EAST DENNIS, Mass. — A Gilbert Stuart portrait that descended in the family of the sitter and has never before been offered publicly headlines Eldred’s annual Summer Americana and Paintings Auction, being conducted August 3, 4 and 5 in East Dennis, Mass., on Cape Cod. The sale will include approximately 250 paintings as well as period furniture, sporting art, antique firearms and militaria, silver and other objects of vertu, and Oriental rugs, among other things.
In addition to in-person bidding, phone, absentee bid and online bids will be accepted. Internet bidding hosted by Invaluable.com.
The circa 1800 Gilbert Stuart portrait depicts a young Mary Binney Sargent of Philadelphia, sister of Horace Binney, who became a well-known lawyer and member of Congress. A Stuart portrait of Horace Binney at age 20 is part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In both portraits, the sitters are wearing claret-colored clothing items and the backgrounds are similarly shaded, possibly indicating they were painted around the same time or were perhaps intended as a pair. Mary Binney married Lucius Sargent, an author and temperance advocate from Boston, and their son, Horace Binney Sargent, served as Colonel of the Massachusetts 1st Cavalry during the Civil War. Her portrait was part of an exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in the mid-20th Century but has not been seen publicly since and has never before been offered for sale. It comes to market directly from one of her descendants and carries an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.
“We’re delighted to be bringing this item of historic significance to market,” said Joshua Eldred, company president. “Not only is it a very fine work by Gilbert Stuart, but the sitter was a member of two important families in the early years of our country and the provenance, descending all those years in the same family, is wonderful.”
The other notable portraits in the sale, by French artist Georges Rouault (1871-1958), are both estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. Rouault’s work is most closely associated with Fauvism and Expressionism. The similarly colored watercolor and gouache portraits depict a man and a woman.
Other important paintings include an expansive depiction of Acadia National Park by contemporary Massachusetts artist Joseph McGurl, estimated at between $25,000 and $35,000, a Ralph E. Cahoon, Jr. seaside picnic scene of mermaids and a fisherman reading the Wall Street Journal, coming in with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000, a Joseph Rusling Meeker oil on canvas depicting
flamingos in a marsh, likely Louisiana, estimated at $15,000 to $25,000, and two watercolors by British Pre-Raphaelite Marie Euphrosyne Spartali Stillman, both conservatively estimated at $5,000 to $10,000. Seven works by C.H. Gifford will also be auctioned, including the impressive “Clearing Storm, Grand Manan”, dated 1890, which carries an estimate between $20,000 and $30,000.
Without exception, Eldred’s Americana auctions always feature a large number of Cape Cod artists, particularly those with ties to Provincetown. Works offered in this auction include “A Gray Day in Provincetown” by early Provincetown Artist Colony member Gerrit Albertus Beneker, estimated at $7,000 to $10,000, three works by well-known contemporary Provincetown artist Anne Packard, with estimates averaging $5,000 to $7,000, and “Noon Tide, Inner Harbor, Provincetown”, a 1948 work by abstract-realist DeHirsch Margules, estimated at $1,000 to $1,500. An abstract expressionist work by John Grillo, “Woman with Flowers”, is expected to surpass its conservative $3,000 to $4,000 estimate. Grillo works auctioned since the artist’s death in 2014 have frequently sold upward of $10,000.
The top lot in the sporting art category is anticipated to be a Robert Kennedy Abbett portrait of a setter on point, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. The painting was a commissioned piece that depicts the original owner’s own dog at his hunting camp in Connecticut. Like the Gilbert Stuart painting, this work also descended in the family of the original owner and is fresh to market. Another sporting art highlight is a rare half-size carving of a tern by A.E. Crowell, which has a $2,500 to $3,500 estimate. The sale also includes more than 150 historic weaponry, militaria and collectible firearms.
Other sale highlights include a silver traveling cup used aboard the U.S.S. Constitution by Captain “Mad Jack” Percival and a rare Northern Plains Medicine Man Buffalo Headdress, both estimated at $20,000/30,000, and a Caucasian silk embroidery panel, believed to be an 18th or Early 19th Century piece from Azerbaijan, estimated at $5,000 to $10,000. The sale also includes a selection of antique clocks from the collection of Dr. David Epstein, highlighted by a Nathaniel Munroe tall-case clock, which has an estimate of $8,000 to $10,000.
Top furniture lots include an impressive giltwood girandole mirror, estimated at $8,000/$12,000, a Federal sofa attributed to Samuel McIntire, estimated at $2,500 to $3,500, and two antique American Hepplewhite sideboards, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000 and $6,000 to $9,000.
“There seems to be a resurgence in interest in Chinese Export over the past few auctions. This sale includes a wide and varied group, ranging from the late 18th to Mid-19th Century, in rare forms including a pair of really beautiful shrimp dishes and covered cider jugs” said William Bourne, company vice president and head of the Americana department.
“We are anticipating strong interest in most areas of the sale,” Bourne continued. “There’s great variety and the majority of the lots are from estates and private collections.”
The Summer Americana and Paintings Auction will take place at the company’s main facility, located at 1483 Route 6A, in East Dennis, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod’s historic Old King’s Highway.
For more information, call 508-385-3116, email email@example.com or visit www.eldreds.com