April 22nd, 2013

William Tylee Ranney (1813-1857), Tories with a Prisoner, circa 1857. This 14¼" x 17¼" oil on canvas has had a long exhibition history and has been published in a catalog of Ranney’s works. With a Spanierman Gallery provenance, it sold for $43,750 (est. $20,000/30,000).

This 6" x 4½" cased image of a Civil War Union drummer boy sold for $2250 (est. $500/700).

Charles Yardley Turner (1850-1919), The Bridal Procession (The Marriage of Priscilla and John Alden), signed and dated “Copyright 1886.” The 48½" x 99" oil on canvas illustrates Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s ending for his long narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. The painting had been exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1886 and in 1891 had been purchased by collector William T. Evans and given that year to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the Doyle sale it was another historical work from the Spanierman Gallery consignment and sold for $16,250 (est. $4000/6000).

This 8¾" x 10 7/8" sketch ofcloudsby Thomas Cole (1801-1848), oil on paper laid down to canvas, painted circa 1838, was owned in succession by Bucks County collectors John H. Ruckman and Charles V. Swain. According to the catalog, Ruckman had bought it from Cole’s granddaughter Florence Cole Vincent (1876-1961) in 1932 at one of her porch sales. It sold here for $34,375 (est. $15,000/25,000).

William Trost Richards (1833-1905), Rocky Hillside, signed. The unframed 10" x 20" oil on board from the Spanierman Gallery consignment sold for $22,500 (est. $3000/5000). According to the catalog, it dates from the Pre-Raphaelite phase in Richards’s art (1850-69) and illustrates John Ruskin’s advice that artists render nature in minute detail, “thereby showing an appreciation of God’s blessing of every blade of grass and slab of rock.”

Doyle New York, New York City

Photos courtesy Doyle New York

Paintings carried the day on April 22 at the Doyle New York auction of American furniture, decorative arts, and 19th-century paintings. The paintings, with many identified views, were well cataloged with quotes from experts. The result was that there was competitive interest in nearly 100 landscapes, still lifes, and genre paintings. Two Colonial Revival historical scenes sold over estimates.

Thirty-three of the paintings came from the Spanierman Gallery collection, which Doyle New York has been selling during the last year or two, since the gallery has decided to focus more on 20th-century material and to auction some of the earlier paintings in its inventory. At least one painting came from the estate of architect and supporter of dance and music Walfredo Toscanini, grandson of the maestro Arturo Toscanini.

The furniture did not excite, but a few private buyers in the salesroom and a half a dozen dealers at the back of the room competed with phone bidders and bidders on line. Some Havell prints of birds after John James Audubon brought more than expected, and some small Audubon quadrupeds did not. In all, Doyle New York sold 90% of the 274 lots offered for a total of $934,244 (includes buyers’ premiums).

The top lot of the sale was a circa 1857 oil on canvas by William Tylee Ranney (1813-1857), Tories with a Prisoner. It sold for $43,750 (est. $20,000/30,000). The work is one of a group of eight paintings depicting the Revolutionary War period created by Ranney in the 1850’s.

A historical picture by Charles Yardley Turner, The Bridal Procession (The Marriage of Priscilla and John Alden), signed “C.Y. Turner” and “Copyright 1886” lower right (a 48½" x 99" oil on canvas) sold for $16,250 (est. $4000/6000). Like the Ranney, it was a Spanierman consignment. It illustrates the ending of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s long narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. After the painting had been exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1886, it was purchased in 1891 by collector William T. Evans and given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which, according to the catalog, deaccessioned it at auction at Plaza Galleries in 1956.

A dramatic and fresh oil sketch of clouds painted by Thomas Cole sold for $34,375 (est. $15,000/25,000.) Sunset by George Inness from the Toscanini estate fetched $23,750 (est. $10,000/15,000).

Furniture prices were lower. A Federal tall-case clock, circa 1800, by Elnathan Taber of Roxbury, Massachusetts, sold in the salesroom for $13,750 (est. $10,000/15,000). That was counterbalanced by the cover lot, a Federal tall-case clock in a mahogany case. Its hood was inlaid with stars, and the works were attributed to Robert Woods and Jacob Taylor of Florida and New York. The clock has an Israel Sack provenance. Estimated at $15,000/20,000, it failed to sell.

A few pieces of furniture sold over estimates. A Federal mahogany secretary/bookcase sold for $7500 (est. $3000/5000); a tambour desk with an eagle inlay fetched $6875 (est. $2000/3000); and a serpentine chest of drawers sold for $5000 (est. $3000/4000).

Consigned by Bennington College, a Jacob Hurd silver porringer sold for $8125 (est. $4000/6000); a Boston silver porringer by Benjamin Burt went for $4375 (est. $4000/6000); and a silver cann by Jacob Hurd fetched $5625 (est. $3000/5000). From another source, a Chinese export porcelain drum-shaped teapot sold together with a Chinese export silver coffeepot with repoussé decoration for $4063 (est. $800/1200). Other silver fared less well.

Doyle generally turns up surprises from estates, so dealers, collectors, furnishers, and decorators check out these sales regularly. This time they found some good paintings and some Colonial silver; perhaps more desirable furniture and accessories will turn up in the fall.

For more information, visit the Doyle New York Web site ( or call (212) 427-2730.

This 8-ounce, 8" long silver porringer by Jacob Hurd of Boston with a keyhole handle, consigned by Bennington College, sold for $8125. Another porringer (not shown) by Benjamin Burt of Boston, mid-18th century, 8½" long, 9 ounces, also consigned by Bennington College, sold for $4375 (est. $4000/6000).

Federal brass-mounted inlaid mahogany tall-case clock by Elnathan Taber, Roxbury, Massachusetts, circa 1800. The bonnet has pierced frets and brass finials above a molded, arched door flanked by stop-fluted columns enclosing the painted dial decorated with two birds and with a moon phase indicator, day-of-the-month and subsidiary seconds dial. The case is inlaid with fans at the corners and with string inlay. It stands on bracket feet and has the original setup label inside the waist door. (This is the bottom of a label used by Simon Willard.) It stands 7'6" high, 20" wide, and 10¼" deep and has a Delaney Antique Clocks provenance. It sold to collectors in the salesroom for $13,750. (At Christie’s in New York City in January 2001, it had sold for $25,850.)

This Federal early 19th-century tambour writing desk with inlaid figured mahogany is 45" high x 36" wide x 20" deep. The tambour doors open to reveal drawers and pigeonholes with valances above a fold-out writing surface and two drawers. It is raised on square tapering legs. It sold for $6875 (est. $2000/3000).

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest

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