The Antiques Addict: Hooked Rugs, America’s Indigenous Folk Art

January 29, 2015

Early American hooked rugs were a craft of poverty. Prior to 1780, most floors in American homes were bare, especially among the poor. Painted floors or stenciled floor cloths were found in the homes of those who were slightly better off. Only the very wealthy had the means to import carpeting, since the American textile industry was in its infancy.

After 1830, as factories in America began making wool carpets for the rich, having a floor covering became a symbol of domestic and socioeconomic well-being. This was a period when Americans were looking beyond the bare necessities, trying to make their homes more livable.

As the fashion for floor coverings took hold, poorer women began ransacking their scrap bags for materials to employ in creating their own floor coverings. Their work was laborious and slow, hooking rag strips through tightly woven linen or hemp backings using a special tool adapted from the sailor’s marlinspike.

Then, after 1850, trade tariffs relaxed and coffee, grain and feed started to arrive wrapped in jute burlap sacks made in India. This free fabric was strong, but loosely woven enough to allow the rag scraps to be easily hooked through it into the characteristic loops.

The women who made the early rugs also designed them, borrowing many of the motifs from the Oriental rugs imported by the wealthy. A New England peddler noticed the rug-hooking trend and saw an opportunity. In 1876, he began stamping the best of the traditional designs onto burlap. His designs also included lions, tigers, leopards, dogs, cats, birds, deer and floral patterns.

From this point on, every woman could make her own colorful rugs from scraps of clothing. For the next 50 years, this essentially rural craft spread to the humblest households along the northeastern seaboard.

In the waning years of the 19th century, with the industrial revolution well underway, machine-made goods were seen as superior to homemade goods. Hooked rugs were viewed as “quaint” and lost their popularity.

By the 1920s, however, American cities were filling up with multitudes of immigrants. Many Americans reacted to these social changes by idealizing the colonial period as a time of noble virtues and high moral standards. There was a flurry of interest in hooked rugs and homemade quilts as “virtuous” colonial artifacts (though most had been produced long after the end of the colonial period).

In the 1930s and ’40s, antique dealers and interior designers recognized the beauty and historical value of this form of needlework, leading to a resurgence of rug hooking. In fact, the great majority of the rugs we find today sold as “antiques” were made between 1900 and 1960. Since they are less than 100 years old, they are more properly called “vintage.”

American country antique collecting was at its height in the mid-1960s. Armistead Peter 3rd (1896-1983) and his wife Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter (1896-1965), the last private owners of the venerable Georgetown estate Tudor Place, began to redecorate their stately home after Peter’s father passed away. They elected to purchase three hooked rugs for their bedrooms, and those boldly pattern rugs are still part of the collection.

Today, older hooked rugs have again regained popularity, due in part to their wonderfully colorful graphics. Also, like American primitive antiques in general, they show “the hand of man” and mix well with other styles, including transitional and the now-popular mid-century modern look.

Condition is very important when collecting older hooked rugs. Collectors should be sure to check the backing for signs of rot or for missing fabric. A restorer can patch the backing and restore missing rag, but a buyer should be ready to do some heavy negotiating for a damaged hooked rug.

These once purely utilitarian objects are now recognized as an art form that, in addition, traces the nation’s history from pre-industrial times. The good news is that wonderful examples can still be readily found and are reasonably affordable. They add a dash of color, whimsy and history to any well-decorated home.

An antiques dealer for more than 25 years, Michelle Galler owns Antiques, Whimsies & Curiosities, based in Georgetown and in Washington, Va. Contact her at to suggest a topic for a future column. [gallery ids="101977,135524" nav="thumbs"]

The Antiques Addict: Staffordshire Portrait Figures

January 16, 2015

Here in Georgetown, we live in the mother lode of antiquities, an antique community where relics are everywhere we look. Since Georgetowners interact with history every day in our 18th- and 19th-century homes and on our cobblestoned streets, it’s easy to stop actually seeing the objects and places that inform our daily lives.

