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ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, THE BATTLE OF MARATHON. A POEM, by E.B. BARRETT. LONDON: PRINTED FOR W. LINDSELL, 1820

8vo (205 x 128 mm). B3-6 with small wormhole affecting a few letters on each page, E gathering spotted with two small wormholes, generally affecting only a portion of one letter (these two gatherings possibly supplied), short closed tear along inner margin of title, marginal repair to last leaf, light spotting to title. Nineteenth-century half-rose calf and marbled boards; minor rubbing.

Provenance: H. Bradley Martin, Sotheby's New York, 30 April 1990, lot 2669 (his bookplate on pastedown).

Literature: Barnes A1; Wise 73

Catalogue Note: first edition of the author's first book, this copy inscribed by her to her grandmother. Published when Browning was thirteen, she has inscribed the title "for her dearest Grandmama with Elizabeth's love. Baker Street  March 19th 1820." Her maternal grandmother's ownership signature is the upper margin of the title, "Arabella Graham Clarke." (The copy inscribed to her paternal grandmother's is in the Morgan Library).

Privately printed at her father's expense for distribution to friends and family in an edition of perhaps 50 copies. The present copy has manuscript corrections to punctuation, as do most of the few surviving copies, presumably in the hand of the author. Barnes cites corrections made in the British Library and Newberry Library copy that agree with this copy with the exception of those listed on 8.1, 10.14, 14.8, 16.2, 16.9, and 65.3. In addition to these corrections cited by Barnes, this copy has 24 additional corrections. The reading of line 11 on page iii here is "ELIZABETH B. BARRETT."

Rare. Only 15 copies are recorded and this is the only copy not in a public collection.

Two older citations may refer to one or more of these copies: the Phipps copy and one cited by Hayward as in a private English collection.

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 14, 2016,

Estimate: $80,000-120,000

Price Realized: $81,250


CHARLES DARWIN, AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT, AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT, TITLE "SECT 7. INSTINCT", BEING THE PAGE NUMBERED "270" FROM THE MANUSCRIPT OF ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION. (CIRCA 1858).

1 page on the recto only of a leaf of wove blue paper (8.25 x 6 in; 208 x 165 mm), 140 words, with several deletions, emendations, and interlineations; geometric exercises on the recto, with Darwin annotations. Formerly folded, bottom of the sheet cut out affecting the first words of the last line. 

Provenance: From the collection of Jacob J. Podell: Jacob J. Podell was an important books and manuscripts collector. The collection, sold at Parke Bernet Galleries on January 29 and 30, 1952, comprised works by Samuel L. Clemens, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Adam Smith, or Walt Whitman. The main part of the collection was composed with Americana material including one of the 4 known copies of Lincoln's second inaugural address, letters by George Washington, etc... The present manuscript was not part of the sale. Mr. Podell also owned a collection of books and manuscripts by Franklin D. Roosevelt that was donated to the University of Columbia by his heirs after his death in 1963. by descent to the actual owners.

The present text corresponds, with a number of stylistic differences, to lines 6 to 21 on page 238 (Chapter 7 - "Instinct" - session "Neuter or sterile insects") of the first edition of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.)

In this chapter, Darwin discusses the inheritability of instinct and its role in natural selection. Instinct proves difficult for Darwin to define. It is similar to habit, because it consists of actions performed repeatedly by an individual animal. But unlike habit, which Darwin believes animals learn, instinct is inherited. The causes of innate instincts remain unknown, in the same way the causes of physical variations are unknown. Darwin believes that inherited habits—those learned by a parent and subsequently passed on to offspring by hereditary inheritance—may play a role in the construction of these instincts. However instincts come to be, Darwin argues that natural selection acts on them just as it acts on physical variations. If an instinct is advantageous to a species’ survival, natural selection allows organisms with that instinct to survive over others and perpetuate that instinct in their offspring. Thus, natural selection helps create entire species with well-adapted instincts, allowing them to survive in a variety of natural environments.

The text of the manuscript differs with the printed version of the first edition.

