NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
unveiled highlights from The Collection of Anne H. & Frederick Vogel III a dedicated sale on 19 January that will present one of the finest assemblages of early Americana and early English pottery to appear at auction in more than two decades.
Amassed over the course of several years, the collection encompasses furniture and decorative arts from early American colonial life and includes exemplary pieces of Pilgrim century and William and Mary furniture, as well as one of the greatest collections ever assembled of early English delftware. The Vogels also acquired exceptional examples of 17th-century English silver, 16th- and 17th-century brass lighting, English and American needlework, French and Indian powder horns, and early colonial American maps.
Works from the sale are on view in Sothebys York Avenue galleries alongside their 2019 Americana Week sales.
The January sale is anchored by the Important "Harkness" Queen Anne Carved, Turned and Joined Maple Armchair Circa 1735, which is among the first pieces acquired by the Milwaukee couple (estimate $100/200,000). Attributed To John Gaines III, the present work is the first fully developed armchair by Gaines to appear at auction in more than 20 years, presenting collectors with a unique opportunity to acquire an exemplary piece by one of Portsmouths most affluent craftsmen. With its stylized pierced and carved crest, oversized solid Spanish feet with a central groove on the middle toe, this maple armchair displays distinctive traits consistent with late baroque chairs associated with Gaines, and bears close stylistic similarities to four side maple chairs that serve as the cornerstones in identification of his work.
The early 20th century owners of the chair were Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Harkness of New London, Connecticut. Harkness was an American philanthropist whose donations to dozens of private hospitals, museums, and educational institutions, largely in the Northeastern United States, were among the largest of that time.
Another highlight from the collection is An Exceptional William and Mary Turned and Joined Walnut Gateleg Table, Boston, Massachusetts, Circa 1725 (estimate $80/120,000). Of immense size and stature, this gateleg table stands as one of the greatest and largest examples of its form made in Boston. Constructed with a turned walnut base and top measuring 65 ¼ in. when open, it survives in remarkable condition, retaining its original surface and brass hinges attached with rosehead nails. The profiles of the elaborate leg and stretcher turnings conform to a style regularly associated with early 18th century Boston turners.
In addition, the Important Fairbanks Family Pilgrim Century Turned and Red-Painted Maple Spindle-Back Great Chair highlights the impressive selection of Pilgrim century furniture on offer (estimate $50/80,000). Attributed to turner Ephraim Tinkham Jr. circa 1680, this exceptional armchair belongs to an important group of turned chairs associated with the craftsman. The group in totality represents the work of four or five generations of turners stemming from an unidentified master who probably worked in Plymouth, Massachusetts between 1640 and 1680. The chair's strong affinity to Dutch turning design suggests that the master was probably trained in England under strong Dutch influence. Tinkham trained with the master in Plymouth likely between about 1663 and 1670. Presumably, other turners may have apprenticed with the master in Plymouth and subsequent generations of apprentices may have spread the tradition across southeastern Massachusetts. Chairs from the shop tradition display considerable variation in detail and in major compositional choices like slat-backs versus spindle-backs. The Fairbanks chair is a major monument of the middle or mature phase of the tradition's development.
A Staffordshire Slipware Dated Large Bragget Pot from 1697 leads the exceptional selection of English ceramics on offer (estimate $40/60,000). Bragget is an ancient British liquor that comes from fermenting honey and beer together, but it can also be made from ale flavored with honey and spices. Known at least since 1386 or 1387, this ancient beverage carries historical importance, as it was mentioned by Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales and has become a catchword for sweetness --- such as Braggot Sunday in Mid-Lent, when a brief suspension of abstinence was allowed. Pots of this kind were likely given as a congratulatory gift at weddings or equally festive events.
Further examples of English pottery include a Large London Delftware Blue-Dash Tulip and Carnation Charger from circa 1660-70 (estimate $20/30,000). Painted in yellow, ochre, blue and green with tulips and carnations issuing from a fenced mound, the present work also bears an alternating motif of pomegranates and bi-coloured oak-leaves that are featured on the earliest known dated English Delftware dish painted with tulips at the center. Dishes of this type reflect the `tulipomania' craze, which swept through Holland and the rest of Europe in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.