Christie’s Americana Week 2018, a series of auctions, viewings and events, will be held January 12-19 with sales comprised of Chinese Export Art featuring 100 Lots from Marchant, est. 1925 on January 18, Beyond Imagination: Outsider and Vernacular Art featuring the Collection of Marjorie and Harvey Freed on January 19, and Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Silver on January 19.
Highlights of the Chinese Export sale include 100 lots from the esteemed Chinese art dealers Marchant, est. 1925, and a very rare set of 17 blue and white dishes depicting the various stages of tea cultivation. The Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Silver auction features The Hunter-Dunn Family Chippendale Plum Pudding Mahogany Block-and-Shell Tall-Case Clock ($200,000-300,000), a tour-de-force of colonial American clockmaking; a Queen Anne Figured Maple Dressing Table, Philadelphia, 1750-1760 ($250,000-500,000), a masterpiece of Philadelphia’s Queen Anne aesthetic; and a painting by Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860), after Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), Portrait of George Washington as a Colonel of the Alexandria Militia, early 19th Century ($400,000-600,000).
Among the silver highlights are ten lots of Silver Formerly from The Dwight D. and Mamie Eisenhower Collection: Property of The John S.D. Eisenhower Trust, including a Tiffany flatware service monogramed ‘DDE,’ and also engraved ‘The Columbine,’ which was the very first Airforce 1.
Beyond Imagination: Outsider and Vernacular Art features an exceptional collection of Outsider art from Marjorie and Harvey Freed, led by a double-sided watercolor by Henry Darger (1892-1973), 93 At Jennie Richee, are chaced for long distance by Glandelinians with blood hounds. / 95 At Jennie Richee, Escape down Aronburgs Run River through circle section in storm ($200,000-400,000). The sale also includes sculptures by William Edmondson and significant works by well-known American and European artists including Adolf Wölfli, Bill Traylor and Aloïse Corbaz. In all, Americana Week 2018 will offer nearly 500 carefully curated lots across the three auctions.
In conjunction with the sales, Christie’s will host the annual Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts on January 17 honoring Wendell Castle, American furniture artist and a leading figure in American craft, and Audrey Heckler, seasoned collector and patron of Outsider art. Additionally, a curated selection of property from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller will be exhibited during the Americana Week preview from January 12-18.
Christie’s Americana Week kicks off with Chinese Export Art Featuring 100 Lots from Marchant, Est. 1925 on January 18, which offers more than 200 lots and is highlighted by classic pieces from established private collections. Property from the esteemed London dealers Marchant, whose single-owner sale was a resounding success at Christie’s in September, includes blue and white, famille verte, famille rose, armorial and European subject porcelain as well as animals, figures and glass pictures. Selections from private collections include a very rare and large punchbowl depicting a procession of European horsemen, a boar’s head soup tureen, armorial porcelain for the Russian Imperial court, and ‘tobacco leaf’, ‘Pompadour’ and ‘Rockefeller’ pattern pieces. The sale is rounded out by a group of American market porcelains and a number of rare China Trade paintings in oil on canvas.
Christie’s will also offer the dedicated auction of Outsider art, Beyond Imagination: Outsider and Vernacular Art featuring the Collection of Marjorie and Harvey Freed to take place on January 19, 2018. This year’s offering features 90 lots across various media, including sculpture, painting, and works-on-paper from preeminent “old masters” of Outsider art, including James Castle, William Edmonson, and Bill Traylor, as well as by contemporary self-taught artists George Widener and Domenico Zindato, among others. The sale includes works from renowned private collections, featuring over 50 lots from the great early collectors of Outsider art, the Chicago-based Marjorie and Harvey Freed. The Freeds sustained a half-century-long love affair with the genre, acquiring works by artists like Henry Darger and Bill Traylor who were edgy, different, and - at first - not household names, and from local artists including William Dawson, Lee Godie and Wesley Willis, among others. As art lovers, the Freeds helped establish Chicago’s Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, ensuring the field they love has a good home for the next generation. The top lot of the collection and of the sale is a large-scale double-sided watercolor and collage by Henry Darger, 93 At Jennie Richee, are chaced for long distance by Glandelinians with blood hounds. / 95 At Jennie Richee, Escape down Aronburgs Run River through circle section in storm ($200,000-400,000).
