January auctions in New York are devoted to Americana and Old Master works of art. Here’s a sampling of noteworthy objects on view starting this weekend. You’ll find preview schedules, catalogues—and sometimes videos and blogs related to highlights—on the websites.
CHRISTIE’S • christies.com
Americana Week begins here with Important Silver. The Jan. 24 sale features a rare drum-form teapot by Paul Revere, and enamel and mixed-metal pieces by Tiffany. The auction of American Furniture and Folk Art on Jan. 25 includes a signed John Townsend bureau table that has been passed down in the Pell and Coster families, and extraordinary needlework samplers from the Stonington Collection of Dolf Fuchs. Among a wide selection of English and Chinese Export Ceramics to be sold on Jan. 28 is a rare dish from the “Lady Washington States China” tea service.
The focus moves to the Old Masters, beginning with a print sale on Jan. 29: Albrecht Dürer: Masterpieces from a Private Collection, which includes a complete set of the “Engraved Passion,” as well as hand-colored examples from the series (some were exhibited in the memorable show of prints at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2002-’03). Old Master Paintings on Jan. 30 features an early and exquisite “Annunciation” by Annibale Carracci, publicly exhibited for the first time. The same day, a session of Renaissance Art presents a mesmerizing Fra Bartolommeo “Madonna and Child” in its original tondo frame, Antonio Pollaiuolo’s complex engraving “Battle of the Nudes,” Titian’s 12-block woodcut “Submersion of Pharaoh’s Army in the Red Sea” and a chalk-and-ink drawing by Raphael. The centerpiece of the Jan. 31 sale of Old Master and Early British Drawings and Watercolors is an outstanding private collection containing the sensitive pen-and-ink “Head of a Bearded Man” by Parmigianino and a highly finished pencil drawing by Ingres of the formidable Comtesse Marie d’Agoult and her daughter Claire, 1849. Marie was a musician, writer (using a male nom de plume), popular salonière and lover of Franz Liszt, with whom she had three children.
SOTHEBY’S • sothebys.com
A large sale of Americana on Jan. 25 and 26 includes American silver, fine furniture ranging from elegant Colonial to elaborate Gothic revival, with stellar pieces being sold by the Philadelphia Museum of Art to benefit future acquisitions, some nice paintings, and an unusual group of 19 sketches depicting life at a Civil War camp for Confederate soldiers in Maryland made by a prisoner there. A session on the afternoon of Jan. 26 offers fine furniture and other items from the Collection of Dr. Larry McCallister, including a delightful self-portrait painted by Anna Claypoole Peale, whose father James was the younger brother of Charles Willson Peale.
The Old Master sessions begin on Jan. 29 and 30 with Property from the Estate of Giancarlo Baroni, a collector-dealer whose holdings included paintings, drawings and some very nice carved and gilded picture frames. A wide-ranging sale of Old Master Drawings on the 30th boasts an early anatomical drawing by Rubens and one of Blake’s watercolors illustrating Robert Blair’s once-famous poem “The Grave.” Among the stars of the large Feb. 1 auction of Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture are the recently discovered painting “Christ Blessing” by Memling that was in a New England family collection for more than 150 years, the elderly Goya’s portrait of his grandson Mariano and a major watercolor, “View of Heidelberg,” by Turner. Splendid decorative objects are offered in a small Feb. 1 session, Masterworks. Additional sessions of Old Master and 19th Century Paintings and Drawings on Feb. 1 and 2 round out the week here.
BONHAMS • bonhams.com
The cover lot of the Jan. 24 auction of Fine American and European Furniture, Silver and Decorative Arts is an impressive Connecticut chest-on-chest with its original seahorse finial. Among unexpected pieces in this smorgasbord are Russian icons and a needlework map depicting the “Duke’s Plan” of Manhattan. In addition to ship’s portraits and maritime memorabilia, the Jan. 25 sale of Important Maritime Paintings and Decorative Arts offers a dollhouse outfitted as a maritime museum.
SWANN • swanngalleries.com
The Jan. 24 sale of 20th Century Illustration will appeal to viewers of all ages. It begins with an extensive Maurice Sendak collection formed by the late book dealer Reed Orenstein. The rest of the auction comprises original art by a diverse cast of famed illustrators and cartoonists. Among the Old Master Drawings offered on Jan. 29 are a vivid chalk head of a young woman by Guido Reni, two radiant ink-and-wash drawings by G.B. Tiepolo, a black chalk sketch of two satyrs by Boucher and a panoramic gouache on vellum view of Rome by Gaspar van Wittel.