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Christie's Celebrates American Artistry and Craftsmanship with Exceptional Offerings
A Large Pair of Famille Rose Jars And Covers, Yongzheng/Early Qianlong Period, 24½ in. (62.2 cm.) high (6). Estimate: $100,000 - 150,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s New York announced Americana Week 2011, a fortnight of sales and viewings devoted to American craftsmanship in all its forms, including important furniture, folk art, silver, and decorative arts. This year’s impressive line-up of sales features two spectacular additions — a dedicated sale of Native American art and a second installment of fine 17th and 18th century pottery from the celebrated collection Syd Levethan: The Longridge Collection. The sales begin January 18 with Native American Art, followed by Important American Silver on January 20, American Furniture and Folk Art on January 21, Syd Levethan: The Longridge Collection on January 24, and Chinese Export Art on January 25. With over 1,000 lots offered in total, Americana Week 2011 is expected to realize in excess of $12 million.

Native American Art – January 18
Expertly curated by Native American Art scholar John Molloy, this special sale brings together a select assortment of pottery, baskets, textiles, beadwork and jewelry which showcase the artistic achievements of the indigenous population of North
America. The complete sale of 147 items is expected to realize in excess of $1.5 million.

Leading the sale is a rare Deer Hide Woodlands Painted Shirt (estimate: $250,000-300,000) which has been attributed to the Illinois from circa 1740. As an exceptional example of the advanced aesthetic of the Native population during the late 18th century, this shirt will be the lead piece in an upcoming show at the Denver Art Museum devoted to the craft. Paralleled only by the distinctive robes at the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris, this shirt is the finest object of its type ever to become available at auction.

Important American Silver Including Magnificent Tiffany – January 20
Since its founding in 1837, Tiffany & Co. has set the standard for silver designs and has been credited with some of the most important innovations in the field. The January 20 sale of Important American Silver features an outstanding selection of rare and important pieces that reflect the historic achievements and high standards that have distinguished Tiffany & Co. as one of the most celebrated names in American silver.

The top lots of the sale include a Silver and Mixed-Metal Centerpiece and a Silver and Mixed-Metal Tea Tray, each Tiffany & Co., New York, circa 1880. The centerpiece is estimated between $80,000-120,000 and the larger tray is expected to realize between $200,000-300,000. Tiffany’s ground-breaking designs in the Japanese taste brought international recognition at the Paris Exposition of 1878. Edward Moore, chief designer for the firm, had not only interpreted the Japanese style, but also mastered the technically complicated Meiji methods for enhancing silver with colored alloys in both copper and gold. Rather than draw from traditional western historical designs, Moore turned to unpretentious naturalistic themes, often integrating form and ornament in entirely original ways. The shape of the tray takes its cue from the gourd and vine decoration, and the centerpiece, formed as two pools of water, is ornamented with whirlpool motifs, floating autumn leaves, and “dripping” feet.

Important American Furniture and Folk Art – January 21
Christie's will present its sale of Important American Furniture, Folk Art, English Pottery, Rugs & Prints on January 21, with an exceptional selection of items from prominent private collections that are sure to generate interest among new and established collectors alike.

Leading the sale is a second installment of exceptional property from the collection of WEA Enterprises, led by a trio of rare survivals from the 17th and 18th centuries: the Elias Hasket Derby Federal Carved Mahogany Side Chair, Carving Attributed to Samuel McIntire, Salem, MA, 1790-1795 (estimate: $30,000-50,000); a Joined and Painted Oak Carved "Sunflower" chest with two drawers, Possibly the Peter Blin Shop Tradition, Wethersfield Area, Conn, 1675-1710 (estimate: $60,000-$90,000); and a Carved and Painted Oak "Hadley" chest with two drawers, Hampshire County, MA, 1700-1725 (estimate: $60,000-$90,000).

The sale also features an exceptional array of furnishings representing distinctive periods and styles, including a rare William and Mary Mahogany and Cedar Dressing Table, Philadelphia, 1715-1725 (estimate: $150,000-300,000), the Frazar Family Chippendale Carved Mahogany Concertina-Action Card Table, Boston, MA 1760-1775 (estimate: $100,000-200,000), and a set of 3 Queen Anne Carved Walnut Compass-Seat Side Chairs, Philadelphia, 1740-1760 (estimate: $100,000-200,000). Rounding out the sale is a selection of fine folk art and 18th and early 19th century British creamware and pearlware from the Estate of Richard T. Kanter, and a stellar group of portrait figures of Benjamin Franklin from the Stuart Karu Collection, including a circa-1777 painted plaster bust of Franklin by Louis Pierre Dufourny de Villiers that was owned by the Marquis de Lafayette (estimate: $80,000-120,000). Over 280 items of fine furniture, folk art and decorative items will be offered in the two-session sale, which is expected to achieve in excess of $5 million.

Syd Levethan – The Longridge Collection – January 24
Following the success of Syd Levethan: The Longridge Collection at Christie’s London in June 2010, Christie’s New York is honored to offer additional works from this renowned collection, to be featured January 24 as a single-owner sale within Americana Week. Although the collection overall includes textiles, metalwork, treen and other European works of art, the January auction will include only British pottery – delft and slip wares from the 17th and 18th centuries that form the core of the collection.

“Only the Best” served as a mantra for Syd Levethan throughout the more than thirty years during which he assembled this impressive group, choosing carefully from the amazing succession of single-owner auctions of this material that came onto the market during the 1980’s and 1990’s - names such as Thomas Burn of Rous Lench Court, Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Billington, John Philip Kassebaum, Jean & Kenneth Chorley and Harriet Carlton Goldweitz. The selection chosen for the January 2011 sale includes pieces that are the only extant examples of their type in private hands, as well as pieces of which the decoration is tied to the American colonies through archaeological evidence. One highlight of the sale is a London Delft dated polychrome dish of 1638, depicting the Adoration and made in celebration of the marriage of Aaron Wit and Frances Allen (estimate: $120,000-180,000).

Over 160 exceptional items from this vast collection are featured in the upcoming sale, which is expected to achieve in excess of $2 million.

Chinese Export Art – January 25
As the grand finale of Americana Week, the sale of Chinese Export Art on January 25 in New York will feature a stunning selection of Chinese porcelain made to order for American and European traders in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The auction features wucai, famille verte, famille rose, blue and white, armorial and European subject examples as well as porcelain figures and animals. Among the highlights of the sale are a very large pair of Famille Rose Jars and Covers from the Yongzheng/early Qianlong period (estimate: $100,000-150,000) each very finely enameled in a delicate famille rose palette with a beloved legend from Chinese history: Lady Generals of the Yang Family.

With over 300 items, including Chinese school paintings in oil on canvas, gouache and reverse-painted glass and China Trade figures in wood or unfired clay, the sale is expected to achieve in excess of $1.6 million.

Christie's | Americana Week 2011 | New York |

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