782) gazes serenely from her pastel portrait. Wife of Robert Strettell, the Mayor of Philadelphia from 1751-1752, she was a prominent Quaker and appears unadorned, in modest brown silks with a touch of blue.
A selection of over forty quilts from the Packwood House Museum of Lewisburg represents one of the finest collections of antique Pennsylvania quilts. Founded in 1972 by a bequest from Edith Fetherston, the museum closed its doors in 2022.
Twenty-six artworks from the Fenimore Art Museum, sold to benefit the Acquisitions Fund, include fine art with storied provenance from the Howard and Jean Lipman collection, the Edgar and Bernice Garbisch collection, the Mr. & Mrs. William J. Gunn collection, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Boston Athenaeum. Works include Hudson River landscapes, an American oil on canvas folk art new England harbor scene, 19th c., a 19th c. Massachusetts folk art landscape of the Sycamore Tree at the Moses Rice Farm, Charlemont, a carved and painted cigar store Indian tobacconist figure, and a fine large painted pine fireboard, ca. 1800, depicting two armies before a city.
Closing Day One is Part III of the famous Pewter Collection of Drs. Donald Maurice and Patricia Thompson Herr. A decades-long labor of love, the collection includes some of the finest examples of American pewter. Within the twenty-six lots, the Will family is well-represented, with a rare New York quart tankard, ca. 1760 attributed to John Will, another teapot possibly by John Will, and a New York flagon, ca. 1770 attributed to Henry Will. Both a rare Philadelphia porringer and a footed teapot, ca. 1770 bear the touch marks of William Will, the most gifted of American pewterers.
Day Two takes flight with an exceptional Frank Finney folk art bird tree. Rising from a sprouting-leaf base, the tree branches bristle with the energy of eleven fluttering birds. Featured collections include Mr. and Mrs. Whitman Ball, Dr. and Mrs. Irving Williams of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Dr. Larry McCallister, the Garvan Family, and the Estate of Max G. Bleiler. The marquee item is an important Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany tall case clock, ca. 1770 with carving attributed to John Pollard, and descended in the family of Captain John Green (1736-1796) of Philadelphia, famous for captaining the first American ship to trade directly with China. Another important lot is a Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany dining chair, attributed to the shop of Thomas Affleck, purportedly made for the Penn family and gifted into the Cresson family. Amongst antiques with famed makers and illustrious owners is a new discovery, a U.S. Cavalry silk swallowtail guidon American flag, ca.1860s, descended in the family of Colonel Walter Simonds Franklin of York, Pennsylvania, veteran of the Richmond and Shenandoah Valley campaigns, as well as the capture of Petersburg. The flag has never been out of the family. Other highlights include a scarce pair of knife blade andirons by famous gun and sword maker Nathan Starr of Middletown, Connecticut, a Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany tea table with carving attributed to Martin Jugiez, a rare pair of Pennsylvania Federal walnut semi-tall chests, a Boston silver spout cup bearing the touch of John Dixwell, and capering carousel horses and a goat by Gustav Dentzel. Artwork highlights include a Joseph Smith oil on canvas of the sloop yacht Eleanor, a large Ben Austrian canvas of a white hen with her fourteen chicks, and landscape Darby Creek in Winter by Elizabeth Washington.
Dr. Larry McCallister began collecting in the 1970s. While focused on Federal and Classical furniture, he acquired rare and notable pieces from all periods. A very rare Manheim, Pennsylvania Chippendale cherrywood tall case clock, ca. 1800, with works by Christian Eby (active 1793-1803) is one of the finest Rococo style tall case clocks ever made in Lancaster County, and retains original carved decoration and ogee feet. A rare Massachusetts William and Mary ebonized maple and figured walnut dressing table, ca. 1725, is another noted piece, exhibited at the University of Virginia in A Jeffersonian Ideal. Other notable lots include a large Chinese export porcelain mandarin palette hunting scene punch bowl, late 18th c., a fine Boston, Massachusetts William and Mary burl walnut and maple high chest of drawers, ca. 1725, a set of eight New York Federal mahogany dining chairs attributed to Slover & Taylor, an elaborate New York Classical mahogany two-part desk bookcase, ca. 1835, and work tables attributed to Duncan Phyfe, Joseph Barry, and Haines & Connelly.
From the illustrious Garvan family of collectors and scholars comes an incredible collection of rare peace medals, including a James K. Polk example, a James Monroe example, and a George III example. In addition to over a dozen medals is a rare slip-decorated redware bowl attributed to Henry Adam of Hagerstown, Maryland, early 19th c. A rare Lebbeus Dod engraved brass protractor and parallel rule, Mendham, New Jersey, late 18th c. retains its original wood case. Other measuring devices are two cased sets of hydrostatic bubbles, Scotland, late 18th c. A fine group of miniatures includes a watercolor portrait on ivory of Revolutionary War Captain George Southward, 18th c., who commanded the privateer Beggar’s Prize and was captured and held in Mill Prison, Plymouth, England.
As usual, the sale will conclude with an assortment of carpets, to include a Serapi, ca. 1900, from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Irving Williams.
For more information about this and other auctions coming up at Pook & Pook, please visit www.pookandpook.com.
by: Cynthia Beech Lawrence