Antiques, Art, Americana, Oriental Carpets, Asian, Decorative & Ethnographic Arts
Auction: Sunday, November 23, 10am est
Exhibition: November 21-22, 11am-5pm
850+ Lots of Fresh to Market Items from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and New England Estates
Material Culture’s November 23 auction brings together an enticing variety of art and artifacts. This classic estates sale boasts 850+ lots of fresh to the market items from local Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and New England Estates. In addition to the fine, folk and ethnographic arts, carpets and antiques mentioned in the title, the sale includes jewelry, silver, antique firearms, toys, furnishings and more, providing something of interest for every collector.
One of the leading lots in fine art is a lithograph entitled “Summer” (lot 5) by Philip Guston (American, 1913-1980), whose provenance includes ownership by Philadelphia-based artist Paul Cava. Two other leading lots come from Russian artists, an untitled oil on board (lot 22) dating to 1973 by Dmitry Krasnopevtsev (1925-1995), and another oil on board painting (lot 23) by Vasili D. Polenov (1844-1927). Art opens with a piece by Nelson Boren (American, b. 1952), a watercolor on paper titled “Look’n for My Horse” (lot 2), and a lithograph in colors by Mel Ramos (American, b. 1935) called “Ocelot”(lot 3), showing the wild cat biting one of Ramos’ classic female nudes. Swedish artist Eric H. Olson (1909-1996), an innovator in optical compostions, is shown at auction in one of his polarized glass sculptures (lot 4) dating to 1967.
Three lots by Waylande Gregory (American, 1905-1971) showcase a small piece in ceramics, the medium that the artist pioneered on a large scale, with an art deco fawn (lot 34), as well as two oil on wood paintings, with his surrealist “21st Century Landscape”(lot 31) and cubist “Man of La Mancha” (lot 32). William McKendree Snyder (American, 1848-1930) is also shown in three lots of detailed oil paintings of forests in autumn, (lots 40, 41 and 42), the Indiana landscapes for which he was known. Of particular interest is an early 20th century painting by Seneca Chief Leonard A. Lee, a portrait of Chief Cornplanter (b. 1732), who was the last War Chief of the Seneca in New York (lot 35). A photograph by Andres Serrano (American, b. 1950), “Child abuse (from Morgue)” is one in his famous series of photographs of corpses, this one showing the pierced ear of a young girl (lot 81).
International folk art at the auction includes twelve lots of fine Russian religious icons from the 19th century, depicting the Mother of God with Christ, St. Panteleimon, St. Nicholas, Tikhon, Bishop of Voroneg, and others (lots 152-163). Eleven lots of antique Japanese prints come to auction from an estate in Rhode Island (lots 167-177), including ukiyo-e prints by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) Utagawa Kunisada, Toyokuni III (1786-1865) and Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-1889). The auction also features prints by Sadanobu Hasegawa (lot 166) and Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), with a framed print called “Kagurazaka Dori” dating to 1929 (lot 165). Another highlight in traditional Asian art are seventeen lots of antique Chinese jade, led by a delicately carved mountain scene in white jade (lot 185) and a pastoral landscape carving, translucent and finely detailed (lot 186), both in excellent condition.
Over ninety lots of carpets and textiles are arguably led by an antique central Anatolian rug dating to the 17th/18th century (lot 243), with an archaic border design and an exceptional palette of yellow and aubergine. Fifteen lots of rare antique Turkmen rugs come to the auction from the collection of Simon Crosby, including a large Ersari guli gul rug, with eighteen cloverleaf medallions in a rust crimson (lot 235). Also notable are two large Persian Serapi rugs from circa 1900 (lot 223 and 224) and a monumental palace-sized Turkish Oushak rug dating to the 19th century (lot 226).
The more than fifty lots of jewelry at auction open with a gold and jade bead necklace, with nine round green jade beads and a green jade pendant (lot 313) from a New Jersey estate. A wealth of sterling silver jewelry encompasses necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pins and brooches, including pieces from artisan silversmiths such as Georg Jensen, Alphonse LaPaglia, Bent Erikson, Hans Myrhe, Bent Knudsen and Esther Lewittes. Georg Jensen is also represented in the approximately sixty lots of service silver, in a deep silver center bowl with a lobed pattern and scroll feet (lot 402), among other items. The auction includes a range of flatware, service spoons, tea service items, cups, compotes, bowls, plates and more. Notable among the selection of silver serving trays are a Reed & Barton silver try in the Francis I pattern (lot 368), a Woodside silver tray with sprouting floral handles (lot 395), and a large and heavy handmade square Los Castillo silver tray from Mexico, with rounded corners bordering the circular, impressed interior (lot 370).
