An excellent selection of American folk art and furniture will be offered at Skinner, Inc.
s two-day auction of American Furniture & Decorative Arts. On August 9th, Skinner will present The Howard Roth Collection of Early American Iron, Part I, featuring fine and rare examples of early American metalwork. The sale continues on August 10th with a beautiful vintage vehicle on the block, followed by an eclectic array of furniture from the late 17th century through the mid-19th century, in addition to a wonderful selection of paintings, weathervanes, folk art carvings, trade signs and more a feast for history buffs and collectors alike.
The Howard Roth Collection of Early American Iron, Part I
Skinner will offer the Howard Roth Collection in its entirety in two parts, presented in August and in October. Part I consists of approximately 300 examples from this important collection. Howard Roth pursued his passion for over four decades, seeking and obtaining exceptional examples of American iron. With his enthusiasm for the material, perseverance, and competitive spirit, Howard rarely let a great piece of American iron get away. The result of such single-mindedness is what you see todaythe finest and most comprehensive collection of mostly 18th and early 19th century New England hearth equipment. The collection includes ornate toasters, rare bronze posnets, broilers, kettles, cooking pots, food choppers, and andirons; many of the pieces bear makers signatures and dates. The earliest example is a copper and wood bed warmer with an engraved codfish, dated 1701 (Lot 219, estimated between $800 to $1,200).
According to Stephen Fletcher, Director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts at Skinner, Although these objects are utilitarian in nature, they are also beautiful and sculptural, and demonstrate that pieces of iron can be extraordinary works of art.
Highlights include a very scarce bronze posnet from Newport, RI, dated 1710 (Lot 51, $8,000 and $12,000). A heart motif decorating a selection of objects will catch the interest of collections. The motif is repeated in the complex design of a wrought iron rotary toaster (Lot 37, $2,500 to $3,500).
1935 Buick Series 60 Sport Coupe
Skinner kicks off day two of the auction with a fun and stylish 1935 Buick Series 60 Sport Coupe (Lot 300, $15,000 to $20,000). Garaged for over 20 years, this pre-war automobile has a black-painted exterior and customary rumble seat. The cars sheet metal and wood are in very good condition making this vehicle a potentially exciting restoration project for any classic car enthusiast.
A beautiful piece leads a selection of painted furniture: a robins egg blue-painted pine corner cupboard in as-found condition (Lot 308, $20,000 to $30,000). The cupboard, which dates from the 18th century, is most likely from New Hampshire. The piece has an intriguing history, which author Thatcher Freund chronicled in Time and the Objects of our Desire, published in New England Monthly, May 1989.
As Stephen Fletcher explains, original condition and surface on an American antique is both valuable and desirable. The history of a piece is written on its surface. The patina or colors are the result of centuries of use, and I am not alone among collectors who love to see a piece that has remained intact for such a long time, says Fletcher.
Fine examples of American furniture also include a beautifully proportioned Queen Anne cherry tea table from Connecticut, with a molded tray top table, shaped valenced skirt, and cabriole legs (Lot 350, $50,000 to $75,000).
Folk Art & American Antiques
Folk art, game boards, paintings, weathervanes and more abound in this section, many from a large, private Wisconsin collection. A polychrome carved Indian princess tobacconist figure by Samuel Robb of New York (Lot 506, estimate $40,000 to $60,000) is just one of a group of important and unusual figures from this collection. Other examples include a black dandy, Columbia, and Puck. An unusual painted wood folding sidewalk sign from Reedsburg, Wisconsin (Lot 691, $4,000 to $6,000), advertises cigars and tobacco.
Racehorses were the rock stars of the 19th century, and the excitement of racing is clearly demonstrated in an elaborately detailed Gorham silver racing trophy (Lot 500, $15,000 to $25,000). The Bard, a star racehorse owned by Mr. A. J. Cassatt, won the trophy in 1887 in the St. James Hotel race. In the New York Times, The Bard was referred to as Americas greatest racehorse.
Noteworthy paintings include a portrait of the Schooner Herald of New York, by William Pierce Stubbs (Lot 617, $6,000 to $8,000), and four exquisite miniature profile portraits attributed to Mr. Boyd (Lot 401, $8,000 to $12,000).
Other auction highlights include a colorful collection of American game boards from as early as the late 18th century. A painted wood baseball diamond dart board from the early 20th century (Lot 790, $400 to $600) is a rare find. Weathervanes abound in a variety of forms, from racehorses to roosters, cows, eagles, fish and ships.
Americana - Online Auction
Collectors can also bid on over 400 lots at their convenience during Skinners Americana Online auction, taking place August 4 through August 11. Skinner specialists have hand-picked a selection of American furniture, decorative arts, and folk art items that can be purchased with ease online. Bidders also have the added value of previewing the online-only lots in person during the regular Marlborough preview hours.