So it’s interesting to delve a bit into the what and why of the old things that surround us, everyday household items or fine rarities from a century or more ago: a colorful vase that a favorite aunt left, an old bottle found under a floorboard during renovations, yellow ware bowls, glorious old silver, colorful tins that once held everything from soup to opium.

A dealer in antiques for most of my adult life, I am drawn to old things and old places. I still like to imagine the people who lived in my early 19th-century home and how they lived in it. They loved, lost and raised their families within the quotidian realities of the age.

Just as certain smells can flood us with memories, antiques can provide a powerful connection to our own personal histories. A familiar object spotted at an antiques shop can be an emotional bridge with our past, a childhood moment or a loved one.
Many collectors’ fascination with the things of the past reflects a profound desire to connect to a time when life was more predictable. True collectors don’t buy to resell. They buy for that enduring link to the past, a sense of history, the thrill of the hunt or to furnish a home.

My penchant for collecting Staffordshire portrait figures (1837-1901) stems from all of the above. They are decorative and have a wonderful naïve charm. The figures were the Victorian version of People Magazine; made to communicate the “news of the day” to everyman, they had a broad appeal across social classes. Many a politico, murderer, actress, soldier and historic event of the time were portrayed in Staffordshire.

Victorian portrait figures are generally titled, but not always. The quality of the workmanship varies tremendously. Some were quite primitively rendered, making the characters impossible to recognize (likely the result of basing the portrait on a bad engraving in a periodical of the day). Yet all are historically interesting and, amassed, make up a visually pleasing and thought-provoking collection.

Prior to 1840, most figurines were made to imitate porcelain and finely worked. Starting in 1842, the “flat-back” design made them easier to reproduce in earthenware. The Crimean War (1854-1856) was the heyday of this form. There was intense popular interest in Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the allied leaders and their war commanders, and a profusion of figures were made in the new style.

One of the chief attractions in collecting Staffordshire figures is the great number of variations within a type. Each potter created his own version of a well-known contemporary subject – a famous battle, performer, literary character or royal personage – hence the profusion of similar subjects that look extremely different from one another.

Some collectors specialize in certain themes, like Little Red Riding Hood (a popular subject). Others may collect circus figures, politicians, sporting figures or any of the hundreds of variations available.

By the start of the 1880s, the art was beginning to decline. Finally, with the death of Queen Victoria, fewer figures were produced. Although a few figures were made to commemorate World War I, they were in a different, more sophisticated style, lacking the former rustic charm.

For me, the fun is in buying whatever strikes my fancy. Since the figures are ubiquitous, I am almost always able to find company for the others in my collection.

An antiques dealer for more than 25 years, Michelle Galler owns Antiques, Whimsies & Curiosities, located in Georgetown and in Washington, Va. Contact her at to suggest a topic for a future column.

The Auction Block: Dec. 3

December 5, 2014

Doyle New York

Important Jewelry Sale, Dec. 11
Platinum, Invisibly-Set Sapphire and Diamond Flower Clip-Brooch, France
Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000

The stylized flower and leaf is invisibly set with 153 square, rectangular and triangular-cut sapphires, approximately 15.50 carats, edged by 59 round and single-cut diamonds, flanked by a stem set with 17 baguette and tapered baguette diamonds, altogether approximately 2.45 carats, centering 3 marquise-shaped diamonds, approximately 1.75 carats, with maker’s mark and French assay mark.


Magnificent Jewels Auction, Dec. 9
Iconic Platinum, Colored Stone, Diamond and Enamel ‘Tutti Frutti’ Bracelet, Cartier
Estimate: $750,000 – $1,000,000

The flexible openwork foliate band is set with numerous carved emeralds and rubies, accented by onyx beads and faceted rubies, further set with old European and single-cut diamonds, approximately 6.25 carats, enhanced with black enamel. Signed Cartier, circa 1928.


Fine Jewelry Auction, Dec. 8
Sapphire and Diamond Ring??
Estimate: $100,000 – $150,000

This ring of radiant blue is set with a cushion modified-cut sapphire, 25.66 carats, flanked by pear-shaped diamonds, mounted in platinum. Size 2 3/4 (with sizing beads).


