KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— From paintings that once hung in a museum to a Butch Cassidy “Wanted” poster that once hung in a sheriff’s office, diversity is the theme at the Winter Case Antiques Auction, set for Saturday, January 26 at the company’s gallery in Knoxville. The auction features art and antiques being sold by three Tennessee institutions, along with Americana, English ceramics, toys and holiday items from two large estate collections. Historic and Civil War material, samplers and other textiles, silver, jewelry, folk art, Southern regional items, and Asian antiques from other consignors are also represented in the 740+-lot sale.
Leading the fine art is an oil on canvas Paris streetscape by French painter Edouard Cortes (1882-1969), being deaccessioned by the Knoxville Museum of Art to benefit the acquisitions fund. The museum is also selling a large early 20th century Eugene Buccini painting titled Aurora, after the original by Baroque master Guido Reni. And Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville is selling an early 20th century portrait of a woman attributed to the school of Charles Hawthorne (Provincetown, Massachusetts). Two other highly anticipated artworks are a still life by Sonia Lewitska (Ukranian/Polish, 1882-1937), and the only known self-portrait in oil by Joseph Delaney (Tennessee/New York 1904-1991). A pastoral landscape with sheep by James Wiley Wallace (Tennessee, 1852-1921) is the first painting by that artist to ever come up at auction – although he is well regarded, having exhibited no fewer than 16 works at the seminal 1910 Appalachian Exposition of Fine Arts – and a painting by George David Coulon (Louisiana,1822-1904) gives a rare 19thcentury glimpse of Fort Macomb, built to defend New Orleans following the War of 1812. Other painters represented in the sale include Bernard de Hoog (Dutch, 1866-1943), Zacharias Notermann (Belgian/French, 1820-1890), (Henry Inman (American, 1801-1846), Nicola Marschall (Alabama/Kentucky, 1829-1917), Charles Krutch (Tennessee, 1849-1934) , Louis Jones (Tennessee, 1878-1958), Philip Perkins (American, 1907-1970), Frederick Schafer (American, 1839-1927), George A. Newman (Pennsylvania, 1875-1965), Ramon Kelley (American, b. 1939), and illustration artist Hy Hintermeister (American, 1897-1972) . There is also a fine Russian icon depicting the Resurrection and twelve Cardinal feast days, a good collection of sporting art depicting fox hunt and fly fishing scenes, 8 white line woodcuts by Beulah Tomlinson (Provincetown, Mass., 20th c.), a signed Magic Garden etching by Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1998), a signed lithograph Dance in a Madhouse by George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) and an abstract bronze sculpture by Leonardo Neirman (New York/Mexico, b. 1932),
Two large estates, one from Oklahoma, the other from Mississippi, yielded longtime collections of cast iron toys and banks (such as Uncle Sam and William Tell), French and German dolls, early American lighting and hearth items, cobalt decorated stoneware, mochaware, spatterware, and holiday items including rare colored glass Christmas lanterns and Kugels. A highlight of the Mississippi estate was a collection of Meissen porcelain and English ceramics; more than 2 dozen lots of early Toby jugs, pearlware and Staffordshire figures, ranging from common dogs to rare groups such as The Pugilists and Samson and the Lion, will cross the block.
A 4.90 carat oval diamond and platinum ring with baguettes on each side carries the highest estimate of any object in the sale, $35,000-$45,000. The ring was custom wrought and comes with GIA report. The four dozen jewelry lots also include an 18KT white gold necklace with 134 graduated diamonds, an Art Deco diamond and sapphire pendant, a fine 14K yellow gold Victorian tassel bracelet with black enamel decorated faux buckle clasp, and numerous other lots of gold and silver jewelry. An estate collection of signed costume jewelry that includes Miriam Haskell, Hattie Carnegie, Whiting and Davis and other desirable names will be sold as well.
The Historical and Civil War category in the January 26 auction is especially strong. Featured is a rare “wanted” flyer for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, offering a $2,000 reward for their part in a 1900 Nevada bank robbery, as well as a collection of other “wanted” posters from a Tennessee sheriff’s scrapbook. There is also a cache of 270 ballots from the 1864 Presidential election from Civil War soldiers voting in the field. A variety of ballot designs are represented, the majority for the Lincoln-Johnson ticket as well as the McClellan-Pendleton ticket. A scarce model 1855 Harper’s Ferry Rifle with Maynard priming device and 1860 lockplate will be sold, along with Ames staff swords, one of which descended through the family of Captain William Geary of Pennsylvania. Two Civil War ambrotypes of Confederate soldier F.M. Sconyers of the 59th Alabama Infantry Regiment plus a note with folk art drawing by him are being offered, as is a Confederate surgeon’s uniform star insignia, Mississippi infantry uniform buttons and a rare Confederate Bible published in Nashville and found in Kentucky at the Mill Springs battle site. An 1862 gilded copper Confederate seal medallion belonging to a lieutenant colonel who later became mayor of Chattanooga is expected to draw attention, along with several Kurz and Allison battle prints and two images of Robert E. Lee – one supposedly painted on tent canvas during the war, the other a rare 1870 print sold to help raise money for Lee’s memorial monument.
