‘The Illustrator,’ one of two scarce Edward Hopper etchings in the sale, inscribed by Hopper to an artist friend. Estimate: $20,000-$25,000. Image courtesy of Case Antiques Inc. Auction & Appraisals.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A piece of rock ’n’ roll history, two Edward Hopper etchings and a rare first model Henry Rifle are among the eclectic offerings at the Spring Case Antiques Auction, set for May 21 at the company’s gallery in Knoxville. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.
The Meet the Beatles! album, containing the Beatle’s first U.S. chart-topping hit I Want to Hold Your Hand, was released in 1964 just ahead of the band’s first U.S. tour. It came from the estate of Dr. Jules Gordon, the New York physician who treated George Harrison for strep throat on Feb. 8, 1964, the day before their American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. Both album and autographed cover are in very good condition and are accompanied by a New York Times article mentioning Gordon’s treatment of Harrison. The lot is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
Two etchings by American artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967), The Illustrator/Portrait of Walter Tittle and Don Quixote, are also expected to garner attention. They are among seventy intaglio works produced by Hopper between 1915 and 1928 before he turned exclusively to painting, and both are inscribed by Hopper to his friend and fellow artist, Arthur Hosking (American, 1874-1970). Also from Hosking’s estate are four vibrantly colored woodcuts by Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt (1878-1955), a Swedish-American artist who invented a method of printing more than one color with a single impression.
Other fine art in the sale includes a panoramic rendering of St. Mark’s square from the Grand Canal in Venice by Warren W. Sheppard (American, 1858-1937), a harbor scene and landscape by Charles Paul Gruppe (Canadian, 1860-1940), an abstract drawing with dog by Roy Dean De Forest (American, 1930-2007), and a nude screenprint, Helen, by Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931-2004). Regional artists represented include painters Robert Rucker (American, Louisiana, 1932-2001), Eliot Candee Clark (American, 1883-1980), John Wood Dodge (New York/Tennessee 1807-1893), Lloyd Branson (Tennessee, 1861-1925), Louis Edward Jones (American, 1878-?), and George Daniel Hoffman (American/South Carolina, 1915-1999), and sculptor Thomas Puryear Mims (American/Tennessee, 1906-1975).
A Henry repeating rifle, serial number 5217, with history relating to the Battle of Bull’s Gap in East Tennessee, leads a large offering of Civil War related material. Henry rifles, used primarily by Union forces, were made from the late 1850s through 1866, with only 14,000 produced. This one retains an old, probably original patina. A number of other Civil War firearms, swords, excavated relics, letters and documents are also included in the sale, along with an oil portrait by George Dury of Confederate Maj. Gen. Daniel Smith Donelson, for whom Tennessee’s pivotal Fort Donelson was named. Dating even earlier is a Revolutionary War period powder horn, inscribed with the name of Sgt. John Heister and elaborately carved with a scenic view of Philadelphia and its harbor. World War II items, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day menus from the U.S.S. Arizona, are also featured.
The success of Asian material at Case’s recent auctions has prompted an influx of consignments of Chinese and Japanese material for this sale. There is a century-old collection of Asian carved ivory netsukes and okimono figures, a large collection of Ojime beads including an outstanding Shibayama (ivory inlaid with mother of pearl) example, early Republic porcelain, woodblock prints and a fine Chinese lacquer and hardstone four-panel floor screen.
Four recently discovered pieces of redware from a previously unrepresented 19th-century Tennessee pottery family, the Morts, leads the category of Southern arts, a staple at Case. Several other lots of Tennessee pottery are accompanied by a miniature Himer Fox (North Carolina) jug, and a Washington County, Va., cobalt stoneware jug decorated with the profile of a man with muttonchop sideburns. There are also two rare Tennessee needlework samplers including the first Nashville-made one ever to come on the market, two rare state maps, and a good selection of early 19th century Southern furniture.
Among the 70-plus lots of fine silver are a Federal/Classical silver basket by Harvey Lewis of Philadelphia, coin silver flatware, and a sterling compote with figural mounts by New York silversmith John Cann. Other decorative arts highlights include two plates in Haviland’s Flora and Fauna pattern designed for the President Hayes administration, a scarce Quezal art glass vine vase, a Loetz iridescent snake vase, an early Swiss Perrelet gold pocket watch, and several lots of high quality 19th century French giltwood furniture and signed 19th and 20th century garden antiques. The sale also includes a collection of early fire fighting memorabilia, numerous pieces of 19th and early 20th century campaign/political memorabilia, a collection of Victorian sewing material, a collection of signed Miriam Haskell jewelry, and a collection of 19th century antique bicycles including two early French boneshakers.
“This is certainly one of our most eclectic sales to date in terms of categories, but what ties everything together is good quality, condition, and in many cases, stellar provenance,” said Case. “There are enough things in this auction you’re unlikely to ever see again to make it a destination point for collectors, even at a busy time of year. And of course we accept phone, absentee written and Internet bids from those who can’t attend in person.”
The auction will be held at Case’s gallery in the historic Cherokee Mills Building, 2240 Sutherland Ave., in Knoxville, on Saturday, May 21, starting at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Food is available. A preview will take place on Friday, May 20, from noon to 6 p.m. or by appointment.
For more information visit Case Antiques’ website www,caseantiques com or call the gallery in Knoxville at (865) 558-3033 or the Nashville office at (615) 812-6096.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE
A Civil War era first Model Henry rifle, with old, probably original patina, found near the Bull’s Gap battlefield in Tennessee. Estimate: $17,500-19,500. Image courtesy of Case Antiques Inc. Auction & Appraisals.
Warren W. Sheppard (American, 1858-1937) was noted for his Venice scenes. This panoramic view, in its original period frame measuring 55 inches by 37 inches, is one of his largest and most finely detailed renditions. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy of Case Antiques Inc. Auction & Appraisals.
Fine Chinese lacquer and hardstone four-panel floor screen, with gilt narrative calligraphy on the reverse. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Case Antiques Inc. Auction & Appraisals.
Virginia cobalt decorated stoneware jug, one of several pieces of fine Southern pottery in the auction. Estimate: $3,000-$4,000. Image courtesy of Case Antiques Inc. Auction & Appraisals.
An early French boneshaker, one of several antique bicycles from a lifetime collection featured in the sale. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Image courtesy of Case Antiques Inc. Auction & Appraisals.