CHICAGO – An impressive collection of antique furniture and fine art from the estate of Lt. Gen. Hanford MacNider and his son, industrialist Jack MacNider – names synonymous with Mason City, Iowa – will be a major component in Susanin’s Fall Premiere Auction on Friday, Sept. 20. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Hanford MacNider (1889-1968), who also went by Jack, was a soldier, businessman, statesman and even a presidential candidate over a long and brilliant career, during which he served with distinction in both World Wars. His son Jack (1927-2000) was the former president and CEO of Northwestern States Portland Cement Co., which the family controlled from 1908-1990.
Furniture from the MacNider estate will be led by an early 19th century American Sheraton pine settee (above) with four X-form chair back supports, scrolled arms and a cane seat (est. $3,000-$5,000); and an American 18th century Chippendale chest on chest of maple that stands 82 inches tall (est. $2,000-$4,000).
A 19th century English mahogany library cabinet with an upper cabinet having two hinged doors with a central sliding door, and a lower cabinet with two hinged doors and a sliding panel, should command $2,000-$4,000. An early 19th century American pine tall-case clock with a face that reads, “John Taylor York Town 1810”, 92½ inches tall, is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
Two fine art lots carry identical estimates of $1,500-$2,000. The first is a lithograph by Mary Cassatt (American, 1904), titled Sara Wearing Her Bonnet and Coat (circa 1904), from an edition of about 100, unsigned. The second is an egg tempera on board by Peter Hurd (American, 1904-1984), titled Day’s End, signed lower left and measuring 22 inches by 22 inches (sight).
Returning to furniture, an 18th century American Chippendale mahogany oxbow slant-front desk above four drawers and raised on bracket feet is expected to finish at $1,000-$1,500; a 19th century tiger-maple chest of drawers, 41 inches tall, should go for $1,000-$1,500; and an 18th century American Queen Anne maple highboy, 72 inches tall, is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
Rounding out the category is an 18th century American mahogany chest on chest, 70½ inches tall by 44 inches wide, and an American 18th century Chippendale carved mahogany tea table, 30 inches in width. Each has an estimate of $1,000-$1,500.
Other lots in the auction expected to do well include a collection of Tiffany Studios mosaic glass zodiac panels and Favrile glass mosaic tiles, an oil on canvas painting by Vietnamese artist Lê Phổ (1907-2001), a lacquered polyurethane Homme Chair by noted Czech artist Ruth Francken (1924-2006), and a collection of mostly early-to-mid-20th century Native American basketwork.
Hanford “Jack” MacNider graduated from Harvard University in 1911 before returning home to Mason City to work as a bookkeeper in his father’s bank. He joined the Iowa National Guard and was a first lieutenant during the 1916-1917 Mexican Border Campaign. During World War I, he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and went on to receive 13 service medals.
After the war, MacNider returned to his father’s bank in Mason City and became much involved in Republican politics. So prominent was his place in the party that he was appointed assistant secretary of war (1925-1928). In 1930, President Herbert Hoover named him the U.S. envoy to Canada (1930-1932). In 1940 he became Iowa’s “favorite son” candidate for the U.S. presidency.
An ardent isolationist, MacNider became an active member of the America First Committee, but he resigned three days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the attack, he went to the War Department in Washington and insisted on being recalled to active duty. He became a brigadier general in 1942 and saw combat action in the Pacific Theater (New Guinea and the Philippines).
MacNider continued to serve in the Army until he was required to retire, in 1951, whereupon he returned to private life and his business interests in Mason City. He and his wife, Margaret, had three sons: Tom, Jack and Angus. MacNider passed away in 1968.
Jack MacNider, the son, followed in his father’s footsteps, first by serving in the military during World War II and later by earning a degree in business from Harvard in 1950 (and two years later, a master’s degree with distinction from the Harvard School of Business Administration). He worked briefly for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh before returning to Mason City.
There, he served in various capacities at Northwestern States Portland Cement Co., finally becoming president and general manager in 1960. MacNider was regarded as a charming and gracious man.
Susanin’s gallery is at 900 S. Clinton St. in Chicago. Start time is 10 a.m. Central Time.