Fresh-to-market Shaker furniture headlining two-part sale

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Willis Henry Auctions, Inc. will hold a Shaker Auction on September 7th at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The first session of the auction will feature Part Two of the McCue Collection. Part One was also held at Hancock Shaker Village in September last year.

Many of the pieces for the most part are Shaker furniture directly purchased from the Shakers, mainly at four communities (Hancock, MA; New Lebanon, NY; Canterbury, NH;

Pine, original yellow ochre stained finish, poplar drawer bottoms, original turned cherry wood drawer pulls, finely dovetailed backsplash, with slight arched back board, circa 1862, is expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000. (Photo courtesy Willis Henry Auctions)

Pine, original yellow ochre stained finish, poplar drawer bottoms, original turned cherry wood drawer pulls, finely dovetailed backsplash, with slight arched back board, circa 1862, is expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000. (Photo courtesy Willis Henry Auctions)

and Sabbathday Lake, ME). The McCue’s (Jerry and Miriam) traveled to those communities and became friends with the Sisters, and occasionally a Brother

Not only did Jerry, who worked as a physicist at Lincoln Labs around the Boston area, keep documentation as a scientist would, but he bought pieces in the original finish and kept them that way.. Several of the pieces in this auction have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art, “Shaker Design” (1986); and the Smithsonian, “Furniture of the Shaker Sect” (1965). Other pieces from the collection were exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (1964), including a stove and tools, blanket chest, and wash stand.

Session Two immediately follows Session One, which is Shaker Selected from Important Collections. Found in a New Hampshire estate and offered for the first time at auction is a very rare 18th c. Shaker shelf clock, signed on the brass dial John Winkley, Canterbury (1767-1813); Brother Winkley was at Canterbury for only three years from 1792 to 1795, eventually living in Durham, New Hampshire and listed as a clock maker. The clock, which is only 23” high, has the original brass works and engraved brass face. It’s cataloged at Lot 35 and is expected to bring $20,000 to $40,000.

Also to be offered in this important second session are exceptional painted pieces from the estate and private collection of the foremost Shaker dealer of the 1980’s and 1990’s – Ed Clerk of Norfolk, Connecticut. A rare original bittersweet orange stained 19th c. rocking chair will be offered as Lot 40 and should bring $3,000 to $5,000. Other pieces in original orange paint are pails, one with initials on the bottom, oval boxes, and a wonderful classic Shaker bench in bittersweet orange/red painted finish. Another rare piece from Ed’s personal collection is a double wooden candle wall sconce with original tin candle holders. It’s expected to bring $5,000 to $7,000.

Pine, original red paint, original paper front label “Shaker Seeds, Genuine Garden, Mount Lebanon, N.Y., may sell for $500 to $700. (Photo courtesy Willis Henry Auctions)

Pine, original red paint, original paper front label “Shaker Seeds, Genuine Garden, Mount Lebanon, N.Y., may sell for $500 to $700. (Photo courtesy Willis Henry Auctions)

Additional items included in this offered collection are:

• Sewing implements

• Rare tailor’s template rules

• Shaekr made tailor’s compass

• Fixed handle carrier with three fingers in chrome yellow (est. $7,000 to $9,000)

• Classic tiger maple candlestand (est. $6,000 to $8,000)

• Classic butternut and pine work table with original red stained finish, single drawer and turned legs ($7,000 to $9,000).

Finely woven “ultramarine” blue cotton cloth, leather soles and heels, ankle high with brown shoelaces, may sell for upwards of $400. (Photo courtesy Willis Henry Auctions)

Finely woven “ultramarine” blue cotton cloth, leather soles and heels, ankle high with brown shoelaces, may sell for upwards of $400. (Photo courtesy Willis Henry Auctions)

Rounding out the auction are collections of ephemera, Shaker advertising and Sister’s bonnets, sets of chairs, seed boxes, sewing implement collections, manuscripts, a trestle table, peg boards, a needlework sampler, Trustee’s desk, signed wooden hangers, fancy goods, oval boxes (all in original colors), dolls, baskets, clothing, swifts, signed chrome yellow spools, children’s production rockers “0” and “1”.

The two session auction will be held at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday, September 7th. Previews are Thursday, September 5th from 2-5 pm; Friday, September 6th from 11-5 pm; and Saturday morning from 9-10:30 am, with the auction starting at 11 am. Items may be viewed online at www.willishenryauctions.com.

Fully illustrated color catalogs are available for $70 ($35 each). For additional information, please call 781-834-7774.

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