October 18-20th, 2018
1300+ lots Unreserved, On-site
The first time I met Peter Chillingworth had to be 22 years ago, though I cannot remember the exact moment as it seems I’ve known him my whole life. It is easy to imagine the encounter: Pete, with tam cap and wool blazer, giving me the “side eye” as my kids like to say, with a slight smile and likely a bit of a laugh on hello. Pete’s side eye, I have come to observe, is really him sizing up a person and situation. Passing muster with Pete is pretty simple: have good manners, don’t take yourself too seriously, and respect the stuff.
The first time I visited Scenery Hill and spoke at length with Cappy, the mutual admiration society was sealed. The Chillingworths and I have many similarities, it seems: our West Virginia heritage, alumni of WVU (where Cappy and I both pledged Pi Beta Phi), and most importantly our love and appreciation for the ability to work in an industry as personal and interesting as antiques and art. I can’t count the number of times Pete would remind me, “We aren’t selling nuts and bolts, Amelia. It’s far more important than that.”
Our regular morning calls began, I think, mostly after Tom Porter passed away, and I called to give him the news before he read it in the papers. Pete took Tom’s death as he takes the death of any of his many long-standing friends in the antiques industry: with thoughtful pause and reflection and deep appreciation for the relationship and memories. My morning calls with Pete have become a welcome ritual throughout the past decade or so, and I am grateful for the perspective and insight he so generously shares with a friend half (don’t hate me, Pete) his age.
It has been an honor and joy to listen to story after story about the things Pete has handled, and the people he has encountered along the way. Across hundreds of hours of work for this auction, I was consistently amazed that I would ring him with a question about a specific item, and Pete would instantly recount every detail, including where he bought it, when, and from whom. And, no matter the number of calls in a day, he always answered and ended the call with grace and gratitude for the work I was doing. Make no mistake, Peter Chillingworth has been a lifelong student and champion for the material he has handled (and sought to handle!), and letting it all go has been incredibly personal. As usual, Pete has approached it with encouragement for everyone involved and an astonishing instinct and fortitude for the process, including decisions to hold the auction onsite and absolute - two distinctions that could shake the most confident of sellers.
Any attempt to sum up a 60-year career in a few paragraphs would be lame, at best. It has been said that success can be measured by the lives we touch. If 60 years as an independent dealer in one of the most daunting, tough industries you can enter isn’t proof of his success, then surely the collectors, dealers, historians, and museum professionals who count him as a friend are. It is my hope that The Chillingworth Auction is long remembered as an auction that honored my friends Pete and Cappy, but also the era to which they have belonged, identified, and to which they have dedicated the greater part of their lives. Amelia
Hepplewhite Tall Case Clock by William Gorgas #9
Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
Sold for $12,000
American (Mount Pleasant (Westmoreland County), Pennsylvania), ca. 1800 - 1815. William Gorgas #9 worked in Greensburg and Mount Pleasant. The painted iron dial with a sweep second hand has an eight-day movement. Walnut and crotch walnut case. Exuberantly inlaid with herringbone and a distinctive vine, leaf, and dot design. Rectangular crotch walnut door and base with herringbone band and applied to bead. Line inlay on the waist with herringbone and swags with flowers. Broken arch with inlaid fan rosettes and a herringbone center medial strip below the finial. Finial replaced. Old refinish. Ex Jim Frenz (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania). 99”h. with finial, 95.5”h. without.
Hepplewhite Slant Lid Desk
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Sold for $10,500
American (Southwestern Pennsylvania), ca. 1800. Walnut with curly walnut drawer faces and poplar secondary. Vine and leaf inlay starting from urns on the chamfered corners. Racetrack oval string inlay on the drawer faces. Inlaid keyhole escutcheons on the four graduated drawers. The lid with a geometric inlaid band of alternating triangles, along with a single string and cut corner within the geometric field. The skirt has an elaborate fan inlaid in the center. Fitted interior with curtain drawers above each slot. Fitted prospect area behind the curly walnut door with a hidden compartment behind. Letter pullouts. French feet. Original finish and hardware. No restoration. One of the best examples of Western Pennsylvania inlaid desks to ever surface. Ex Charles and Nellie Momchilov (Jeromesville, Ohio). 47.25”h. 41.25”w. 21.5”d.
