Both the clock and the painting are from the estate of Margaret Wemyss Connor of Nashville, whose collection of American art and antiques accounts for over 125 lots in the sale. The 725-lot auction also features pieces from other estates and collections including an institutional collection of Native American objects, Asian antiques, and Case’s standard fare of fine Southern regional art and antiques.
The Simon Willard tall case clock with Roxbury case is notable for its Isaiah Thomas engraved and printed label, retained inside the waist door, and its original French-style feet. Purchased by Connor out of a Middle Tennessee estate in the 1960s, it is the first time the clock has ever been on the auction market. It is estimated at $35,000-$45,000. Also originating from the Boston area is an Impressionist oil on canvas painting of a young brunette with enigmatic smile, peering out from behind black lace draperies. The work is by Philip Leslie Hale (1865-1931), who studied and later taught at the Boston Museum School and wrote several books on art. The painting is estimated at $25,000-$35,000.
The Connor estate also includes a collection of New England furniture, early Worcester (Dr. Wall period) porcelain, Chinese Export porcelain, 17th and 18th century brass candlesticks, English and American sterling silver hollowware and flatware, and American coin silver from New Orleans, Mobile and Tennessee.
Also expected to draw attention is a 17th century portrait of Sir Willoughby Aston by John Michael Wright (British, 1617-1694), formerly in the collection of the Dulin family, whose collection later formed the basis for the Knoxville Museum of Art. There is also also an early 19th century charcoal portrait, possibly an early image of President James K. Polk, attributed to artist Charles Burton, and a rare family trio of portraits depicting William Spencer Hungerford, his wife, Louisa, and their daughter Sarah, who resided in Litchfield and Hartford, Conn., in the early 19th century.
Other American art highlights include a canine portrait titled Champion Jersey JoJo by Frank Leonard Stick (1884-1966), a seascape by Prosper Louis Senat (1852-1925), a view of the Grand Canal in Venice by Warren Sheppard (1858-1937), an abstract floral by Mizue Sawano (Japanese, b. 1941), a Lucite sculpture Lovers by Fred Hart (1943-1999), outsider artworks by Howard Finster (1916-2001) and Sibyl Gibson (Alabama, 1908-1995), and landscapes by William McKendree Snyder (Indiana, 1848-1930), Louis E. Jones (Tennessee, 1878-1958) and Harry D. Fluhart Williams (1861-1938). European works include a still life with lilacs by Raoul Maucherat De Longpre (French, 1859-1911), a Parisian street scene by Edouard Cortes (1882-1969), two pastoral landscapes by Anthony Oberman (Dutch, 1781-1845), a horse portrait by George Paice (British, 1854-1925), a large scale depiction of The Dice Players after Murillo, an oversized landscape with cattle by Jean Aime St. Cyr-Girier (French, 1837-1912), and four Erte bronze sculptures. Prints include an Andy Warhol signed Colorado State University screenprint and two Leroy Neiman signed serigraphs, F.X. McCrory’s Bar and Lake Placid, 1980.
A collection of Native American pottery and utilitarian artifacts being deaccessioned by an East Tennessee institution is featured in this auction, along with a large San Ildefonso blackware jar by Maria and Santana Martinez; Pima, Apache and Papago baskets, and Navajo rugs acquired in the Southwest in the 1930s.
Several of the furniture highlights come from the Connor collection, including a Southern Federal inlaid cherry sideboard attributed to Western Virginia or Eastern Kentucky, an early Southern Chippendale chest with prospect door and documentation label from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, a Federal inlaid card table attributed to New Hampshire, a Philadelphia Chippendale card table, a diminutive Queen Anne tea table from possibly Rhode Island, and a pair of Federal tiger maple canopy beds. There is also a vine-inlaid Tennessee corner cupboard and a rare hunt table having the height of a huntboard but the width of a small worktand, both in desirable old surfaces.
Adding an extra sparkle to this auction is an especially strong selection of jewelry. Several of the expected top sellers are rings, including a 3.04-carat brilliant diamond ring; an Art Deco diamond, platinum and sapphire ring; an Art Deco platinum, diamond and onyx stickpin; and an antique diamond brooch/pendant decorated with an image of the Virgin Mary. A silver and tortoiseshell necklace designed as two hands by William Spratling and a silver necklace by Frederick W. Davis are featured, along with a vintage Movado 14K white gold diamond and sapphire wristwatch, and vintage costume jewelry.
Leading the silver category is an ivory elephant tusk tankard decorated with Gorham silver mounts including a figural elephant head handle. There is also a large Art Nouveau sterling loving cup weighing 70 ounces troy, a George III sterling tankard with engraved coat of arms, a Tiffany Art Nouveau book cover, a 120-piece set of Reed & Barton Francis I flatware, a set of Tiffany “Clinton” flatware, and two coin silver spoons by early 19th century New Orleans silversmith Anthony Rasch, along with other assorted English and American sterling silver and coin silver.
The historical category includes several Civil War photographs and archives including a Pennsylvania soldier’s letters graphically detailing the Battle of Antietam; a Matthew Brady portrait of Thomas Terry of the 117th Ohio; a daguerreotype of a Mexican War soldier; documents signed by Sam Houston, James K. Polk and John Sevier, and ephemera related to the Titanic and Buffalo Bill.
Other interesting lots include a collection of early colored glass Christmas globes; several folk art walking sticks; dolls; Southern pottery including a collection of miniature whiskey jugs; Southern quilts; an Alabama sampler; rare books, 164 pieces of Herend porcelain in the Queen Victoria pattern, and a number of Asian antiques including Chinese porcelain, Imari, ivory and jade.
The auction will take place at the company’s gallery in the Cherokee Mills Building, 2240 Sutherland Ave. in Knoxville, on Saturday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. Online, absentee and phone bids will also be accepted. The catalog for the auction, with price estimates, photos, and descriptions for items in the order in which they will be sold can be viewed online at www.caseantiques.com. For more information, call the gallery in Knoxville at (865) 558-3033 or the company’s Nashville office at 615-812-6096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet, visit www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE