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American furniture, Folk art, silver & ceramics lead Sotheby's Fall Auction of Important Americana
A Very Fine and Rare Queen Anne Carved and Figured Maple High Chest of Drawers, Attributed To the Workshop of Major John Dunlap, Probably Bedford, New Hampshire, circa 1785. Estimate $80/160,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s 27 September auction of Important Americana will be highlighted by a significant group of pieces – 84 lots in total – from the Collection of Foster and Muriel McCarl. The Pennsylvania collectors made their first purchase in July 1955 and have since curated an impressive collection of American furniture, folk art, wrought iron, pewter, ceramics and overshot woven coverlets. When not on loan for exhibition, the collection lived in their home outside of Pittsburgh, a rendition of George Washington’s Mount Vernon in which every room was furnished and decorated with period antiques. The pieces will be on view in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 22 September, alongside the full sale of Important Americana.

American furniture from the collection is highlighted by several excellent pieces from the late-18th century. A Very Fine and Rare Queen Anne Carved and Figured Maple High Chest of Drawers is attributed to the workshop of Major John Dunlap, probably of Bedford, New Hampshire and made circa 1785 (est. $80/160,000*). A Very Rare Chippendale Carved and Inlaid Walnut Tall-Case Clock contains works by Jacob Godschalk of Philadelphia, with the case probably from Chester Country, Pennsylvania, and was made circa 1773 (est. $50/100,000).

Also leading the McCarl Collection is The Benjamin Goodwin Chippendale Carved and Figured Walnut Desk-and-Bookcase, Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania, circa 1770 that retains its original wrought-iron key with an early tag inscribed The Benjamin Goodwin Desk, as well as A Very Rare Chippendale Paint-Decorated Poplar Blanket Chest, Probably Montgomery County, New Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, Dated 1775 (est. $30/50,000). The McCarl’s also collected wonderful examples of early American pewter, including rare and important covered tankards by John Will and Cornelius Bradford. A wide selection of remarkable early American wrought iron cooking implements is included in the sale as well – nearly all of their iron and copper works were marked by their maker, which is incredibly rare for American iron.

Additional Sale Highlights
Outside of the McCarl Collection, the September auction will offer American rugs, silver, furniture, folk art and ceramics. The selection of folk art is highlighted by two notable portraits: author and curator Jacquelyn Oak notes that William Matthew Prior’s Portrait of a Young Boy with Flounced Collar and Brown Suit Holding a Bow and Arrow, Leaning on a Chippendale Chair is “the most sophisticated portrait of a child done by Prior that has come to light” (est. $75/150,000), while Full Length Portrait of a Young Child in Red Shoes, White Dress and Holding a Peach by John Brewster Jr. is a notable example of the artist’s series of full-length portraits (est. $75/100,000).

The silver section of the sale features a strong group of the work of Tiffany & Co., including a Silver, Ivory, and Rosewood Bellows from the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893 that shows the inventiveness of Tiffany and the luxury they brought to the Great Exhibitions (est. $20/30,000). At the Paris Exposition of 1878, Tiffany’s displayed the most extensive dinner service it had ever made, including the Pair of Silver-Gilt and Enamel Punch Cups from The Mackay Service, made for the Silver King of Nevada with silver from his own mines (est. $20/30,000). Other Tiffany pieces show popular patterns like Chrysanthemum, rare minerals such as labradorite, the innovation of their Japanese style, and the American neoclassicism created by their designers such as Paulding Farnham.


*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium





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