Holiday Estate Jewelry Auction, Dec. 15
Emerald, Diamond and 18 Karat Gold Ring
Estimate: $2,000 – $3,000

The classic ring centers an oval cabochon emerald weighing approximately 10.00 carats, bezel-set and accented by pavé-set diamonds. Total diamond weight approximately 2.40 carats.

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The Auction Block

October 8, 2014

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Danseuses et contrebasse (‘Dancers and bass’), ca. 1879-1880
oil on panel
ca. 1879-1880
Auction Date: Nov. 4, 2014
Estimate: $400,000 – $600,000

Part of the Impressionist and Modern Art Auction, this rare oil by Degas shows the painter at work again on his beloved dancers. With the recent 2012 exhibit at The Phillips Collection, “Degas’ Dancers at the Barre,” and the recently opened “Degas’ Little Dancer” at the National Gallery, this painting is a piece of a reinvigorated history for any Washington collector. This auction covers works from the dawn of Impressionism to the fracturing of traditions in the Post-War period, from Degas to Dalí, covering the movements that define recent Western Art. Artists represented include Monet, Bonnard, Sisley, Pissarro, Rodin, Picasso, Miró and Ernst ,to name but a few.

Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987)
“Campbell’s Soup I,” 1968
The complete set of ten color screenprints on wove paper.
Auction Date: Nov. 2, 2014
Estimate: $250,000-400,000

Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup I,” a complete set of ten screenprints, is the centerpiece of the Modern & Contemporary Art sale, featuring works by Calder, Dubuffet and Bertoia, among others. These screenprints were purchased directly from the artist
during one of their first showings at Leo Castelli’s gallery in 1968 by Lois Cowles Harrison,. The daughter of famed Warhol collector (and founder of Look Magazine) Gardner Cowles Jr., Cowles Harrison was an avid and early collector of Warhol and other Pop artists.

Potomack Company
Rare Gilt Bronze Mounted Kingwood
Meuble de Milieu
By Joseph-Emmanuel Zweiner, Paris, ca. 1880
Auction Date: Oct. 18, 2014
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Cabinetmaker Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener (1849-1895) was born in Germany and moved to Paris to practice his craft. He was renowned for his copies of 18th century furniture from public collections and won a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. This cabinet is after a design by Charles Cressent (1685-1768).

Doyle New York
Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)
Woman, 1965
Oil on paper laid to panel
Auction Date: Nov. 11. 2014
Estimate: $200,000 – $400,000

This seminal de Kooning will be offered with Doyle’s Post-War and Contemporary Art sale on Nov. 11, from the Estate of the Honorable Roy M. Goodman. The piece was initially acquired directly from the artist by New York State Senator Goodman (1930-2014), who was a dedicated and effective advocate for the arts in New York for more than forty years. Senator Goodman was even named an Ambassador for the Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts “in recognition of his unwavering support of the arts and cultural affairs.” The work is inscribed to Goodman by the artist himself on a notecard affixed to the reverse.

The Auction Block

September 10, 2014


Tiffany & Co. Lucida Platinum and Diamond Solitaire Ring

Auction Date: September 19

Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000

Love is in the air at Weschler’s with a selection of nearly twenty diamond engagement rings, from their fall Capital Collections Estate Auction. The standout is a Tiffany & Co. Lucida platinum and diamond solitaire ring, set with an internally flawless, E-color, diamond weighing 1.63 carats. The auction will also feature an important selection of 20th century American works of art cultivated from prominent Washington, DC collections.

Sotheby’s New York

Platinum, 18 Karat Gold, Colored Stone and Diamond ‘Oiseau de Paradis’ Brooch, Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., France, circa 1963

Auction Date: September 23

Estimate: $150/250,000

From an ‘Oiseau de Paradis’ brooch by Schlumberger boasting fantastical colored stone plumage, to an Art Deco inspired pair of David Webb diamond earrings framed by swirling enamelwork, the Important Jewels sale this September deftly guides collectors from day to night. Modern classics are mixed among exquisite period jewels including a rare Belle Époque garland design bracelet by Cartier. The sale also offers a superb array of top quality colored gemstones and diamonds, many of which are set in signed mountings.

