GARTH’S ANNUAL LABOR DAY WEEKEND AMERICANA AUCTION – IN GREAT FORM!

“Good distinction over time about form and surface: that is the key to materials from collections in this sale”, commented Garth’s Auctions CEO, Jeff Jeffers as he offered details regarding material consigned from the property of a late, career military man turned antique aficionado. Collectors and dealers have always hoped for, if not longed for, the “eye” to discover special items during their forays to thrift stores, yard sales, and auction venues. This particular Garth’s consignor taught himself well and his finds are just some of the highlights from over 750 lots of fine Americana including formal and painted furniture, folk art, ceramics, fine art and more, which will be sold during the Annual Labor Day Weekend Auction to be held August 31-September 1 by Garth’s.


Triple portrait of children (estimate $10,000-15,000) to sell at Garth’s Auctions Aug. 31/Sept. 1 Americana sale.

Proud to represent the passions of Garth’s longtime clients, Jeffers lauds the efforts of those who study whenever they could in an effort to master the “good, better, best” mantra. Most may never have museum quality items, but can live and love the best afforded at a given moment in time. For example, a terrific Chippendale stepback cupboard is among the fine items to be offered. Likely from Virginia or Pennsylvania, the late 18th-early 19th century, walnut and pine, two-piece cupboard has glazed upper doors, three drawers, paneled lower doors and bracket feet. The old blue paint on the interior adds to the charm of the 87.75″ high piece which is estimated at $4,000-8,000. A folksy corner cupboard probably originated in western Pennsylvania, western Maryland, or West Virginia. With the original reddish brown graining and applied spool turnings painted in a darker color, the cupboard is estimated at $2,000-4,000. A dozen other cupboards will be sold throughout the two-day auction.

As collectors learn, furniture attributed to a specific cabinetmaker or school of cabinetmakers adds interest and value. A late 18th century Chippendale high chest of drawers attributed to the Dunlap School, New Hampshire, is ornamented with fan and pinwheel carved drawers and cabriole legs with ball and claw feet. The 80″ high chest once belonged to Bill Samaha (Ohio/Massachusetts) and Rich and Susie Burmann (New Hampshire). Estimated at $15,000-25,000, the chest, which previously sold at Garth’s as lot 21 on May 20, 1995, is a fine representation of New Hampshire’s foremost school of cabinetmaking. A selection of 17 additional Chippendale, Hepplewhite, & Sheraton chests will also sell including lot 173, a Pennsylvania Hepplewhite walnut and poplar chest. With French feet supporting nine dovetailed drawers (five with hidden locking mechanisms) with edge beading and what appears to be the original brasses and finish, the chest is expected to reach $3,000-6,000. Lot 309 is a New England Chippendale cherry and pine chest dating to the second half of the 18th century. With high cutout feet extending from one-board ends and a decoratively scrolled apron, the chest with three dovetailed overlapping drawers and three false drawers which actually front a blanket chest top section, is of further interest since it never had hardware (56.75″h, estimate $3,500-5,500).

From the private collection of a lady, there are a few objects which should garner quite a bit of attention. Wouldn’t most collectors like to say that the famous dealer Israel Sack once commented on a piece in their collection? Sack did just that about a settle bench to sell Saturday. The English oak bench with raised panel construction, a seat compartment, old finish and a wonderful size once evoked commentary from Sack that it was “the best” he had ever seen of that form and scale (estimate $800-1,200). Another piece from the same collection is one of three Federal tall case clocks in the sale. A Federal cherry and poplar tall case clock by Aaron Willard of Boston, Massachusetts is particularly nice. With a fretwork hood, shaped case door, and molded base, the clock bears an eight-day movement signed by Willard and has a sun/moon dial. The 80″ high clock purportedly descended in the Willard family through a New Hampshire relative (estimate $ 2,500-5,000). One other clock has an origin which is still up for debate. The early 19th century Pennsylvania or Southern Federal inlaid cherry and walnut clock has an original dry finish and folksy inlaid decoration. The case is adorned with leaf and rosette carvings, wide cove molding between sections, a door with a shaped crest, all enclosing a 30-hour brass movement with floral-decorated dial. At 96″ high it is a stately acquisition at an estimate of $3,000-6,000.

