Hammers Fall on the First Lots of Americana Week

Seymour Table Keno Americana WeekA fancy painted card table, by Thomas Seymour, a blown flask, a winter painting by Walter Palmer and two sofas in a classical form provide additional highlights in a an auction featuring a broad spectrum of American art and decorative arts. Keno Auctions’ Important Americana, Paintings, Furniture and Decorative Arts kicked off Americana Week activities.

The Boston fancy-painted and gilt Federal card table, attributed to Thomas Seymour and decorative painter John Penniman, had a provenance stretching back to the 1730s in Boston. The table retained most of its original painted decoration intact.

The table appears illustrated in the article John Penniman and the Ornamental Painting Tradition in Federal-Era Boston, written by Robert Mussey and Christopher Shelton and published in American Furniture 2010. Estimated at $50,000-$100,000, the table brought $347,200.00 ( including the BP), a record for a painted Federal table. This lot followed the possible record-setting sale of a joined chest. With a high estimate of $100,000 the Drake Family Carved and Painted Joined Chest did more than six times that, bringing $642,400.00 ( including the BP).

Another impressive result came with the auction of a Columbia Blown Flask featuring thirteen small six-pointed stars in semi-circle above bust. On reverse, a large American Eagle, head turned to right with nine vertical bars on shield. Estimated at $5,000-10,000, the flask brought $24,800 (Including BP).

A painting titled Winter Twilight by Walter Palmer signed and inscribed indistinctly in pencil on the stretcher, was estimated at $15,000 – $25,000, but brought $35,000 at the auction.

Chinese export sofa Americana Week KenoA mahogany sofa in the classical form with birds-eye maple brought a respectable $5500, close to the high estimate of $6,000. According to the catalog, the sofa was likely from Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1815. It seems it takes more exception for things in the classical form from this era to set records these days. A diminutive Chinese export upholstered sofa didn’t fare so well. This circa 1825 sofa failed to sell with a price of only $1,700 appearing on the screen.

“You can let the dog sleep on it for that,” the auctioneer said as the lot passed.

About Eric Miller

Eric Miller is co-founder and contributor to Urban Art & Antiques. His website is ericmiller.me

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