Potomack Company

Magnificent String of Opal Beads with Diamond and Sapphire Clasp

Auction Date: October 18

Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

This resplendent necklace consists of 29 graduated gemstone orbs in a rainbow of hues with a larger oval opal, sapphire and diamond clasp. Opal was considered good luck in the Middle Ages and is celebrated today as the October birthstone.

Doyle New York

Rose Gold, Platinum, Mystery-Set Ruby and Diamond Leaf Clip-Brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels

Auction Date: October 21

Estimate: $150,000 – $250,000

Part of Doyle New York’s Important Jewelry Auction. 18 carat brooch, composed of three overlapping leaves mystery-set with 316 square, rectangular and fancy-shaped rubies, centering fine ribbon-like veins and topped by two stylized leaves set with 20 tapered baguette and baguette diamonds.


9.69 Carat Diamond Ring with Diamond Accents

Auction Date: November 3

Estimate: $75,000 – $95,000

This pear shape diamond set in a platinum ring with triangular-cut diamond accents will be sold in Freeman’s Fine Jewelry & Watches auction on November 3.



July 16, Fine Jewels Auction

Enamel and Diamond Bracelet, Verger Fréres, ca. 1920

Estimate: $34,280 – $51,420

Final Selling Price: $127,693


July 02, Post-War & Contemporary Art (London)

Lucio Fontana (Italian, 1899 – 1968)

Concetto Spaziale, 1952

oil on canvas

Estimate: $400,000 – $565,000

Final Selling Price: $1,241,847


September 03, Out of the Ordinary auction (London, South Kensington)

Mark Stoddart

‘Hippo’ Dining Table, 2002

Estimate: $8,285 – $11,599

Final Selling Price: $28,805

The Auction Block August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014

The fall auctions of Asian art are lined up in New York like the panels of a painted screen, beginning Monday, Sept. 15, with Asian Works of Art at Doyle New York and Chinese Art at Bonhams.

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, Bonhams has a Fine Japanese Works of Art auction and Christie’s has two auctions: Indian and Southeast Asian Art and Fine Chinese Paintings. Sotheby’s also has two that day: Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Goro: Song Ceramics, and Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art.

The sole auction on Wednesday, Sept. 17, is at Sotheby’s: Images of Enlightenment: Devotional Works of Art and Paintings. On Thursday, Sept. 18, Christie’s has an auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art and Sotheby’s has two auctions of Chinese paintings: Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy and Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, formerly in the collection of General and Mrs. Zhu.

The Chinese-owned Gianguan Auctions, at Madison Avenue and E 41st Street, has an auction of Fine Chinese Paintings, Ceramics, Bronzes and Works of Art on Sunday, Sept. 14.

On Friday, Sept. 19, concluding the week of intense contemplation – and competition – the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction wraps up at Christie’s.

Just prior to the New York auctions, on Saturday, Sept. 13, Freeman’s in Philadelphia holds its fall auction of Asian art. Skinner in Boston has an Asian art auction on Wednesday, Sept. 17, with a preview in New York at The Culture Center on Friday, Sept. 12.

Asia Week New York, the even bigger spring series of sales and exhibitions, will take place March 13 to 21, 2015. Total sales at last spring’s event were $200 million, $25 million more than in 2013, due both to the rising interest in Asian art among museums and to the increasing number and wealth of Chinese buyers.

The Auction Block

July 2, 2014

Bringing the Hammer Down

Final selling prices for last month’s featured Auction Block items.


