A Solomon Grimm redware plate and a sketch of Benjamin Franklin cleaned up at Freeman’s

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PHILADELPHIA — A fine collection of American antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries performed admirably at Freeman’s on November 15 as part of its American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts sale. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

A glazed, slip and sgrafitto-decorated redware plate by Solomon Grimm (1787-1847) was the sale’s top lot. Grimm’s well-known pottery talents have captivated collectors for generations, and this lot was no exception. Starting at $7,500, the bidding continued straight past the top estimate of $25,000 to land at $30,000, or $40,300 with buyer’s premium.

Made by William Seaver and Nathaniel Frost in Boston, this Windsor rocking cradle was fashioned from turned bamboo and retains the paper label from its retailer, Seaver & Frost on State Street in Boston. Made between 1799 and 1802, the rocker hammered for $26,000, or $39,060 with buyer’s premium, well above its $800-$1,200 presale estimate.

Revered by horse racing enthusiasts, Charles Spencer Humphreys (1818-1880) was another winner for Freeman’s. The Bay Trotter John Henry at the U.S. Agricultural Fair represents both horse and carriage jockey at the 1856 event held in West Philadelphia. The framed oil on canvas hammered for $26,000, or $39,060 with buyer’s premium, proving once again that the market for 19th-century equine art remains strong and healthy.

A sketch from life of Benjamin Franklin playing chess in Paris some time in the 1776-1783 period was a surprising winner as well. The piece, attributed to the Founding Father’s grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache (1769-1798), was estimated at $4,000-$6,000 but sold for $18,000, or $23,580 with buyer’s premium.
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Solomon Grimm redware plate, which sold for $30,000 ($40,300 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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Windsor rocking cradle, which sold for $26,000 ($39,060 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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Charles Spencer Humphreys, ‘The Bay Trotter John Henry at the U.S. Agricultural Fair,’ which sold for $26,000 ($39,060 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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Sketch from life of Benjamin Franklin playing chess in Paris, made between 1776-1783 and attributed to his namesake grandson, which sold for $18,000 ($23,580 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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Chippendale carved mahogany child’s chair associated with the Girard family of Philadelphia, which sold for $16,000 ($20,960 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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