New Haven Auctions two-day sale run by the rare Southern Slave Journal
Review by WA Demers, photos courtesy of New Haven Auctions
BRANFORD, CONN. – Americana from estates and collections including folk art, brut art, period furniture, paintings and accessories were the main attractions of Fred Giampietro’s New Haven Auctions on October 16-17 , which reached $ 1 million, with just two minor lots of the 750 offered by the way. Just over 8,000 bidders lined up to compete for the material over the two days, with three online platforms, phone and left auctions, and in-person auctions in the gallery. The surprise of the first day was a large Southern slave diary that was pulled from its estimate of $ 500 to $ 1,000 and ended up at $ 32,400. The journal, which is intended for a Georgian institution, was titled “Tracking 264 Negroes between Swift Creek, Bibb County, Georgia, Sumter County, Georgia, Spring Creek, Georgia and Cowarts, Georgia” and dated 1859.
Ashleigh Oatts, education coordinator for TRR Cobb House in Athens, Georgia, said the historic house had been informed by someone at the Georgia Museum of Art that the newspaper was going to be auctioned. “They know the family ties,” Oatts said. “The diary was owned by John B. Lamar, who was the brother-in-law of the older brother of Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb, who owned the TRR Cobb House and managed the entire plantation for himself and his brother-in-law. And some of the slaves were moved to different houses, some of them ended up in Athens and some of them maybe ended up working at the TRR Cobb House. This is what we hope to find out. During the Civil War, Lamar (1812-1862) served as assistant to the General of the Confederate States Army Howell Cobb, his brother-in-law and close friend. He was injured in the Battle of Crampton’s Gap in Maryland while trying to rally Cobb’s brigade. He died in one day on September 15, 1862.
“The year this journal was established was the period when Howell Cobb was Secretary of the Treasury under President James Buchanan,” Oatts said.
Although the TRR house is currently closed to the public for renovation, Oatts said the museum is reviewing the 160-page newspaper page by page – thankfully it has been digitized – and hopes to make it available for display in 2022.
A rare Indian countertop cigar store attributed to Thomas Brooks, New York, circa 1870 was offered for $ 20,000. Standing 33½ inches high on a 10 by 9¾ inch base, the sculpture was in its original condition with a historic 19th century painted surface. Minor condition issues, such as a loss on the back of the nib, may have delayed the final price. Brooks (1828-1895) was a prominent American woodcarver who was well known for carving ships, trade signs, and shop figures. The Indian cigar store was an advertising figure, like a Native American, used by the first tobacconists, but today it has entered the realm of folk art.
What the auction house described as a “museum-quality” American hanging cabinet, circa 1760, sold for $ 18,750. With sturdy column and cornice architectural details, it featured a raised panel door with HL hinges and was finished in the original blue and oyster white paint. American, circa 1760. He was 35 inches high and 37½ inches wide.
There were several of these basic folk art objects – weather vanes – which were remarkable on day one. At their head was a perfectly molded jumping deer. American, late 19th century, the cast copper form featured a cast head and antlers, stretched to 30 inches in length and carried a natural verdigris patina with remnants of the original gilding and sizing. He erased his high estimate of $ 10,000 to land at $ 16,875.
Likewise, a large horse and sulky cast copper weather vane, probably JW Fiske, NY, circa 1890, made its way to a final price of $ 12,500, in part thanks to its verdigris surface. natural.
And for $ 11,875, a Hamburg rooster weather vane by Cushing and White, circa 1880, featured a natural historic surface with a few generations of weathered paint on its cast copper form, 28 x 27½ x 4 inches.
It was not a weather vane, but a monumental architectural eagle, circa 1870, swept to capture $ 13,750. Made of die-cast zinc with a painted surface in historic gold, it rested on a cast iron base that appeared to be original and had a wingspan of 94 inches.
Another popular art icon – the whale – has appeared in several different mediums. The first was a New England whaling scene painting, circa 1870, which surfaced at $ 13,750. With ships, rowboat whalers, and a whale gleefully gushing out, the 23×46-inch framed canvas featured an old reline using the original stretcher.
Leviathan’s second sighting was a full-body sculpted whale by Clark Vorhees Jr (1911-1980), 18 inches long and ready to hang from tiny original metal hooks, which brought in $ 8,750. Voorhees, the son of the famous American impressionist Clark Greenwood Voorhees (1871-1933), lived and worked in Weston, Vermont. He is known for his whale sculptures, decorated in the ornamental manner of New England decoys and weathervanes.
A choice of American needlework on sale was an example that included both needlework and stumps pruning a stately colonial house in a country landscape bordered by a foliage frame topped with an American eagle . The early 19th-century artwork, in a frame size of 22-1 / 8 by 18-7 / 8 inches, left the gallery at $ 12,500.
A Gustav Dentzel exterior row carousel horse fitted with a cherub saddle and double eagle cantle was in excellent condition with a combination of original and old park paint. He brought in $ 8,750.
On the second day of the sale, a session that included antiques, Native American artwork, and fine art from estates and collections, one of the highlights was an automaton Chamber Barrel Organ – Monkey Orchestra that turned sold for more than triple its high estimate of $ 30,000. It came from the estate of American collectors Bernard and Florence Zipkin, which Giampietro has dispersed over the years.
Fine art was also featured on the second day of the sale with a dark landscape painting by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), signed lower right, 28-5 / 8 by 24-5 / 8 inches , hitting $ 25,000 and an old one The main drawing grabbed someone who knows, pushing the job 21 5/8 by 15 ¼ inches from its expectation of $ 200/400 to $ 11,875.
Finally, bidders have appreciated a good Louis Vuitton trunk, and Giampietro will ship it to the buyer who paid $ 13,750, nearly triple his high estimate.
The prices shown include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house.
Giampietro is planning a Discovery sale for mid-November and the David Good collection will be on sale January 8-9. For more information, www.newhavenauctions.com or 475-234-5120.