Bidders to Gather for Garth’s 54th Annual Thanksgiving Americana Auction

. November 19, 2014

On Friday, November 28th beginning at 10am, Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers will host the 54th Annual Thanksgiving Americana Auction. “Over the years, this annual event has granted us the opportunity to express the gratitude we feel towards our clients – many who have become friends, while we celebrate our country’s rich material culture in quality examples such as the featured cover lot; a Pennsylvania Chippendale blanket chest, inlaid with stars and tulips and dated 1818,” noted Jeff Jeffers, CEO and Principal Auctioneer.

Lot 371 INLAID CHIPPENDALE BLANKET CHEST.  Pennsylvania, dated 1818.

Lot 371 INLAID CHIPPENDALE BLANKET CHEST. Pennsylvania, dated 1818.

Traditionally known as Black Friday in the world of big-box retail sales, this day collectors and dealers will instead flock to Garth’s historic barn for a 705-lot sale which includes 266 items from the Lifetime collection of Dick & Sandy Vandenberg of West Lakeland Township, Stillwater, Minnesota. The Vandenbergs have lovingly added to their collection for over 40 years while shopping antique shows and auction houses across the country. The Vandenberg collection represents the formal to the folksy. As Dick Vandenberg developed a love of portraits, his wife, Sandy, leaned towards kitchen implements, furniture and folk art. However, it is often their “heart collection” that unites them and feeds both their mutual passion. Several dozen lots of small wood and iron pieces carry a common theme of fanciful heart decoration and adornment.

The Vandenberg session kicks off the sale with a Chippendale Blocked Reverse -Serpentine Desk-and-Bookcase from the Hartford-Colchester area of Connecticut, ca. 1780 (Estimate: $16,000-$22,000). The upper section features bold denticulated cornice over raised-panel doors and rope-turned or gadrooned columns while the lower section shows a blocked reverse-serpentine front over a gadrooned skirt which matches the uppercase quarter columns on bold ogee bracket feet.The subtle reverse-serpentine front relates to several pieces attributed to the shop and school of Eliphalet Chapin. See Kugelman et al, Connecticut Valley Furniture: Eliphalet Chapin and His Contemporaries, 1750-1800, pp. 162-166. The rope-turned quarter-columns on the bookcase relate to several pieces from the Loomis Group in nearby Colchester. See Kugelman et al, pp. 232-236. The piece sold previously at Sotheby’s (New York), October 2002, as lot 286. The Vandenbergs’ love of formal American furniture will continue to show throughout the session. Highlights include a late 18th century Chippendale Tall Chest of Drawers of cherry and poplar (Estimate: $6,000-$10,000). The chest descends from the Peck family of New Haven, Connecticut and is Ex. Antiques Associates of West Townsend, Massachusetts.

Textiles are another highlight of the Vandenberg collection. A Fine New Jersey Album Quilt from Elizabeth Town (now Union), Essex (now Union) County, dated 1850 is particularly graphic. The quilt is pieced, appliquéd and quilted by hand, using a wide variety of brightly colored prints in dozens of quilt patterns. Sixty-nine blocks surround larger center block, all with inked names, most including date and location. Many acknowledge the recipient, Mary Higgins, and wish her a Happy New Year. Two of the verses reference the deaths of Mary Higgins’ parents, her mother’s implies she was working on the block when she died. Mary, born in 1811 to Luke Haviland Higgins (1769-1822) and Fanny Dawes (1780-1849) was the ninth of eleven children. Many of these siblings and their children inscribed their names on Mary’s quilt. She lived her entire life in Elizabeth Town, never marrying and died in 1866. The attractive and brightly colored quilt descended to her grand niece Mary Sterling of Upper Montclair, NJ, where it was purchased by the current consignors in 1976. The quilt carries a presale estimate of $2,000-5,000.

A selection of American folk portraits from the Vandenberg collection will surely be hotly contested among bidders, as well. A Portrait of A Girl, attributed to Ammi Phillips, (New York/Connecticut, 1788-1865) features a girl in red dress. An early paper label identifies her as “Caroline Dorr, painted about 1830-1835”. Caroline Dorr was born in 1823 in Chatham, New York. Her grandfather was Matthew Dorr, whose younger brother was Dr. Russell Dorr. Portraits of Russell Dorr and his family, all by Phillips, are currently in the collection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection at Colonial Williamsburg. This portrait is mounted on its original stretcher and is expected to sell for $4,000-6,000. A Portrait of a Woman attributed to Sarah Bushnell Perkins, (Connecticut, 1771-1831 and Ex. Stephen Score (Massachusetts), is also an oil on canvas and depicts an older woman with a lace bonnet. A penciled note on the stretcher identifies her as “Mrs. Perkins, wife of Jonathan Perkins, an original member N.H. Soc. of Cincinnat-, A gift of Mrs. I—, a descendant”. Sarah Perkins, formerly known as the “Beardsley Limner,” was the niece of Jonathan Perkins (b. 1749). See Heslip and Kellogg, “The Beardsley Limner Identified as Sarah Perkins” in The Magazine Antiques, September 1984. (Estimate: $6,000-8,000). A rare Double Portrait attributed to Royall Brewster Smith (Massachusetts, 1801-1855) is sure to send paddles in the air with an estimate of $4,000-7,000. The Honorable and Mrs. B.C. Bailey of Bailey Island, Maine are depicted sitting before an architectural background. The painting sold previously at Garth’s in November 1994, lot 616, and September 1998, lot 426.

