Search   
 
 
 
Click on images for larger view
AN OVERMANTEL PICTURE OIL ON PANEL ATTRIBUTED TO WINTHROP CHANDLER (1747-1790), 30.5" X 31.75".

A remarkable survival story, this intricate overmantel attributed to Winthrop Chandler (1747-1790) was hidden beneath layers of paint when, by chance, it was discovered and preserved. In the 1920s, builder Walter Collet salvaged a faux bois wood painted panel from an historic home (likely in Connecticut), and his son-in-law Scott Butler gifted it to a couple in the process of restoring an old farmhouse. As the new owners began stripping the painted surface they discovered this delightful image of gentlemen, horses, wildlife and trees hidden underneath.

In this bucolic woodland scene, an impeccably dressed man in a tricorn hat sits atop a trotting horse. Across the panel, a couple embraces in the shade of a tree. Creatures abound: birds, a squirrel, a stag flanked by a dog and a dragonfly move through the vista, filling the piece with energy and whimsy. Scholar Linda Carter Lefko, co-author with Jane E. Radcliffe of Folk Art Murals of the Rufus Porter School: New England Landscapes 1825-1845 (Pennsylvania, 2011), has attributed this work to Chandler based, in part, on its striking resemblance to a known overmantel by the artist from the Ebenezer Waters house in West Sutton, Massachusetts (see Sotheby's, New York, The Bertram K. Little and Nina Fletcher Little Collection, Part II, 21-22 October 1994, lot 739). The two works show great similarities in rendering of horses, in figures and in landscape; the most direct comparison is seen in the horse and rider featured on the lower right of the Waters’ house overmantel (fig. 1) and the mounted nobleman on the lower left of the piece offered here.

Wooden panels like this one were frequently employed as decoration above fireplaces in American homes during the second half of the eighteenth century. Landscape painting as room decorating was popular in England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and first appeared in America when English artists arrived in the South and advertised their skills in local newspapers (Nina Fletcher Little, American Decorative Wall Painting, 1700-1850 (New York, 1972 (reprint 1989)), p. 17). American artists responded quickly to this taste for decoration, and Chandler created some of the earliest extant American landscape panels.

Winthrop Chandler was a versatile artist, recognized for his oil portraits and panel landscapes. Born in Woodstock, Connecticut, he went to Boston as a young man to study painting, and had returned to his hometown by March 1, 1770. In 1772, he married Mary Gleason, and they had five sons and two daughters. In the summer of 1775, Chandler moved his wife and children to Worcester, Massachusetts. Mary died in 1789 and he returned to Connecticut in early 1790; he died in July of that year (Jean Lipman and Tom Armstrong, eds., American Folk Painters of Three Centuries (New York, 1980), pp. 26-29).

Provenance: Walter Collet, Scarsdale, New York

Scott and Joan Collet Butler, Winchester, Virginia, son-in-law and daughter

Captain and Mrs. Jules H. Demyttenaere (USN, retired), Winchester, Virginia

Sold at Christie's Auction September 24, 2015.

Estimate: $10,000-20,000

Price Realized: $13,750


A CHIPPENDALE MAHOGANY CAMELBACK SOFA, PHILADELPHIA, 1770-1790

38.5 in. high, 98 in. long, 26.5 in. deep

Provenance: Joe Kindig, Jr. & Son, York, Pennsylvania

Howard and May Joynt, Alexandria, Virginia

Sold at Christie's Auction September 24, 2015.

Estimate: $30,000-50,000

Price Realized: $30,000


OIL ON CANVAS, THOMAS P. MOSES (1808-1881)

The Schooner Charles Carroll On the Piscataqua from the North End of Noble's Bridge, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1875. inscribed, signed and dated On the Piscataqua from the north end of Noble's Bridge/ Original. Thos. P. Moses/ Portsmouth, N.H./ The Fall of 1875. on reverse, 41.5 x 54 in.

