PHILADELPHIA – Freeman’s Nov. 12 auction of American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts will feature, by direct descent in the Pinckney family, an important portrait of Maj. Gen. Thomas Pinckney (1750-1828) of Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1820, by the artist/inventor Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1828) ($60,000-$100,000). Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
A lawyer, planter, military leader and politician, Pinckney served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He was a governor of South Carolina, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and served as Minister to Britain. He was also a special envoy to Spain-negotiating the important Treaty of San Lorenzo. Pinckney is shown in uniform (above) wearing the insignia of the Society of the Cincinnati of which he was a founding member and 4th President General. The artwork retains two printed exhibition labels from the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Also coming to the auction by direct descent in the Franklin family is a Benjamin Franklin-owned chart of the Gulf Stream (below), Remarques Sur la Navigation de Terre-Neuve à New-York afin d’éviter les Courrants et les bas-fonds au Sud de Nantucket et du Banc de George, circa 1783 ($20,000-$30,000). Benjamin Franklin (1705-1790) and his cousin Timothy Folger produced the first chart of the Gulf Stream, published in London in 1768. Franklin had this chart translated into French and printed in Paris by George-Louis Le Rouge. This is almost certainly one of a group of Le Rouge’s Chart of the Gulf Stream brought to Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin upon completion of his role as minister plenipotentiary to France in 1785.
Several important collectors are represented in the sale. The first, Dr. Luther W. Brady (1925-2018) of Philadelphia, a renowned radiation oncologist, professor and supporter of the visual and musical arts, was an avid collector of Historical Blue Staffordshire. A selection of plates, platters, bowls, covered tureen and stand decorated with various Philadelphia views, and the rare “Arms of Pennsylvania” platter ($15,000-$25,000) are included in the auction.
The auction will be conducted on Tuesday, Nov. 12, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern time.