The Four Seasons Suite Attributed to Fatqua, Canton, China, 1805-1815. Estimate: $150,000-250,000
The Four Seasons Suite Attributed to Fatqua, Canton, China, 1805-1815. Estimate: $150,000-250,000

Rare Chinese trade paintings, Clemens Sand Bottle and American Miniatures Highlight Nov. Americana Auctions at Bonhams Skinner

MARLBOROUGH, MA – Bonhams Skinner is pleased to announce two upcoming live and online sales from the Americana department. Comprising over 500 lots in total, the sales including a very fine collection of weathervanes and country painted furniture and boxes. Honoring the many warm and welcoming colors on display here, “The Autumn Palette” will take place in the Marlborough Auction Room on Friday, November 18th, and its companion timed online sale will begin on November 11th, and close at 7PM on November 21st.

Large and Impressive Inverted Sand Picture in a Bottle
Andrew Clemens, McGregor, Iowa, 1887.

Estimate: $150,000-250,000
Large and Impressive Inverted Sand Picture in a Bottle Andrew Clemens, McGregor, Iowa, 1887. Estimate: $150,000-250,000

The two fall Americana sales boast a strong and vibrant collection of American household goods from the 18th and 19th centuries, and both the live “Autumn Palette” and timed “Hearth and Home” sales present a strong offering of lots. A foremost highlight of the live auction is The Four Seasons Suite, four paintings attributed to Fatqua, from Canton, China ca. 1805-1815 (est. $150,000-250,000). Intricately detailing the daily life and ritual practices of coastal China from throughout the seasonal year, this domestic celebration of the Qing Dynasty is an exquisite artifact dating from the early days of New England’s international maritime trade. Believed to have been originally purchased in Boston at Child’s Gallery in the 1950s, and featuring examples of nighttime and winter landscapes largely unheard of in Chinese landscape art of this period, this is a rare complete suite that presents an exemplary exegesis of early 19th-century Chinese life.

Equally rare and significant for its quality is an inverted sand picture in a bottle, 1887 by the formidable Iowa sand artist Andrew Clemens (est. $150,000-250,000). Featured on early postcards and in literature previously published about Clemens, this is an uncommon example of a sand picture to have been arranged in an inverted bottle. Featuring the intricate detail-work and bright polychrome colors the artist was known for, the bottle includes an incredibly fine depiction of a ship at sea on one side, with an inscription of “Merry Christmas” on the other. It would certainly make for an unforgettable stocking stuffer.

Kimberly Walin, mentored by her father, highly regarded antique dealer Robert S. Walin, will also have her exemplary weathervane collection presented in the live auction. The weathervanes being offered include a Lexington horse, rooster, horse & sulky, a Merino Ewe, and a molded and gilt copper “Ranger” setter weathervane (est. $6,000-8,000) attributed to Cushing & White Ironworks in Waltham, Mass. The weathervanes are particularly notable for their surface and condition.

Molded and Gilt Copper "Ranger" Setter Weathervane
Attributed to Cushing & White, Waltham, Massachusetts, c. 1875.

Estimate: $6,000-8,000
Molded and Gilt Copper “Ranger” Setter Weathervane Attributed to Cushing & White, Waltham, Massachusetts, c. 1875. Estimate: $6,000-8,000

An extraordinary group of furniture and colorful small 18th and 19th-century objects arrive here from the collection of Maryellen & Brendan O’Toole. Among the objects are several examples of Samuel and Cotton Hersey’s miniature staved firkins, which are quite collectable today. Several six-board blanket boxes from Vermont, in variations ranging from polychrome paint imitation wood-grain approximating exotic woods, have a contemporary feel. Dressing up local wood types like white pine or poplar, these skilled crafts speak to the character of rural American life as it contended with 19th-century aspirations of luxury.

The O’Toole collection also includes a pair of miniature watercolor portraits attributed to Rufus Porter (est. $1,500-2,500). An eccentric folk artist now beloved by antiquarians, Porter’s breakthroughs in developing miniature landscapes and portraits once earned him the nickname “the Yankee DaVinci.” A scarce guidebook to his techniques, published by Porter in 1826 as A Select Collection of Valuable and Curious Arts (est. $400-600) will also be offered.

About Bonhams Skinner

Bonhams Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. In March 2022, Skinner was acquired by the global auction house Bonhams, simultaneously bringing Skinner to the world’s stage and providing Bonhams with greater access to the North American market. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Bonhams Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Bonhams Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 20-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York, Maine, Florida, or online at https://skinner.bonhams.com/

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