Schwenke to offer fine Americana at Aug. 14 Estates Auction


Sheraton inlaid mahogany serpentine card table

WOODBURY, Conn. – On Tuesday, August 14, Schwenke Auctioneers will hold its August Fine Estates Auction featuring 400+ lots of estate property. The lineup includes a broad selection of Asian decorative arts, American, English and Continental furniture and decorative arts, folk art and American country furniture, early English and other sterling silver, jewelry, fine art, miscellaneous decorative arts, and estate oriental rugs. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers. The auction is a live online sale that begins at 11:00 am Eastern Time.

Owner/auctioneer Thomas Schwenke said, “This auction has a number of fine pieces of American furniture which are coming to market after more than 50 years have passed since the items were acquired by the original collectors. A prime example is the collection from the Estate of Gloria Samowitz, Stratford, Connecticut. Many of the items were purchased from the legendary Bridgeport, Connecticut dealer Harry Aarons in the 1960s and 1970s. Mrs. Samowitz and her husband were avid collectors who relished the documentation of their purchases and the experience of buying at shows, auctions and privately from dealers.”


New York Sheraton sofa, Duncan Phyfe

Among the choice items from the Samowitz estate are a fine New York Sheraton carved mahogany sofa, attributed to the workshop of Duncan Phyfe; a New York Hepplewhite oval inlaid mahogany Pembroke table; a New York carved mahogany Hepplewhite arm chair; a New England 18th-century firescreen with an embroidered panel; a labeled late federal Philadelphia carved mahogany work table by Isaac Pugh; a rare New York bronze mounted classical work table, attributed to Duncan Phyfe or Charles Honore Lannuier; a Mid-Atlantic Hepplewhite upholstered wing chair; and a fine Massachusetts inlaid Sheraton game table. Also being offered for the Samowitz estate is a very fine George III inlaid mahogany breakfront with rosette and floral/vine inlays.


Hepplewhite inlaid mahogany Pembroke table

Other American furniture of note includes a rare Massachusetts federal mahogany coffin clock by Allen Kelley, Falmouth, consigned by a Morristown, New Jersey estate. The clock has a brass eight-day, weight-driven, time-only movement with a tombstone shaped enameled dial with faux strike winding stud, signed “A. Kelley, Falmouth,” in a coffin-style case of mahogany with pine secondary wood. The clock measures 34 3/4″ high, 10 1/2″ wide, and 4 1/4″ deep. Allen Kelley was born in Yarmouth, Massachusetts on November 14th, 1791. He was a Quaker and served his apprenticeship under the Quaker clockmaker Joshua Wilder of Hingham. By 1813 Kelley is recorded to be on his own and working as a clockmaker in Sandwich, Massachusetts. He moved to several other locations in the southeastern Massachusetts region. Some of the towns include Provincetown in 1819-20, Nantucket in 1825, New Bedford in 1834 and back to Sandwich in 1852. He died there on October 13, 1876 at age 84. Allen Kelley is listed as a clockmaker, watchmaker, silversmith and jeweler. Tall clocks and shelf clocks by Kelley are known, but this is perhaps the first known wall clock example. See plate #97, page 290 of “Harbor & Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850” for photos of a tall clock by Kelley and a discussion of Kelley’s work.


Allen Kelley Falmouth coffin-style mahogany-case clock

A fine New Jersey cherrywood tall clock will cross the block, fitted with an eight day brass movement with brass dial having silver boss and chapter ring, signed “John Guild” (1749-1825), who lived and worked in Pennington, Ewing Township, New Jersey, located in the southernmost part of Hunterdon County. Guild was both a clockmaker and a silversmith, as he made silver cups as part of a communion set for the Ewing Presbyterian Church. He was the son of Reverend John Guild (1712-1787) and Charity Hunt (1721-1766). The clock measures 90 1/2″ high, 17 1/2″ wide, 9 1/4″ deep and is being sold for a Woodbury, Connecticut private collector.

A fine Connecticut Chippendale cherrywood linen press is also on offer, consigned by the Westchester County Historical Society. The two-part press has a dentil molded crown above two paneled doors and a three-drawer base with bracket feet, with unusual rope-twist corner columns, and measures 48″ wide, 79 1/2″ high, 20″ deep.


Connecticut Chippendale cherrywood linen press

A New York inlaid Hepplewhite mahogany serpentine sideboard is being sold for an estate in Wilton, Connecticut. The sideboard is in “estate” as found condition, with string and fan inlays overall and husk inlays on the legs, measuring 39″ high, 71 1/2″ wide, 28″ deep.

