Christie’s is pleased to announce Important Americana, a live sale taking place at Christie’s Rockefeller Center on 20 January 2023. The cornerstone of Christie’s Americana Week, this year’s sale features a number of works unknown to the field prior to this sale, including a previously unpublished portrait of George Washington by early America’s leading artist, Gilbert Stuart; a 1792 clock made by the Dominy craftsmen in East Hampton, New York, property of descendants of the original owner; and an exquisite Newport Queen Anne dressing table.
The sale features strong offerings in a wide variety of categories. Illustrating the height of Chippendale design from 18th-century America’s major style centres, the furniture is headlined by: a magnificent Salem high chest; a pair of Newport chairs by the celebrated cabinetmaker John Townsend; a boldly gadrooned New York card table; and a masterfully carved Philadelphia card table.
The folk art section is strong in New England portraits with works by some of the most renowned artists in the genre, such as The Beardsley Limner, John Brewster, Jr., Ammi Phillips, and Sturtevant Hamblin. The delight in colour and form of American folk art is also seen in a colourful camel carousel figure, a carved eagle by Wilhelm Schimmel, and a dramatically posed Liberty weathervane (see above). This season’s American silver section includes exquisitely chased works by illustrious American firms such as Tiffany & Co., Whiting Mfg. and Gorham Mfg.
Highlights include two silver and mixed-metal Tiffany pitchers, a rare canoe-form ice bowl by Whiting, and a Tiffany “Intemperance” Tankard. There is an extremely rare group of Colonial and Federal gold including, a ring by Myer Myers, a cane handle made for Andrew Jackson, and five gold and enamel examples of the Order of the Cincinnati eagles. Finally, there is a curated selection of vibrant Chinese Export, led by a pair of massive soldier vases.
Americana Week totals four live auctions from 18–20 January, starting with Outsider and Vernacular Art on 18 January. This sale highlights artistic pioneers from Henry Darger to Bill Traylor, in addition to substantial works by Thornton Dial, offered in Things Grow in the United States: Works from the Collection of Jane Fonda.
Next up on 19 January is From Peale to Peto: American Masters from the Pollack Collection, which spotlights the exemplary still-life paintings and portraiture of the Peale family’s artistic dynasty and explores the immense continent as Western art by Frederic Remington and Albert Bierstadt leads into Hudson River School landscapes by Martin Johnson Heade and Thomas Moran at the 19th Century American Art auction also on January 19. The week concludes with the Important Americana sale (discussed above) on 20 January.
Printed And Manuscript Americana & Science
In addition to the Americana Week offerings, collectors may be interested in a strong group of Americana in the Printed and Manuscript sale taking place online, 13-27 January. Highlights include One of the greatest of all Lincoln rarities, the earliest separate printing of The Gettysburg Address, preceded only by newspaper printings; a superb letter from Benjamin Franklin quoting an adage from Poor Richard’s Almanac; and an early draft of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed by Lyndon Johnson.
Other highlights include elephant folio prints by Audubon as well as a beautiful chromolithograph of the Grand Canyon after Thomas Moran.