Inlaid Tall Case Clock
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Sold for $8,750
American (Southwestern Pennsylvania), the first quarter of the 19th Century. Made by Thomas Hutchinson, who worked as a clock and watchmaker in Washington, Pennsylvania from 1801 - 1820, but trained earlier as a silversmith in Lancaster County. The cherry clock has a painted and signed iron dial in original condition. The eight-day movement was restored by Edward F. Lafond, Jr., and is in working order. Broken arch pediment. Hood and case with an exuberant inlay that includes vine-and-leaf, banded, and marquetry. Pleasing, old, dry, rubbed surface. Retains its original finials. Minor foot restoration, otherwise all original. 97.5”h (without center finial 95.5”h.)
William Coventry Wall (American (Pennsylvania), 1810-1886) Oil on Canvas Painting
Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000
Sold for $8,500
Bucolic landscape with a man, woman, and child walking down a country lane toward a cabin with laundry hanging on the line in the foreground and a lake and hills in the background. Signed on lower left (on side of the watering trough) “WC Wall, 1852”. Label on the reverse reads, “This painting has been featured in Wall to Wall to Wall: A Family of 19th Century Painters Exhibition, March 12 through May 2, 1999, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, at Ligonier Valley”. In a laurel leaf-molded frame with gilt paint. Image. 29.5”h. 39.5”w. Framed. 36”h. 46”w.
Rare and Important Tall Case Clock by Alexander Cook
Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000
Sold for $7,000
American (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania), ca. 1800. Alexander Cook (Scotland / America, 1760 - 1828) made clocks for only two years. Born in Scotland, where he trained as a Silversmith-clock maker, Cook immigrated to the United States at age 23. He married Miss Alizannah Adams in 1787 in Abingdon, Maryland (Harford County), where records show that he was working as a clockmaker in 1790. He moved to Canonsburg, Pennsylvania sometime between 1790-1794, where he was listed on the board of trade from 1794-95. In 1799 he was studying theology under Dr. McMillan. In 1802 he was licensed by the Presbytery in Ohio, and though he owned property in Canonsburg, Cook left to work as a missionary in the Ohio Country in 1802 and was never heard from again. The flat-top clock is in original condition with ebonized highlights on all moldings and columns. A painted iron dial with an eight-day movement. Secondhand and Roman numerals on the dial. Engraved plate on the dial reading “Alex Cook Canonsburg” Tombstone-molded door and waist. Having a bone-inlaid keyhole escutcheon. Ebonized fluted quarter columns. Elaborate stepped ebonized molding to the base with a recessed panel. Ebonized ogee bracket feet. Possibly Ex Ruth & Tom Shanaberger (Farmington, Pennsylvania). 93”h 25”w.
Pittsburgh Mills by Aaron Henry Gorson (Lithuanian / American, 1872-1933)
Estimate: $10,000 - $20,000
Sold for $5,500
Oil on canvas scene of steel mill in winter. The artist signed the lower right corner. Tag on the frame reads “From Hazelwood in Winger, A.H. Gorson”. Inscription in pencil on the reverse reads, “Pittsburgh Mills, Purchases unframed for $75 in Pittsburgh 1926, by C.R.A”. Image. 10.5”h. 13.5”w. In a reeded, cove molded frame. 14.5”h. 17.75”w.
Chippendale Two-piece Dutch (wall) Cupboard
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Sold for $5,250
American (Pennsylvania), ca. 1790 - 1810. Walnut. Eighteen pane top and dovetailed bracket base with three dovetailed drawers over two double paneled doors below. Nice size and proportions. A cleaned version of the original surface. Replaced hardware. Top 45.75”h. 70”w. 14.5”d. Base 41.75”h. 68”w. 21”d.
