On the money (and in the air)

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts





Buncheong bottle

Bottle, Korean, Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), fif­teenth to sixteenth century.  Stoneware with iron oxide underglaze decoration; height 11 inches.



Kang Collection, Manhattan specialists in Korean art, sold this pear-shaped wine bottle during New York’s Asia Week in March. Priced at $25,000, it is an example of buncheong, a brushed white-slip stoneware mainly made by monks at Mount Kaeryong in southern Chungchong province, says Kang Collection president Keum Ja Kang. The bottle’s vigorous freehand decoration in iron oxide underglaze de­picts a stylized ginseng plant.


Art Across America, the first-ever survey display of more than two hundred years of American fine and decorative art to travel to South Korea, remains on view at the Dae­jeon Museum of Art through September 1. It draws from the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Terra Foundation for American Art. In exchange, an exhibition of Joseon period artifacts from the National Museum of Korea in Seoul will open at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2014 before traveling to Los Angeles and Houston.




Wounded Stag

Wounded Stag by Elie Nadelman (1882-1946), c. 1915. Bronze; height 14 ½, width 21, depth 8 inches, excluding onyx base.



Not long after his arrival in New York in 1914, the Polish-born sculptor Elie Nadelman fashioned Wounded Stag, a bronze in his modern classical style that impresario Lincoln Kirstein included in his 1973 book on Nadelman. “We believe that there are about six casts of Wounded Stag, including this one, which came directly from the artist’s grandson and sold to a col­lector at the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art, and Antique Show,” says Portland, Maine, deal­er Tom Veilleux, who priced the work in the six figures. Casts of Wounded Stag are in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Honolulu Academy of Arts.


Drawing from a trove of more than two thousand artifacts assembled by Elie Nadelman and his wife, Viola, the New-York Historical Society is organizing The Folk Art Collection of Elie Nadelman: Mak­ing it Modern, an exhibition of roughly one hundred objects that will open in 2015 and travel for two years. According to the museum, the show is the first ma­jor examination of Nadelman’s influential role in folk art collecting.





Charleston chair

Open armchair, probably Charleston, South Carolina, 1765-1775. Mahogany with later cypress plank seat; height 39 ½, width 28, depth 20 inches.



In their three-volume survey The Furniture of Charleston 1680-1820, Bradford L. Rauschenberg and John Bivins Jr. concluded that this mahogany open arm­chair in the Chinese Chippendale taste was from Charleston. Though it lacks a secondary wood that might confirm its place of manufacture, it has a lengthy history in the Rutledge and Lucas families of Hampton plantation and may have originally belonged to Daniel Huger Horry (1737-1785), who married a woman of Lucas descent. On behalf of a client, Anne McPherson of John Bivins Associates in Nashville acquired the chair, auctioned for $47,200 at Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina, on March 23.


King Street dealer Bryan E. Riddle of Moore House American Antiques in Charleston is offering the only other known example of the chair. The pair descended together until the early twentieth century. Accord­ing to Riddle, Philadelphia collector Henry McIlhenny (1910-1986) acquired his chair from Curran Gallery in New Jersey in 1937. Christie’s auctioned it as part of McIlhen­ny’s estate in 1987.




San Ildefonso bowl

Bowl by Maria Martinez (1887-1980) and Julian Martinez (1885-1943), San Ildefonso Pueblo, NewMexico, c. 1930. Signed “Marie + Julian” on the bottom. Earthenware with matte and polished slip; height 5 ½, diameter 8 inches.


Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, is credited with popularizing so­phisticated black-on-black earthenware pottery combining matte and polished sur­faces around 1919. Many of her works graft Tewa Indian motifs such as stylized rain birds, feathers, and serpents onto sleek modernist-influenced shapes. “Her sense of form and design have solidified her place as a master in the ceramics market,” says Mark Sublette, president of Medicine Man Gallery of Santa Fe and Tucson, who recent­ly sold this bowl, priced at $4,500, by Maria and her husband, Julian.


Home to exceptional holdings of Native American and Spanish colonial art and artifacts, the Taos, New Mexico-based Millicent Rogers Museum has reinstalled its extensive collection of pottery and memorabilia documenting the careers of Maria Martinez and her family, who began giving works to the museum in 1984. Pencil in October 11 to 13, when Zaplin-Lampert Gallery, Coulter- Brooks Art and Antiques, and other leading specialist dealers will participate in the museum’s first annual antiques show in Taos.





West Point painting

West Point from Fort Putnam by Robert Havell Jr. (1793-1878), 1848. Oil on canvas, 28 by 40 inches.



Better known as an engraver for John James Audubon (1785-1851), Robert Havell Jr. also painted in oil and watercolor, though surviving works by him in these mediums are rare. This panoramic view from Fort Putnam, on the west bank of the Hudson River about fifty miles north of Manhattan, depicts West Point as it appeared in 1848, forty-six years after the founding of the U.S. Military Academy. The painting recently sold for an undisclosed price to a collector.


“This iconic picture tells the whole story of the Hudson River,” says Laurel Acevedo of Alexander Gallery in Manhattan. “John K. Howat published it in his seminal reference The Hudson River and Its Painters in 1972 and it has long been known and admired by scholars and collectors.” Catch The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, from June 29 to September 29.





Burlington County sampler

Sampler by Kiziah Sharp (b. 1810), Burlington County, New Jersey, 1825. Silk on linen with silk ribbon, 23 ½ by 23 inches.




Kiziah Sharp worked this sampler, sold by M. Finkel and Daughter of Philadelphia, in 1825. Off the market for four decades and illustrated in Betty Ring’s Girlhood Embroidery: American Samplers and Pictorial Needlework 1650-1850, it belongs to a distinctive group of needlework created at Quaker schools in BurlingtonCounty, New Jersey. The best examples are known for their lively composi­tions centering elaborate dwellings in lawns populated with people and animals.


Burlington County samplers bring top dollar at auction. In 2012 Sotheby’s sold Mary Antrim’s sampler for $1,070,500, an auction record, as part of the Betty Ring Collection. “There’s a real mystique about Burlington County samplers and this one is a ten. It is wonderfully composed and has all the bells and whistles, including its original dark blue silk ribbon and frame,” says Amy Finkel.     samplings.com