McCormick painting, Gold Rush items highlight Witherell’s Premier Western Design Auction

  • SACRAMENTO, California
  • /
  • April 28, 2017

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M. Evelyn McCormick's "Fremont House" is in Witherell's May 2-16 auction.

A large McCormick painting and items relating to the Gold Rush era highlight Witherell’s Premier Western Design auction May 2 to 16, 2017. 

One of the first women to embrace Impressionism, M. Evelyn McCormick, (American, 1869-1948) became known for her plein aire oils of Monterey’s historic buildings and adobes.

Born in Placerville, but raised in San Francisco, McCormick studied at the Academie Julian in Paris as well and California School of Design in San Francisco. Traveling to France, Italy and England, she settled in San Francisco, but established a studio in Monterey’s Custom House. After the 1906 earthquake, she moved the studio to the Royal Hotel.

An oil on board from the early part of the twentieth century, “Fremont House” is large for a McCormick: 27 by 33 inches.

Often compared to Monet, her work is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the University of California, Berkeley and the Monterey Peninsula Museum as well as private collections.

The painting came from a Sacramento resident by direct family descent and is estimated at $15/25,000.

An 1849 paper-and-ink drawing of Sutter’s Fort with personal notes highlights the Gold Rush items.

1849 Pen-and-ink drawing of Sutter's Fort has a personal note in Witherell's Western Design Auction.

Inscribed "Sutters Fort as seen from the SW about 2 miles. One cannot form much of an ID from this - tis built of mud brick - there is a trench about it and hay stacks old carts logs........" on the front.  

The back also is inscribed: “Sacramento City/Oct 2/49/.”

Estimated at $5/10,000, this 4 by 8 inch drawing came from a San Francisco collector.  

Although from a later period, a lithograph entitled “Birds Eye View of Coloma” depicts where gold was discovered.

Used in mid-nineteeth century America to promote communities, the 18 by 22 inch litho is one of only two known to exist.

Estimated at $2/4,000, it is came from a family in the California foothills. 

A Sterling silver presentation pitcher given to Milton S. Latham in 1854 rounds out the Gold-Rush era highlights.

Elected the sixth governor of California, Latham held that office for five days before he became a U.S. senator at the death of David C. Broderick in a duel. Latham also served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A 29" x 8 ft. Levi's lithograph ad of Levi's adds fun to Witherell's upcoming May 2 - 16 auction.

Made by Wm. Gale & Son, New York, the 13.5 inch-high pitcher has a metalworked image of Sutter’s Fort.  

Engraved “Milton S. Latham Nov.  4. 1854,” the pitcher is estimated at $1/2,500.

Initially part of Dr. Edwin Iloff’s estate, the silver came from an elderly woman, by direct family descent, whose house was one of the few left standing after the Oakland foothills fire.  

Witherell’s also is offering a massive front & back bar from the 1880-90s that was original to the Auburn Hotel in Gold Rush country.  

Made of oak and 15 feet long, the typical saloon-style bar comes to us through a retirement community homeowners association, who had it in their community room.  

This wonderful work is estimated at $8/12,000.

Because of its famous western design, a 29 inch by 8 foot Levi’s barber shop advertising sign adds to the fun of this auction.

The ad shows a “boys will be boys” scene—all wearing the world’s best-selling clothing item—and came from the Sacramento estate of a barber shop owner. 

Dating from the 1950s to 1960s, massive lithograph on cardboard ad is estimated at $1/2,000.


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