Rounding out the Vanderberg session will be several lots of metalware including three chandeliers found in New Hampshire. The first, a 19th century three-arm Tin Chandelier with a old green paint and raised designs, is expected to bring $300-600. A wrought iron chandelier with six candle arms is expected to sell for $300-600, while another three-arm tin chandelier with floral designs carries a presale estimate of $250-500. A Wrought Iron Tilter with a scroll handle is expected to fetch $300-500 and a 19th strainer with a tooled heart handle will cross the block with an estimate of $250-450 and a provenance Ex Pat Guthman (Connecticut). A collection of decoys will cross the block including a late 19th century Decoy, attributed to Robert Elliston, Bureau, Illinois, which has a presale estimate of $250-$350.

Additional furniture highlights in the second session of the day include an early 19th century New England Hutch Table. The rectangular top table retains its original red paint and is expected to fetch $8,000-12,000. (Ex. Grace and Elliott Snyder (Massachusetts); ex Austin T. Miller (Ohio).
A Decorated Blanket Chest from Schoharie County, New York, 1820-1825, also retains its original paint decoration consisting of a brightly colored vase of flowers, dominated by the cabbage rose, against a blue ground, and bordered by scroll decoration with fan corners. (Ex Stephen Score (Mass), ex Christies, (New York), January 20, 2012, lot 217), the brightly painted chest is expected to bring $8,000-12,000. A three-piece Baroque Kast from the Hudson River Valley, New York, 1710-1730, has a bold cornice over paneled doors flanked by pilasters, over a base with three drawers and diamond panels, all on bun feet. Retaining its early finish, the Baroque Kast has a presale estimate of $4,000-8,000. A Philadelphia Chippendale Armchair, ca. 1770 (Estimate: $5,000-8,000), retains an old surface and the name “ I BRIGHT” is stamped on the inside of the rear seat rail. This chair descended in the Ruch family of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The original owner was likely Peter Ruch (1746- 1823) of Northampton (now Lehigh) County, Pennsylvania. Ruch served as a major in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Though Ruch married, he does not seem to have had any children, and thus the chair likely passed to his nephew, Peter (1779-1828), of Ruchsville, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania (a town he founded). The younger Ruch served in the War of 1812, ultimately rising to the rank of brigadier general in the Pennsylvania Militia. The chair then descended through this line of the Ruch family.

Buyers looking for pottery will be pleased to see a signed Redware Pie Plate, from a western PA collector has green and yellow slipware tulips is impressed “J.L. Blaney, Cookstown, Pa”.Justus L. Blaney (1809-1875) was listed as a potter in Cookstown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in 1850, but by 1860,he was reduced to the job of “day laborer” in Meigs County, Ohio, and then by 1870, had moved to Muskingum County, Ohio, and described himself as a “farm laborer.” Estimate: $300-600. Of the many lots of fine Chinese porcelains, a Kraakware Charger or Basin, ca.1610-1630, has blue and white decoration featuring a central medallion of a bird in a garden setting, surrounded by a border of reserves filled with flowers and auspicious symbols. With scalloped edges this charger carries a presale estimate of $8,000-10,000. A Kirtland Safety Society $3 Bank Note dated March 7, 1837, and signed by Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon. S/n 773 would be an interesting addition to a collection (Estimate of $1,500-2,500).

A Western Pennsylvania Fraktur dated 1804 and made for the February 12, 1804, birth of Sayra Schallenberger, daughter of Johannes and Margaret Schallenberger of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The January 30, 1954, issue of the Daily Courier(Connellsville, Pennsylvania) included an article about this fraktur, then in the collection of Sayra’s grandson Charles H. Balsley. According to the article, the fraktur was exhibited and published in Made in Pennsylvania: A Folk Art Tradition (Estimate: $800-1,200). An important Pennsylvania Needlework hair and silk on gauze Memorial from Marietta, Lancaster County, 1832, depicts a grieving couple by a monument dedicated to twenty-one-year-old William Johns who died in 1822, willow tree bowing overhead, all within floral vine. Signed at lower edge “Louisa Myers her work made in the year of our Lord 1832”, the realistic flower border on three sides, the wide leafed willow, plume pattern on the urn, the wording of the inscriptions, ribbon border and use of real hair are all characteristic of needlework made under the supervision of Catherine Buchanan (Estimate: $7,000-$12,000).

Garth’s full color catalogs for this sale are available for purchase or may be browsed online at www.garths.com. Garth’s Main Gallery is located at 2690 Stratford Road, Delaware, Ohio. Preview hours will be Friday, November 21, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Sunday, November 23,
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM; Monday – Tuesday, November 24-25, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Wednesday, November 26 from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM; and Friday, November 28 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

Garth’s is accepting quality items for the upcoming auctions including 20th century design, firearms, Americana and fine & vintage jewelry. For further information regarding how to sell at Garth’s, or for a valuation of your item(s), please contact sell@garths.com or call 740-362-4771.
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