Part of its Americana Week sales totaling $23,696,938, Christie's 137-lot sale of the collection of Peter and Barbara Goodman, which tallied $10,852,875, included a record for Ammi Phillips (1788-1865) with “Woman with Pink Ribbons” bringing $3,870,000. Americana specialists David A. Schorsch and Eileen M. Smiles were the largest single buyer of lots at the single-owner sale on January 20.
Schorsch and Smiles purchased a large number of the collection’s major lots including notable works by a veritable who’s who of American folk painters including John Brewster, Jr., Thomas Chambers, J. A. Davis, William Matthew Prior, Erastus Salisbury Field, Sheldon Peck, and Dr Samuel A. Shute. Their purchases accounted for more than a quarter of the sales total of $10.5 million.
Purchasing items both for inventory and private collectors they were successful in acquiring lots of exceptional quality and importance across a range of categories. Highlights included the iconic watercolor portrait “Woman with two canaries” by Dr. Samuel A. Shute at $1,170,000. (a record for a Shute portrait); a sculptural fan-back Windsor side chair with impeccable provenance shown in the famous “Girl Scouts Loan Exhibition” of 1929 at $106,250. (a record for a Windsor side chair); a vibrant pair of interior scene portraits by Jacob Maentel at $562,500. (a record for a pair of Maentels), and Thomas Chambers’ masterpiece, “View of Nahant, Sunset” at $437,500 (a record for Chambers).
Although Peter Goodman began collecting American folk art in 1953, it was in the 1980s when he obtained his greatest masterpieces. Goodman began working with a young David Schorsch and his late mother Marjorie “Peggy” Schorsch in 1981, acquiring a range of high-quality works that included a great stack of Shaker boxes lovingly assembled by David at age seventeen that cost Goodman $15,000 and sold for $150,000 (a record for a stack of Shaker boxes) to the wonderful Maentel portraits that David brokered to Goodman at $66,000 that brought $562,500. Schorsch and Smiles reacquired eight of the ten objects in the sale with their provenance, and underbid the rest, including a stack of Shaker boxes, a sentimental favorite.
David A. Schorsch ~ Eileen M. Smiles American Antiques
358 Main Street South
David A. Schorsch and Eileen M. Smiles are nationally recognized dealers, consultants and brokers who specialize in the finest examples of American antiques from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, specializing in weathervanes, folk paintings, folk sculpture, formal and country furniture and Shaker. With a combined experience of over forty years, they have assembled numerous notable private collections, and consistently acquired works of extraordinary quality. Since 1995, David A. Schorsch has been affiliated with Eileen M. Smiles, located in Woodbury, Connecticut, where they maintain a gallery in a restored early 19th century building in the heart of the town’s historic district. They are exhibitors at the prestigious Winter Antiques Show (The Winter Show) at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.