Johannes Spitler blanket chest closes at record $350K

PHILADELPHIA — The top lot in Freeman’s recent sale of American furniture, silver, folk and decorative arts set a record for a blanket chest. The auction generated excitement and interest among American and International institutions, private collectors and dealers and ultimately realized more than $1.74 million.

Spitler blanket chest

Painted and decorated yellow pine blanket chest, attributed to Johannes Spitler (1774-1837), Massanutten, Page County, Va.; 24 inches high by 50 inches wide by 21 1/2 inches deep. The rectangular hinged top opens to a well with till, the case painted Prussian blue and decorated with hearts, flowers, birds and circular devices in white, red and black, the molded base painted in blocks of color, bracket feet. The piece exceeded its high auction estimate of $120,000 to finally settle at $350,500.
Photo courtesy Elizabeth Field/Freeman’s.

Lynda Cain, Vice President, American Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts, commented: “It was an exciting day and we are pleased, not only with the auction record achieved for the Spitler blanket chest, but also with the solid prices achieved throughout the sale. The combination of fresh, interesting property with significant provenance always sparks interest.”

The top lot, a rare painted and decorated yellow pine blanket chest, attributed to Johannes Spitler (1774-1837) of Massanutten, Virginia, circa 1800 (estimate $80,000-$120,000), was with the consignor’s family for four generations before it came to Freeman’s. The blanket chest sparked spirited bidding and finally achieved $350,500 – more than four times its low estimate.

Another rare blanket chest, a diminutive Queen Anne walnut blanket chest-on-frame, probably Philadelphia, circa 1760 ($3,000-$5,000), also performed exceedingly well, realizing $46,875.

The next auction of American Furniture, Silver, Folk & Decorative Arts will be held in November. For more details, visit Freeman’s.

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