"No one ever loved a home more ardently than did Mr. Moses his native city...and the noble Piscataqua. Especially did he delight in the river, and never wearied of extolling its beauties; he was a good boat-sailer, and...his favorite recreation was a trip up or down the river, and often far out to sea, with a good boat, a fresh breeze, and a select party of friends."

- New Hampshire Gazette, November 1881

As the sun rises off to the east above the cottages on Badger’s Island and the Kittery shore of Maine to the left, bathing the sky in soft pink hues, the three-masted schooner Charles Carroll out of Rockland, Maine, stands in the foreground on the Piscataqua, rendered in the artist’s favorite blue-green color. As the ship floats calmly, on her deck is a flurry of activity, with crew busily climbing the rigging as they prepare for departure. The delicate geometry created by the rigging of dozens of ships invites the viewer into the Portsmouth harbor. Painted in 1875, the Charles Carroll was the last work completed by the artist Thomas P. Moses (1808-1881) and is considered the masterpiece in his body of work that largely depicted his beloved Portsmouth and the maritime interests that built the city. In many ways, it depicts the sunset of the shipping industry that had built fortunes for many merchants and captains for over a century in Portsmouth, but would virtually disappear by the following century.

Based on the inscription of the reverse reading On the Piscataqua from north end of Noble’s Bridge/ Original. Thos. P. Moses/ Portsmouth, N.H./ The Fall of 1875, it is possible to place the ship near the current New Hampshire State Pier with the wharves of Bow and Ceres Streets (fig. 1) beyond. Situated at the base of Spring Hill, the wharves were built in the late eighteenth century at the height of the region’s shipbuilding and maritime trade. First settled in the early 1620s, Portsmouth was surrounded by seemingly limitless forests of hardwoods such as maple, birch and black cherry, as well as eastern white pine, which produced superior masts and spars. By 1700, more than sixty sawmills had been established to process the lumber that would then travel to the wharves to be shipped up and down the East coast and exported abroad to the West Indies, southern Europe and Africa. The city was also blessed with one of the best natural harbors along the Atlantic coast, fed by the Piscataqua, a tidal river with a current so swift that the channel never froze, and with a nearby natural spring that provided fresh water for the anchored ships. As center of both manufacture and trade, Portsmouth soon developed a prosperous merchant class, supported by carpenters, boat builders and sailors (Brock Jobe, Portsmouth Furniture: Masterworks from the New Hampshire Seacoast (Hanover, 1993), pp.14-15). Most of the large brick buildings along Bow and Ceres Streets were stores and warehouses built after the fires of 1802 and 1806. To the right of the Charles Carroll in the distance stands St. John’s church, which was designed and built in 1807 by Alexander Parris and was the first brick church in New Hampshire

The Charles Carroll could only have been painted by an artist intimately familiar with Portsmouth harbor and the ships crowding its wharves and piers. Thomas P. Moses proved to be singularly capable of the task. According to Zebina Moses, author of a history of the Moses family, the artist began his 1850 autobiography, A Sketch of the Life of Thomas P. Moses, teacher of Music; and also, Some remarks upon the doings of Pharisees hypocrites, and defamers of character Vol 1 with this visual account of his origins: "Near the margin of the renowned translucent river, Piscatauqua [sic], two miles off the sea girt shore, stands the humble dwelling within whose sheltering chambers on 17 Feb. between the years 1808 and 1816, glimmered forth my spark of life, to flicker, blaze, grow dim and expire… My father, still living, is a ship carpenter and boat builder" (Historical Sketches of John Moses, of Plymouth (Hartford, 1890), p. 259). Moses’ mother was Elizabeth (Trott) Grant (b. 1773), whose father John Trott was a British Navy steward who settled in Kittery, Maine in 1767. It was perhaps through this connection that Moses was apprenticed in 1819 as a waiter boy to Elijah Hall (1742-1830), a former Lieutenant in the Continental Navy who settled in Portsmouth in 1818. Moses later became a cook boy aboard the schooner Mary Ann and worked around the wharves as a laborer. His last voyage to sea was in 1827 aboard the Liverpool Trader during which he fell overboard and was nearly devoured by sharks (Richard M. Candee, Maritime Portsmouth: The Sawtelle Collection (Portsmouth, 2011), p. 44).

