Author Topic: "Acme of Perfection" Philadelphia PieCrust Tea Table Up for Sale at Sotheby's  (Read 17713 times)

dkeller_nc

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For those interested, there is a unique Philadelphia tea table up for sale at Sotheby's "Important Americana" auction week after next.  This table has apparently only been published once in Horner's Blue Book of Philadelphia Furniture, has remained in the orginal family, and was made by the "Garvan Carver".  Horner described it as the "acme of perfection" among Philadelphia pie-crust tea tables, and the pre-auction estimate is $2-$6 Million dollars.

Photos of the table can be viewed by signing up with Sotheby's (sign-up is free) and browsing the Important Americana catalogue.  It's worth a look for those of you that are interested in Chippendale carving/design - the carved decoration on the table is quite unique.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

rich

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WHAT A TABLE!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL DOES NOT DESCRIBE IT

johnjesseph

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I have gazed at that table in the Hornor book a lot, hoping to build a table inspired by it this year.  Great pictures on the sothebys site, wish there were more...

ttalma

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What a great piece. Maybe the sale of the Fisher-Fox Tea Table (October at Christies for 6.7 mil) influanced thier decision to sell. A sale like that would make me think!
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corvin1

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Thanks for the info.  That indeed is a beautiful table.  I also noticed the block front Townsend piece.  I particularly liked being able to see the photo of the bottom of it.  With the zoom feature you can get right up to it.  Not something many of us armchair types get to do in person.

Regards,

Chris

rwilkinson

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Americana week
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 06:56:09 AM »
Hi All,
I took the opportunity to visit the auction houses in NY City this weekend and was very pleased. Sotheby's had great objects an even published a separate catalog on the Acme of Perfection Tea Table.  A must have book for students of carving. Check out lot 168 of the following link.
 
http://browse.sothebys.com/?c_date=Session%201+|+18+Jan+08%2C+10%3A00+AM
Session%202+|+19+Jan+08%2C+2%3A00+PM
&c_image=http://www.sothebys.com/media/live/pub/2007/DEC/p37641_thumb.jpg&c_location=New%20York&c_name=Important+Americana&cat=1&event_id=28643&g=1&i=1&sale_id=N08400

If you can make it to NY to see this sale, it is well worth the effort.

Randy Wilkinson

pearle

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Re: Americana week
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 10:53:02 AM »
or this address: http://tinyurl.com/2yyq5x

Aaron Hall

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Thanks for the posting and the information about Sotheby's website. That tea table is inspiring. I was really impressed with the amount of information on Sotheby's website. I noticed that their advanced search engine allows searching of completed sales. When I looked I found that I could easily generate a large number of listings with pictures for specific furniture forms (tea tables, desks, chairs, etc...). Seems like this could be a convienent resource for generating design ideas.
I'm a hobbiest interested in period furniture, hoping to learn from SAPFM!

Jeff Saylor

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I've picked up many auction catalogs from Christies and Sotheby's on ebay- usually $10-15.  The pictures are excellent quality and usually have detail shots of some featured pieces.  I heard or read somewhere that Sotheby's was going to print both their regular catalog of all the auction lots and also another catalog featuring just the "Acme of Perfection" table.  Anyone hear about this or actually see the catalog?
Jeff Saylor
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Mark Arnold

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Jeff,

On another thread of this forum, Randy Wilkinson does mention that there is a separate catalog of the table only. I haven't been able to locate it on the Sotheby's web site. There is a PDF of the table with text by Leslie Keno available here: http://www.sothebys.com/liveauctions/sneak/article/pdf/january2008/Acme.pdf. I'm not sure, but I think this is also in the catalog of all of the sale items.
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Kirk Rush

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There is a separate catalog ($48).  You can call Sotheby's at 1-800-813-5968 and ask for the catalog department.

                                                       Kirk                                                                                                                                 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 03:45:27 PM by Kirk Rush »

rich

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the table sold for   1,833,ooo.oo  I personally thought it would go for more

john previti

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Hi Folks,
   I was just up at Sotheby's for the auction.  I did pick up both the afternoon sale catalogue and the specific table book.  If you bought the catalogue they threw the table book in free.  Its $40 for the 2.  that's if you buy in person.  We were there for the morning auction only.  We left to head to the winter antique show at the 7th regiment in the afternoon.  This has become our pilgrimage alternative instead of going to the Williamsberg get together.  When we arrived at the 7th floor they were auctioning off another teatable that went for around  100gs.  The fun part about going is beyond seeing notable characters such as the Keno bros and other wealthty types(its fun to pose as wealthy types also) you get to examine pcs up front and personal and you are allowed to handle the pcs if the preview part is still going.  One or 2 floors down was most of the furniture for the afternoon auction that the "acme of perfection" tea table was sold at.  It however, was put up front where the auction was being held so I did not get to look at it personally.  I believe if you had been able to get there earlier on sat morning then you could have examined it closely.  We did get to stroll around looking at the other items that were piled willy-nilly on the lower floor.  there were several interesting pcs to look at.  One item I got a chuckle over was a authentic sedan chair.  It would have been great for private phone conversations.
    One last point , as a cabinetmaker I noticed the sale estimate were what I considered fairly low as many pcs were in the range of what I would charge to make as a reproduction for clients.  One or 2 , such as the dela/chester county walnut high chest on short legs was estimated for less than it would take to make and was a very nice looking pc.  This would the way for us poor folk to make a good investment.  As many times I pcs like this come back up for auction 5yrs later with a Sotheby's provenance and sell for much more.  I have not had time to go on line and check the price that it sold for.  The table book is worth having and may be sold later at a discount.
John Previti

Aaron Hall

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I called this morning and the catalogs are all 1/2 price because the auction has ended. They said that they still had plenty in stock.
I'm a hobbiest interested in period furniture, hoping to learn from SAPFM!

dkeller_nc

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I looked through the auction results - the prices that most of the items went for were really low, including the "acme of perfection" tea table.  That's hard to explain since the table at Christie's attributed to Jugiez sold for 5.5 million the day before. 

I can only surmise it's because of the high-end collector market's current (and destructive) obsession with "original finish", since the "acme of perfection" table had been refinished in the past and the two tables that Christies sold had not.  I personally find the term "original finish" highly ironic, because those finishes don't resemble what was truly the original, glossy finish that the maker intended.  I strongly suspect that the original artists would've been absolutely horrified that the efforts of their hands were presented to the public with such a grungy, deteriorated surface.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking