A recently discovered work of American Impressionist Childe Hassam (1859-1935) comes to the auction market for the first time Feb. 2 at The Potomack Company
in Alexandria, Va.
Hassam depicts a squatters shanty with old brownstones to the left, a new high rise to the right and goats in front of the shanty. The shanty could possibly be the home of Blind Tom Foley, whose shanty at Madison and 77th Street was documented by turn-of-the-century photographers such as Jacob Riis.
New York City Shanty reflects a moment in time when the New York City landscape was shifting from poor abodes to towering high-rises. It was painted upon Hassams return from Paris in 1889 where he studied the works of French Impressionists.
The work will be included in the upcoming catalogue raisonné of Hassams work in preparation by Stuart P. Feld and Kathleen M. Burnside.
Potomack is presenting the signed oil on canvas painting with an estimate of $500,000 to $800,000.
Also new to the auction market is a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1801 thats remarkably timely today. As the newly elected president, Jefferson wrote to another founding father, John Dickinson, about his belief that political divisiveness must be put aside for the good of all: "...if we do not learn to sacrifice small differences of opinion, we can never act together."
Potomack placed an estimate on the letter of $18,000-$25,000.
Also with a story to tell is an early 19th century pair of Charles X Sèvres-style parcel-gilt biscuit porcelain winged lion potpourris on tole bases. The model of the striding winged male lions was originally envisioned in 1817 by Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard. Several years later, Sèvres sculptor Jean-Charles-Nicholas Brachard brought Fragonard's fantasy to life in porcelain.
Each lion is fitted with a spiral double-fringed saddle cloth and carries a gilt-porcelain basket in a reticulated pierced palmette-leaf design; one basket bears inscribed monogram marks. The lions are each displayed on rectangular faux-marble metal plinths. They were designed as part of an elaborate dessert service.
The first examples of this model are shown in the Sèvres sales inventories on December 26, 1818, and were exhibited in the Louvre on January 1, 1819. To this day, Sèvres retains Fragonards drawings and a plaster model.
Potomacks auction estimate for the potpourris is $30,000 to $40,000.
For more information, contact The Potomack Company at 703-684-4550 or visit potomackcompany.com