Grant’s presidential punch bowl may rise to $15K

GENESEO, N.Y. – Items descended in the family of General and former President Ulysses S. Grant, an 18kt gold presentation box purportedly given by France’s Louis XVI to Marquis de Lafayette, a gyratory kinetic sculpture by George Warren Rickey (Am., 1907-2002) and a watercolor painting by Charles Burchfield (Am., 1893-1967) will all come up for bid Feb. 20-21.

The items are just a few of the expected lots to generate bidding battles during the

President Grant's punch bowl

Rose Medallion punch bowl, featuring President Grant’s monogram may see between $10,000 and $15,000.
Photo courtesy Cottone Auctions

two-day Fine Art & Antiques Auction being presented by Cottone Auctions, in the firm’s gallery, 120 Court Street in Geneseo. In all, about 750 lots will come under the gavel, beginning at noon on Feb. 20, and 11 a.m. EST on Feb. 21.

In addition to live, telephone and absentee bidding, Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com.

A favorite to take top lot honors is painting by Charles Ephraim Burchfield. The watercolor, which measures 30 inches by 22 inches, is titled “Dreaming of Christmas.” The work, monogrammed lower right and artist-titled in pencil, is expected to hit $75,000 to $100,000.

The items descended in the family of Ulysses S. Grant would stand on their own as desirable collectibles even if they weren’t linked to the Civil War general and president. One lot, a Rose Medallion punch bowl ($10,000-$15,000), shows Grant’s monogram within a laurel leaf. The bowl was part of a unique 360-piece service ordered in 1868 and used by the Grants in the White House.

Ives Grant toy

Ives clockwork toy depicting Ulysses S. Grant, made from wood, metal and cloth around 1870 (est. $8,000-$12,000). (Photo courtesy Cottone Auctions)

The second lot is a rare Ives wooden clockwork toy depicting Grant, dating back to around 1870 ($8,000-$12,000). The third is a 5-inch-tall cut crystal seal made for President Ulysses S. Grant ($3,000-$5,000), in the original light blue leather box with the maker’s name on it: Ayer & Taylor Company, Jewelers (Washington, D.C.). A fine and diminutive 18kt gold presentation box, made in Paris circa 1778, and believed to have been given by France’s King Louis XVI to Marquis de Lafayette celebrating the May feast at the Versailles Opera Theater, is expected to command between $10,000 and $15,000.

Additional lots expected to garner much attention include:
• Gyratory kinetic sculpture by George Warren Rickey ($50,000-$80,000)
• Oil on canvas painting by William John Hennessy, of a mother and daughters in springtime ($15,000-$25,000)
• Sevres cobalt and gold enameled tureen ($5,000-$8,000)
• 19th century Bakhtiari rug ($15,000-$25,000)

For more information, visit www.cottoneauctions.com or call 585-243-1000.

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