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Peter Tillou collection

Peter Tillou collection anchors Litchfield’s 25th anniversary sale, Oct. 19-20

Peter Tillou collection
Gilbert Stuart and Studio, 1755-1828, portrait of Thomas Taylour, 1st Earl of Bective (1724-1795), from the Peter Tillou collection. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Litchfield Auctions image

LITCHFIELD, Conn. – Litchfield Auctions will celebrate 25 years in the auction business with a noteworthy sale Oct. 19-20 featuring property from the collection of antique collector, dealer and connoisseur Peter Tillou. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Known by many as one of the great American art and antique dealers and collectors of our time, Tillou is a wealth of knowledge with a warm personality and defined character. With an eclectic taste and seamless eye for quality, Tillou’s passion for antiques has been something that has followed him for a lifetime, having carved away half a century as an expert in the field.  Litchfield Auctions is proud to collaborate with Peter Tillou in deaccessioning portions of his collection.

Litchfield Auctions, having secured themselves as a prominent fixture in the antique and auction community, has continually adapted with market changes and offered quality estates and property for a quarter-century. Stemming from the early days of Weston Thorn Antiques in Bantam, Conn., they held their first auction in 1994. Live auctions were a mainstay for nearly 10 years until the age of the Internet auction gained momentum and they held their first online sale in 2003. Stepping off the podium and into online bidding, Litchfield was now broadcasting its sales to a worldwide audience. Auctions throughout the years have consisted of record-breaking sales and they have handled countless prominent estates and collections.

Their two-day auction on Oct. 19-20 will feature part I from the important collection of Peter Tillou. The cover lot is a striking Gilbert Stuart portrait of Thomas Taylour (above), circa 1790-1791.  The sitter was the First Earl of Bective who is depicted wearing the star and sash of the order of St. Patrick ($15,000-$25,000).

Additional fine art highlights from the Tillou collection include an interior genre scene Die Feier (The Celebration) by Johannes Kleinschmidt, German, 1858-1905 ($3,000-$5,000); and a pair of landscape paintings by Joachim Franz Beich, German, 1665-1748 ($3,000-$5,000). Other portraiture features an 1899 portrait of a beauty by Sir William Samuel Henry Llewellen, PRA., Welsh, 1858-1941 ($2,000-$3,000); an 18th century portrait of a seated nobleman ($2,000-$3,000); an 18th century portrait of a womaan in blue dress with white bodice, attributed to Godfrey Kneller ($2,000-$3,000); and an American school painting of a black boy resting with a cigar, 1886, in the manner of John George Brown ($800-$1,200).

With a diversified adoration of objects from around the world, the Tillou collection will also include fine Asian arts and antiques. An oversized marble Dali Dreamstone landscape with Chinese calligraphy (below) hails from the Yaan region of the Sichuan province ($5,000-$7,000). Also featured are a Chinese Han terra-cotta Fang Hu ($1,800-$2,400); two Chinese Han vessels ($1,400-$2,000); a Chinese Han Lifan swirling eye vessel ($1,200-$1,800); Tang tomb guardian and gentleman ($800-$1,200); and pair of Song-style funerary urns ($800-$1,200).

Peter Tillou collection
Colossal Chinese Dali Dreamstone with inscription. From the Peter Tillou collection Estimate: $5,000-$7,000. Litchfield Auctions image

Traditional furniture and decorative arts from Tillou include a late 18th century Pennsylvania two-part mahogany secretary ($4,000-$6,000); a 1750s Thomas Stretch Philadelphia tall-case clock ($3,000-$5,000); an 1850s J.F. Browne & Co. Gothic Revival harp with gilt, maple and hand-painted foliate decoration ($2,500-$3,500); an early George III mahogany slant-front bookcase ($1,500-$2,500); 18th century George III figured mahogany dining table ($1,000-$2,000); and a mid-19th century German baroque style grain painted shrank ($1,000-$2,000).  The collection also features clocks, natural specimens and fossils, and a nice selection of American blown glass.

The two-day auction also includes a fine selection of other property, featuring a strong Asian art section that begins the sale. Several highlights include a 19th century Chinese Mangpao heavily embellished silk nine dragon robe ($9,000-$12,000); a rare fifth/sixth century Six Dynasties Yueyao jar ($8,000-$15,000); a remarkable Warring States period (475-221 B.C.) Fanghu form vessel with lid ($5,000-$8,000); and an inscribed Cizhou Jin/Yuan Dynasty (13th-14th century) black glazed vase ($4,000-$8,000).

Peter Tillou collection
Warring States period (475-221 B.C.) proto-porcelain ash glazed two-handled jar. Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Litchfield Auctions image

Day two of the sale will consist of antique furniture, fine art and decorations, and includes property from the collection of American television personality and comedian Dick Cavett and his wife, author and strategist, Martha Rogers. Their collection contains Georgian, Federal and Louis XV-style furniture and decorative arts.

Fine art highlights include a 16th century painting of the Adoration of the Magi by Damianus van der Goude ($25,000-$35,000); an oil painting of a pawnbroker’s family by George Luks, 1867-1933 ($3,000-$$5,000); and a watercolor by Thomas Rowlandson, English, 1756-1827, titled Pidcock, Dealer in Birds and Beasts, Rats Destroyed, Dogs Broke In ($2,000-$3,000).

Peter Tillou collection
Damianus van der Goude, 16th century, workshop of Frans Floris, ‘Adoration of the Magi’ after Gerard David. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. Litchfield Auctions image

A quality selection of American, and specifically Baltimore, silver stands out, including a quartet of four late 19th century Samuel Kirk & Son sterling silver hand-repoussed floral candlesticks ($4,000-$6,000); a Samuel Kirk seven-piece repousse tea set, circa 1910 ($4,000-$6,000); and an assembled circa 1900 Baltimore sterling silver flatware service for 12 ($3,000-$5,000).

Peter Tillou collection
Set of four sterling silver repousse candlesticks, Samuel Kirk & Son, Baltimore, late 19th century. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Litchfield Auctions image

The auctions will begin at 11 a.m. both days. For more information contact Litchfield Auctions at 860-567-4661 or

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