October 3rd Auction starting at 5:30 PM
A strong offering of Connecticut furniture with ownership descending in the same family from the 18th C. to the present owners includes a pair of rare matching Queen Anne high chest and dressing table, along with a Chapin School dropleaf dining table. From an estate in New Haven Connecticut that has been the source of an astounding quilt collection of comes an Erastus Salisbury Field oil on canvas. Additionally, is a wide variety of Americana, clocks, prints, Asian, tribal, jewelry, silver, the last part of Oriental rugs from a large Canton, CT home, and the third, and possibly largest, offering of quilts and textiles from a New Haven estate will go on the block.
An early Queen Anne flat top high chest and dressing table c. 1740, with impeccable provenance, consists of the only matched pair in the region prior to 1750 that survives together according to the Kugelmans that cataloged it in Connecticut Valley Furniture. They further state that the pieces imitate the Boston style but are made with locally sourced walnut veneer, and points out that the pair boasts well articulated legs and feet of the same height. Additionally, it states the high chest’s backboards are set in grooves cut in the underside of the top board, a technique distinctive of the Hartford area. Also documented in the publication is the history of the pieces which have been continuously owned by the Talcott family of Hartford, beginning with Mabel Wyllys (1713 – 1775) and Samuel Talcott (1711 – 1797) and were likely part of her dowery when they married in 1739. Both pieces are featured as Catalog 11 & 12.
Another exciting piece of Connecticut furniture, an Eliphalet Chapin School dropleaf dining table, is strikingly similar to the illustration Figure 3.5 in Kuglemans’ Connecticut Valley Furniture.
As highlighted in Kugelman’s, the table illustrates the preeminent cabinetmaker’s signature style of blending Philadelphia rococo and Connecticut valley techniques, especially the unusually well carved cabriole legs and claw and ball feet as well as his signature “clean look” which eliminated any exposed dovetails, nails, and pegs to exposed areas. Also mentioned in the publication is the fact most Chapin examples come from Windsor and East Windsor families, as this example does, having passed down through the family for generations to the current descendent of an East Windsor Hill Family. Chapin relocated from Philadelphia in 1771 to open a shop on Main Street, East Windsor (now East Windsor Hill in South Windsor).
From the same New Haven estate that has provided an important quilt collection comes a rare privately owned oil on canvas attributed to Erastus Salisbury Field (American, 1805 – 1900). Between 1865 and 1880, Erastus Salisbury Field created a series of paintings illustrating the Ten Plagues of Egypt intended as decoration for the walls of the North Congregational Church in North Amherst, Massachusetts. The artist’s deep religious beliefs and strongly held anti-slavery views expressed in these and other biblical works was no doubt the result of his relationship since boyhood with this church. Known as unusually progressive, and with a commitment to biblical text, the church’s congregation included many members of the Amherst Anti-Slavery Society decades before the Civil War which, in 1830, had removed a clause that denied Blacks the privilege of a seat. Inspired by a mezzotint of the Seventh Plague of Egypt by the English artist John Martin, Field’s version of “Aaron in a Hailstorm”, depicts a port city in a violent storm, viewed from a terrace above, with the figure of Aaron, arms upraised, pointing his staff at the panicked crowds below.
This previously unknown work, came to light after the 1984 landmark Erastus Salisbury Field exhibition at the Springfield Museum in Springfield Massachusetts, when the painting was brought in for examination by painting conservator Emil G. Schnorr and the exhibition curator and art historian Mary Black who determined the work to be by Field. It is not known how many examples from the artist’s Plague Series were actually produced by the artist, any other examples currently appear to exist only in museums, so it’s arrival upon the auction block will be a rare occurrence.
Other exciting offerings in the sale from the West Hartford home that held the high chest and dressing table pair are a 19th C. gilt convex mirror and a fine collection of 19th C. clocks. From the Canton and New Haven estates a Pennsylvania bookcase and corner cupboard c. 1780, four American painted blanket chests and 25+ Oriental carpets. Many Asian and tribal items from a Massachusetts collector include bronzes, Temple carvings, Native American baskets, Grand Tour items, etc., also Wengenroth’s “Quiet Hour”, beyond the 35 plus quilts from New Haven are 19th C. clothing and flat textiles that are in fine condition will be sold. Twentieth century designer accessories include three Louis Vuitton purses, Hermes and other silk scarves, an 18K Tiffany brooch along with other gold, diamond and pearl jewelry, silver, five guitars, German and French dolls, etc.
This sale will be live at the Plainville CT gallery starting at 5:30pm on October 3rd. Winter Associates’ auction catalog is available online at www.AuctionsAppraisers.com as of Friday, September 23rd. Winter Associates, Inc. is located in central Connecticut at 21 Cooke Street in Plainville, CT. Previews are Friday, September 30th from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Sunday, October 2nd from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.; and on Monday, October 3rd from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Previewers are welcome at other times, please call to schedule an appointment. (860) 793-0288.
Absentee bids can be submitted prior to the sale and bidders are welcome to actively bid during the sale online or by phone bid. Pickup will be by appointment only, please call the office and we will do our best to accommodate you.
*Some information taken from the following publication:
Thomas P. Kugelman, Alice K. Kugelman, Robert Lionetti, “Connecticut Valley furniture: Eliphalet Chapin and his contemporaries, 1750-1800”, Connecticut Historical Society Museum ; Distributed by University Press of New England, Hartford, Hanover, ©2005