ATLANTA — An original oil painting by the renowned magazine and commercial illustrator Haddon “Sunny” Sundblom (1899-1976) is the expected top lot at the Summer Estates Auction planned for Aug. 4, by Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery.
The 1963 painting, titled “1914 Kentucky Derby,” shows the horse “Old Rosebud” winning the derby by eight lengths, a record that lasted 17 years. The large work was commissioned by Robert Hensley and was unveiled at Churchill Downs just before the start of the 1963 Kentucky Derby.
Sundblom is best known for his magazine renderings of Santa Claus, done for Coca-Cola.
It will be just the fifth auction for Ahlers & Ogletree, but the firm is no newcomer to the greater Atlanta arts and antiques scene. It operates three established retail locations in the region.
The Aug. 4 auction promises to be Ahlers & Ogletree’s largest auction to date. Offered will be more than 500 fresh-to-the-market lots from three prominent local estates and other consignors. Items will include fine works of art, American- and continental-period furniture, antique clocks, lamps and lighting, art glass, estate jewelry, watches and decorative accessories.
One of the prominent Atlanta estates will feature items descended from Henry St. John, a nobleman with roots in Georgia that date to the mid-18th century. Items from the estate include a Tiffany coffee pot engraved with the St. John family monogram and many Victorian rosewood pieces, including a spectacular 19th-century half-tester bed.
Two other paintings are expected to generate considerable bidder interest. One is an oil-on-board work of a French vessel attributed to Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921). Jacobsen became one of America’s most prolific painters of marine subjects. The other is an oil-on-board painting of a sharecropper cabin scene by the noted genre painter William Aiken Walker (1838-1921).
Tiffany is a name that attracts collectors like moths to a light, and this auction will feature more than 20 lots carrying the Tiffany name. A Tiffany Studios 10-light Lily lamp in mint condition is expected to gavel for $20,000 to $25,000. A Tiffany & Company tall case clock with marquetry inlay and moon phase dial will also undoubtedly get bidder paddles wagging.
The many pieces of art glass will include examples by Tiffany, Daum Nancy, Galle and Steuben. A Galle Art Nouveau inlaid table will also be sold. Other furniture pieces will feature an 18th-century Queen Anne chest on stand, an English corner chair, a large painted armoire and a satinwood vitrine with Sevres plaques and bronze ormolu.
Additional furniture lots will include a beautiful inlaid sideboard, an Art Nouveau table with marquetry inlay and a modern Mastercraft console with Bernhard Rohne acid-etched top. Featured in the auction will be many pieces of period English Queen Anne furniture from a prominent Atlanta estate, plus many Victorian pieces from the aforementioned St. John family.
Two lots with historical provenance should spark bidding wars. The first is a rare Herter Brothers embroidered velvet panel made for the William Henry Vanderbilt mansion. The second is an embroidery done by the young daughter of John Van Alen, an influential early 19th-century New York politician and friend of George Washington. The embroidery shows Van Alen’s tomb.
Also slated to be sold will be an Orientalist bronze bust by French sculptor Henri Ple (1853-1922) dated 1883, Wavecrest boxes and a fine pair of French porcelain urns with bronze ormolu.
The auction will begin promptly at 11 a.m. Previews will be held Monday through Saturday (July 29-Aug. 3) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on auction day from 9 a.m. until the first gavel comes down two hours later.
More information and to view the auction catalogue are available on Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery’s website.
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