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

Freeman’s to auction three fine collections including Property from the Estate of Janet Brown, The Collection of Mr. & Mrs. William R. Wister, and The Collection of Virginia H. Knauer

Freeman’s to offer three fine collections in the April 30, 2012 Americana Sale including Property from the Estate of Janet Brown, The Collection of Mr. & Mrs. William R. Wister, and The Collection of Virginia H. Knauer.

Janet Brown, a native of Philadelphia, attended Temple University and had the good fortune to work with Nan Duskin at her Walnut Street store. Ms. Brown moved to New York and in 1983 opened her own boutique in Port Washington, Long Island, NY, introducing the most current and influential European couture designers, Jil Sander, Miuccia Prada, and Loro Piana to women everywhere. Brown’s fashion and vision translated into her private life and these attributes are reflected in her furniture and silver featured in the Fine American Furniture, Silver, Decorative and Folk Arts Sale. Janet Brown’s taste is reflected in a striking sideboard from Gilbert Rohde, a graceful “Gazelle” chair by Dan Johnson, a unique center table by Johan Tapp, and a walnut “Klismos” chair by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.

Mr. and Mrs. William Rotch Wister lived in a gracious, colonial home in Oldwick, New Jersey filled with art and antiques collected by the couple and inherited from their two distinguished families. William Rotch Wister (1904-1993), born to the prominent Philadelphia Wister family.. The collection features furniture and decorative objects that once graced Grumblethorpe, the Wister family ancestral home in Germantown,. Of special note is a life-sized silhouette of Sarah (Sally) Wister (1761-1804), her only known image. Another highlight is an autograph letter signed, “George Washington, Philadelphia, Pa, January 7, 1795” written to Pierce Butler, a Federalist senator from South Carolina, discussing military spending.

Virginia H. Knauer, a Philadelphia native known for her distinguished career as a consumer advocate, first in Pennsylvania and then in Washington, D.C. Mr. and Mrs. Knauer were also instrumental in restoring “A Man Full of Trouble” tavern and the Paschall House located on Spruce Street in Philadelphia. The collection of Mrs. Knauer features fine examples of 18th century Philadelphia antiques, many of which were purchased at Freeman’s in the 1940s and 1950s. Mrs. Knauer and her husband began collecting in the early years of their marriage and this auction is an occasion for the public to understand a segment of her personal life as a passionate, informed collector with a sharp, discerning eye for beauty and detail, along with a superb understanding of historical time and place. The sale will contain well documented examples of early Philadelphia furniture including a fine pair or Chippendale carved walnut side chairs, the “Crim Family” walnut dressing table, a Chippendale carved mahogany tester bed attributed to John Goddard, and a rare William & Mary painted stretcher table among others. –