Bonhams’ first East Coast auction of American Furniture and Decorative Arts scheduled for Jan. 22

carved cherry tall case clockOne of the pieces causing the most excitement is an extraordinary New York Federal carved mahogany and caned settee which has been attributed to possibly Duncan Phyfe or very probably one of his contemporaries. Dating from the first quarter of the early 19th century, it features a carved cornucopia on the crest rail, very rare double lyre arm supports, and highly unusual hoof feet (estimated at $80,000-$120,000).

Another rare find being offered is a block and shell, Chippendale carved cherry tall case clock (far right) from the fourth quarter of the 18th century. Its dial is inscribed by its maker, “Squire Millerd, Warwick Rhode Island.” Fighting with the American militia during the Revolutionary War, Squire Millerd (1750-1820) was appointed captain in the Providence Battalion in 1780 and captain in the Second Warwick Company in 1781.  

Estimated at $30,000-$50,000, the piece displays various subtle interpretations of the “Newport block and shell design.” It is expected to do quite well considering a block-and-shell chest of drawers sold for more than $1.4 million at Bonhams’ San Francisco galleries in 2004 and a similar clock, also signed by Squire Millard, was offered at Sotheby’s in October 2006.

Other notable pieces include a Pennsylvania walnut schrank (right) from the third quarter of the 18th century; a Philadelphia Queen Anne walnut dressing table with trifid feet and unusual scrollwork carved aprons also from the third quarter of the 18th century; and a rare painted dower chest from Berks County, Pa., dated 1803.

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