After returning to Portsmouth, Moses began to play and compose music, as well as write poetry, and by 1840 he had become the city’s leading organist, choir director and private music teacher. It was during this time that Moses began to publish his poetry and advertise his services in the periodicals of the day, a strategy he would employ throughout the various iterations of his artistic careers. Following a highly public and hotly contested dismissal as organist and choirmaster at North Church in 1849, Moses advertised in 1852 that “besides giving music lessons, he would begin ‘in a few months, to give lessons in sketching from nature, and in Crayon Drawing on Marble board, which is fast becoming the most fashionable and beautiful of all drawings’” (Richard M. Candee, The Artful Life of Thomas P. Moses 1808-1881 (Portsmouth, 2002), pp. 6-7). That same year he painted his first known view of Portsmouth harbor entitled Bride of the Billow. Not finding enough work, Moses spent the next ten years travelling between New York, Boston and South Carolina, both receiving and teaching art instruction. He returned to Portsmouth in 1866 when his painting career began in earnest. Less than two years later, whether by necessity or as an act of self-promotion, Moses advertised the sale by lottery of his entire stock of one hundred paintings (fig. 2). Numerous notices in the Portsmouth newspapers recount his series of exhibitions and auctions throughout his career.

At the end of 1875, Moses accepted a position as head of the music department of an academy in Marietta, South Carolina. His final two works, the unidentified Landscape and Cattle Scene and the present lot, proved to be his largest and most accomplished works of his career. The Charles Carroll was placed on exhibit at Foster’s bookstore in December of that year. The painting was moved in January, 1876 to J. B. Burleigh & Co., a framer on Congress Street, and remained on view through March, when the winning ticket was drawn. The Daily Evening Times described the scene as “’the finest specimen of art ever executed in Portsmouth…was to be disposed of for the benefit of the artist, in shares or otherwise…’” (Candee, The Artful Life of Thomas P. Moses 1808-1881, p. 29). Moses departed for South Carolina and remained there until 1880, when he returned to his beloved Portsmouth and passed away 22 November 1881.

Provenance: Childs Gallery, Boston, 1973

Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little, Brookline, Massachusetts

Sold, Sotheby's, New York, 29 January 1994, lot 115

William Gilmore, Durham, New Hampshire

Sold, Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 21-22 August 2004, lot 874

Literature: Nina Fletcher Little, Little by Little (New York, 1984), pp. 57 (illus.), 64 and cover.

Robert M. Doty, By Good Hands: New Hampshire Folk Art (New Hampshire, 1989), p. 42, cat. no. VI.

Richard M. Candee, The Artful Life of Thomas P. Moses (Portsmouth, 2002), pp. 28-29 and back cover.

Richard M. Candee, "Thomas P. Moses: Artist, Musician & Poet of Portsmouth, New Hampshire," Antiques & Fine Art Magazine (Spring 2002), p. 216, fig. 1.

Sold at Christie's Auction September 24, 2015.

Estimate: $300,000-500,000

Price Realized: $365,000


OIL ON CANVAS PORTRAIT OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, GILBERT STUART (1755-1828) , 29.75 x 24.5 in.