Mid-century and modern lots in the sale include a modernist upholstered tufted chrome bench with welded steel frame, 18″ high, 60″ wide, 21″ deep; a Berkliner modernist plyform arm chair/ottoman, the chair measuring 39 1/2″ high, 32″ wide, 29″ deep; a pair of mid-century modern adjustable chrome tables, 25″ high, 20″ diameter from a Redding, Connecticut estate; and a Whitmore Boogaerts kinetic oak and wrought-iron chair, initialed, dated on back splat “WB 99″ and measuring 34 1/2″ high, 27″ wide, 16” deep, being sold for a New Haven County, Connecticut estate.

Lot #1 in the sale is a well preserved and rare early Lotus Europa S1B (Type 46), number 46-0568, with original engine (number 697-04/0657), purchased by the consignor on January 8th,1969 from the original owner who had logged just 400 miles in the one year he had it. The Lotus certificate of provenance states that this vehicle left the factory on February 29, 1968. It was the fourth Europa sold at Lotus East, a 1,470cc, four-liter, mid-engine, two-door GT coupe. The owner has original purchase documents, certificate of title, receipts from 1996 to the present, the workshop manual and supplement. The car has never been raced, merely being maintained for daily use and has logged approximately 45,000 miles. The car has never been in an accident and was repainted in its original yellow a few years ago. A complete photo folder and maintenance/condition information is available to interested bidders upon request. Provenance is the property of a Connecticut private collector.


1968 Lotus Europa S1B (Type 46) with original engine

A local collection yielded a cased violin labeled “Gotthard Ebner Lauten 6 und Geigenmacher Music Fecit Ratisbonae 1750,” together with two bows, one stamped “Glasser.” Gotthard Ebner (German, 18th century), worked circa 1723 in Hallein, Austria.

Another Connecticut collector is selling a Stickley-style mission oak round 60” rotating game or dining table, with a thick plank top rotating on a squared pedestal base, in estate condition.

There are plentiful lots of English and Continental furniture and decorations, including a fine large early French provincial farmhouse table, with cleated three-plank top on a turned base with two end drawers, 30″ high, 105″ wide, 35 1/2″ deep, from a New Haven, Connecticut collector; an Italian carved walnut settee, with foliate and scroll carved frame, serpentine arms, on carved cabriole legs, 39″ high, 51″ wide, 22″ deep, from a Watertown Connecticut private collection; a French provincial carved walnut bonnetiere; a Louis XVI style carved and painted tub chair; a small Italian marquetry cabinet; a William IV upholstered adjustable library chair; and a fine pair of George III upholstered library chairs, with serpentine crest and front rail, molded arm supports, on square legs, 39″ high, 28″ wide, 24″ deep, also from the estate of Gloria Samowitz, Stratford, CT.

Over 70 lots of fine Asian decorative arts are being offered, including a Chinese porcelain enameled scenic plaque depicting a gathering, frame size 21 1/4″ high, 16 1/4″ wide, being sold for a Connecticut collector; a Chinese pewter and jade teapot; a Chinese porcelain tripod footed vase; a Chinese carved hardwood bench; a pair of Chinese hardwood yoke back armchairs; many Chinese porcelain vases and bowls; Japanese tansu chests; Japanese woodblock prints; a rare Japanese lacquer six-panel screen; a Chinese porcelain famile verte brush pot; and a Chinese mandarin porcelain vase.


William Plummer (London) sterling silver pierced bread basket

Sterling silver on offer includes various examples of English and American 18th- and 19th-century sterling, with a prime lot being a London sterling pierced bread basket, with handle and footed base, with armorial crest, made in London in 1781, maker’s mark “WP” for William Plummer, 12 1/2″ high, 14 1/2″ wide, weight: 32.995 ozt from a New Haven County, Connecticut estate.

Many lots of fine art are being sold. They include a Marion Kavanagh Wachtel oil on canvas landscape view of two children under a tree with structures in background, signed lower left “Marion Kavanagh Wachtel,” frame size: 27 1/2″ high, 22 1/4″ wide; a Pietro Gabrini watercolor depicting a harem scene, (Italian 1856-1926), of four women and their attendants, one feeding a swan, signed lower right “P. Gabrini, Roma;” an oil on panel portrait of a Scottish nobleman, attributed to Sir Thomas Lawrence (English, 1769-1830), frame size 15″ high, 13 1/2″ wide, consigned by an early Connecticut family; and a Nils Severin Anderson oil on board, “African Landscape” (African, 1897-1972), signed lower right with plaque “Presented to Mr. & Mrs. Walter A. Arnold by the Durban Refinery on the 7th February 1962;” among many other artworks

For additional information on any lot, call 203-266-0323.