James Edward Buttersworth, (British/American, 1817-1894)

“The America’s Cup yacht Vigilant”

Oil on canvas

Auction Date: June 25

Estimate: $200,000 – $300,000

Final selling price: $305,000


Edouard Leon Cortes (French 1882-1969)

“Place St. Michel”

Oil on canvas

Auction Date: June 17

Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Final selling price: $43,750


Louis XV Ormolu-Mounted Chinese Lacquer Commode circa 1745, Stamped P. Roussel

Auction Date: June 9

Estimate: $150,000 – $250,000

Final selling price: $281,000

Doyle New York

Regence Style Walnut Marble Top Commode

Auction Date: July 16

Estimate: $1,200 – $1,800

The popular Doyle at Home auctions attract savvy buyers with an endless diversity of stylish furniture, elegant decorations and attractive works of art from prominent estates and collections across the country. Designers, architects, magazine editors and other trend-setters look to the Doyle at Home auctions as a resource for exceptional objects that combine quality, value and style. These auctions have also become popular venues for the sale of property from designers’ own collections or for furnishings that they have incorporated into projects for their clients. This auction of Fine Furniture, Decorations and Paintings from Prominent Estates and Collections, includes an impressive collection of furniture, prints, porcelain, silver and rugs.


Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001)

Oil on canvas

Auction Date: September 17

Estimate: $300,000 – $500,000

Following a record-breaking auction of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art in March, Bonhams New York announces it will offer two seminal works by one of India’s most important modern artists, V.S. Gaitonde. The masterworks by Gaitonde will headline a special section of Modern South Asian Art and will be on preview in New York from September 14-17. Signed and dated 1961 and 1963, respectively, the paintings stem from the artist’s much coveted and pivotal ‘non-objective’ series. With record prices achieved at auction over the past six months, and an upcoming retrospective opening at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in October, Bonhams is anticipating strong international interest. This 1961 canvas, estimated at $300,000-$500,000, has a dramatic tonal variation with an abyssal vertical band of blue interrupting the median horizontal line.


Brian Belott

Untitled, 2014, mixed media and reverse glass technique, 40 1/4 by 32 1/4

Selling Auction: Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and by appointment

S|2 is Sotheby’s Contemporary art gallery, offering year-round exhibition programming and bespoke private sales. With dedicated gallery space in New York, London and Hong Kong, S|2 presents selling exhibitions exploring the work of celebrated artists. In collaboration with curator Ryan Steadman, Save It For Later is a selling exhibition of paintings and sculpture created for this show by a group of young and emerging American artists working in a consumer environment of disposable goods. The exhibition features artists that work with salvaged materials and incorporate reuse and recycling in their practice. Featured artists include Brian Belott, Graham Collins, Rachel Foullon, Jack Greer, Dave Hardy, Jo Nigoghossian and Jack Siegel.

The Auction Block

April 11, 2014

1. Freeman’s

Henri Matisse (1869–1954)

“Odalisque étendue”

Auction Date: May 4

Estimate: $100,000 to $150,000

As part of their sale of Modern & Contemporary Works of Art, which will include works
by Andy Warhol, Richard Pousette-Dart and Sam Francis, Freeman’s will offer this drawing
by Henri Matisse. Matisse’s series of odalisque pictures were made in the 1920s, after he
relocated to the French Riviera, and are representative of a softening of the artist’s approach
following World War I.

2. Bonhams New York

Peter Beard (b. 1938)

“Orphaned Cheetah Cubs in Mweiga nr. Nyeri, Kenya, 1968”

Auction Date: April 29

Estimate: $30,000 to $50,000

Bonhams will host a Fine Photographs auction, featuring more than 100 works from photographic masters including Ansel Adams, Jan Dibbets, Nan Goldin and Sally Mann. A highlight of the sale will be selections of animal photography, including Peter Beard’s “Orphaned Cheetah Cubs in Mweiga nr. Nyeri, Kenya,” from 1968. Beard, a prominent photographer and cultural icon, is known for his pictures of African wildlife, as well as his good looks and playboy impulses.

3. Sotheby’s

Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

“La Séance du matin”

Oil on canvas?

Auction Date: May 7

Estimate: $20 million to $30 million

Bright, classic and fresh-to-market works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Fernand Léger from a private American collection will lead Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art. The three paintings are important examples from a key phase in each artist’s career. “La Séance du matin” is one of Matisse’s celebrated works, painted in Nice in the 1920s It depicts his studio assistant Henriette Darricarrère, to whom he offered painting lessons during their time working together.

