Saturday, February 14, 2015

Top Picks: Skinner's American Furniture and Decorative Arts

Skinner's Auction house has an amazing auction coming up. I want ALLLLL of it!! But let's be realistic, my house is small and quite full already. Instead, I've selected my favorite pieces from the sale to highlight. You can view everything in the auction here . Go ahead, you should check it out.

Here's my top picks:
Lot 89- A superb schoolgirl watercolor landscape. Signed on the bottom, 'Painted by Marian Day, Caroline Munson Instructress'. It's always so nice when the maker AND the instructress are named in schoolgirl work. Both ladies have fairly common names but it still might be possible to pin down where Ms. Munson ran her school.
I'd say the piece dates to about 1815. 

Lot 85- I've included this lovely sampler primarily for my Mom's reference. She's currently making a close study of New Hampshire needlework. This piece was made by Ms. Lovilla Emery in 1833 in Hillsboro, New Hampshire. 

Lot 1- An exceptional yarn sewn rug from Lowell, Massachusetts dated 1836. The maker, Sarah Colburn captures the national pride that saturated the US during the first half of the 19th century. The cross hatched baskets brimming with stylized flowers relate to similar motifs found on needlework pieces of the period. 
Lot 90- A delightful schoolgirl theorem on velvet. I've seen lots and lots of theorems over the years, they must have been all but requisite for every young lady between about 1810 and 1835. They don't usually don't do much for me, but this one is terrific. There's so much character and imagination packed into this picture- the crazy footed bowl, the swooping birds and flitting butterflies, and the endearing attempt at graining on the marble plinth. It's just so sweet. 

Lot 216- American mid 19th century oil on canvas ship portrait of the three masted vessel Undine. Lot's a energy and movement in this composition- One can almost hear the howling wind that's kicking up the choppy water. 

Lot 325- A fabulous early 20th century molded copper weathervane. I want this. I really really want this. The applied ears and curly tail elevate it above most pig vanes. The verdigris surface is good and honest. He's such a looker! Oink Oink! 

Lot 104 is my top pick of the sale. I would just love to have this beautiful oil on paper farm landscape on my wall. It's unsigned, late 19th century, and may depict a small farming establishment in Vermont. So pretty!

Lot 30: The Phillips Family Needlework. This, right here is why we're all in the antiques business. The Phillips Needlework is nothing short of a national treasure. It is an American 17th century fully worked silk embroidery. The condition makes me want to dance or jump up and down. The colors, so bold, even after three hundred and fifty years. It comes with a full provenance. Made by Sarah (Rowley) Phillips c.1670 in Boston Massachusetts. This represents American Needlework in its embryonic state, in another fifty years after it was wrought we see the first well known group of American needlework, Adam and Eve samplers, coming out of small schools in Boston. The Adam and Eve motif was popular in English Needlework of the 17th century, and is referenced in Ms. Phillip's work as well. The smartly dressed couple, posed on either side of the apple tree, captures the very moment when Eve reaches for the apple. This is all the bells and whistles. Ah and now I'm weeping. Truly, it's that good. 

Lot 93- A fabulous matching pair of 19th century leather fire buckets AND salvage bags. I'm going to venture that the dates on the bags and the buckets actually references the founding date of the firefighting society, and not the date of manufacture. The buckets seems to be closer to c. 1830-1855. They're wonderfully decorated and ever so handsome. 

Lot 314- Sheet Copper Haley's Comet weathervane. Though the form is called 'Haley's Comet' it's closely related to banner vanes of the 19th century. It's an early vane, c. 1840-1850- predating the mass manufacture of weathervanes by companies like J. W. Fiske Iron Works and J. Howard. This is an individual effort, making it all the more appealing and rare as a folk art sculpture. 

Lot 120- Green and brown fan decorated storage box. I have grandiose plans of someday having and entire stack of beautiful paint decorated 19th century boxes- maybe ten of them, in decreasing size. The color of this antique box is absolutely delicious, a deep rich emerald green. The decoration was likely done by repeatedly pressing the side of the hand, covered in brown paint, against the side of the box, like a stamp. Cool, right!

Lot 80- Blue painted turned maple bowl. New England, 19th century. Would make an excellent centerpiece in any home. Though once an object of function, it is now a beautiful piece of sculpture, in the most alluring shade of old blue. 

Lot 146- Painted Windsor Settee. Early 19th century, possibly made in Pennsylvania. Isn't this settee a doll? It's got the best stance, all kicky legs like a colt. The bamboo turnings are a sweet attempt at sophistication, but the awkward shape of the bow speaks of naive origins. I just love it. Perfect for a hallway in an antique home. 

Lot 31- John Stevens Jr. woolen needlework pocketbook. Possibly from New Jersey, 1774. 

And a view of the interior. It's worked in irish stitch. The engraved clasp makes it a particularly appealing example. 

Lot 316A-  And finally, this early 20th century tin sign is so wonderful. The blue and gold original paint, the terrific lettering, the curved form. Would be beautiful in a country kitchen!!

No comments:

Post a Comment