This is the time of year when thoughts turn toward snow and antiques in New York City. A light atmospheric dusting of snow fell lazily as we headed out on Sunday morning into the city. Our focus that day was on Sotheby’s Auction Preview at 71st & York Streets. Previews are one of my favorite past times. Objects for sale are on display for potential buyers and curious onlookers to observe and touch.This is a hands on, take a good look and learn activity that is open to the public and FREE. Museums charge admissions. Auctions do not. If you want to learn more about antiques I highly recommend auction previews.
Sotheby’s and Christie’s previews kick off Americana Week in New York City. Throughout the week, there will be auctions, shows, and special events. There will be four shows in NYC. The Art, Design, and Antiques Show opens on January 18, 2019. The Winter Show at the Park Avenue Armory runs from January 18-27. The New York Antique Ceramics Fair runs from January 17-20, and The Outsider Art Fair from January 17-20.
Sold for $6,250.
Back to Sotheby’s. Because of limited time constraints, I chose Sotheby’s because there were particular items I wished to see due to their South Jersey and Philadelphia connections. A side chair Lot # 1613 from a suite of furniture made by Thomas Tuft (died 1788) was commissioned by Richard Edwards in 1775. Richard Edwards owned a home at 140 East Main Street in Moorestown, New Jersey and was a merchant in Lumberton, New Jersey. Where did Richard Edwards display this beautiful suite of furniture - in his home or in a show room in Lumberton? Edwards had 10 children. The furniture is in well kept condition. More research is required.
Lot #1435 passed
The Stratton-Carpenter-Wheeler Families Mahogany Chest on Chest Lot # 1435 attributed to John Folwell was second on my list of must sees. This chest has a lovely Revolutionary War story to it. I know so well the story of the marauding Hessians who came through Moorestown and camped overnight in the Smith-Cadbury Mansion, sending the females of the house into a frantic tizzy. In a similar situation, British troops marched through Haddonfield to search the homes for arms. The frantic owner of this chest on chest, pulled it from the corner, and wrapped her 15 year old daughter in blankets, hiding her behind this very chest. A mother’s love gives Herculean strength in times of desperation.
Sold for $375,000.
And here is what I mean about getting up close to take a better look at a piece of history with an estimate of $500,000. - $800,000. This is Lot # 1434 The Scott Family Carved and Figured Mahogany Dressing Table. Cabinet work attributed to Thomas Affleck (1740-1795) and carving attributed to James Reynolds (1736-1794) made in Philadelphia circa 1770. This was a learning experience and I think we spent about 15 minutes hovering around this piece.
There were other fascinating items at the preview. Below is just a brief sampling.