The present lot is based on the 'Athenaeum' portrait, originally painted from life by Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) in the spring of 1796, and the second of the three iconic sittings of Washington, following the ‘Vaughan’ type, painted in 1795, and preceding the full-length ‘Lansdowne’ version, painted later in 1796. Both the original 'Athenaeum' version, now owned jointly by the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and its companion portrait of Martha Washington, were executed in Stuart’s Germantown, Pennsylvania studio when Washington was sixty-four years of age. Having returned to America in 1793 despite a successful career in England and Ireland, Stuart found himself equally in demand as a portrait painter of the New Republic's elite, thus necessitating the move to larger rooms in Germantown from his studio on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

Set against a dark background which contrasts with his white hair and blue eyes, Washington sits off center with his head turned slightly to the right, dressed in a black velvet suit and white shirt with a ruffle of lace or linen. Much of Stuart's success and popularity can be attributed to his skilled ability in capturing the sitter's personality by combining his theories on physiognomy with careful study of his or her individual anatomy (Carrie Rebora Barratt and Ellen G. Miles, Gilbert Stuart (New Haven, 2005), pp.133-134). Later in life, when Stuart was asked his opinion regarding the numerous likenesses of Washington produced, he replied, “’Houdon’s bust comes first, and my head of him next. When I painted him he had just had a set of false teeth inserted [in 1789], which accounts for the constrained expression so noticeable about the mouth and lower part of the face. Houdon’s bust does not suffer from this defect. I wanted him as he looked at the time.’” (Mantle Fielding, Gilbert Stuart’s Portraits of George Washington (Philadelphia, 1923), p. 78). The original canvas was used by the artist as a model from which he made approximately seventy-five replicas. Stuart generally charged one hundred dollars for these, which he painted whenever he was in need of money; the last was completed in 1825 for a Baltimore collector (Fielding, pp. 99-102). The from-life portraits of Washington and Martha were left unfinished and remained in the Stuart family until purchased from the artist’s widow in 1831 by the Boston Athenaeum.

In their 1931 publication The Life Portraits of Washington and Their Replicas, scholars John Hill Morgan and Mantle Fielding attempted to further group the 'Athenaeum' portraits into types. Similar examples to the present lot are in the collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, the Huntington Library, Arts Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, as well as the United States Capitol. As Morgan and Fielding note, "[i]n all canvases of this type, the face is rounder, the nose longer and more aquiline and the expression different from the Athenaeum head. All are carefully and thoroughly painted and done probably about 1798. The majority show the saw-toothed queue ribbon, dark eyes and lace jabot. All which have been traced so far to purchasers in this period (1796-1798) or to original Pennsylvania owners..., and all of the left side of the face found in England are of this [t]ype..." (Philadelphia, 1931) p. 242). The ownership of the present lot can be traced back to the end of the nineteenth century in England. The Catalogue of Portraits in the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York notes that the portrait had been in the "collection of Mr. Cholmondely of Salop, England" (New York, 1924), p. 96). This was most likely Reginald Cholmondeley (1826-1896) of Shropshire, England. Having inherited the Elizabethan manor Condover Hall upon the death of his brother Thomas in 1863, Reginald continued the pursuits of his forefathers, adding to the diverse collection, including Old Master paintings, arms and armor, Continental furniture and Chinese porcelain. Here he played host to large parties of aristocrats, authors and artists, including the Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) in 1873 and 1879. Upon Cholmondeley’s death in 1896, the manor was sold and the contents auctioned in a series of sales the following year, beginning with a three day event at Christie, Manson and Woods in London 4-6 March 1897 and followed by sales held at the manor the 9-11 of March through the firm of Wm. Hall, Wateridge, and Owen (“Dispersal of the Condover Hall Collection,” Shropshire Notes and Queries, vol. VI (1897), pp. 34-38).

The Portrait of George Washington then passed through the hands of the London dealer A. T. Goodol to banker and philanthropist Morris K. Jessup (1830-1908) of New York. Jessup was president of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York from 1899 to 1907 and the largest subscriber to its Beaux Arts headquarters built in 1900-1901. Founded in 1768 by twenty merchants, the Chamber was the first commercial organization of its kind in the country. The Chamber maintained a portrait collection beginning in 1772, featuring men who helped build the commercial and industrial history of New York, many of which were officers of the organization (Catalogue of Portraits in the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York (New York, 1924), p. 9). After Jessup’s death in 1908, the present lot was presented to the Chamber by Jessup’s widow. For additional works held in the Chamber’s collection, see lots 73-78.

Provenance: Probably Reginald Cholmondeley (1826-1896), Condover Hall, Shropshire, England

A. T. Goodol, London

Morris K. Jessup (1830-1908), New York, 1905

The Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, May 1908

Stanley Moss & Company, Inc., New York, February 1983

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, New York

Literature: "Historic Portrait for Commerce Body," The New York Times, 8 May 1908, np.

Mantle Fielding, Gilbert Stuart's Portraits of George Washington (Philadelphia, 1923), p. 215, no. 94.

[Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York], Catalogue of Portraits in the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York (New York, 1924), p. 62, no. 200.

Lawrence Park, Gilbert Stuart, vol. II (New York, 1926), p. 887, no. 91.

Exhibited: GTECH Corporation, May 1990.

London, Grosvenor House Antiques Fair, 10-21 June 1992.

Sold at Christie's Auction September 24, 2015.

Estimate: $200,000-300,000

Price Realized: $941,000


THREE PORTRAIT MINIATURES ATTRIBUTED TO JANE ANTHONY DAVIS (1821-1855) , largest inscribed Hamlin F Johnson 1844. The largest sight 5.75 x 5 in.; the middle sight 5.25 x 4 in.; the smallest sight 3.75 x 3 in. (3).

Provenance: Portrait of Hamlin Johnson: Frank and Barbara Pollack American Antiques, Highland Park, Illinois

Woman with pink ribbon: David Wheatcroft Antiques, LLC, Westborough, Massachusetts

Sold at Christie's Auction September 24, 2015.

Estimate: $3,000-5,000

Price Realized: $18,750


HIRAM POWERS (1805-1873) FISHER BOY , signed and inscribed H. POWERS/ Sculp. on reverse marble, 22.5 in. high

Neoclassical sculptor Hiram Powers (1805-1873) was raised on a farm in Vermont and as a young adult moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1828 he enrolled in classes at the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts and at the urging of a local patron, moved to Washington D.C. to establish his artistic name and reputation. Powers left for Florence, Italy, in 1837, where he remained for the rest of his life; he created his most celebrated sculptures, The Greek Slave and Fisher Boy, whilst abroad.

Powers began work on the full-length Fisher Boy in 1843 and this bust variation, with extended shoulders, was first modeled between 1843 and 1844. A plaster version of the bust offered here is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

Sold at Christie's Auction September 24, 2015.

Estimate: $8,000-12,000

Price Realized: $30,750


A CLASSICAL BRASS-MOUNTED MAHOGANY MARBLE-TOP PIER TABLE STAMPED BY CHARLES-HONORE LANNUIER (1779-1819), NEW YORK, 1805-1810 , brasses old and possibly original; stamped four times on top of front legs and back of rear legs, H. LANNUIER/ NEW-YORK; the underside of drawer bears printed paper label inscribed HONORÉ LANNIUER [sic]/ CABINET MAKER,/ (FROM PARIS)/ Keeps his Ware-house and Manufactory/ AND NEWEST FASHION,/ AT No. 60 BROAD-STREET.; marble tops replaced, 33.5 in. high, 31 in. wide, 14 in. deep.

Bearing stamps and, more rarely, the paper label of the cabinetmaker Charles-Honoré Lannuier (1779-1819), this pier table represents one of the earliest pieces produced by the émigré shortly after his arrival to New York in 1803.  Having trained in Paris as an apprentice under his brother, the ébéniste Nicolas, Lannuier was well-versed in the hallmarks of French furniture, including quality of construction, woods and metal mounts.  The present lot exhibits these characteristics, and is likely modeled after the small, delicate and mobile furniture fashionable amongst post-Revolution Parisian society (fig. 2) (Peter M. Kenny, Frances F. Bretter and Ulrich Leben, Honoré Lannuier: Cabinetmaker from Paris (New York, 1998), pp. 16-17, 20-21).