4. Potomack Company

Zhang Daqian (1899-1983)

“Letter to Wang Jiyuan,” 1967

Auction Date: May 3

?Estimate: $6,000 to $9,000

This one-page letter, in ink on paper, was inscribed by the internationally renowned 20th-century Chinese artist Zhang Daqian to his friend and colleague Wang Jiyuan. The two artists held a joint exhibition at the Smithsonian in 1971. Daqian wrote this letter from Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 1967, beginning his salutation warmly: “Jiyuan, my dearest brother, and to those you are closest to….” The letter is one of several Zhang Daqian letters featured in Potomack’s May sale.

Bringing the Hammer Down
Final selling prices for last month’s featured Auction Block items:

Potomack Company

Qi Baishi,?“Rat Eating Loquat and Two Gourds,” 1924

Ink on paper on scroll

Auction Date: Feb. 22?

Estimate: $60,000 to $90,000

Final Selling Price: $194,000


Child Hassam, “The Norwegian Cottage,” 1909

Oil on canvas?

Auction Date: March 30

Estimate: $200,000 to $300,000

Final Selling Price: $242,500?


John James Audubon and John Bachman?, “The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,” 1845/48

3 vols., hand-colored lithographs

Auction Date: April 1

Estimate: $200,000 to $400,000

Final Selling Price: $245,000

The Auction Block & Bringing the Hammer Down

March 13, 2014

Foxall (Foxhall) Late Fall
By Benson Bond Moore (1882-1974)
Auction Date: Feb. 22
Estimate: $2,000 to $3,000
A group of American paintings with local
interest will highlight Potomack’s February
Catalogue Sale. Notable among these works is
Benson Bond Moore’s “Foxall Late Fall.” A
native Washingtonian, Moore lived in the city
for 70 years and depicted regional scenes in
some some of his greatest paintings. Foxall, as
originally spelled, was one of Moore’s favorite
areas to set up his easel. This particular rendition
of Foxhall was painted in 1923 when
Moore turned to his impressionistic style.

Marcelle Ferron
Oil on canvas
Auction Date: Selling Exhibition,
Feb. 14 to March 9
Sotheby’s will present Canadian
Abstraction, a selling exhibit of mid-century
Canadian abstract art in New York. This is
the first exhibit of its kind outside of Canada
in decades, which will highlight some of the
best examples of works by artists such as Jean
Paul Riopelle, Jack Bush, Jacques Hurtubise
and Marcelle Ferron, many of whom were
exhibiting their work alongside the great midcentury
Surrealists, Modernists and Abstract
Expressionists in New York, London and Paris.

Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain ‘Boys’ Vase
Daoguang mark and of the period
Auction Date: March 15
Estimate: $30,000 to $50,000
Part of its Asian Arts auction, Freeman’s will feature a selection of exquisite
porcelain and bronze artifacts, including this this rose porcelain vase
decorated with a group of young boys.
Other highlights include a Tibeto-Chinese cloisonne enamel gilt
bronze stupa and a Japanese Namikawa Sosuke cloisonne enamel vase.

Selection of Exotic Skin Handbags from the
Estate of a New York Lady
Auction Date: February 22
Sloans and Kenyon’s Auction of Vintage
and Contemporary Fashion, Couture and
Jewelry will open with an exhibition from
Feb. 19 to 21, and will feature vintage and
contemporary fashion, couture and accessories
by designers including Chanel, Hermès,
Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la
Renta, Yves Saint Laurent and many others,
including signed vintage and costume jewelry.

Set of Six Russian Gilt and Polychrome
Decorated Porcelain Dessert Plates
Krnilov Brothers Manufactory, St. Petersburg,
ca. 1900
Auction Date: Feb. 19
Estimate: $15,000 to $20,000
Doyle New York’s Belle Epoque Auction
will showcase 19th and 20th century fine and
decorative arts reflecting the opulence of the
bygone era. These featured plates are each
decorated with a circular medallion depicting
different historic versions of the Russian State
seal, including a double-headed eagle with
outspread wings clutching an orb and scepter
surmounted by a crown. Other highlights
include a Russian bronze by Nikolai Lieberich,
a Tiffany canister lamp, and an elaborate
Napoleon III gilt-metal ebonized side cabinet.