The present page is one of a handful of scattered leaves that survive from the manuscript that Darwin rushed to complete in the second half of 1858. (Just five different leaves have appeared at auction in the last three decades.) Although Darwin had assimilated the researches and observations from his five years as naturalist aboard the survey ship H.M.S. Beagle into the essential formulation of his theory of natural selection by the late 1830s, he was finally spurred to publish after Alfred R. Wallace independently came to a nearly identical conclusion about the transmutation of species. Charles Lyell and Joseph D. Hooker arranged for papers by both Darwin and Wallace to be published in the 20 August 1858 issue of the Journal of the Proceedings Of the Linnean Society. Once Wallace's article, "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinately from the Original Type" was printed, Darwin rushed to prepare for publication an epitome of the "big species book" that he had been working on since 1856. (Darwin's initial suggestion for a title, An Abstract of an Essay on the Origin of Species and Varieties, was rejected by his publisher as too tentative.)

Originally conceived as a work that might be printed on four or five sheets of paper, On the Origin of Species evolved during the eight months of its writing into a volume of nearly 500 pages. The final scope of Origin of Species prompted Darwin to abandon plans for his "big species book," but he salvaged much of the first part of the manuscript for The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, published in 1868.

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 14, 2016,

Estimate: $200,000-300,000

Price Realized: $250,000


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, AUTOGRAPH FREE FRANK SIGNED ("B FREE FRANKLIN") AS DEPUTY POSTMASTER GENERAL OF THE COLONIES

On an autograph address panel (3.375 x 4.125 in.; 84 x 105 mm) cut from an integral blank, [London, 12 June 1766], directed "To | George Read, Esqr. | Newcastle | Pensilvania | via New York Packet}," with red "free" in circle handstamp; light diagonal crease.

Fine and very early example of Franklin's cleverly subversive franking signature: "B. Free Franklin." This free frank must have covered Franklin's brief note to George Read of 12 June 1766, the only letter to Read recorded by the Papers of Benjamin Franklin: "I received your letter of April 14th, and immediately made an application in your favor. It will be a pleasure to me if it succeeds. But the Treasury have so many to provide for that we must not be surprised if we are disappointed. My regards to your good mother, and believe me, with sincere regard, your assured friend and most humble servant" (original lost; text taken from William T. Read, Life and Correspondence of George Read [Philadelphia, 1870], p. 24).

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 14, 2016,

Estimate: $20,000-30,000

Price Realized: $20,000


GEORGE WASHINGTON, AUTOGRAPH DRAFT LETTER SIGNED ("GO: WASHINGTON") AS FIRST PRESIDENT

1 page (8.625 x 7.5 in.; 219 x 192 mm), Richmond [Virginia], 13 April 1791 to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, with several autograph emendations and revisions; severely browned, laid down on a larger sheet, some short fold separations.

Literature: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, ed. Twohig, 8:91–92 (text from the recipient's copy, Jefferson Papers, with numerous variations in word choice, paragraphing, and incidentals)

Catalogue Note: President Washington here circumspectly responds to Jefferson's letter of 2 April, which reported on complications resulting from negotiations with Spain over the free navigation of the Mississippi River, as well as Spain's policy of allowing debtors, criminals and runaway slaves to take sanctuary in Florida. Jefferson's lengthy letter summarizes correspondence from William Carmichael, U. S. ambassador to Spain; David Humphreys, U.S. minister to Portugal; Gouverneur Morris, a confidential envoy to Spain; and Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada, the governor of Florida. He also reports the British interception and misuse of one of Washington's own letters to Morris (Papers 8:41–44).

"Your letter of the 2d came to my hands at this place.—part of it did as you supposed, & might well suppose, astonish me exceedingly.—I think it not only right that Mr Carmichael should be furnished with a copy of the genuine letters to Mr G. Morris, but that Mr. Morris should also know the result of his conferences with the Duke of Leeds at the Court of Madrid. The contents of my public letters to him you are acquainted with—my private ones were few, and nothing in either of them relative to England or Spain; how it comes to pass therefore that such interpretations as the extracts recite, should be given, he best can account for.

"Being hurried, I shall only add that I shall proceed on my journey to morrow, and from good information have a dreary one before in some parts of it." In a postscript Washington notes, "The footing upon which you have placed Mr Carmichaels application is good."


Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 14, 2016,

Estimate: $15,000-25,000

Price Realized: $36,250


JOHN ADAMS, AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, AS FORMER PRESIDENT, TO SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Joseph Bradley Varnum (1751-1821), Quincy, Massachusetts, 9 January 1809. 16PP. (9.25 X 7.75; 230 X 195MM.). Written on Rectos and Versos (First leaf folded twice horizontally with minor defects repaired).

A SWEEPING, BITTER INDICTMENT OF THE BRITISH NAVAL PRACTICE OF IMPRESSMENT OF AMERICAN SAILORS ON THE HIGH SEAS. That brutal practice culminated in 1807 when four American sailors from the frigate Chesapeake were seized on the high seas, an incident provoked an international crisis and calls for war with Britain. Here, the former President appeals on historical and legal grounds for relief, in response to a recent royal proclamation justifying impressment.

The King’s recent Proclamation, he writes, “has a tendency to deceive many...and no doubt has deceived thousands. It is concealing the Asp in a basket of Figs..., and none of these Proclamations, till this last ever asserted a Right to take British Subjects by Force from the Ships of foreign Nations, any more than from the Cities and Provinces of foreign nations.”

He notes that “the President of the U.S. has legal authority to issue similar Proclamations...but every American would say his compliance was voluntary...” In addition, “Impressments of Seamen...in port or at sea, are no better than the Conscriptions of Napoleon, or Louis XVI who set him the example.” Ships are to be searched for sailors and “all British sailors they find on board...without regard to any Certificates of Citizenship; without regard to any contracts, covenants or connections...any marriages, Families or Children they may have in America...And in what principle or Law is this founded? Is there any Law of God to support it? Is there any Law of England to authorize it? Certainly not. The laws have no binding force, on board American Ships; no more than the Laws of China.”

He dismisses the British claim that these Men are the Kings Subjects; asserting “Our Laws acknowledge no divine Right of Kings, greater than those Subjects,” and assails “these Remnants of Feudal Tyranny and Ecclesiastical Superstition [that] have been long since exploded in America.” The Royal Proclamation is “in direct contradiction of every Principle of English Liberty. It is a direct violation of Magna Charta...as well as the Habeas Corpus Act. It deprives them of the Trial by Jury.” Then, Adams relates a famous incident of impressment in 1769: the case of The Rose and four Irish sailors accused and acquitted on a charge of murder, in a celebrated case tried before the court of the Admiralty in Boston. In conclusion, “I shall say nothing of Mr Jefferson’s Administration, because the Negotiations already made public sufficiently show, that he has not been behind either of his Predecessors in his Zeal for the Liberty of American Seamen...”

A remarkably impassioned statement of principle, from a former President. The Boston Patriot, established in March 1809, published a series of four letters between April 1809 and May 1812, including recollections of John Adams. 20pp. Sabin 245. It was issued as England's Proclamation of Oct 16, 1807, considered. Boston, 1809. Reprinted in The Correspondence of John Adams ... concerning the British Doctrine of Impressment, Baltimore, 1809, pp. 1–18.

Sold at Christie's Auction June 16, 2016.

Estimate: $30,000-40,000

Price Realized: $32,500






MARITIME JOURNAL, RAYMOND, ROBERT. MANUSCRIPT JOURNAL OF A BRITISH SAILOR, With extensive entries dated from 1767 TO 1783, Including eyewitness accounts of many Revolutionary War events, the text embellished with original poems and 24 finished watercolor drawings and small vignettes depicting British naval vessels and naval combat. Calligraphic Title, “Journal and Remarks of the most particular passages that happened on board the different ships sail'd in. By Robert Raymond. Commencing, May 13 1767." Folio, 320 PP., 377 X 245 MM., bound in contemporary half vellum and pasteboards, edges stained red. Some soiling and rubbing to extremities but overall in excelling condition.

A FINELY ILLUSTRATED SEAMAN’S JOURNAL, WITH EXTENSIVE ENTRIES COVERING THE WHOLE PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND ENDING WITH THE EVACUATION FROM NEW YORK. Among the warships depicted is the earliest known in-service image of the iconic HMS Victory, later the flagship of Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.

AN UNPUBLISHED MARITIME JOURNAL OF UNIQUE INTEREST.

An exceptional record, covering Raymond’s sixteen years at sea as a warrant officer. Raymond kept meticulous meteorological records and describes not only the minutiae of daily life at sea but also provides detailed accounts of events, with lists of casualties, orders of battle and ammunition used. His involvement in the events of 1776-83 include a voyage on an East India Company ship carrying 698 chests of taxed tea to New York, the Battle of Sullivan’s Island (1776), the blockade of Boston harbor, ending with the occupation of Dorchester Heights (March 2, 1776) which forced the British to abandon Boston. Raymond’s ship, HMS Chatham, was part of the large British flotilla that anchored off Staten Island on 25 June, 1776, in the opening phases of the decisive Battle of Long Island (27 August, 1776). Raymond notes the capture of Generals Sullivan and Sterling and the later destruction of a lead statue of George III - “we hear the lead with which this monument was made is to be run into bullets by the Rebells” and an “attack by the Rebells made at Quebec” that was “Totally Defeated by General Carlton.”

Raymond added to his journal a detailed watercolor panoramic view of New York in the wake of the fire which virtually destroyed the city (20-21 September 1776), with another view of Bedloe’s Island, the present site of the Statue of Liberty. He adds a decorative chart showing “A List of the Kill’d and wounded in the Attack at the White Plains, on the 20th of October 1776.”

He provides detailed accounts of engagements against French warships in the West Indies, Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere, including the Battle of Ushant (1778) – even down to the number of rounds of shot fired by each deck of guns, the Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1780) and the subsequent lifting of the Siege of Gibraltar, itself the subject of a watercolor view, the Battle of St. Kitts (1782), and the Battle of the Saintes (1782).

Raymond lived ashore in New York for over a year (1782-3), before the final entries recording the British evacuation from New York and the greasing of the flagpole as a closing gesture of contempt. This dramatic event is accorded by a panoramic watercolor view of New York on the day of the evacuation (November 24, 1783).

Provenance: Property of a Gentleman

Sold at Christie's Auction June 16, 2016.

Estimate: $50,000-70,000

Price Realized: $245,000




UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, 1787. McHENRY, JAMES (1753-1816), DELEGATE TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION FROM MARYLAND, CONTAINING NOTES TAKEN IN PHILADELPHIA AT THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONVENTION, 1787.

A working manuscript: McHenry’s text with scattered underlines, emendations and brief additions. Neatly written in ink on rectos and versos of a bifolium (now separated), 4pp., (12.75x 8 inches 325 x 200mm.) on laid paper without watermark. Originally folded horizontally in four sections, page 4 recto with light chipping along right-hand margin, catching a few letters text.

THE BIRTH OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION: JAMES McHENRY’S NOTES DURING DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE DELEGATES, INCLUDING THE CRUCIAL VIRGINIA PLAN.

While James Madison’s “Notes on the Debates” of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 are undoubtedly the most well-known record of the Convention, Maryland delegate James McHenry’s (1753-1816) records add considerably to our knowledge of those debates. McHenry diligently kept notes from May 29-31, leaving the Convention during June and July due to family illness, and returning in August. Most of his notes were kept in a leather-bound notebook (now located in the Library of Congress), but this document, a loose paper, augments those notes. The document covers the crucial dates of May 30 and 31, recording the debates after Edmund Randolph introduced the Virginia plan on May 29. The Virginia Plan, which proposed a three-branch government (executive, judicial, and bi-cameral legislature), radically expanded the Convention’s mandate to revise the Articles of Confederation and set the terms for future debate. Speakers recorded are John Dickinson and George Read of Delaware; Rufus King and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts; Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania; Pierce Butler, Charles Pinckney, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina; and James Madison, Edmund Randolph, and George Wythe of Virginia. The issues debated are the definition of a federal versus a national government, the nature of the powers granted to a national government, and the possible role of the states’ individual governments. This document provides our most complete or only record of comments by Dickinson, King, Madison, Randolph, and Wythe.

James McHenry

James McHenry (1753-1816) was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland to Scots-Irish Presbyterians. He immigrated to Philadelphia in 1771. After attending the Newark Academy in Delaware, he studied medicine in Philadelphia with Benjamin Rush. In 1772, his parents and his brother John immigrated to Maryland, founding the mercantile firm of Daniel McHenry and Son. During the Revolution, McHenry served as a surgeon, first at a hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts and then with the Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion. He was captured by the British in November 1776. After his parole in May 1778, he served as senior surgeon at the “Flying Hospital” at Valley Forge, until George Washington appointed him his assistant secretary. In this capacity he became close friends with Washington and Alexander Hamilton. In August 1780, he was appointed aid de camp to the Marquis de Lafayette, serving until December 1781. In 1783, McHenry became one of the founding members of the Society of Cincinnati. After the war, McHenry abandoned medicine for the life of trade and public service. Throughout the 1780s, he served as a Maryland state senator, justice of the peace, and representative to the Continental Congress. On May 26, 1787, the Maryland state legislature appointed him delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He attended until May 31, when he left to care for his sick brother. He returned to the convention on August 6, remaining until September 17, when he (with reservations), signed the Constitution. At the Convention, he seldom spoke, but attempted to reconcile differences among the other Maryland delegates. Politically, McHenry could be seen as a moderate nationalist, believing that Congress should have jurisdiction over interstate trade, foreign commerce, and defense, but he feared that the interests of both the smaller and southern states would be dominated by the larger and northern states. He reluctantly signed the Constitution, but supported it at the Maryland state ratifying convention. Afterwards, McHenry became a staunch Federalist, maintaining his relationships with Washington and Hamilton. He served in the Maryland legislature and became a major influence on Washington’s appointments in that state. In 1796, Washington appointed him secretary of war, a position he retained under Adams. However, his relationship with Hamilton, his criticism of Adams during the Quasi-War with France, and his Federalist partisanship all combined to force him to resign in 1800. He died in 1816.

The Convention

By 1786, the Articles of Confederation, drafted in 1776, were proving inadequate to the realities of the post-Revolution United States. The states under this loose confederation often acted contrary to or in direct opposition to each other’s interests, particularly in matters of interstate commerce, tariffs, international trade, foreign relations, and defense. On September 11-14, 1786, delegates from five states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) gathered in Annapolis, Maryland, to discuss the future of the Articles. Lacking an official mandate and representation from all thirteen states, they could only present a report to Congress recommending a revision of the Articles. However, events such as several internal rebellions (most famously Shays’ Rebellion) further heightened the urgency for a national government. On February 21, 1787, the Continental Congress resolved that

“. . . it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation . . .”

Accordingly, 55 delegates convened at Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787. On May 29, Edmund Randolph (1753-1813) presented the Virginia Plan, which proposed a three-branch government (executive, judicial, and bi-cameral legislature). While Randolph introduced the plan, Madison is generally accepted as its author. However, it was immediately controversial because the plan not only revised the Articles, but proposed to radically reshape them. The issues debated were the definition of a federal versus a national government, the nature of the powers granted to a national government, and the possible role of the states’ individual governments. Key, too, was the proposed mode of representation in the legislature based on population, thus favoring the larger states.

Debates of May 30 and 31, 1787

McHenry’s notes open with Randolph proposing that the delegates consider the following resolutions:

1st. That a union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the object proposed by the articles of confederation, namely, “common defense, security of liberty, and general welfare”

2. Resolved that no treaty or treaties between the several states whole or a less number of the States in their sovereign capacities will accomplish this common defence, liberty or welfare--

3. Resolved that a therefore that a national legislature government[t] ought to be established consisting of a supreme legislature, judiciary and executive.

McHenry then records the responses of John Dickinson (1732-1808) and George Read (1722-1798) of Delaware; Rufus King (1744-1827) and Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814) of Massachusetts; Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) of Pennsylvania; Pierce Butler (1744-1822), Charles Pinckney (1757-1824), and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746-1825) of South Carolina; and James Madison (1751-1836), Edmund Randolph , and George Wythe (1726-1806) of Virginia. This is in contrast to Madison’s notes, which record the presence and/or responses of the above, excluding Dickinson and Wythe, as well as of Roger Sherman (1721-1793) of Connecticut, William Pierce (1753-1789) of Georgia, Alexander Hamilton (1755/7-1804) of New York, James Wilson (1742-1798) of Pennsylvania, Richard Dobbs Spaight (1758-1802) of North Carolina, and George Mason (1725-1792) of Virginia. McHenry’s notes include comments by Dickinson, King, Madison, Randolph, and Wythe not recorded by Madison. The most interesting are those by Dickinson, King, and Madison.

