On Wednesday, January 31st Schwenke Auctioneers will hold its January Fine Estates Auction with an offering of over 500 lots of freshly consigned estate property from estates throughout Connecticut and Westchester County, New York. The auction features property from the estate of Mrs. George S. Franklin, Jr. (New York City and Oyster Bay, NY).
The sale includes (lot 228) a rare Chinese Export famille rose and grisaille porcelain circular dish from the Lee of Coton Hall service, circa 1735. This service is considered the finest armorial service ever ordered by an English family. The border shows early scenes of London viewed from the south bank of the Thames with London Bridge at the right and the dome of St. Paul's visible on the left, alternating with panels of Canton seen from the Pearl River with the city walls to one side and the Dutch folly fort to the other, both in soft grisaille. The arms are those of Lee quartering Astley, circa 1735, and an example is illustrated in Howard/Ayers "Masterpieces of Chinese Export Porcelain" and represented in the collections of the State Department, Victoria & Albert, The Metropolitan Museum, Winterthur and The Reeves Collection at Washington and Lee University. The motto, "Virtus vera est nobilitas" translates to “Virtue is the True Nobility”. A dish from this service is also illustrated on the cover of "Oriental Export Market Porcelain" by Geoffrey A. Goddon. Literature: David Sanctuary Howard, "Chinese Armorial Porcelain" vol. 1, page 329.
Another porcelain group of interest (lot 182) is a rare set of twelve (12) Royal Copenhagen "Flora Danica" plates with various floral hand painted details, 8 5/8” diameter. Of all the important from the 18th century, the Flora Danica porcelain service by Royal Copenhagen is the only one still in production. This magnificent service was created in what has since been named the Golden Age of porcelain. Today it is still considered one of the world’s most luxurious services.
Mrs. George S. Franklin, Jr. (New York City and Oyster Bay, NY) is from one of the great collecting families in America. She was a granddaughter of Senator Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, and a niece of two well-known collectors, daughters of Nelson Aldrich, namely Lucy Aldrich, a notable collector of porcelain and Asian/Chinese art and antiquities, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, a co-founder of MOMA whose collection also formed the basis of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Many of the Asian items and ceramics in the collection are from these two ladies.
Her husband, George S. Franklin, Jr., traveled widely during his tenure as Executive Director of the Council on Foreign Relations in NYC, and in the process pursued his own interest in collecting, particularly Asian and Georgian antiquities. Franklin’s mother and her family were instrumental in the founding of Bennington College, which was built on the grounds of their family home in Vermont. Other family ancestors include Austin Corbin, developer of Coney Island and the LIRR, and Trenor W. Park, a Vermont statesman, businessman and philanthropist. Park’s family home, the Park-McCullough House in Bennington VT, is now on the National Register and open to the public.
The sale includes a broad selection of Asian decorative arts, American, English and Continental decorative arts, folk art and American country furniture, early English & other sterling silver, jewelry, fine art, miscellaneous decorative arts, and estate oriental rugs. The auction is a live online sale with absentee and phone bidding, plus live internet bidding on multiple platforms. The auction begins at 6:00 pm on January 31st. Preview times are Sunday, January 28th from noon to 6:00pm; Monday, January 29th and Tuesday, January 30th from 10:00am to 5:00pm, and Wednesday, January 31st from 10:00 am to 5:00pm. Preview is also available at other times by appointment. The gallery is closed from 12:00 noon on Thursday auction day.
The catalog for the sale is viewable at www.woodburyauction.com. This sale is live online with absentee and phone bidding available by registering directly with Schwenke Auctioneers. Absentee bidding is available on the firm’s website, and the sale will be broadcast for live real-time internet bidding through Live Auctioneers, Invaluable and Hibid. For additional information please call the auction hall office at 203-266-0323