Rare Southern pottery, furniture that once graced rooms at Nashville’s Belle Meade Mansion, and acollection of Mexican masks deaccessioned by the Knoxville Museum of Art arejust a few of the 700 lots featured at the Fall Case Antiques Auction, set forOctober 16 at the company’s gallery in Knoxville, Tennessee.
One of the outstanding pottery lots is a vividly decorated EastTennessee redware jar, stamped C.A. Haun (Christopher Alexander Haun,1841-1861). Haun is one of Tennessee’s most legendary early artisans, known notonly for his great pottery but also for his politics. “What Paul Revere was to 18th century America – a mastercraftsman and a patriot — Haun was to Tennessee in the Civil War,” saidcompany president John Case. “He was a Union supporter during the Civil War,and disrupted the Confederate supply line by helping burn the Lick Creek railroadbridge in Greene County. He ended up being captured by Confederate forces and hanged.Haun was only 40 when he died, so we don’t see many of his pieces come on themarket.”
A jar from West Tennessee, marked T. W. Craven for Tinsley W. Craven of HendersonCounty, with double handles and crimped center decoration, is considered a starbecause it is the largest known example bearing the rare Craven mark.
Also expected to command attention is an exceptionally early Kentucky cobaltdecorated stoneware churn, stamped I. Thomas/Kentucky and dated 1836, and anearly Alabama brown alkaline glazed 5 gallon jar. There are also many pieces ofunmarked Tennessee pottery with desirable forms and decorations. Collections ofTennessee Blue Ridge and Pigeon Forge pottery and Georgia folk pottery roundout the pottery highlights.
The auction features several antiques deaccessioned by Historic Belle MeadePlantation in Nashville, to benefit the restoration of the collection.
“These are pieces which were not original to Belle Meade, but many of them wereexhibited in the mansion for several years,” explained Case.
Among them are a Rococo Revival half tester bed bearing the maker’s stamp of CharlesLee, who furnished luxury beds for the mid 19th century Southernmarket, and a Middle Tennessee biscuit table. Although in need of restoration,the bed has an interesting history, having been exhibited in the mansion’sPresidential bedroom for many years and also at the Athaneaum in Columbia. Thebiscuit table, a uniquely Southern form, was on display in the kitchen at BelleMeade from the 1990s until recently. Smaller antiques from the mansion include a set of Argandlamps, brass fireplace chenets in the form of eagles, porcelain, folk artdolls, and a variety of farm tools.
The sale also includes some Tennessee furniture from the collection of Jean andNathan Harsh (co-author of The Art and Mystery of Tennessee Furniture),and a collection of 19th century Austrian Bentwood pieces frommakers including Thonet, being sold by the Knoxville Museum of Art to benefitits acquisitions fund. There is a Renaissance Revival walnut banquet table with14 chairs, purchased by C.J. McClung of Knoxville for his Main Street mansionin the late 1800s, and numerous other pieces of American, English, and Frenchfurniture.
Respected Nashville art conservator Dee Minault, who died in March, left behind severalfine pieces from her personal collection which will be sold. They include folkart portraits, a superb graphite still life, European landscapes, and portraitsby Tennessee artists Clarence Stagg of Nashville and Carl Gutherz of Memphis.
Other regional paintings in the sale include a portrait of a young girl by leadingEast Tennessee artist Samuel Shaver (1816-1878), an exceptionally large andluminous landscape by Lloyd Branson (1853-1925), and a collection of small Tennesseeand European landscapes by Thomas Campbell (1834-1914). Other Southern painterssuch as William Frerichs of North Carolina and Bo Bartlett of Georgia are alsobe represented.
Textile lovers will find many interesting pieces, from American and English samplers toa number of Tennessee quilts, including one that descended in an AfricanAmerican family, and a rare coverlet from the Maryville Woolen Mills. There arenumerous lots of sterling silver, and several pieces of coin silver from Tennesseeand other Southern makers.
Among the sale’s most colorful lots are more than forty Mexican folk art masks,deaccessioned from the Knoxville Museum of Art. The ceremonial masks, exhibitedseveral years ago before going into storage, depict various human and animalforms. They complement an important collection of Southwestern and NativeAmerican material, ranging from a 19th century portrait of Semioleleader Osceola to a contemporary group of Acoma, Blue Corn, and Tony Da pottery,baskets, turquoise jewelry, and painting by Helen Hardin.
As usual, a number of antiques from other parts of the country, Europe, and otherparts of the world will also be featured, including art by many listed artists,a rare large artist-signed Royal Vienna urn, Meissen, Old Paris, and Chineseporcelain, a Pairpoint “puffy” lamp with floral shade and base, and animportant bronze nude, Hesperus, by Joseph Pollet (French, 1815-1870).
The auction will be held at Case’s gallery in the historic Cherokee Mills Building,2240 Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville, on Saturday, Oct.16, at 9:30AM EST. A preview will take place on Friday, Oct. 15 from noon to6PM EST.
Online, phone and absentee bidding is available. The catalog for the October auction,with full descriptions and photographs, can be viewed online at www.caseantiques.com, and it shows the 700lots in the order in which they will be sold. But bargain lovers will want tomake sure to come in person and stick around for the end of the sale, when dozensof lots of uncataloged antiques, not pictured online or offered to internetbidders, will be auctioned.
The company is also accepting quality consignments for its next sale, to be held inJanuary, 2011. For more information, call the gallery in Knoxville at (865)558-3033 or the Nashville office at (615) 812-6096.