Dickinson, one of the authors of the original Articles of Confederation, noted that “All agree that the confederation is defective all agree that it ought to be amended. We are a nation altho’, consisting of parts or States-- we are also confederated, and he hopes we shall always remain confederated.” He then proposed that the Convention examine what legislative, judiciary, and executive powers should be invested in Congress. King, who entered the Convention in favor of only a moderate revision of the Articles but ended in favor of a more radical revision, remarked on the difference between the Virginians’ plan and Dickinson’s understanding of the national situation: “The object of the motion from Virginia, an establishment of a government that is to act upon the whole people of the U. S. The object of the motion from Delaware seems to have application merely to the strengthening the confederation by some additional powers.” To which Madison replied “The motion does go to bring out the sense of the house-- whether the States shall be governed by one power.” James McHenry’s draft notes on the Constitutional Convention present another perspective on those debates. They show how the issues which dominated the Convention were debated from the very beginning, as the delegates struggled to define what kind of government the United States would have and what kind of nation the United States would become.

Sold at Christie's Auction June 16, 2016.

Estimate: $400,000-600,000

Price Realized: $389,000


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, (1706-1790). Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America ... to which are added, Letters and Papers on Philosophical Subjects. London: for David Henry and sold by Francis Newbery, 1769.

4° (204 x 176 mm). 7 engraved plates, two folding. (Some mostly light browning and spotting.) Contemporary calf (rebacked to match).

FIRST COLLECTED EDITION, and fourth edition of Franklin's most important scientific publication. Ford 307; Howes F-320; Sabin 25506; Wellcome III:62.

Provenance: Turner Collection, The Library University of Keele (bookplate).

Sold at Christie's Auction June 16, 2016.

Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Price Realized: $18,750


SHAKER BROWN-PAINTED PINE ONE DRAWER CHEST, Canterbury, New Hampshire, c. 1825-40, iron hinges and escutcheon, fruitwood knob, four-board construction with lift-top lid with applied molding mitered at the corners, diamond-shaped escutcheon, single drawer above the applied ogee base, (imperfections), ht. 26.5, wd. 29.625, dp. 14.25 in.

Provenance: Purchased at Canterbury, New Hampshire.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Price Realized: $11,070


SHAKER RED-STAINED SEWING DESK, c. 1830, maple case, pine slide and secondary woods, mahogany pulls on drawers, white porcelain pulls on slide, red stain, classic stepped-back form with gallery of six drawers over case on cylindrical tapered legs, three drawers on front left opposite two horizontal panels, right side has three drawers all of which are dovetailed with thumb-nailed molded lipped drawers, pullout slide with two porcelain knobs with breadboard ends mitered in at the front corners, ht. 40.25, wd. 30.75, dp. 24.25 in.

Provenance: Purchased at Sabbathday Lake, Maine, in the 1960s. Eldress Emma King of Canterbury arranged for Erhart Muller to purchase this desk.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $20,000-30,000

Price Realized: $67,650


SHAKER BITTERSWEET/RED AND YELLOW STAINED OVAL FIXED HANDLE CARRIER, Canterbury, New Hampshire, c. 1860, maple and pine, possibly ash handle, red-stained exterior surface with yellow-stained interior, three fingers, copper points and tacks, written in black ink on the bottom: "Ednah E. Fitts, Chh. Canterbury 1860," (this appears to have been reinforced), ht. 7, lg. 10.875, dp. 7.75 in.

Exhibitions: The Whitney Museum of American Art, 1986, catalog No. 51(b).

Note: Sister Ednah E. Fitts served as a trustee and as a nurse at Canterbury, New Hampshire, from 1911-1918. She was the assistant Ministry Eldress.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $30,000-50,000

Price Realized: $14,760


SHAKER RED-STAINED ELEVEN-DRAWER PINE CHEST, Canterbury, New Hampshire, c. 1830, original red wash, maple pulls, thumbnail molded lipped drawer fronts, top drawer ht. 6 1/4, all other drawers ht. 5 1/4 in., two knobs on each drawer, half-dovetails on case, full dovetails on drawers, complex molding on bottom front and left side (missing on right side), drawers numbered in center of each from top to bottom 11 to 1, case has 25.125-in. wide single-board sides, bottom of drawer number 4 signed "Grove," (imperfections), ht. 73, wd. 51.5, dp. 26.25 in.

Provenance: Acquired at Canterbury, New Hampshire, located in the dwelling house attic.

Literature: Illustrated in Timothy D. Rieman and Jean M. Burks, The Complete Book of Shaker Furniture (New York; Harry N. Abrams, 1993), p. 230, plate 172.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $15,000-25,000

Price Realized: $22,140


SHAKER OLIVE GREEN-PAINTED OVAL COVERED BOX, Mount Lebanon, New York, c. 1881, pine and maple, original olive green paint, four fingers on the box, copper points and tacks, inscribed on the inside of the lid "Presented to Amelia Joslin March 29, 1881 by Sister Dana Brewster," painted on the top of the lid in red "I.D.," possibly James Daniels, ht. 5.625, wd. 13.5, dp. 9.625 in.

Provenance: Purchased from Jimmy Brown of Lee (?), Massachusetts, for $15.00.

Exhibition: Exhibited at The Whitney Museum of American Art 1986 catalog No. 48.

Note: Dana Brewster was a Ministry Eldress at Hancock, Massachusetts, who gave this box to a younger Shaker sister who entered the Shaker Society at Hancock's Second Family in 1843 at the age of four.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $8,000-12,000

Price Realized: $18,450


SMALL SHAKER BITTERSWEET/RED-PAINTED MAPLE AND PINE CIRCULAR GIFT BOX, possibly the work of Elder Joseph Johnson, Canterbury, New Hampshire, c. 1850, "Jane" in Gothic lettering on paper label attached to bottom, straight lap with copper tacks, bright original paint, (small split in lid), ht. 1.875, dia. 2.875 in.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $4,000-6,000

Price Realized: $11,070


SHAKER YELLOW-PAINTED OVAL FIXED HANDLE CARRIER, Canterbury, New Hampshire, 19th century, maple and pine with possibly ash shaped handle, yellow stain, three fingers, copper points and tacks, "MY" in black ink or paint on back side, overall ht. 6.375, lg. 9, dp. 6.75 in.

Exhibitions: The Whitney Museum of American Art, 1986, catalog No. 51, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1986-87.

Note: "MY" was an abbreviation for Ministry.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $15,000-25,000

Price Realized: $14,760


SHAKER ONE-DRAWER TABLE, Enfield, New Hampshire, tiger maple top, bird's-eye maple legs, cherry drawer front with birch sides and maple knob, varnish finish, dovetailed construction, drawer front is beaded along the overhang, written in pencil on the drawer bottom "Infirmary 1917," extremely delicate form with signature ring-turning between the square-to-round transition on the leg, ht. 25.5, wd. 22.25, dp. 15.125 in.

Literature: For a similar example in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, see Timothy D. Rieman and Jean M. Burks, The Complete Book of Shaker Furniture (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1993), p. 242, plate 190.

Note: Furniture from Enfield was moved to Canterbury after the Enfield Community closed.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $20,000-30,000

Price Realized: $52,275


SHAKER PAINTED ALPHABET BOARD, Harvard, Massachusetts, 19th century, two long boards set into a blue-painted frame, top row in capital script, lower row in lower case, with numerals, punctuation, the black lettering on white background with two large screw eyes on top, (central molding is broken at left side), ht. 20.5, lg. 159.5 in.

Provenance: This board was in Erhart Muller's house when he acquired it. The house was formerly a carpenter's shop in the Harvard Shaker Plot. It is believed that it came from the Harvard schoolhouse which had been moved opposite the cemetery. According to Shaker Design, education for Shaker children was provided in each community by adult Believers. The boys attended school in the winter and the girls in summer; each term lasted four months.



Exhibitions: Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, Massachusetts, fall 1988 and fall 2014.

Note: Two other Shaker alphabet boards are known, originally owned by The Darrow School in New Lebanon, New York (now in the collection of Ken Hakuta); one is dated 1825.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $15,000-25,000

Price Realized: $104,550




SHAKER PINE TALL CASE TIMEPIECE, Isaac Newton Youngs, New Lebanon, New York, 1834, with thirty-hour wooden works signed and dated by the maker "I.N.Y January 21, 1834.," ht. 77.5, wd. 13.75, dp. 8.5 in.

From the Collection of Suzanne Courcier and Robert W. Wilkins.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $20,000-30,000

Price Realized: $24,600


SHAKER RED-STAINED FIGURED MAPLE CANDLESTAND, early 19th century, the circular top mounted on a turned platform and a turned tapering post on base tripod base of arched legs, old surface, (imperfections), ht. 25, dia. 15.75 in.

Condition: shrinkage crack to top, with old dutchman repair to underside.

Sold at Skinner Auctions June 4, 2016.

Estimate: $6,000-8,000

Price Realized: $86,100


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