For starters, there are 47 lots of decoys, most signed by Chris Smith (1858-1937), the founder of the prestigious wooden boat company, Chris-Craft. Before boats, Smith and his brother Henry were commercial duck hunters and Chris carved over 1,000 decoys between 1870 and 1925. That is a pedigree that comes with bragging rights.
Few painters loved hunting dogs more than classically trained American artist Percival Rosseau (1859-1937). “A man should paint what he knows best and I know more about animals than anything else,” he said. Rosseau’s benefactor, industrialist Samuel G. Allen (1870-1956), shared his affection for hunting dogs. He helped found the Amateur Field Trials Clubs of America (1917) and the English Spaniel Field Trial Association (1922). Two of the Rosseau paintings in the sale are of Allen’s spaniels: A Tripple (sic) Point: Bob, Prince and Ned 1924 and End of a Perfect Day, Allen’s Flag and Queen 1923. Each carries a presale estimate of $40,000-$60,000. Samuel Allen owned at least five Rosseau paintings; Perfect Day was one of them and there is a possibility that Allen also owned Tripple Point.
Rosseau immortalized Samuel Allen’s dogs. Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) did the same for the people he knew and loved. “I’m involved with the people I paint,” he once said. “They are not people I paint and send home.” The sportsmen who posed for Wyeth’s Shore Pine 1939 were his lifelong friends, Milton Teel and Maine fisherman Walt Anderson. The scene is Turkey Cove, an inlet near Port Clyde, Maine. The 22½ inch by 30 inch watercolor over pencil on paper (est. $60,000-$90,000) was sold by Macbeth Gallery in New York in 1940 and given to the consignor in 1955. Walt Anderson also posed for Wyeth’s Sea Dog, a portrait of the red-bearded old salt owned by the North Carolina Museum of Art.
In addition to the sport paintings, three furniture lots are expected to do well. Two are Southern, a Brunk Auctions specialty.
One of the best examples of post-Revolutionary Charleston cabinetwork is a massive three-part desk and bookcase consigned by York Place, a South Carolina treatment facility. In mahogany with white pine, red cedar and oak secondary, it is one of the few Southern pieces to survive with fully inlaid feet. Its broken-arch pediment has delicate satinwood fan rosettes and an inlaid central finial plinth. Doors are glazed and the long drawers are banded and inlaid. The consignor was originally a Charleston orphanage that opened its doors in 1850. The home was relocated to York, S.C., in 1910 and evolved into a residential facility for children and adolescents beginning in the 1970s. The proceeds from the sale of the desk/bookcase (est. $60,000-$90,000) will help the non-profit continue to serve young people in need of psychiatric hospitalization.
Consigned from upstate South Carolina and constructed a generation after the Charleston desk and bookcase is an important inlaid huntboard or sideboard. In walnut and cherry with yellow pine secondary, its most distinctive features are an inlaid snake between the central bottle drawers and its elaborate barberpole inlay on the three front legs. On finely tapered legs, the huntboard is expected to bring $25,000-$35,000.
A fine 1870s Herter Brothers inlaid cabinet (est. $15,000-$25,000) in mahogany, cherry and mixed woods with gilt and ebonized surfaces comes from New York’s Gilded Age. Pedestal ends with carved lion’s heads, leaf and berry surrounds and painted classical figures stand on carved paw and pad feet. “Herter Bro’s” in impressed on the back. Also on the back is the pencil inscription, “Milne cabinet,” possibly the name of its original owner.
Not to be outdone in the elegance category is a two-part 12 inch by 14¼ inch Tiffany punchbowl with 12 matching goblets. All of the 3-7/8 inch goblets are marked “L.C.T.” The base is marked “L.C. Tiffany-Favrille 8018C.” The set is estimated at $6,000-$12,000.
Chinese and Japanese lots come up the second day. Watch for considerable overseas interest in lot 1392, a blue and white Chinese bowl, probably Kangxi (1662-1722). Mythical beasts decorate the exterior and interior. On the base is a blue six-character mark for Chenghua (1465-1487). The bowl is expected to sell for $2000/$4000.
Other significant lots in the 1400+ lot sale are a pair of Odiot silver compotes that descended in the family of Prince Louis de Ligne of Czechoslovakia (est. $4000/$8000), plate CCXVI (the wood ibis) from Audubon’s Birds of America, 1827-1838 (est. $25,000-$45,000) and an oversize Ferahan Sarouk rug (est. $20,000-$30,000).
For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Brunk Auctions at 828-254-6846.
LiveAuctioneers will provide the Internet live bidding on both days of Brunk’s Sept. 11-12 sale.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE