A painting of three ballerinas by Russian-American artist Grigory Gluckmann (1898-1973) leads the fine art offerings. The oil on panel bears a 1953 exhibition label from the Milch Galleries in New York and is entitled Dressing Room. Gluckmann, who fled to Paris to escape the Russian Revolution and later fled Paris during its German occupation, was known for his luminous representations of the human figure and the time-consuming layering method by which he applied his paint. Ballerinas are among his most sought-after subjects.
Other artists represented in the sale include Robert Lougheed (Canadian, 1901-1982), Sterling Strauser (Pennsylvania, 1907-1995), Cornelius Hankins (Tennessee, 1864-1946), and sporting artists Robert Cleminson (British, active 1860-1886), and Joseph Sulkowski (American, b. 1951). There are two etchings by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1896). Also expected to garner attention is a portrait miniature of a Southern gentleman by John Wood Dodge (New York/Tennessee, 1807-1893), and a patriotic oil on board painting of President Andrew Jackson, possibly a campaign piece or memorial painting, dating from the second quarter of the 19th century. An Auguste Edouart double silhouette with labeled sitters and a circa 1810 watercolor portrait of Marie Henriette D’Anterroche of New Jersey round out the fine art offerings.
The sale features an assortment of Old Sheffield Plate, sterling, silverplate and coin silver deaccessioned by Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville to benefit their acquisitions fund.
“Cheekwood maintains an excellent silver collection, but these are pieces which the museum felt no longer fit in with their collecting focus,” said company president John Case. “There are some unusual forms, such as late-18th- to early 19th-century plate warmers, and hollowware and flatware from the Georgian period through the Edwardian era. But not all of it will be expensive – many lots are estimated to sell for under $200. We also have some great silver from other consignors, including a Tetard Freres French Art Deco flatware service, a Baltimore Castle Pattern tea service, coin silver from Tennessee, Georgia and Charleston, and 20th-century silver by Spratling, Dodge, and Adler. It’s really an outstanding sale for silver all around.”
A plantation home in Grainger County, Tenn., known as Horse Shoe Bend yielded several important early examples of Southern furniture for the sale. The house itself went to a watery grave in 1940, when the land around it was flooded to create the Cherokee Dam. Fortunately, the furnishings and some architectural elements were removed, and with the death of one of the last remaining descendents, they are now on the auction block. They include a rare cherry cupboard or press with turned pilasters and glazed doors over a base with unusual pie safe tins, as well as a bookcase on chest, and a birdcage candlestand, all of which retain their original surfaces. Also featured in the sale is an early 19th-century walnut corner cupboard with dentil molded cornice, glazed doors and cupboard base that descended in the family of James Buchanan, an early settler of Davidson County (Nashville area) and a Middle Tennessee sugar chest with original liner box. Although Case is better known for Southern furniture, there is also a bed and two storage chests from the Iolani Palace in Hawaii. They were reputedly among the furnishings sold at public auction following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. Rounding out the furniture offerings is a collection of Georgia furniture from a home featured in the April 1997 edition of Early American Homes, plus several pieces of Stickley oak and European furniture.
Pottery is a staple at Case. This time, an exceptional redware pitcher by Greeneville, Tenn., potter Christopher Haun leads the lineup. The lead glazed pitcher features manganese or iron oxide loop designs and unusual compass star and cross hatched stamping as well as the name C.A. Haun & Co. It is the only known marked pitcher form by Haun, who was a Union sympathizer during the Civil War and participated in burning a railroad bridge in Greene County. He was captured and put to death by Confederate forces in 1861.
There is also a rare W.H. Hancock stamped ring jug from North Carolina, several lots of Georgia folk pottery from the Meaders family and other makers, and, from the art pottery realm, an 1893 Rookwood Iris glaze scenic vase by Kataro Shirayamadani, depicting four birds in flight.
Civil War items include a cache of letters from Confederate Lt. Thomas Bell of the 30th Tennessee Regiment. They include letters from his months stationed at Fort Donelson, an account of his capture when the fort fell to Union forces, and details of his time at Johnson’s Island on Lake Erie as a prisoner of war. Bell, who was eventually released in a prisoner exchange, returned to his regiment and died a few weeks after being wounded fighting near Atlanta. There is a Greeneville, Tenn., Union soldier’s GAR and Wilder Brigade ribbons and medal, plus numerous other Civil War items including weapons, a painted canteen, a reunion banner, books, and a carved cane that descended from the estate of a Union Civil War soldier from Jefferson County depicting a Confederate snake chasing a Tennessee mockingbird, which is seen seeking safety under a Union Eagle shield.
Also featured is a collection of historic documents including land grants and deeds signed by James K. Polk and John Quincy Adams, and an 1869 autograph book with signatures of Andrew Johnson, the Chief Justice of the United States, and every member of the senate.
A collection of 19th-century Bohemian and French glass features several fine examples attributed to makers such as Moser and Baccarat. There are also collections of French Quimper pottery, Asian snuff bottles, and circus memorabilia. Rounding out the sale is a large selection of estate jewelry, several clocks and barometers, and antique lighting including two Handel lamps and sconces salvaged from Cornell University and from the Gustav Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee.
“This will be the largest auction we have ever offered, and one of the most diverse,” said Case. “Estimates on these lots start at $80 and go up to $80,000, so there truly is something for every budget.”
The auction will be held at Case’s gallery in the historic Cherokee Mills Building, 2240 Sutherland Ave. in Knoxville on May 22 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. A preview will take place Friday, May 21 from noon to 6 p.m. A complete online catalog also will be available for viewing via the website, www.caseantiques.com. Interested bidders may also call (865) 558-3033 or (615) 812-6096 for more information about objects in the sale or to set up a phone or absentee bid.
For details phone (865) 558-3033 in Knoxville or (615) 812-6096 in Nashville
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE