With Thanksgiving and Christmas fast-approaching Dreweatts is showcasing two very special highlights of an important folk art collection, being offered in a sale of Old Master, British and European Art on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
The first work, which is very current with the recent US elections and Thanksgiving just ahead, is a work titled The States Eagle, which dates from the early 19th century. The Bald Eagle is the reigning symbol of the United States of America, representing freedom, honour, respect and dignity. Just after the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, the US Continental Congress gave Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams the task of designing an official seal for the new nation.
However they, plus a subsequent committee failed to devise a design to win Congress approval. In 1782, the work of artistically-inclined Pennsylvania lawyer William Barton was accepted. A design based on the eagle, which throughout history has been considered a sign of strength, so much so that the Romans used it as their standards /symbols, became the iconic national symbol that we recognise instantly today. This work, depicting the eagle in watercolour and pen and ink, is thought to have been painted in circa 1810 and is inscribed The States Eagle at the top. It is estimated to fetch £2,000-£3,000.
The second work from the collection a watercolour titled Christmas Eve is a charming depiction of a happy and plentiful Christmas eve celebration. Painted by German artist Carle L.F. Rumpf, it is believed to have been painted in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1821 and shows the European custom of celebrating Christmas Eve with presents. The atmospheric scene captures the excitement of the children and adults participating and it is suggested that the children may be choristers awaiting midnight mass, due to the building the event is set in.
The active scene of chatter and delight shows the party in full-swing, with party games and presents laid out across the tables. It is a scene of prosperous attendees, with everyone well-dressed and a sense of fun and positivity exudes, with one of the children at the front of the picture playing music. This feast for the eyes takes you around the party and cleverly to the right-hand side of the work, you notice more guests arriving on the staircase. The work is estimated to fetch £3,000-£5,000.
These delightful works are both from the The Pinkers collection of British, American and European Folk Art. The collection takes its name from the 17th century cottage in Kent, where the collection has hung and expanded over the course of twenty years. Works (lots 93-140 in the sale), include watercolours and oil paintings from the 17th to the early 20th century, with many in their original frames and in good condition.
While the works have been housed in Kent in England, and the subject matter provincial, many of the paintings derive from some of the most important collectors and dealers in folk art on both sides of the Atlantic.
Quoting Robert Young (Folk Art, 1999), Brandon Lindberg, Head of British and European Art at Dreweatts, said: Young says, Folk art has been described as the unselfconscious creativity of academically untrained artists. He continues, and it is this quality that gives many of the works an immediacy and playfulness that has chimed with generations of collectors. Lindberg concludes that This unique and varied collection is the manifestation of the vision and passion of a true collector.
Dreweatts expert Brandon Lindberg describes the Collection in this video