Soon after Lannuier’s arrival, he began operating his shop out of his brother’s confectionery, before moving to 60 Broad Street sometime between July 1803 and April 1804; he would remain at this location throughout his career. Advertising himself in 1803 as a “Cabinet Maker, just arrived from France, and who has worked at his trade with the most celebrated Cabinet Makers of Europe,” Lannuier nonetheless may have early on appropriated some of the vernacular stylistic traits of New York furniture.  The account books of the turner James Ruthven record Lannuier’s purchase in June, 1803 of sixteen table legs, which possibly could have been used for this or similar tables produced during this period.  Unlike the exuberantly carved and gilded pier and card tables produced later in his career, earlier pieces such as this resolutely conform to the Directoire taste for minimal carving and figuratively grained veneers adorned with gleaming brass and gilt-metal mounts. Two other closely related pier tables are in the collections of Winterthur Museum (fig. 1) and John Kean, which is on long-term loan to the Liberty Hall Foundation in Union, New Jersey; both related examples retain a gilded brass gallery on top, evidence of which is seen on the present lot (Kenny et al., pp. 33, 34, 213-214, plate 12, cats. 88, 90).

Condition: Please note there are restorations to feet and the lower platform.

Provenance: Israel Sack, Inc., New York

Literature: Israel Sack, Inc., American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, vol. I, p. 72, no. 227.

Peter M. Kenny, Frances F. Bretter and Ulrich Leben, Honoré Lannuier: Cabinetmaker from Paris (New York, 1998), p. 214, cat. no 89; illus. pp. 4, fig. 2, 20, fig. 11.

Sold at Christie's Auction September 24, 2015.

Estimate: $10,000-20,000

Price Realized: $37,500


BLUE PAINTED SPLINT BASKET, 12.5" diameter, 11.25" h, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $200-400

Price Realized: $2,000


OPEN WEAVE SWING HANDLED BASKET, 12" diameter, 10" sq base, 16" h, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $100-200

Price Realized: $1,500


MINIATURE BLUE PAINTED SPLINT CARRYING BASKET, 3,5" l, 4"h, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $100-200

Price Realized: $650


MINIATURE WOODEN BUTTER CHURN, in original green painted surface, no dasher, 9.75" h to top of handle, 4" diameter at base, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $200-400

Price Realized: $650


NINE HOOK CHERRY PEG RACK, consisting of 5 long, 13", and 4 short, 6", pegs, hand shaved and shaped, mounted to a back board 49" l, 4.375" w, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $200-400

Price Realized: $2,300


12 COTTON ANIMAL ORNAMENTS, including fox, camel, elephant, owl, camel, largest 5" h, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $200-400

Price Realized: $4,500


7 FIGURAL COTTON ORNAMENTS, including children, snowman, girl holding dog, largest 5 5/8" h, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $100-200

Price Realized: $1,300


SANTA FIGURE REAL HAIR AND BEARD, reed and rattan gift basket on back stuffed with cotton, brown cotton suit, with feather tree, on a snow covered wood base, 21" tall, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $600-1,200

Price Realized: $9,000


33 DRAWER PAINT DECORATED POPLAR AND PINE APOTHECARY CHEST, red swirled on yellow ground, mid 19th c, 42" w, 32" h, 9.25" d, RCA, LLC.

Sold at William Bunch Auctions September 29, 2015 for Raccoon Creek Antiques.

Estimate: $1,200-2,400

Price Realized: $9,000


Colonial Sense is an advocate for global consumer privacy rights, protection and security.
All material on this website © copyright 2009-19 by Colonial Sense, except where otherwise indicated.
ref:T3-S24-P9060-C-M