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Extensive East Coast estates coming to auction Aug. 1-2

A grain painted chest of drawers, Japanese prints, bird decorated stoneware and several items from various estates will come before bidders Aug. 1-2, during Willis Henry Auctions' Folk Art & Estates Auction.
18th century slant lid chest

New Hampshire, tiger birch, pine secondary, dovetailed case, 18th century slant lid case ($1,000-$2,000). (All photos courtesy Willis Henry Auctions)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Willis Henry Auctions, Inc. will hold an important Folk Art & Estates Auction over a two-day period on August 1 and 2 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire. These exciting auctions start Antiques Week in New Hampshire.

There are several estates represented in our August 1 auction including Marjorie Ellis of Sandwich, MA (an accomplished editor, photographer, and journalist); Ed Clerk of CT (a top Shaker dealer in the 1980’s); Tony Geiss of New York City (script and song writer for Sesame Street); William Moore of Milton, MA (teacher at Milton Academy and world traveler); and Robert Wheaton of Cumberland Foreside, ME (widely known expert antique picker and dealer known for his keen eye); along with some private collections.

The August 2 auction consists primarily of the Flo and the late Howard Fertig collection of Livingston, NJ, and the William Moore collection of Milton, MA. Howard started collecting stamps and coins as a young boy. When he married Flo they started collecting Folk Art and antique American Furniture. They amassed an impressive collection of silhouettes, memorials, portraits and miniature watercolors. Many of these pieces were exhibited at the Morris Museum, NJ Collector Series, from April to June 1991.

William “Bill” Moore and his wife Nina had a love of art initially as she grew up in an artist’s family in France. Bill being so bright caught on quickly and they started their own collections of whatever was their fancy. Fancy often was exquisitely simple or extremely interesting. They traveled extensively all over the world, and collected early American and Shaker furniture, 19th c. American paintings, Japanese prints, and much more. Furniture with original finishes was very important to them. Some of their pieces in this auction include a slant lid desk in old red paint, a drop leaf table in red paint, a grain painted chest of drawers, and a blanket chest in old red.

There are some very interesting Hingham pieces such as a 19th c. primitive landscape of a Civil War encampment on Downer’s Landing by George B. Edmands, along with his 19th c. school boy’s chalkboard, and a miniature portrait on ivory of his father George E. Edmands. There are several whirligigs with histories including a man cranking his Model T engine at an Esso gas station, fisherman in a boat, clown and pig, farmer, boxers, men on seesaw, stork carrying baby.

Some important portraits to be auctioned include a 19th c. portrait of Jonathan Holman attributed to

Silver George Washington plaque

18th century hand-wrought silver plaque, with a grape and leaf motif, including a portrait of George Washington, with a Thomas Hammersley hallmark ($1,000-$2,000).

John S. Blunt (1798-1835), now the Celery Tree Borden Limner which was exhibited at the Morris Museum; an 18th c. portrait of Josiah Shackford with handwritten label on back “Commissioned Lieutenant of frigate “Raleigh” July 1776, by Copley”, also exhibited at the Morris Museum. Many of the larger portraits were purchased by Howard and Flo at major New York City auction houses. Please refer to our catalogs for provenances.

Other historical pieces include several charming William M. Prior, Prior School, and Kennedy portraits in excellent condition. Also a rare repousse silver portrait of George Washington signed with a Thomas Hammersley (1727-1781) hallmark. An important miniature oval portrait of Captain Jeremiah O’Brien, with his ship in the background, shall be offered. Captain O’Brien commanded the sloop “Unity” and captured the HMS “Margaretta” in the Battle of Machias, the first Naval Battle of the American Revolution. Another historic lot is a rare handkerchief map printed in red on cotton muslin of the “Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia…after the year MDCCC.” with named streets, rivers and creeks, with embellished allegorical vignette corners, published by Samuel Hill, Boston, MA, circa 1792. It measures 24 ½” x 25 ½”.

Over 80 silhouettes, including one of a young lady by the Puffy Sleeve artist, now identified by Mike and Suzy Payne’s research as Ezra Wood, a few by William Chamberlain, and the Dash artist; many watercolors and miniatures including one of a young gentleman attributed to Rufus Porter (1792-1884); many 19th c. watercolor and colored lithograph memorials; several calligraphic drawings; and Hudson River oil paintings. Fine watercolor portraits by John W. Dodge include an oval of Mr. Parks of New York, circa 1820, exhibited at the Morris Museum. There is a fine collection of oval portraits on ivory encased in gold oval frames, including memorial portraits.

Both days will feature fine 18th and 19th c. country furniture, many in original paint, include blanket chests, slant lid desks, drop leaf tables, many arm and side chairs, chest of drawers, hutch table, dining table, cupboards, hanging cupboards, candlestands, one- and two-drawer stands, wash stands, and hanging shelves. Several country formal case pieces made with exotic woods include an outstanding 36” Governor Winthrop desk, a four-drawer chest of drawers, and a tiger maple highboy with carved fan (shows restoration to legs).

Unusual accessories include grained boxes, mechanical banks and animals, trade signs, watch hutches, collection of bird decorated stoneware, redware, bride boxes, quilts, Oriental rugs, early lighting, woodenware, historical items, quilts, baskets, samplers, toys and game boards, etc.

The auctions will start each day at Noon. For more information, visit, or call 781-834-7774.

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