In addition to the Freed Collection, the sale includes works that reveal the history and future of Outsider Art. Two important works from the Namits Collection speak to the origins of the field in Europe: Adolf Wölfli, Untitled, 1918 (estimate: $40,000-80,000) and Aloïse Corbaz, Aristoloches (double-sided), circa 1925-1933 ($40,000-80,000). Also highlighting the sale are two powerful limestone sculptures by William Edmondson that speak to the history of the field in an American context. These are Edmondson’s Nurse Wootton ($50,000-150,000), which features the artist’s initials incised on the reverse, and his Lady, 1930s ($40,000-80,000), which was previously owned by Harper’s Bazaar’s Louise Dahl-Wolfe, who gave the piece to fashion editor Diana Vreeland, in whose family it remained until now. Edmondson, a selftaught stone carver from Nashville, Tennessee, was also the first African American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in 1937.
Christie’s sale of Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Silver will present nearly 200 carefully curated lots with exceptional provenance from the 17 th through 20th centuries with an emphasis on furniture made in Philadelphia, New York, and Rhode Island. The sale features significant fresh-to-market works previously owned by pioneering collectors and original owners and makers of American Furniture, including direct descendants of Samuel Phillips Savage, the Honorable Peter Thacher of Yarmouth, John Townsend, Newport Cabinetmaker, and Richard Edwards.
Included in the sale are numerous examples of tall-case clocks spanning Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Federal periods, led by The Hunter-Dunn Family Chippendale Plum Pudding Mahogany Block-and-Shell Tall-Case Clock ($200,000-300,000). A tour-de-force of colonial American clockmaking, this tall-case clock exhibits the highest caliber of Rhode Island craftsmanship and pedigree. The dial is signed by James Wady (d. 1759), and only eight other clocks with dials bearing his signature are known. In addition to timekeeping and hour striking, the mechanism measures the date, progress of the moon, seconds, and a Newport favorite, the tides. This example was likely owned by Dr. William Hunter (c.1730- 1777), who arrived in Newport in about 1752 with “a valuable library,” some of which is now in the collection of Brown University. The top furniture lot is a Queen Anne Figured Maple Dressing Table, Philadelphia, 1750- 1760 ($250,000-500,000). Exquisite in its sinuous lines, delicate shaping and intensely figured maple graining, this dressing table is a masterpiece of Philadelphia’s Queen Anne aesthetic.
Other furniture highlights include a Queen Anne Inlaid Walnut and Walnut Veneered High Chest-of-Drawers and en suite Dressing table, Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1735-1760 ($200,000-400,000), a stellar example of a reunited en suite set displaying elegant shell inlay; the Josiah Merriam Diminutive Queen Anne Mahogany Turret-top Card Table, Boston, 1740-1760 ($80,000-120,000), a rare and graceful example of the turret-top form; and the remarkably intact and unrestored Honorable Peter Thacher Turned and Joined Oak and Pine Chest Over Drawers, circa 1690 ($30,000-50,000) which was made for the Honorable Peter Thacher (1665-1736) of Yarmouth and is currently owned by his direct descendants. Featured private collections include the Clifton Collection, which contains exceptional examples of Chippendale furniture such as a Chippendale Carved Mahogany Easy Chair, Philadelphia, 1760-1780 ($150,000-250,000), and Property from a Direct Descendent of Richard Edwards, which features more than 15 lots of Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Federal furniture, led by The Richard Edwards Pair of Chippendale Carved Mahogany Side Chairs, with carving attributed to Martin Jugiez (d. 1815), Philadelphia, 1770-1775 ($30,000-50,000).
Additionally, the sale includes an exemplary selection of fine art, led by two portraits of Washington: Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860), after Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), Portrait of George Washington as a Colonel of the Alexandria Militia, early 19th Century ($400,000-600,000), and The Simón Bolívar Portrait of Washington, After Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), painted circa 1820 ($50,000-100,000). The sale is also highlighted by a selection of important folk art, including fine needlework from an important New York collection, led by a Rare and Important Silk-and Metal-on-Linen Needlework Pictorial, 1791, wrought by Mary Russell (B. 1779), one of only five known extant “black-background samplers,” ($60,000-90,000), and weathervanes from the collection of Paul and Esther Gansky.
The afternoon session of the sale features significant American silver spanning 17th through early 20th century. Among the highlights of the sale are ten lots of Silver Formerly from The Dwight D. and Mamie Eisenhower Collection: Property of The John S.D. Eisenhower Trust, including a Tiffany flatware service monogramed ‘DDE,’ and also engraved ‘The Columbine,’ which was the very first Airforce 1. The sale features a group of American Japanesque and mixed-metals dating to the second half of the 19th century including a three-piece Tiffany ale set and the extensive Lap Over Edge flatware service. Rounding out the selection is a fantastic punch bowl commemorating a horse competition at Madison Square Garden in 1892. Among the Colonial works featured in the sale are three works by the Richardson family of silversmiths of Philadelphia and a pair of beakers by the famous silversmith Myer Myers of New York.