Impressive Southern and Continental antiques at Brunk Auctions in January

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Georgians who flocked to Brunk Auctions for the sale of the Florence and William Griffin collection in May, may return for the Jan. 2-3 sale. The lead item is the first detailed published map of the entire state of Georgia. Daniel Sturges, Georgia’s meticulous surveyor general from 1797 to 1809, spent 20 years gathering data for the map. Published in 1818, it is said to have been the map that guided the Marquis De Lafayette on his 1825 tour of the state. Oddly, Sturges’ name does not appear on the map. Due to financial difficulties, he sold it to his brother-in-law, Eleazer Early, prior to publication. Early had the map published and added his name to the map’s title.

The map is separated into 50 5 3/4-inch by 9 inch panels. Shown in great detail are the state’s 39 counties as well as Indian territories that are today portions of South Carolina, Alabama and Florida. Georgia’s Bourbon County became the state of Mississippi in 1788. The map, which last sold in 1967 at Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York City, is expected to bring $15,000-$25,000.

There are more Georgia lots to entice dealers and collectors from across the border. An 1800-1820 walnut corner cupboard from Marietta, a poplar and birch huntboard, a pie safe with Masonic symbols and pottery from the Meaders family pottery are also on the block.

Charleston, S.C., is also well represented in the sale with an important Federal inlaid china press circa 1800. Standing 108 1/2 inches tall, it includes a fitted butler’s desk with what are believed to be the original brasses. An arched cornice with a large conch shell ornament stands over two glazed doors. Interior shelves in the upper case are fixed. The presale estimate for the mahogany press is $30,000-$50,000.

North Carolina pottery, a walnut sugar chest, and paintings are included in the sale, but two samplers from the Great North State are attracting the most attention.

Latostia Young lived in Columbus County, N.C., until her death in 1914. In 1842, she stitched a four-line verse, six lines of letters and numbers and a tree, sheep, stag and vines in silk onto a 16-inch by 16 3/4-inch piece of linen. The tall narrow trees and long-tailed sheep may indicate that a Charleston, S.C., teacher guided Young in her sewing lessons. Young’s sampler is expected to sell for $2,000-$4,000. Margaret Henderson’s early- to mid-19th century 11-line sampler was from Lincoln County, N.C. She used silk and cotton thread on a cotton cloth to craft her 14 3/4-inch by 11 3/4-inch sampler. Henderson’s sampler is expected to bring $500-$1,000.

In the middle of a collection of 76 paintings for sale Jan. 2 is Recollections of a storm from the …, an unsigned oil on canvas attributed to John Frederick Kensett (American, 1816-1872). The painting is included in the upcoming catalogue raisonné for Kensett compiled by Babcock Galleries, New York City. The presale estimate on the Kensett painting is $200,000-$300,000.

Along with Sanford Robinson Gifford, Fitz Hugh Lane, Jasper Francis Cropsey and Martin Johnson Heade, Kensett is considered part of the second generation of Hudson River School artists. The group also became known as the “Luminists,” for their detailed treatment of outdoor light. That trait can be clearly seen in Recollections, a painting of rain and swirling storm clouds in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

The sale’s second day is dominated by continental furniture, portraits, watercolors, porcelain, bronzes and English silver. Two silver lots are especially noteworthy.

In 1765, innovative Birmingham industrialist Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) created one of England’s largest and best equipped metal work factories. Some of his earliest products were household wares in silver plate and Sheffield plate or silver-plated copper. Boulton and his business partner James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine, were central figures in England’s Industrial Revolution. In Brunks’ January sale are two examples of Old Sheffield plate from the early 19th century with clear marks for Boulton: a silver epergne and a pair of candelabra.

Cut glass bowls sit atop the four arms of the epergne with a large matching bowl on the rounded center stand. Brunk Auctions expects the 13-inch by 20 3/4-inch by 18 1/4-inch Boulton epergne to bring between $8,000 and $15,000. The 26-inch candelabra pair each with three scroll arms, four urn-form sockets, reeded columns, gadrooned borders and acanthus decoration is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

The January sale at Brunk Auctions begins at 9 a.m. each day.

Brunk Auctions is located at 117 Tunnel Road, Asheville, N.C. For more information, visit or call 828-254-6846.

Photos courtesy Brunk Auctions.


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