Revolutionary War Medal Shines at Gray's Auctioneers

  • CLEVELAND, Ohio
  • /
  • February 20, 2013

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Lot 156: Enameled Gold Order of the Society of the Cincinnati, Designed by Major Pierre L'Enfant and Construction Attributed to Duval & Francastle, Paris, 1784.
Gray's Auctioneers
Lot 130: A Suite of Vintage Hand Painted Wallpaper Panels in the "Decor Eden" Pattern, ca. 1912. Designed by Fuchs and produced by Defosse, Paris. From the Warren Packard Mansion, Lakewood, NY.
Gray's Auctioneers

A true piece of American history is up for auction this month at Gray’s Auctioneers; an enameled gold Order of the Society of the Cincinnati eagle (Lot 156). This is one of only 140 original eagles designed and conceived by Major Pierre L’Enfant for the inaugural members of the Society of the Cincinnati, the nation’s oldest patriotic organization. The society was founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolution. This particular eagle belonged to Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish born hero of the Revolution and the Chief Engineer of West Point. In 1783, Kosciuszko was appointed Brigadier General and initiated into the Order by General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. The eagle was inherited by the consignor through direct descent of Stevens Thompson Mason (1760-1803), a U.S. Senator from Virginia, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Armistead (1760-1825), who were personally acquainted with Kosciuszko. According to family history, Kosciuszko was awarded the eagle, which he then gifted to Mary Elizabeth Armistead, for whom he had great affection. It has been passed down in the Mason family ever since.

The auction also features a suite of sixteen vintage, hand painted, floor to ceiling wallpaper panels in the “Décor Eden” pattern, designed by Fuchs and produced by Defosse of Paris ca. 1912 (Lot 130). This magnificent and vibrant wallpaper, covered in majestic birds and tropical plants, comes from the famed Warren Packard Mansion of Lakewood NY. Warren Packard, originally from Warren, Ohio, moved to the resort town of Lakewood to build his dream estate in 1912; a neo-Georgian home with 32 rooms, extensive grounds, servant’s cottages and its own electric light plant in the basement. Defosse was the premiere manufacturer of French scenic wallpaper, a style that reached its pinnacle of popularity in the mid-19th century and found its way into the homes of the most elite Europeans and Americans.

Lot 121: Max Kalish (1891-1945), Barge Toiler, Bronze.
Gray's Auctioneers

Gray’s is also offering an extraordinarily strong selection of works of fine art. The highlights of the auction include an oil painting by George Durrie (1820-1863) entitled ‘Winter Landscape with River’ (Lot 16), and a watercolor by Eugene Galien-Laloue (1854-1941) entitled ‘Paris Street Market Scene’ (Lot 18). There is also a strong selection of contemporary works by artists such as Picasso, Calder, Warhol, Miro and Chagall.

In addition, Gray’s is offering two pieces by sculptor Max Kalish. Kalish, born in Lithuania, was raised and schooled in Cleveland, Ohio.  From 1920 to 1937, Kalish earned international recognition for his figures of American laborers. Gray’s is offering one of these outstanding bronzes entitled Barge Toiler (Lot 121).  Also up for auction is his ‘Female Torso’ (Lot 122), a rare marble statue, a medium the artist seldom worked in.

For the sportsmen, Gray’s is pleased to offer a unique collection of sporting and equestrian antiques including a set of sterling silver Keeneland Julep Cups by Mark J. Scearce of Kentucky (Lot 151), a Copeland Spode Dinner Service in the Herring Hunt Scene Pattern (20th Century) (Lot 268), several lots of antique duck decoys from such makers as Evans, Masons, and Dodge Factories, and equine portraiture by various artists including Allen F. Brewer Jr.

Other notable pieces in this auction include a 20th century Tiffany and Co. 18kt. yellow gold double handle Presentation Cup (Lot 155) weighing 363.2 pennyweight, an 18kt. rose and white gold diamond ring by Mario Buccellati (Lot 157), and a stunning selection of silver servingware.

The March 6th auction will take place at Gray’s spacious showrooms, located at 10717 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio at 11 am. Condition reports and shipping quotes are provided on request. Live online bidding for this auction is offered by liveauctioneers.com, together with live online, phone bidding and absentee bidding offered directly through GraysAuctioneers.com.  The auction showrooms will be open for preview February 27 - March 5, 11am - 6pm, Saturday, March 2, 12pm - 4pm.  There will be a preview party for this sale in the showroom on Friday, February 1,5 - 8 pm. The complete illustrated catalog for this auction can be found at GraysAuctioneers.com.

Gray’s Auctioneers and Appraisers is the most renowned and reputable auction house in Northern Ohio, holding live auctions every month, and offering complimentary valuations every day.

For more information please contact Serena Harragin at 216.458.7695 or by email at serena@graysauctioneers.com

Gray's Auctioneers
10717 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio
serena@graysauctioneers.com
2164587695
http://www.graysauctioneers.com
About Gray's Auctioneers

Deba Gray has over twenty years experience as a licensed & bonded auctioneer beginning in 1989 at Wolf’s Auction Gallery in Cleveland. In 1995 she moved to Chicago to become Auctioneer and Director of Marketplace Sales for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. In 1997, Sotheby’s purchased LHA and immediately promoted Deba to Assistant Vice President of Property where she was responsible for estates originating throughout the US. Bringing the best of her experience from three houses, Deba’s passion for integrity, innovation in business and her commitment to fairness throughout the auction process enlightens every facet of Gray’s operation.


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