DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. – The story behind Pook & Pook Inc.’s October 3 Americana sale begins with stellar provenances and ends with a catalog full of rare and intriguing offerings. The sale draws its strength from a group of dedicated collectors and family members who have brought the past to light with their finely curated estates and carefully preserved heirlooms. Fine art, folk art, furniture, ephemera and other decorative pieces will engage bidders for their aesthetics and import in this fall sale, that will have collectors scrambling to secure their own piece of American history.
Pook & Pook Inc.’s auctioneers kick off the sale with an assortment of fine art. An impressive oil on canvas still life by James Peale crosses the block early, to be followed by a rare group of Andrew Wyeth watercolors coming directly from the artist’s family. The first, titled Concord River near Needham Massachusetts, is accompanied by an original musical score by Ann Wyeth. The next series of four paintings, all titled Dollhouse Window, provide a glimpse into Andrew Wyeth’s childhood. Painted when he was 12, they demonstrate the skills that would make him one of the most famous American artists of the 20th century.
Transitioning from fine to folk art, the sale presents a characteristically strong group of Pennsylvania offerings, including a pair of Jacob Maentel ink and watercolor portraits and two carvings by itinerant artist Wilhelm Schimmel. A painted lion and eagle are strongly representative pieces and sure to incite competition amongst folk art collectors. Pook & Pook Inc. also features a large number of stoneware items, including a rare man-in-the-moon decorated Evan R. Jones Pennsylvania batter jug and a M. T. Miller of Newport, Pennsylvania, two-gallon crock.
Pook & Pook Inc.’s October auction also proudly features five isolated collections throughout the catalog. The collection of Dr. William Thomas Thorwarth includes a historic pair of Salem, Massachusetts Hepplewhite mahogany dining chairs, circa 1795. With carving attributed to Samuel McIntire, the shield back chairs feature square tapering legs with relief-carved grape vine decoration. A private Berks County, Pennsylvania, collection adds to the excitement with a Mahantongo Valley painted pine blanket chest, dated 1829, the front adorned with exotic birds perched on potted tulips. The third collection, descended through a Bristol, Rhode Island, family, includes a group of Presidential signed documents from Monroe, Tyler, Madison, in addition to a George Washington signed letter written from “Headquarters, West Point,” on August 26, 1779.
Continuing with the Americana theme, on Oct. 5 Pook & Pook Inc. will offer 500 items of American decorative art in an online only auction, facilitated by Bidsquare.com. Bidders interested in either auction should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-269-4040. Catalogs can be viewed online at www.pookandpook.com or Bidsquare.com. Both sales begin at 9 a.m. EST.