Cowan’s to present American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts Sale

Art Daily
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A Large Carved and Painted Miss Martin Ship Form Bird House, American, 20th Century.
A Large Carved and Painted Miss Martin Ship Form Bird House, American, 20th Century.

CINCINNATI, OH.- On March 9 and 10, Cowan’s, a Hindman company, will present its American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts auction. The sale will feature property from the collection of Paul M. Bentley, a lifelong collector of idiosyncratic Americana and folk art, who, along with his wife Judith, built a one-of-a-kind collection which they installed in their equally unique home on the banks of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. There will also be objects from the collection of Noel and Kathryn Dickinson Wadsworth, who are among the original founders of the Auburn Fine Arts Museum, the estate of James A. Sanders of Evansville and New Harmony, Indiana, and the collection of Karen Tosterud.

Notable paintings in the sale include Joseph Whiting Stock’s Portrait of a Boy in Red with Dog and Hoop Toy (estimate is $10,000-20,000), and Portraits of Robert Henry and Sarah Ann Hodges Boorman, attributed to Rembrandt Peale (estimate is $8,000-12,000). Robert’s brother, James Boorman, formed the firm of Boorman & Johnston, which almost entirely controlled the Dundee linen trade from Scotland, and who went on to serve as director of the Hudson River Railroad Company.

Standout furniture includes a mid-19th century Federal fylfot and fan inlaid cherrywood chest of drawers, likely of Greene Co., Tennessee (estimate is $4,000-8000), and a late 18th century Federal tall case clock with an elaborate, though later, grain paint (estimate is $3,000-5,000).

Outstanding lots from the Bentley collection include a sternboard portrait bust of Daniel Webster, previously from the collection of Stephen and Petra Levin (estimate is $6,000-9,000), a large carved and painted Miss Martin ship-form bird house (estimate is $2,000-4,000), and an eight-foot long carved wood alligator figure from Spring Point Light, Maine (estimate is $2,000-4,000). The Wadsworth collection, featured in Time magazine in the early 1980s, includes Alonzo Chappel’s historically iconic George Washington at Princeton, 1777 one of the artist’s most noteworthy works (estimate is $5,000-7,000) and it was previously exhibited at the Julie Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University in Alabama.

Highlights from the Sanders estate include a country grain-painted stepback cupboard (estimate is $1,000-2,000), a cast iron M&L architectural bank from the early 20th century (estimate is $3,000-5,000), and numerous lots of Bennington and Rockingham glazed table wares. Karen Tosterud’s collection, which reflects her love for painted Scandinavian antiques, includes a Federal red-painted pine tall case clock by Ohio manufacturer and businessman Gary Lewis (estimate is $1,000-2,000), as well as numerous carved wood Dala horses.

Bidding for the March 9 and 10 auction will begin at 10:00 am ET. Bidders will be able to participate via absentee bid, by phone, or live online on Cowan’s website. Previews for the auction will be available at Cowan’s facilities by appointment only.