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Sotheby's annual Americana Week Auctions achieve $10 million in New York
Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764-1820), A View of Mount Vernon with the Washington Family on the Terrace. Estimate $500/700,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s annual Americana Week auctions concluded today in New York with a total of $9,976,830. The selection of folk art on offer in the two-day sale of Important Americana was led by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe’s A View of Mount Vernon with the Washington Family on the Terrace, dated July 16, 1796, which achieved $602,500 (est. $500/700,000*). Latrobe presented the watercolor drawing to then-president George Washington as a thank-you for a visit to Mount Vernon at the invitation of Washington’s nephew, Bushrod. The work then descended in the family of John Augustine Washington III – whose family was the last of the Washingtons to live at Mount Vernon – and will now return to the iconic residence: it was purchased at the auction by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the oldest national historic preservation organization in the United States.

The various-owner sale also featured property from several private collections and notable museums, including furniture from the collection of Thomas P. and Alice K. Kugelman – devoted collectors and passionate scholars of Connecticut furniture – that achieved $1,738,188, exceeding the group’s high estimate of $1.2 million. The top lot of the auction was the Kugelmans’ Important and Exceptional Samuel Talcott Chippendale Carved Cherrywood Block-Front Desk-and-Bookcase, Probably Hartford, Connecticut, circa 1765-1775, possibly 1767 that sold for $1,082,500, more than doubling its high estimate of $400,000. Museum property was highlighted by nine pieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, sold to benefit acquisition funds, which totaled $1,166,875 – well in excess of their $739,000 low estimate.

Sotheby’s Americana Week auctions concluded Saturday afternoon with a dedicated sale of Important Americana from the Collection of Dr. Larry McCallister. The auction comprised American furniture, decorative arts, silver and fine arts collected by Dr. McCallister over the course of nearly 40 years, including The Important Hall Family Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Bonnet-Top Block-Front Chest-on-Chest, Attributed to Benjamin Frothingham, Charleston, Massachusetts, circa 1770 that fetched $194,500 above a low estimate of $150,000.

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