BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – A major auction focusing primarily on Americana and the traditional collecting aesthetics and timed to kick off just ahead of Americana Week in New York is planned for Wednesday, Jan. 15, by Nye & Company Auctioneers. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
The sale is officially titled a Collectors’ Passion Auction. “We invite collectors, institutions and the trade in New York that week to come over to New Jersey by way of train, bus or car,” said Andrew Holter of Nye & Company Auctioneers. “We’re located 15 miles outside of the Lincoln Tunnel and are easily accessible, and close to, mass transit centers. The sale offerings are well worth the trip.”
The auction is headlined by property from the collection of Ralph and Roberta Carpenter. Ralph was a former Christie’s representative from Newport, Rhode Island, and the author of the highly acclaimed book The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island: 1640-1820. Both “Bobbie” and Ralph were fixtures in Newport and responsible for preserving several historic buildings in town.
The collection is quintessential Early American and features early brass, silver, Chinese Export porcelain, Chinese, English and American furniture, Old Master paintings and early mezzotint engravings.
Of exceptional note is the “D-Day” George III-style extension dining table, an historically important piece bearing a silver plaque that reads, “This table was in constant use October 1943 to May 1944 for the deliberations of General Eisenhower, Allied Commander-in-Chief and his staff, who were then planning the victorious Allied advance in Germany. It was also used by General Marshall and Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Army when plans for ‘D’ Day were put into direction whilst staying at Stanwell House, England, May to June 1944.”
Additional highlights include a terrific 1775 mezzotint of Samuel Adams, printed by Reck and Okey in Newport; a wonderful Haarlem School oil on wood titled Musical Interlude from circa 1630; a Dutch School portrait of a young woman from the 16th century; a terrific silver tankard by Boston silversmith John Burt; and a large selection of brass dating from as early as the 16th century.
Dovetailing nicely with the Carpenter collection is a fabulous collection of first period Worcester porcelain from a private Westchester, New York, collection. Collected over 30-plus years, this group boasts excellent examples in a variety of forms. Included are pieces from the well-known and highly sought after Zorensky collection. Another private Westchester collector is selling a fine collection of Staffordshire cow creamers.
American furniture is well represented from a variety of private collections, including a Chippendale serpentine-front chest of drawers, a Classical figured maple lyre base games table and a Queen Anne fan-carved high chest of drawers.
The sale also includes three early cast-iron firebacks and stove plates from the Eric Martin Wunsch collection. Wunsch was an early and highly respected collector of early American furniture, silver, Old Master paintings and early glass.
There is also a nice selection of classic American folk portraiture from the first half of the 19th century and a pleasing group of self-taught and outsider art being offered from the NAMITS Collection. Artists include Harriet Wiseman, Charlotte Culot, Barry Simons and Robilee Frederick.
Continuing with the fine arts theme, there are some early photographs by famed photographers Edward Weston and his son, Brett. The photos depict the dunes at Oceano, California, and are from the 1930s. All are signed and dated on the mount and are excellent examples of the plate of light, shadows and texture of nature. Of special note is the Edward Weston photograph. This particular work bears a personal inscription from Edward to Gavin Arthur. Gavin was the son of President Chester Arthur and like Weston, a photographer known for taking photos of the dunes at Oceano.