Auction of the Week: Sotheby's Folk Art Collection of David Teiger Sale, January 20, 2019



2019-01-09 13:24:34

This week's featured auction is 'The History of Now: The Important American Folk Art Collection of David Teiger', which takes place at Sotheby's in New York on January 20. The collection features a remarkable array of important carvings, ship's figureheads, weathervanes and bird decoys – and here are ten of our favourite lots...

Printed Newspaper Advertisement for a Stallion

Estimate: $100 - $150

An original newspaper advert from the New Milford Gazette, circa 1888, advertising the stud services of Victor, a three-year-old stallion with "good style and action" and a "kind disposition".

Pair of Art Deco Dachshund Bookends

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000

A pair of cast bronze Art Deco bookends in the form of Dachshunds, dated circa 1930.

19th Century Ship's Head Carving of a Native American Maiden

Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000

A carved and polychromed pine ship's figurehead depicting a Native American maiden, believed to originate from New England circa 1840.

19th Century Grey Hound weathervane

Estimate: $25,000 - $50,000

A 19th century copper and cast-zinc Grey Hound weathervane, described as "one of the most impressive and appealing of all American dog vanes".

The weathervane was produced by J. Howard & Co. of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts circa 1860, and is the only known example by the company in its original condition.

19th Century Carving of Miss Liberty

Estimate: $25,000 - $50,000

A unique polychromed wood carving of Miss Liberty, dated circa 1875, which originated from a boathouse in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, on the border of Lake Winnipesaukee.

19th Century Flying Horse weathervane

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

A molded and sheet copper weathervane depicting a flying horse, complete with traces of its original paint, originating from Boston, Massachusetts and dated circa 1860.

19th Century Ship's Head Carving of Oliver Hazard Perry

Estimate: $50,000 - $80,000

A carved and polychromed wood ship's figurehead depicting the U.S Naval Commander Oliver Hazard Perry (1785–1819).

Perry famously captured an entire squadron of British ships at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813, and was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 1814. His personal flag, which included the motto "Don't give up the ship", is now owned by the US Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland.

This figurehead is believed to have been carved for a large frigate, circa 1825, in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Standing Tiger by Augustus 'Gus' Wilson

Estimate: $250,000 - $500,000

A large carved and polychromed pine tiger by folk artist Augustus Wilson (1864-1950).

Wilson was an eccentric boatbuilder and fisherman who worked as a lighthouse keeper at Spring Point Light in South Portland, Maine from 1917 to 1934.

During this period he spent many long hours of solitude carving and whittling an array of animals, using a hatchet, chisel and his Boy Scout pocket knife.

Most of his work depicted birds, but he occasionally carved larger animals including three standing tigers, which he then finished using automotive and boat paint.

This example was inspired by a 1931 newspaper article on Emyr, a huge tiger exhibited in Portland by the Ringling Brothers Circus.

19th Century Carved Long-Billed Curlew Decoy

Estimate: $300,000 - $500,000

A carved and polychromed wood decoy in the form of a Long-Billed Curlew, a large American shorebird, dated circa 1880 – 1890.

Although the identity of the carver is unknown, it's clear that the bird's form was heavily influenced by John James Audubon's painting of the Long-Billed Curlew in his iconic work Birds of America.

The decoy was originally owned by Dr. John Charles Phillips (1876-1938) an ornithologist, hunter and author who gunned over a shorebird rig in Wenham, Massachusetts during the early 20th century.

Captain Jinks wooden carving

Estimate: $400,000 - $600,000

A carved and polychromed wood statue of 'Captain Jinks', a famous character originating from the 1868 Brooklyn music hall song 'Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines'.

The song portrayed Jinks as a comically inept military leader, and its chorus was often sung by soldiers:

"I’m Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines,
I give my horse good corn and beans,
Of course ’tis quite beyond my means,
Though a Captain in the army."

The statue, dated circa 1880, is believed to be the work of Thomas J. White (1825-1905), a renowned New York figure carver who produced several versions of Captain Jinks during his career.

Further examples can be found in museum collections including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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