'The William Dana Lippman Collection: Splendor of American Furniture' being offered by Bonhams Skinner

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'The William Dana Lippman Collection: Splendor of American Furniture' being offered by Bonhams Skinner
Installation view of Lippman Collection.

BOSTON, MA.- Bonhams Skinner, New England’s leading auction house for Americana, is thrilled to offer The William Dana Lippman Collection | Splendor of American Furniture, one of the finest and most comprehensive single owner collections of 18th and 19th century New England furniture to come to market, on November 14. From the California estate of William Lippman, the sale will present over 100 exceptional examples which reflect Lippman’s high standards, connoisseurship, knowledge, and appreciation of beauty.

Born and raised in Providence, Lippman developed a passion for collecting early and, after settling in California with his wife, filled their Holmby Hills residence with an eclectic blend of East and West coast styles, Indigenous art, European paintings, colonial furniture and antique Persian and Caucasian carpets. Throughout his life, his collecting was guided by some of the most notable dealers of the time who helped him curate a high-quality collection which was not limited to one discipline, period, or style. Their influence is particularly evident in Lippman’s fine selection of early American high-style furniture particularly from New England, New York, and Philadelphia. Encyclopaedic in nature, there are representative pieces from nearly every New England Colony and stylistic period.

“We are immensely pleased to offer this once in a lifetime collection at Bonhams Skinner. It is apparent from the superb quality of the collection as well as speaking with his daughter that William found tremendous joy and pleasure in studying and researching the works that he collected,” commented Stephen Fletcher, Executive Vice President of American Furniture at Bonhams Skinner.

Extraordinary Chippendale Cherry Carved Chest on Chest attributed to Benjamin Burnham (c. 1729-73), c. 1770, estimated at $300,000 – 500,000, and the Hopkins Family Block-and-Shell Carved Mahogany Kneehole Bureau, c. 1790, estimated at $100,000 – 150,000.

The quality of furniture is best exemplified by an extraordinary Chippendale cherry carved chest on chest attributed to Benjamin Burnham, Colchester, Connecticut, c. 1770 – arguably a piece unequalled in any collection, public or private. Estimated at $300,000 – 500,000, the chest on chest is a cabinet maker’s masterpiece incorporating a rich variety of carved elements. New York craftmanship is exquisitely represented by The Taradash Family Chippendale mahogany carved tea table, c. 1765, featuring a carved apron, acanthus-carved knees, and claw and ball feet and estimated at $100,000 – 150,000. Additionally, The Hopkins Family block and shell-carved kneehole dressing bureau, c. 1780 and estimated at $100,000 – 150,000, is a sophisticated example of Providence, Rhode Island cabinet making. Its placement, front and center in Lippman’s entry hall, was a fitting introduction to the treasures that could be found throughout his home.

Lippman’s appreciation for Americana extended beyond furniture with a particular interest in important weathervanes. This includes a remarkably detailed copper horse-drawn fire pumper, the best of its type, attributed to J.W. Cushing of Waltham, Massachusetts, estimated at $150,000 – 250,000. Lippman additionally had an eye for American art which is highlighted Sunny Morning, Gloucester Harbor, an oil on panel painted in Boston in 1847, from Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865), an American artist known for his marine paintings, estimated at $100,000 – 150,000.

The final component of the sale is a highly curated collection of important Persian and Caucasian rugs from Lippman’s collection - all of which are in very good condition and represent the best of their types. Standouts include a beautiful Pinwheeel Kazak, estimated at $20,000 – 30,000, a finely woven room-size Malayer carpet from the first half of the 19th century, estimated at $20,000 – 30,000, and several early Bakshaish and Serapi carpets. Many of these rugs have been previously published.

With a proclivity for the eclectic and an interest in the story behind a particular object, Lippman’s collecting was not limited to any one category or time period. The sale in November will focus primarily on the Americana and fine Caucasian rugs and Persian carpets while additional works from his collection will be featured across numerous sales this fall including American Art in New York and Native American Art in Los Angeles.

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