NEW YORK – In early November, Doyle completed two different highly successful auctions on consecutive days. Both featured works by founding father Paul Revere, Jr. – the first featured a historic print that sold for a world auction record, and the second showcased a group of his silver pieces, which collectively realized $170,100.
November 2 – American Paintings & Prints
On Tuesday, November 2, Doyle held a highly successful auction of American Paintings & Prints. Featured were 19th- and 20th-century paintings, including fine examples of portraiture; Hudson River, Western and regional landscapes; and still lifes, as well as Revere, Audubon, Currier & Ives and topographical prints. Special sections of the sale were devoted to Marine Paintings and Outsider Art.
With competitive bidding, the November 2 sale totaled an exceptional $1,384,891, far surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $619,800-$953,250, with a robust 90% sold by lot and 99% sold by value.
Highlighting the sale was Paul Revere’s iconic 1770 engraving, The Bloody Massacre, which achieved $429,000 – a world auction record for the print. Property from the collection of New York advertising executive Monroe F. Dreher, the hand-colored engraving is Revere’s most well-known and sought-after print. This powerful rendering of the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, during which the British killed five Bostonians, is arguably the most famous propaganda image printed during the American Revolution. Immediately after the confrontation, Revere realized its significance at a time when tensions were high between England and the colonies, and he both sought to and succeeded in circulating a depiction that would further the patriots’ cause.
Determined bidders drove a landscape by Fidelia Bridges soaring above its estimate of $3,000-$5,000 to a stunning $93,750 – a world auction record for the artist. Small Bird with Flowering Ironweed reflects Bridge’s expertise in depictions of birds and flowers in natural settings. She began her career working in oil, as in this painting, later gaining a reputation for her works in watercolor.
Topping the section of the sale devoted to Marine Paintings was a masterful view of a Whaling Ship and Iceberg from 1880 by William Bradford that realized $93,750, surpassing its estimate of $60,000-$90,000. The work highlighted the group of marine paintings from a prominent corporate collection.
Bill Traylor’s watercolor and graphite depiction of a Black Panther highlighted the selection of Outsider Art offered in the sale. Property from the Estate of an Upper West Side Collector, the work surpassed its $25,000-$35,000 estimate, selling for $40,950.
November 3 – American Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts
On Wednesday, November 3, Doyle held a successful auction of American Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts. The sale showcased fine American furniture and decorative arts, including silver, ceramics, mirrors, folk art, samplers and rugs. A special section of the auction was devoted to porcelain, paintings, decorative arts and other objects of the Pacific Trade.
With competitive bidding, the November 3 sale totaled a strong $994,494, surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $590,350-$908,150, with a robust 90% sold by lot and 100% sold by value.
Highlighting the sale was a group of Paul Revere silver from The Monroe and Elizabeth Dreher Collection. The five examples attracted spirited bidding that drove the collection far above its total estimate of $73,000-$105,000 to achieve $170,100. The top-selling lot was an example of Revere’s Liverpool pitcher from 1805 that soared past its estimate of $25,000-$35,000 to realize a stunning $94,500.
This exceptional collection of Paul Revere silver and engraving was assembled by New York advertising executive Monroe F. Dreher, and the majority of the pieces have remained unseen for nearly 70 years. Many of the works had descended within the original families and Dreher was fastidious about recording the provenance of these pieces. Like many passionate collectors of American antiques in the 1940s and 1950s, Dreher outfitted his Connecticut residence as near period rooms. The collection was featured in The Magazine Antiques in 1954.
The sale also saw strong bidding and robust prices for American tall case clocks. A Federal inlaid mahogany musical tall case clock from New England sold for $22,680, many times its estimate of $2,000-$4,000. Property from a Connecticut Estate, this clever clock had six tunes in its repertoire.
Also, a circa-1770 Chippendale mahogany tall case clock by Joseph Ellicot of Buckingham, Pennsylvania, realized $13,860, tripling its $3,000-$4,000 estimate.
From the private collection of Jacob and Sylvia Levy was a Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany side chair that attracted the attention of determined bidders who sent the chair sailing past its estimate of $600-$900 to achieve $11,970. From the same collection were groups of pewter articles that performed exceptionally well.
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