Christine Biddle Wainwright collection was highlight of Doyle Americana sales

Thomas Sully portrait of Commodore James Biddle, $94,500

Thomas Sully portrait of Commodore James Biddle, $94,500. Image courtesy of Doyle and LiveAuctioneers

NEW YORK – Americana Week at Doyle topped $1.9 million as bidders from coast to coast competed during two days of sales on May 3 and 4. Showcased were paintings and prints, high style and country furniture, silver, folk art and Chinese export porcelain. The week was highlighted by property from the Christine Biddle Wainwright collection. With competitive bidding, the sales totaled a successful $1,931,185, surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $1,103,025-$1,758,575, with 92% sold by lot and 100% sold by value.

Comprising more than 100 lots of silver, paintings, furniture and signed documents, the Christine Biddle Wainwright collection offered unique insight to American history. Property from the collection was presented as a single-owner section of the May 4 auction. The earliest items related to Nicholas Biddle, who was born in Philadelphia in 1750 and became one of the first captains of the United States Navy.

The top lot of the week was an 1839 portrait by Thomas Sully (British and American, 1783-1872) of Commodore James Biddle that soared above its estimate of $30,000-$50,000 to achieve an exceptional $94,500.

Large 1759 Pennsylvania map by Nicholas Scull, $88,200

Large 1759 Pennsylvania map by Nicholas Scull, $88,200. Image courtesy of Doyle and LiveAuctioneers

A 1759 map of the improved Part of the Province of Pennsylvania by Nicholas Scull realized $88,200, tripling its $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Measuring 31 1/4 by 61 1/4in, the map is the largest to have been printed in America in the 18th century.

Pair of silver vases by Philadelphia silversmiths Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, $59,850

Pair of silver vases made in 1832 by Philadelphia silversmiths Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, $59,850. Image courtesy of Doyle and LiveAuctioneers

Another fascinating offering was a pair of silver vases that memorialized Thomas Biddle, who met his demise in a duel in 1831. Commissioned from Philadelphia silversmiths Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner the following year, the vases sold for $59,850, many times their $7,000-$10,000 estimate.

William Trost Richards painting of John Brown’s gravesite, $69,300

William Trost Richards painting of John Brown’s gravesite, $69,300.
Image courtesy of Doyle and LiveAuctioneers

Paintings from other owners included a circa-1864 oil on panel by William Trost Richards (American, 1833-1905) of John Brown’s gravesite at North Elba, New York that achieved a stunning $69,300, far surpassing its $1,500-$2,500 estimate. Painted during the final year of the Civil War, the work delivers a powerful message with its depiction of the fiery abolitionist’s tombstone.

Coins, Stamps, Bank Notes & Sports Collectibles

On Thursday, May 5, Doyle held a successful auction of Coins, Stamps, Bank Notes & Sports Collectibles on May 5 that attracted collectors and enthusiasts from across the country and abroad. The sale showcased a wide range of property fresh from prominent estates and distinguished collections, including the Robert J. Barish Collection of Canadian Postage Stamps.

 United States 1928 $100 STAR gold certificate, $13,310


United States 1928 $100 STAR gold certificate, $13,310. Image courtesy of Doyle and LiveAuctioneers

With competitive bidding, the auction totaled an impressive $350,020, surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $219,000-$311,100, with an exceptional 99% sold by lot and 100% sold by value.

Highlighting the sale was a United States 1928 $100 STAR gold certificate that soared past its estimate of $1,500-$2,500 to achieve $13,310. This note, issued during the boom years of the late 1920s, was in exceptional condition. Adding to its allure was the fact that it was a STAR note – a bank note printed to replace a faulty one during printing – which added to its scarcity.

 

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