Final selling prices for last month’s
featured Auction Block items:

Saint John the Baptist Roman School
17th Century
Auction Date: Jan. 29
Estimate: $6,000 to $10,000
Final Selling Price: $11,250

James Edward Buttersworth (1817-
1894) “Schooner’s from the New York
Yacht Club Racing in the Narrows”
Oil on canvas, ca. 1870
Auction Date: Jan. 24
Estimate: $70,000 to $100,000
Final Selling Price: $106,250

“A Child and Nurse in the Foyer of
an Elegant Townhouse, the Parents
Beyond Jacob Ochtervelt” (1634-
Auction Date: Jan. 30
Estimate: $3 million to $4 million
Final Selling Price: $4,421,000

“Allegory of Poverty and Vengeance”
Northern Italian School
ca. 2nd half of the 16th Century
Auction Date: Jan. 28
Estimate: $10,000 to $15,000
Final Selling Price: $17,500 [gallery ids="101633,146086,146077,146080,146084" nav="thumbs"]

The Auction Block March 12, 2014

Doyle New York

The Forster Flag

Auction Date: April 9

Estimate: $1 million to $3 million

This important relic of our nation’s past is the earliest extant flag incorporating 13 white stripes to represent the 13 United Colonies. Prepared for militia use a full year before the Declaration of Independence, the Forster Flag was inspired by Liberty Flags flown in Boston in the years following the hugely unpopular Stamp Act (1765) and the Boston Tea Party (1773). Comprising a field of fine red silk, a canton of numerous stitched lengths of a differing red silk and 13 applied white stripes, the flag has never been restored and is in a remarkable state of preservation with fresh original color.


Child Hassam (1859-1935)

“The Norwegian Cottage,” 1909

Oil on canvas

Auction Date: March 30

Estimate: $200,000 to $300,000

This brilliant work of American Impressionism is part of the auction of the George D. Horst Collection of Fine Art. Tucked away in the depths of the Sheerlund Forest in Pennsylvania, a modest dwelling held an unknown cache of paintings. The collection includes fine examples of world-famous American and European painters such as Frank Weston Benson, Childe Hassam and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. The Horst collection is a beautiful time capsule, to be revealed for the first time later this month.


John James Audubon and John Bachman

“The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,” 1845-48

Auction Date: April 1

Estimate: $200,000 to $400,000

Sotheby’s will auction copies of John James Audubon’s two masterworks, consigned by the Indiana Historical Society. In four monumental volumes, “The Birds of America” of 1827-38 preserves 435 hand-colored aquatint plates depicting all the species of birds then known in the United States. Commonly known as the “Double-Elephant Folio” – after the size of the paper that had to be specially made for the publication – “The Birds of America” has long been recognized as a towering achievement of both book illustration and natural history. Smaller in size and reputation, though perhaps not in significance, is Audubon’s “The Viviparous Quadrupeds of America,” which contains 150 hand-colored lithographs of American mammals, on many of which Audubon was assisted by his son John Wodehouse Audubon.

Sloans and Kenyon

Early 20th-Century Carved and Painted Carousel Horse

with Glass Eyes and Metal Horse Shoes, Mounted on Brass Pole.

Auction Dates: April 12-13

This piece of early 20th-century Americana will be sold as part of the April Estate Catalogue Auction at Sloans and Kenyon. The rustic, well-preserved painting is reminiscent of the early French style of old-fashioned carousels. The mechanical carousel was an innovation at a crucial time in American culture, when increased prosperity meant that more people had time and money for leisure pursuits. The principal novelty of the modern fairground was the carousel, delighting thousands of pleasure seekers at home and abroad. To view all of the auction items, download the free Sloans and Kenyon iPad catalogue app.

Bringing the Hammer Down

Final selling prices for last month’s featured Auction Block items:

Doyle New York

Set of Six Russian Gilt and Polychrome Decorated Porcelain Dessert Plates

Auction Date: Feb. 19

Estimate: $15,000 to $20,000

Final Selling Price: $34,375

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