PHILADELPHIA — Freeman’s November 10 American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts auction was characterized by competitive bidding on American national flags, American silver, early American furniture, and 19th-century paintings. The sale achieved an impressive $1.64 million.
“The auction was a panoply of rare and historic Americana that appealed to a broad range of collectors and dealers,” says Lynda Cain, Head of Sale. “From extraordinary folk art and American Flags, to a fine selection of 18th-century silver by renowned makers, to historic Philadelphia landscapes, portraits, and furniture, fine representative examples garnered considerable attention and achieved strong prices. We are delighted with the results.”
Freeman’s November 10 auction featured a strong grouping of American silver throughout the ages, from Pilgrim-era items to Classical presentation pieces and late-19th-century tea and flatware services. Silver pieces made in Philadelphia elicited much buyer interest, including a circa-1770 silver coffeepot made by William Hollingshead, which achieved $37,800 against an estimate of $20,000-$30,000, and a circa-1750 silver covered tankard by Philip Syng, Jr., which sold for $30,240. A silver caudle cup and a silver covered tankard both achieved $27,720.
The November 10 sale was led by The American National Flag Collection of Jeffrey Kenneth Kohn, MD, consisting of examples amassed by a preeminent national flag expert. A 44-star flag commemorating Wyoming statehood more than doubled its pre-sale high estimate to achieve $63,000, and a 13-star flag with 21 “scattered stars” sold for $59,850. Civil War-era flags performed well, including a 34-star “Union and Liberty Forever” flag commemorating Kansas statehood, which far exceeded its estimates to achieve $35,280.
Several results in American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts confirm market strength for fine works of early American furniture making. Two Philadelphia pieces from the 18th and 19th century shattered estimates: a Chippendale carved mahogany side chair exceeded its pre-sale high estimate of $5,000 by a remarkable nearly 13 times to achieve $63,000, and a Federal inlaid and figured mahogany pier table doubled its pre-sale high estimate to sell for $50,400. Two New England works sparked competitive bidding, both a William and Mary carved oak Hadley chest with drawer, which achieved $20,160, and the Kellogg/Belden Family Queen Anne carved cherry high chest, which sold for $18,900.
A historic Philadelphia landscape, View of Fairmount Water-Works with Schuylkill in Distance, circa 1840 achieved $69,300, and Thomas Sully’s Portrait of a Young Girl Holding Pet Terrier outperformed its pre-sale high estimate by nearly 12 times to achieve $59,850. Historic American works generated much buyer interest, from the 1833 Eagle Map of the United States Engraved for the Rudiments of National Knowledge that achieved $44,100, to a circa-1814 copper-plate printed handkerchief, titled “First Built Line of Battle Ship in the Western World,” which surpassed its pre-sale estimate by nearly 14 times to sell for $40,950.
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