The Reader by Malcolm Stephens Parcell (American, 1896-1987)
Estimate: $10,000 - $20,000
Sold for $5,000
Oil on canvas portrait of a woman in three-quarter view, wearing a red evening dress with her hands folded in her lap. Signed upper left. Identified by a brass filet on the frame. Image. Exhibited at the Carnegie International in 1934. The sitter is Mrs. Fisher, a former teacher in Washington Public Schools and one-time fiancé of Malcolm Parcell. 48”h. 36.5”w. In an ornate gilt frame with bellflower molding. 55”h. 44”w.
Landscape by George Hetzel (American, 1826-1899)
Estimate: $10,000 - $20,000
Sold for $4,750
Oil on canvas bucolic scene featuring trees in full-leaf along the banks of a rocky waterfall and stream. The artist signed lower left. Image. 24”h. 16”w. In a molded gesso and wood frame with bellflowers along the front edge. 32”h. 24”w.
Rare Miniature Tanware Pitcher
Estimate: $200 - $400
Sold for $4,250
American (Pennsylvania), late 18th – early 19th Century. New Geneva. Baluster form pitcher with strap handle and small spout. Anodized decoration including scallops and dots and anodized brown glazed interior. 2.25”h.
Preview party & champagne toast: October 19
Amelia Jeffers, Auctioneer
With Frio, Stack & Associates
1416 Daniels Run Road
Scenery Hill, Penna 15360
Auction: The 57-Year Personal Collection and Inventory of Peter Chillingworth and his wife, Kathryn (Cappy) of Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania
Featuring a wonderful assemblage of Americana with an enthusiasm for furniture and decorative arts from the Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Federal periods and an emphasis on important objects from the Western Pennsylvania region.
Furniture highlights: Fine vine-inlaid drop front desk in untouched condition (ex-Charles Momchilov); Scenery Hill, PA, walnut corner cupboard with St. Andrew’s Cross on lower door; Group of American tall-case clocks including rare Alexander Cook (Canonsburg, PA) in walnut with ebonized moldings; Thomas Hutchinson inlaid cherry, and heavily inlaid walnut Thomas Gorgas marked Mt. Pleasant (Westmoreland County), plus others; Philadelphia Queen Anne diminutive lowboy; important Philadelphia Queen Anne shell-carved side chair with trifed feet in untouched condition; rare Maryland or northeastern Virginia Chippendale shell-carved side chair with ball and claw feet; Several mid-18th-century low-back Windsors, all Philadelphia-area; Good blanket chests including early decorated examples and a walnut with sulphur inlay from Lancaster dated 1799 with drawers and remnants of a bright and colorful decorated fraktur pasted on the underside of the lid; A selection of birdcage tea tables and candlestands including several with dish tops; Chippendale walnut stepback cupboard in old finish; plus an assortment of chests, drop-leaf tables, stands, chairs, benches, and more.
Smalls to include: an extensive collection of fine and important 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-C. brass candlesticks; Pottery and porcelain including delft, feather (shell) edge, canary, transferware (including Pittsburgh views among many others); a large group of Liverpool pitchers including American scenes with eagles, Masonic, George Washington, etc.; iron including western Pennsylvania utensils (Westmoreland or Somerset County) with incised decoration; coin silver with a focus on southwestern Pennsylvania early 19thC. makers; extensive early blown and cut glass collection focusing on western Pennsylvania, with New Geneva-type glass selection predominantly in aqua of pitchers, tumblers, pans, bowls, flasks, bottles, flips, vases; textiles, and more.
Artwork featuring: a collection of Western PA art highlighted by oil on canvas landscapes by George Hetzel and W.C. Wall; a stunning Malcolm Purcell portrait “The Reader” (exhibited in The Carnegie International in 1934); Dorothy Davids; A. Bryan Wall; and more. 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-C. oils on canvas, watercolors, and paintings on board. Folk art includes two by Jacob Maentel. Large collection of 19th- and early 20th-century hand tools including period-manufactured treadle lathe, early molding planes, and work benches. Period lumber.
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