Furnishings are led by a Louis XV style dining room set, custom made in Italy in the 1950s (lot 14). A marble-top dining table with two extensions features inset bronze in a ribbon motif, and the set of ten dining chairs comprises eight side chairs and two arm chairs. A wide variety of chairs, tables, desks, chests and cabinets include a pair of LGJ Stickley chairs (lot 512) and several distinctive items, such as an Empire style Cuban mahogany chiffonier (lot 447), an antique Leonard’s Polar King oak ice box (lot 444) and a vintage Paidar barber chair (lot 465). Decorative arts include a bronze art nouveau tray by Raoul Larche (French, 1860-1912) in the shape of a lily pad, with a naiad-like young woman holding the central lily (lot 15).
Antique and collectible firearms includes a Civil War Robbins and Lawrence “Mississippi” Rifle, Model 1841 (lot 6). The walnut stock rifle, dated 1850 on the tang, was altered to .58 caliber, the 33 in. barrel secured by two bands, with brass mounts and the original brass-tipped ramrod present. Another highlight is a replica 1918A3 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) by Ohio Ordnance Works (lot 584); the M1918 was developed in 1917 but used most commonly in WWII and the Korean War.
The auction presents several unique pieces of antique Americana. An early American powder horn, dated 1804, is inscribed with the name “John Rude,” along with incisions of folk art hex signs, a dagger, and a bird (lot 7). A velvet Jonathan coat for a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows bears an Andrew Jackson Peace Medallion on the presentation collar, dated to 1829, along with the stitched gold thread, fabric, and applied glass jewels (lot 8). From the late 18th or early 19th century, a fascinating wooden maidenhead carving of a woman in a cauldron most likely depicts a witch, though the young woman’s hands appear to be clasped in prayer (lot 11). Also notable in this category is an antique cast iron lawn jockey in the “Jocko” style (lot 12).
Ethnographic and tribal art encompasses over fifty lots of masks, from Mexico, Tibet, Indonesia, Oceania, and many different African tribes. Exemplary lots include a fine ceremonial mask of carved wood, raffia, fiber and pigment, made by the Yaka people of southwestern Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola (lot 747), dating to the early 20th century, and an ancestral figure post of carved wood and polychrome made by the nearby Pende people (lot 757). Another mask from the early 20th century is a carved and painted wood mask (lot 749) from Papua New Guinea’s Sepik River. From nearby Borneo, a collection of seven prepuce or penis caps, dating to the early 20th century, are grouped in a single lot (lot 17), followed by an antique headrest in carved hardwood (lot 18) from the Polynesian island Tonga.
An Allentown, Pennsylvania estate brings to auction several lots of nude art and naughty collectibles. Nude paintings from this collection may be exemplified in Bob Browne’s (American, b. 1926) oil on canvas “Bath Down the Hall (Nude)” (lot 709). Many lots include an assortment of small nude figures, from bathing beauties to humorously naughty trinkets, while lot 697 groups two German nude porcelain sculptures, the first by Wallendorfer and the second by Shaubach Kunst. A collection of fourteen mid-century pin up album sets, numbered, were created for the purpose of providing pin up airbrush artists with photographic models (lot 713).
The auction opens with a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle in pale green (lot 1). A selection of antique and vintage toys are on offer, opening with an antique tabletop coin-operated penny baseball game (lot 615). Other lots in this category include a unique art tin wind-up kid riding a tricycle (lot 617), an antique wheel of fortune (lot 618) and a toy Spark Plug, from the comic “Barney Google and Snuffy Smith” (lot 616), made by the Schoenhut toy company. Additionally, two lots of vintage Coca-Cola serving trays, with two trays apiece, are included in the sale (lots 655 and 656). Fourteen lots of antique stereographic items contain both stereoscopes (lots 677, 681) and large groupings of stereographic viewing cards, with up to 800 cards on a variety of subjects in a single lot (lot 678).