Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bonhams Fine American & European Furniture and Decorative Arts auction highlights Americana Week in New York

Bonhams announce the Fine American and European Furniture and Decorative Arts auction taking place January 19 during New York City’s Americana Week. This sale will attract beginners and seasoned collectors alike since the sale includes several stunning highlights, as well as a fine cross selection of English and Continental furniture and decorative arts.

Karl Green, Director of Fine and Decorative Arts in New York, states about the sale, “We at Bonhams are excited about this auction, which groups together not only some extremely rare American pieces such as the Hadley chest and the Moravian pottery owl, but also one of the finest collections of English furniture that we have had the pleasure of presenting in our New York galleries.”

Expected to generate a great amount of interest from collectors, dealers and institutions is a newly discovered and rare Moravian owl bottle from the Salem area of North Carolina. Moravian potters produced these press molded animal bottles in the early 19th century, many of which may have been used for dry storage. Two kinds of owl bottles where made but no known molds have been found making this a very rare example (pre-sale est. $60,000-80,000).

Another highlight to the auction is a great selection of works by John James Audubon. Leading the group of works is Snowy Owl from the Havell edition of The Birds of America (pre-sale est. $60,000-80,000) followed by Iceland or Jer Falcon (pre-sale est. $50,000-70,000), Trumpeter Swan (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000), Reddish Egret (pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000), among others.

Also highlighting the auction is a large group of fine English and American silver, along with some important examples of Georg Jensen Danish sterling silver pieces, such as a covered soup tureen with grape cluster decoration (pre-sale est. $25,000 – 40,000).

A top highlight to the sale is a Foote family carved oak chest, from the Hadley Hatfield area of Massachusetts. This circa 1700 chest is boldly initialed “AG” and is accented by distinctive tulip-and-leaf carvings. It is a classic example of a large and iconic group of as many as 250 pieces of similarly decorated joined American furniture and is apparently a previously unknown example (pre-sale est. $60,000-80,000).

There is also a large selection of fine English furniture, one particular highlight being a late 18th century George III carved mahogany breakfront bookcase attributed to William Vile. Being one of the finest cabinetmakers of his generation, this bookcase is a remarkable example of his detailed carving, especially the rendering of the acanthus leaf on the cabinet doors, and would be a great addition to any collection (pre-sale est. $80,000-100,000). Also in the sale, among other items from the Northrupp Grumann collection, is a fine and impressive pair of late 18th century George III inlaid mahogany serpentine chests (pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000).

Closing the sale is a pair of patinated and polychrome bronze busts, “Janissaire du Sultan Mahmoud II” and “Jeune Fille du Caire” by French artist Emile Coriolan Hippolyte Guillemin. Guillemin was a leading sculptor in Orientalist art, a popular genre of second half of the 19th century, and these two highly detailed busts are prime examples of his work (pre-sale est. $180,000-240,000).

The Fine American and European Furniture and Decorative Arts auction will be on preview in the New York offices of Bonhams before the auction from January 14-18, 2012 and will coincide with Americana Week in New York City. The illustrated auction catalog for the sale will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at

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