• MT. CRAWFORD, Virginia
  • /
  • June 11, 2013

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Important Wythe Co., Virginia paint-decorated poplar blanket chest dated 1802 in excellent original condition. Of the roughly two dozen decorated Wythe Co. blanket chests known, this is the only example that incorporates both the astragal and the rectangular panels; it was designated the “transition chest” by Moore. Published: J. Roderick Moore, “Painted chests from Wythe County, Virginia,” Antiques 122, no. 3 (September 1982), p. 521, fig. 6. Estimate: $20,000-30,000.
Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ June Americana, Fine & Decorative Arts sale on June 22 includes some of the strongest material the auction house has offered in years. The sale includes furniture, objects and fine art from the entire Southern Region and many great examples of Virginia decorative arts, and boasts many objects that are either new to the market entirely or offered for the first time in decades.

Among the private collectors whose items are on offer are Shenandoah Valley material from the Rudolph Evers estate, of Bridgewater, VA., the first half of the 40-year collection of the late Richard and Betty Robertson of Waynesboro, VA; material descended in the Dooley family of Richmond, VA; and property from a number of other Virginia families; property from the Estate of former curator Mary Black of New York, as well as property from the estate of Nicholas de Belleville Katzenbach of Princeton, NJ.

One of the rarest objects in the auction is an important, previously unpublished autographed Carte-de-Visite photograph of Robert E. Lee, the verso with an inscribed “White & Kelley,” Lexington, Virginia cancellation, circa 1865. The vignette full-facial depiction of Lee shows him wearing his coat and vest, but without the general’s stars and military buttons. The image descended in the Alexander family of “Riverside,” the family homestead in Stuarts Draft near Staunton, Va. Since Confederate soldiers were forbidden by Federal Law from wearing garments that indicated their former military status after the end of the Civil War, Lee lacks his stars and buttons. His civilian attire dates the image as probably one of the earliest taken immediately after the Civil War. (Estimate $10-15,000).

Three other important Virginia artifacts are also included in the auction: a Wythe County, Virginia, paint-decorated poplar blanket chest with astragal and rectangular panels, dated 1802 (Estimate: $20-30,000); an outstanding Shenandoah Valley of Virginia Federal inlaid and banded mahogany chest of drawers, circa 1800, from the private collection of Dr. Charles and Elizabeth Umstott of Newport News, VA (Estimate: $15,000-20,000; and a pair of Southside Virginia Chippendale black walnut side chairs, circa 1765-1785, in original condition (Estimate: $8-12,000).

Items from the Estate of Nicholas de Belleville Katzenbach include a graphic 19th century folk art hooked rug with a rooster above two baskets with potted flowers (estimate: $1-2000), and a wonderfully vibrant nearly–life-sized carousel figure of a leaping donkey (estimate: $3-5,000).

The preview of this auction is June 19-21, 2013 at the Mt. Crawford gallery, from 10 am to 6 pm and 8 am until the sale commences at 9:30 am. Every lot in the auction may be viewed on the website by June 12 and bids are accepted via the JSE&A; Artfact and LiveAuctioneers websites. For further details please email or call 540.434.3939. Jeffrey S. Evans, Kurt Russ and Roddy Moore will conduct the annual Jeffrey S. Evans Virginia Decorative Arts Seminar, “A Safe Place: Punched-tin Paneled Furniture of the Valley of Virginia” a few days before the auction, on Saturday, June 15, from 9:30 to 4:00 pm.

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