Early American painted furniture highlights Skinner auction Nov. 7
Of note in the sale is a rare black walnut carved corner cupboard from Lancaster County, Pa., circa 1790. The consignor’s father-in-law, Dr. Louis H. Mutschler Sr. of Philadelphia, acquired the cupboard when he was married to Lucy Brooks Price. The couple married on Dec. 7, 1907, in Media, Pa., but resided in Philadelphia. Lucy Brooks Price was the daughter of Lucy Adele Brooks and Edward Augustus Price, whose ancestors were among Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers, including Samuel Price, who served on the Committee of Safety and with Chester County Associators during the Revolution. The piece is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000.
Another piece of furniture that’s likely to draw significant interest is a mahogany carved dressing table, possibly by Benjamin Frothingham of Charlestown, Mass. The table was made between 1760-1780 and is estimated at $15,000 to $25,000.
Decorative arts includes a carved and painted wood box, probably from New England, 1862, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000; an Edward Winslow silver mug estimated at $8,000 to $12,000; and a needlework “Family Tree” family record sampler from Waltham, Mass., early 19th century, depicting the vital statistics of Joseph Garfield, b. Aug. 17, 1761, his wife Susanna Hagar Garfield, b. Aug. 20, 1769, married April 4, 1787, and their 12 children, their names and birthdates stitched on the fruit issuing from the tree, estimated at $4,000-6,000.
Also of note is a private collection built by Jim and Bernice Miller of Appleton, Wis. The Millers began collecting early Americana in the mid-60s, traveling first from Ohio and Pennsylvania and later to New England to find fine examples of eighteenth and early 19th century American high country furniture and accessories. In 1970, they designed and built the perfect showcase for their collection, a reproduction Connecticut River Valley saltbox. In the mid-1970s they established their own antique dealership, Miller Antiques, which flourished until Bernice’s death in 1999. The collection up for bid includes more than 100 pieces of fine Americana.
Finally, an unsigned 19th-century American school painting, The Great Fire of Utica New York of the Year 1837, will be up for bid as well. The great fire of Utica broke out about 2 a.m. on March 31, 1837 on the second floor of a frame building on the corner of Genesee and Broad streets. The building housed a grocery store, a silversmith, and a jeweler. According to the Utica Observer of April 4, 1837: “… the wind was high from the east and most of the buildings, being of wood (a few have brick fronts), the flames spread with great rapidity, and before the engines could be brought into play, had obtained a mastery that was almost impossible to overcome…” The fire consumed 34 buildings, most of them merchants, and a handful of private dwellings. The painting is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000.
Previews for the auction will be Wednesday, Nov. 3, noon-5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 4, noon-8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 5, noon-8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 6, noon-5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 7, 8-10 a.m. In conjunction with Friday’s preview, Skinner will host an Americana gallery walk. The reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., with the Gallery Walk commencing at 6:30 p.m. R.S.V.P. 617-350-5400.
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