LOS ANGELES — John Moran Auctioneers will hold a Traditional Collector auction on Tuesday, September 20, beginning at noon Pacific time. With more than 300 lots, the sale has everything from 18th-century English and Neoclassical fine and decorative art to French Country and Colonial antique furniture. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
American history buffs will delight in the collection of Rough Riders memorabilia from the late 1800s and early 1900s. It belonged to James Robb Church, M.D., an assistant surgeon assigned to the 1st Volunteer Regiment during the Spanish-American War. It includes a framed, autographed black-and-white photo of Theodore Roosevelt that he inscribed, “To James Robb Church, 1st Vol Reg Surgeon from Theodore Roosevelt, Col 1st USV Calvary,” and with it a personal letter to Church on White House letterhead, dated December 30, 1904. Also included is a unique custom tankard derived from an 1895 Bernorf German Mountain Howitzer 88mm shell, with an applied nickeled-silver handle and engraved shield which reads, “From the Spanish Mountain Battery to the American Army, San Juan Hill, July 1st, 1898, James Robb Church.”
Prestigious pieces from the collection include Church’s medals: a Henry S. Wellcome medal from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States and the Medal of Honor he received in 1906 for his heroic act of carrying multiple wounded soldiers through a hail of Spanish bullets at the Battle of Las Guasimas on June 24, 1898. But the standout is the group of four hand-written diaries from Church, recording his observations and thoughts during his attachment to the French military medical corps in 1916. Each diary is complete with detailed narratives and photographs of his journey during World War I. This historical nine-piece collection is valued at $3,000-$5,000.
Another highlight of the auction is a 200-year-old military painting, The Bay of Naples, by John Thomas Serres, which has an estimate of $10,000-$20,000. He learned to paint under the tutelage of his father, Dominic Serres (1722-1793), a prolific English maritime painter and founder of the Royal Academy in London. John Thomas Serres garnered a reputation for his draughtsmanship and eventually replaced his father as the official marine painter to King George III. Later, in 1800, he became marine draughtsman to the Admiralty and traveled by sea, recording coastlines and documenting enemy positions.
Still another standout in the category of fine art comes from the German battle painter Werner Wilhelm Gustav Schuch (1843-1918). The work, Untitled (Cavalry Charge), captures soldiers on horseback as they charge into battle and is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Representing the sculpture offerings in the sale is Danseuse jambe droite levee (Lady Constance Stewart Richardson), by Prince Paul Petrovich Troubetzkoy. Troubetzkoy (Russian, 1866-1938) was a self-taught artist and is often associated with Impressionism due to his ability to grasp sketchy movements in his works. This bronze, which has an estimate of $20,000-$30,000, is a strong example of his small-scale figure sculptures.
Traditional furniture collectors are sure to show interest in the two Art Nouveau Galle pieces presented in the sale. Emile Galle (1846-1904) was a French artist and designer, best known for his works in glass but he also distinguished himself by creating wooden furniture that incorporated striking inlaid naturalistic-inspired designs. Moran’s will offer both a Galle Nancy inlaid bookcase and a Galle inlaid curio cabinet, with estimates ranging from $7,000-$10,000.
There will be various lighting selections offered, but a likely favorite will be a patinated bronze Tiffany Studios table lamp in the Apple Blossom pattern. Created in the early 1900s, this handcrafted lamp was designed with an overall pattern of apple blossoms in pink striated opalescent glass, with leaves in shades of green against a ground of mottled green glass. It carries an estimate of $8,000-$10,000.
Other decorative art pieces include a French polished brass and champleve mantel clock with floral detail in pink and green for $4,000-$6,000, and a Victorian Scottish sterling silver tipping kettle, estimated at $1,500-$2,000.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/