The painting, titled 1914 Kentucky Derby, shows the thoroughbred Old Rosebud on his way to victory the by eight lengths, a record that lasted 17 years. The large work was commissioned by Robert Hensley and was unveiled at Churchill Downs just before the start of the 1963 Kentucky Derby. Sundblom is best known for his magazine renderings of Santa Claus, done for Coca-Cola.
It will be just the fifth auction for Ahlers & Ogletree, but the firm is no newcomer to the greater Atlanta arts and antiques scene. It operates three established retail locations in the region: 14th Street Antiques & Interiors in the upscale West Side design district, Peachtree Battle Antiques & Interiors in fashionable Buckhead and Black Bear Antiques in Ellijay, in the north Georgia mountains.
The Aug. 4 auction promises to be Ahlers & Ogletree’s largest and best auction to date. Offered will be over 500 fresh-to-the-market lots, from three prominent local estates and other consignors. Items will include fine works of art, American and Continental period furniture, antique clocks, lamps and lighting, art glass, estate jewelry, watches and decorative accessories.
One of the prominent Atlanta estates will feature items descended from Henry St. John, a nobleman with roots in Georgia that date back to the mid-18th century, in Bolingbroke. Items from the estate include a Tiffany coffeepot, engraved with the St. John family monogram, and many Victorian rosewood pieces like a spectacular 19th century half tester bed, plus other items.
“We’re extremely excited about the auction, which is packed with quality items from three great estates,” said Robert Ahlers, president of Ahlers & Ogletree. “We think that this sale will establish us as a major auction player in the Southeast. We place a premium on honesty and integrity, and we’ll continue to do business in an aboveboard and transparent way.”
Two other paintings are expected to generate considerable bidder interest. One is an oil on board of a French vessel, attributed to Antonio Jacobsen (Denmark/New Jersey, 1850-1921). Jacobsen became one of America’s most prolific painters of marine subjects. The other is an oil on board sharecropper cabin scene by the noted genre painter William Aiken Walker (South Carolina, 1838-1921).
Tiffany is a name that attracts collectors like moths to a light, and this auction will feature over 20 lots carrying the Tiffany name. Speaking of light, a Tiffany Studios 10-light Lily lamp in mint condition is expected to gavel for $20,000-$25,000. And a Tiffany & Co. tall-case clock with marquetry inlay and moon phase dial will undoubtedly get bidder paddles waving.
As nice as the Tiffany clock is, there is another tall-case clock in the sale that may even bring more: a monumental Waltham nine-tube grandfather clock that’s as rare as it is gorgeous. Those who prefer their timepieces more pocket-size will be able to choose from among several Rolex watches. Another noteworthy lighting lot is a Pairpoint reverse-painted garden scene lamp.
The many pieces of art glass will include examples by Tiffany, Daum Nancy, Galle and Steuben. A Galle Art Nouveau inlaid table will also be sold. Other furniture pieces will feature an 18th century Queen Anne chest on stand, an English corner chair, a large painted armoire and a satinwood vitrine with Sevres plaques and bronze ormolu.
Additional furniture lots will include a beautiful inlaid sideboard, an Art Nouveau table with marquetry inlay and a modern Mastercraft console with Bernhard Rohne acid-etched top. Featured in the auction will be many pieces of period English Queen Anne furniture from a prominent Atlanta estate, plus many Victorian pieces from the aforementioned St. John family.
Two lots with historical provenance should spark bidding wars. The first is a rare Herter Brothers embroidered velvet panel made for the William Henry Vanderbilt mansion. The second is an embroidery done by the young daughter of John Van Alen, an influential early 19th century New York politician and friend of George Washington. The embroidery shows Van Alen’s tomb.
Also slated to be sold Aug. 4 will be an Orientalist bronze bust by French sculptor Henri Ple (1853-1922), dated 1883, Wavecrest boxes, a fine pair of French porcelain urns with bronze ormolu and more.
The auction will begin promptly at 11 a.m. Eastern on Sunday morning, Aug. 4.
Ahlers & Ogletree is is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, call 404-869-2478 or send them an email at email@example.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE