Sotheby's to Sell Important Folk Art from Esmerian Collection

  • November 03, 2013 21:14

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Jacob Maentel, John Bickel and Caterina. Circa 1815-25. Est. $200/300,000.

Sotheby's will offer Visual Grace: Important American Folk Art from the Collection of Ralph O. Esmerian in a dedicated auction in New York on January 25, 2014. The sale comprises more than 200 visually exciting examples of American folk art across a remarkable range of disciplines, including superb watercolors, portraits, pottery, painted furniture, weathervanes, gift drawings, carvings, needlework, sculpture and scrimshaw. Together, the offering marks the most important assemblage of American folk art ever to appear at auction, according to Sotheby's.

The Esmerian Collection carries a pre-sale estimate of $6.4 million to $9.5 million. Among the highlights is a Jacob Maental double portrait, c. 1815-25, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000. A fireboard depicting Boston Harbor, circa 1825-35, is expected to fetch $250,000 to $350,000.
Nancy Druckman, Head of Sotheby’s Folk Art Department, said: “Ralph Esmerian is known for his profound connoisseurship, discernment and passion for the best in American folk art. Each of the examples in the collection is distinguished by the highest quality in design, pattern, color, texture and form. A pervasive respect and understanding of the inspiration and expertise of the various makers is present in each of the pieces, as they represent both the traditions and inventiveness of American art. Having been drawn at an early age to the earthy material of the American folk art field, Esmerian applied his refined sensibility to form a superbly curated collection, in which each piece is an artistic gem in its own right. Our January sale represents a one-time opportunity for collectors to acquire the absolute best examples across an incredible diversity of American artistic expression.” 
The works will be on view in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries during Americana Week in New York beginning 18 January 2014.
Tags: folk art

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