SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A rare pair of Civil War tintypes of African American soldiers, a pair of nine-branch Tiffany candelabra and a Frank Gavencky oil will be part of the items in Witherell’s first catalogue auction March 4 to 28, 2015.
“It is so exciting to have a catalogue auction as we are now doing,” said “Antiques
Roadshow” appraiser and global auctioneer Brian Witherell of the event. “We think collectors will be very pleased with the unique lots we are able to offer.”
The hand-colored tintypes of the 54th Connecticut troop are rare because the men are sitting, standing and leaning against a large cannon instead of posing in the formal line usually taken at the time.
The troop, most likely on garrison duty in Arkansas, also shows the commanding officer, Lt. Samuel Thompson, a white lieutenant in white trousers and straw hat, holding a sword. A pyramid of cannonballs can be seen in the foreground of one.
The photos and other items came to Witherell’s by direct family inheritance.
“It is so exciting to have been entrusted with these photos of the troop, with the lieutenants sword and other photos of him and his family,” said Witherell, chief operating officer of Sacramento-based Witherell’s. “A find like this doesn’t come up very often.”
A nine-arm silver candelabra pair, a large silver centerpiece bowl weighing 154 Troy ounces and two other Tiffany items also are part of the highlights. The collection of
Tiffany silver came from the Roman Catholic bishop's residence in Sacramento, about 40 years ago, when it was purchased by a Granite Bay resident.
An oil painting by Frank J. Gavenchy of a street scene from the 1930’s also is sought after. Born in 1888 and raised in Chicago, Gavenchy was known for his street scenes, seascapes and California desert vistas. Gavenchy died in Humboldt County, Calif. The painting was purchased from his estate in Eureka.
The Civil War discharge papers, presentation sword and horse brush of a sergeant in the Illinois Light Artillery also will be auctioned. Since horse brushes usually are trashed, they rarely are seen today except in museums. The musket, cartridge box and discharge papers from the sergeant’s teenage son round out the Civil War items in the auction.