GARRISON, N.Y. – A rare portrait painting of famed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady by the renowned 19th century portrait artist Charles Loring Elliott, a large pre-Columbian statue of a pregnant woman nearly 17 inches tall and about 2,000 years old, and a wildly colorful circa-1910 art glass vase by the French maker LeGras, will all come up for bid the weekend of August 8-9.
They are just a few of the nearly 1,000 lots of antiques and collectible items in a wide array of categories that will come under the gavel at the 6th annual West Point-Garrison auction that will benefit, in part, the Garrison Landing Association and the Garrison Art Center. The event will be held at historic Garrison Landing Park, which fronts the Hudson River at 23 Garrison Landing.
Conducting the auction, as it has the previous five years, will be Louis J. Dianni, LLC, with locations in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., and Sunrise, Fla. Owner Louis Dianni praised Garrison as the site for the auction, stating, “Merchandise is easily viewed on walled displays and lighted showcases, which is why this has become a favorite antiques buying destination for both locals and tourists.”
The auction will be packed with pre-Columbian pottery and stone carvings, fine art, porcelains, china, copper, early 20th century art glass, swords, militaria, nautical items and golf collectibles. All but a few of the lots will be sold without reserve, meaning they will go to the highest bidder, regardless of price. Garrison is located directly across the Hudson River, not far from West Point, the premier American military academy founded in 1802. General George Washington considered West Point to be the most important strategic position in America.
Regarding the portrait of Mathew Brady (1822-1896) by Charles Loring Elliott (1812-1868), it’s hard to determine which one is the headliner, the painter or the sitter. Brady was one of the very first American photographers, best known for his scenes of the Civil War. Elliott, who lived and worked in New York his entire life, was widely considered the best portrait artist of his time.
Another portrait of Brady by Elliott is currently housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Remarkably, experts using online forensics to compare the critical points of facial features including hairline, eyes, nose and chin of not just the two portraits but also of a photographic self-portrait taken by Brady of himself, yielded a near perfect match for all three. The three images, lined up, can be seen on the website for comparison: www.LouisJDianni.com.
The pre-Colombian pregnant woman, about 16 ½ inches tall, dates to between 100 B.C. and 200 A.D. and is likely Mayan. Her hands are on her lower hip, as if to counterbalance the protruding weight in her pelvis. It is one of 50 pieces of pre-Colombian pottery in the auction, most of it purchased from Christie’s and Sotheby’s in the ‘70s and ‘80s and pulled from a Florida estate.
Fine art will feature three Old Masters works from the 16th and 17th centuries. One is a portrait by Palma Vecchio and Giovanni Cariani (It., c. 1485-after 1547), completed circa 1538-1547 and once belonging to the Lord of Donegall. The second is a perspective painting, likely mid-16th century. The third is a large work depicting the Goddess Fortuna standing nude atop her wheel.
Other artworks will include a scene of a merchant sloop sailing out of Philadelphia Harbor and leaving the Naval Yard behind by Thomas Birch (Pa., 1779-1851); a figural depiction of three black children in a carriage, done in 1880 by Edward Lamson Henry (S.C., 1841-1919) and titled Played Out; and a Western Coast landscape painting (possibly of Guernsey) by William Trost Richards (Pa., 1833-1905).
Also sold will be two paintings by the Russian-born New York artist David Burliuk (1882-1967), the modern landscapist known as the “Father of Russian Futurism”; two clipper ships by Danish-born American maritime artist Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921), known as the “Audubon of Steam Vessels”; and paintings by two Hudson River School artists: one a view of Kaaterskill Falls by Jerome Thompson (1814-1886), and a work by David Johnson (N.Y., 1827-1908), titled Walkill at Walden, NY.
Porcelains and china will include a collection of 18th and 19th century tea cups and saucers, rare pieces marked with the logo of the Dutch East India Company, 30 copper pieces all dating to the mid-late 19th century, and art glass from one Florida estate, with many pieces signed and/or attributed to LeGras (like the aforementioned vase), and other makers of the early 20th century high craft.
Military items will feature about 50 Civil War images and about as many swords, dating from the 10th to the 20th centuries. A star lot of the group is a rare Viking excavated sword, likely from the 10th century and boasting a complete blade marked “Ulfberht.” The Ulfberht swords were the high-tech war tools of their time, fashioned using a process unknown to the Vikings’ enemies for centuries. They are still considered one of the finest swords ever made, as well as a work of art.
For those unable to attend the auction live, internet bidding will be provided by Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and absentee (left) bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held on Friday, August 7th, from 3-7 p.m., and on auction days, August 8th and 9th, from 9 a.m. until the gavel falls on the first lot at 12 o’clock noon. All times quoted here are Eastern Standard Time.
Louis J. Dianni, LLC, has been in the business of selling antiques and collectibles since 1973. The firm’s auctions are big events, held at the peak of the season, in lucrative, historic areas of the country. Louis J. Dianni, LLC uses promotional booths at significant and relative collector shows to elevate its profile. E-mails are sent to over 150,000 collectors and dealers worldwide.
Louis J. Dianni, LLC, is always accepting quality items for future auctions. To inquire about consigning an item, a collection or an entire estate, you may call them at (954) 895-8727 or you can send an e-mail to info@LouisjDiannni.com. To learn more about Louis J. Dianni, LLC and the sixth annual West Point-Garrison Auction slated for August 8th-9th, visit www.LouisJDianni.com.
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