NEW YORK, NY.-
On the morning of January 24, 2009, Sothebys
will offer a single-owner sale of The Property of Dr. and Mrs. Henry C. Landon III as a highlight of its Americana Week sales. The sale will comprise furniture, paintings and decorative arts collected by Dr. and Mrs. Landon over several decades, beginning in the 1960s. The 112 works from the collection are will be exhibited alongside Important Americana at Sothebys New York galleries beginning January 17.
Leslie Keno, Senior Vice President and Director of Sothebys American Furniture and Decorative Arts Department said, We are delighted to be offering the Landon collection, which includes many very fine and rare pieces. Hank and Barbara are passionate collectors for whom the sole criterion for purchase has always been to love what they buy.
They began collecting soon after their marriage, and were among pioneer collectors in North Carolina at the time, living in Dr. Landons hometown of North Wilkesboro. In the mid-1960s they met Jim Craig and Sam Tarlton, Raleigh antiques dealer who quickly became their friends and closest advisors as they gradually formed their esteemed collection, often cycling through several generations and upgrading pieces until they found the best example. Dr. and Mrs. Landons collection has been profiled by numerous publications, and in both 2006 and 2008 they were named among Art & Antiques list of top collectors. In 2005 their collection was the subject of a dedicated exhibition at Dr. Landons alma mater, the University of Virginia Art Museum, entitled A Jeffersonian Ideal: Selections from the Dr. and Mrs. Henry C. Landon III Collection of American Fine and Decorative Arts, which included many of the works to be offered in January.
The Francis P. Garvan Important Rococo Carved and Figured Walnut Scroll-Top High Chest of Drawers, the carving attributed to Nicholas Bernard, Philadelphia, circa 1755-60 will be among the highlights of the sale (est. $200,000/1 million). The finely carved highchest represented the height of wealth and status in 1760 America with Rococo flourishes such as the three detailed carved shells, executed by the accomplished carver Nicholas Bernard. In emphasizing the control of line over the sculpting of mass, the techniques were well integrated and skillfully articulated. Remarkably, this chest retains its original cartouche, which represents Bernards most sculptural work and follows the patter of those found on several other case pieces with carving attributed to him. The chest was included in the landmark 1929 Girl Scouts Loan exhibition, which led the way for the creation of the American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Also featured will be a Very Rare Federal Ornately Inlaid and Carved Cherrywood, Mahogany, and Maple Serpentine-Front Sideboard, attributed to Nathan Lombard, Springfield, Massachusetts, circa 1795 (est. $80/160,000). An exuberant New England interpretation of the Federal style, this sideboard epitomizes the height of workmanship in rural Massachusetts. Few other comparable American sideboards are known with a shaped form and inlaid decoration of this exceptional quality, and of the approximately forty pieces associated with Lombards shop, only eight are sideboards. Among the highlights of Massachusetts furniture will also be a Fine and Rare William and Mary Ebonized and Burl Walnut-Veneered Dressing Table, Massachusetts, circa 1715 (est. $30/100,000), and a Fine Queen Anne Carved and Figured Maple Bonnet-Top High Chest of Drawers, Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1765 (est. $30/80,000).
The sale will also include a Fine and Rare Set of Eight Federal Satinwood-Inlaid and Carved Mahogany Dining Chairs, Baltimore or Philadelphia, circa 1800 (est. $50/150,000). Large sets of American Federal style seating furniture are a rarity, and few survive today. The present set was purchased by Philip D. Wolhopter, a proprietor of a local newspaper in Savannah, Georgia, on the occasion of his marriage in 1804.
The Ten Eyck Family Fine and Very Rare William and Mary Turned and Figured Walnut High Chest of Drawers, New York, circa 1730 will also be among the highlights (est. $30/100,000). High chests of drawers supported by tall turned-leg frames offered a sharp departure from the ground-oriented joined chests made by the previous generation of colonial craftsmen, and like other chests of drawers, the present example typically would have been used for storage or fabrics and textiles. The present example reflects the Baroque concern for verticality and the contrast between thick and thin components, such as the six trumpetand-cup turned legs with a heavy dome quality, which play off of the sharp narrowing of the trumpet turnings.
Among the highlights of Dr. and Mrs. Landons paintings collection to be offered are George Luks Snack-Boy Eating Apple (est. $10/30,000); Elihu Vedders 1894 canvas Street Scene at Capri (est. $5/10,000); and Antonio Jacobsens 1878 pair of paintings, City of Berlin: A Pair (est. $8/10,000).