If your collection is seeking a little direction, then perhaps one of fifteen weathervanes to be sold would be a good choice. A quill form weathervane is one of the finest. The American copper example has a ridged vane and original gilt. Measuring 16″ high and 36″ long, it rests on a modern stand and is estimated at $3,500-5,500. Another weathervane to sell is similar to one by L.W. Cushing, Waltham Massachusetts. The full-bodied leaping stag is a nice size at 27” high and 30” long. From a private Philadelphia collection, it has good form, detail, and a verdigris patina with worn gilt (estimate $2,500-3,500). Of the eight examples with horses, the jockey on running horse (estimate $1,500-3,000) and the trotter pulling a high wheeled sulky and driver (estimate $2,000-3,000) are quite dynamic.

Many interesting lanterns are to be sold, but the best is a presentation lantern is inscribed for Philip Sheridan (1831-1888), who was born in Albany, New York, but grew up in Somerset, Ohio. Sheridan graduated from West Point – The U.S. Military Academy in 1853 and proved one of the Union’s most noted generals during the Civil War. A related lantern in the collection of the West Point Museum that bears the presentation inscription to General U.S. Grant. This Sheridan example is estimated at $5000-7000. Other wonderful decorative smalls will include almost 70 lots of whimsical sewertile from the Batdorff collection, which features some signed by Ohio Sewertile factory workers. A large grouping of Leeds includes a nice pitcher and a double handled, footed cup with banners marked “Ale” and a yellow frog inside (estimate $400-700).

A particularly fine group of portraits will be sold throughout the two sessions, many including children. A grouping of three family portraits is by Isaac Augustus Wetherbee (also spelled Wetherby) who painted these portraits when he was 20 years old. Born in Providence, Rhode Island on December 6th, 1819, the artist was painting in the Norfolk County / Boston area in the late 1830-early 1840s. The 1842 Boston City Directory lists him as a portrait painter and he is thought to have been one of the earliest Daguerreotype photographers. The first pair (estimate $3,000-6,000) is thought to be George Holbrook (1767-1846) founder of the Holbrook Bell Foundry and his 2nd wife, Roxana Hills Holbrook (1782-1889). The second pair (estimate $3,000-6,000) of another Holbrook husband and wife is signed verso “Mr George Handal Holbrook / bell Founder Clock and Organ / builder. East Medway. Mass / aged 41 years / this portrait painted / aug. 1839 / by Isaac a. Wetherbee”. The companion portrait shows his wife, seated on a chair matching her mother-in-law’s, wearing a wide lace collar, one arm around her son, George Handal (1838-1842). The third (estimate $2,000-4,000) depicts grey-eyed siblings, fifteen-year old Edwin (1824-1904), in a yellow vest, holds his three-year-old sister, Ellen (1836-1917) wearing white with a coral necklace and holding a rose. The Holbrook Bell Foundry started in 1816, when George Holbrook (1767-1846) cast a bell for the East Medway (Norfolk County, Massachusetts) meeting house. The firm remained in the family for three generations, manufacturing over ten thousand bells.

Of the additional portraits of children, an unsigned oil on canvas of three siblings is a stunning example. Showing two sisters dressed alike in lace trimmed white dresses, gold beads at their throats, and the elder holding a vine of morning glories, they girls are joined by their brother wearing a pale yellow suit and holding out a stem of flowering nasturtiums. The 39″ x 39″ canvas is anticipated to bring $10,000-15,000. A double portrait of a boy in wide white collar with his arm protectively around his sister is attributed to Ruth and/or Samuel Shute(New England/Kentucky, first half 19th century). The sister is dressed in blue and has a string of coral beads at her neck, but both are pointing to a colorful basket of flowers on the table before them (estimate $ 12,500-17,500).

A highly detailed American watercolor on velvet theorem of a basket with an overabundance of fruit, bird and butterfly, resting on a slab of marble on grass is projected to reach $6,000-12,000.

Garth’s Labor Day Weekend Americana Auction catalog is online at www.garths.com. Garth’s, located at 2690 Stratford Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015, will have preview hours in its gallery from August 27 through September 1. For further information, please contact [email protected] or call 740-362-4771.

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