There are two outstanding examples of Schoolgirl needlework: a circa 1800 sampler from an important but as-yet unidentified Philadelphia school, distinguished by its figures wearing plumed hats, and a circa 1820 theorem painted on velvet, depicting a landscape with belltower, river and figures in a boat. It was painted by Minerva French Boyd (future mother of the founder of Louisiana State University), while a student at the Moravian College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There is also a linsey-woolsey sampler by Martha Peck, who was a ship captain’s daughter from Connecticut, and an archive relating to her family, and a sampler stitched by Elizabeth Fay Blake, the niece of cotton gin inventor Eli Whitney. The textile category also includes six other samplers, including a house sampler and one from New Baltimore, along with Southern quilts, and Oriental rugs including a semi-antique Manchester Kashan and a Serapi style Isparta, deaccessioned by The Historic Belmont Mansion Association of Nashville to benefit the acquisitions fund, and a fine antique Tabriz.
The furniture category is led by two corner cupboards: one, a walnut broken-arch pediment example with ivory inlay that descended in the Nickels family of Scott County, Virginia, and the other a rare turkey-breast style corner cupboard. There are also some pieces from the personal collection of Nathan Harsh, co-author of The Art and Mystery of Tennessee Furniture, including a Tennessee cherry wardrobe and a pair of Kentucky banquet table ends in original surface. Two sugar chests, an Ohio or Kentucky tall case clock, a Classical mahogany secretary and dressing table, and a blanket chest with original paint decoration will also cross the block, along with a Limbert rocker and some mid-century modern furniture including a Czech game table.
The catalog includes numerous lots of silver, including a coin silver water pitcher by Grosjean & Woodward, retailed in Charleston, SC, and a Kentucky coin silver cup made by Garner and Winchester of Lexington. Also featured are English pieces by female silversmiths including Hester Bateman and Elizabeth Morley, as well as a set of 12 sterling knives made by Mary Chawner for Queen Adelaide of England in 1837, bearing her royal monogram. There are numerous American flatware sets by Tiffany, Reed & Barton, Gorham and Whiting. Sterling goblets, a George III sterling cake basket, and a 134 oz Peruvian silver tea/coffee set will also be sold.
Pottery highlights include a late 19th century Zia redware pottery olla with polychrome geometric, floral and bird decoration, and a San Ildefonso blackware bowl by Maria Martinez. There is also an East Tennessee stoneware jar with cobalt flower decoration attributed to Charles Decker of the Keystone Pottery; North Carolina salt glazed jugs by M.W. Owen and W.W. Ballard, and a Michael and Melvin Crocker rattlesnake jug.
More than 75 lots of Asian material will cross the block including a large Chinese classical scroll in the style of Chen Juzhong, formerly from the Krystal’s Restaurants corporate headquarters in Chattanooga, Chinese snuff bottles, a painting of horses signed Xu Beihong, Qianlong period Chinese Export porcelain, Rose Medallion porcelain, and several lots of jade, wood carvings, antique netsuke and okimono figures.
Other interesting lots in the sale include a collection of perfume bottles, figural glass animals by Lalique, and glass by Tiffany, Orrefors and Waterford, along with clocks, a French giltwood barometer, a firehouse presentation cane, garden antiques including a large cast iron whippet, possibly by Fiske, and a “Souper Dress” after Andy Warhol (1928-1987).
The auction takes place at Case’s gallery in the historic Cherokee Mills Building, 2240 Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville, on Saturday, January 26 at 9:30 AM. Online, absentee and phone bids will also be accepted. A preview will take place on Friday, January 25, from noon to 6PM EST or by appointment. The catalog for the auction, with full descriptions, price estimates, and photographs for items in the order in which they will be sold can be viewed online at www.caseantiques.com. For more information, call the gallery in Knoxville at (865) 558-3033 or the company’s Nashville office at (615) 812-6096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.