News / USA

Rare Presidential Artifacts Go to Auction

Porcelain which was made to order in China for President George Washington and his wife Martha. This one plate is expected to sell at auction for between $25,000 and $40,000. (VOA/J. Taboh)
Porcelain which was made to order in China for President George Washington and his wife Martha. This one plate is expected to sell at auction for between $25,000 and $40,000. (VOA/J. Taboh)
Artifacts and paintings related to the earliest days of the American presidency up until recent times, are slated to be sold to the highest bidder by Christie's, the famed auction house in New York.

The items were showcased ahead of the sale, in a Washington, D.C. exhibit entitled “Washington to Warhol: The Presidency in Art.”

Washington to Warhol

The rare items on display included a 19th century portrait of President George Washington, which sat near a 1986 screenprint of President Theodore Roosevelt by the late pop artist Andy Warhol.

And a 1985 print of the American flag by the late pop artist Roy Lichtenstein didn't seem out of place in an exhibit that also featured a limited edition copy of the Declaration of Independence signed two centuries ago.

  • Thomas Jefferson's China service, circa 1790 (VOA/J. Taboh)
  • This porcelain which was made to order in China for President George Washington and his wife Martha. This one plate is expected to sell at auction for between $25,000 and $40,000. (VOA/J. Taboh)
  • The original draft of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" written by Julia Ward Howe in November 1861.
  • A portrait of George Washington, painted by Rembrandt Peale in 1859, next to Roy Lichtenstein’s "Forms in Space," from 1985. (VOA/J. Taboh)
  • Roy Lichtenstein’s screenprint, "Forms in Space," from 1985. (VOA/J. Taboh)
  • A silver teapot, made by American patriot and silversmith Paul Revere in 1780, is expected to sell for up to $250,000. (VOA/J. Taboh)
  • Painting of Paul Revere (1734-1818) with one of his teapots. (VOA/J. Taboh)
  • A limited-edition copy of The Declaration of Independence created by William J. Stone in July 1823. (VOA/J. Taboh)
  • "Teddy Roosevelt," part of Andy Warhol’s series, "Cowboys and Indians," from 1986. (VOA/J.Taboh)
  • Andy Warhold's "Jackie II," of Jackie Kennedy, from 1966


​The items on display were slated to be sold in a number of auctions in the coming months.

At one of the first sales, on Oct. 31, Lichtenstein's "Forms in Space" sold for $52,500.

Warhol's Jackie ll, of Jacqueline Kennedy, went for $11,250. Warhol's image of Roosevelt, was sold as part of a set of 10 called "Cowboys and Indians." Created by Warhol, the grouping includes images of famous cowboys and Indians in American history. It sold for for $122,500.

“Warhol was tremendously innovative in terms of looking for American culture and bringing it forward in the 20th century,” said Paul Provost, deputy chairman at Christie’s New York,

Declaration of Independence

At the other end of the timeline was a limited edition copy of the Declaration of Independence, which was signed in 1776. The limited edition was created 50 years after the declaration was signed.  

“The 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was approaching so Congress commissioned engraver William Stone to produce a very accurate, detailed facsimile, actual-size, printed on fine parchment," said Chris Coover, Christie's senior specialist in American historical documents. “One of the nice things about the facsimile, is all the signatures of the 56 men who signed it are accurately reproduced. That includes John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, a real panoply of American founding fathers.”

Lincoln’s favorite anthem

Among the rarest documents in the collection is the original draft of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," one of the most recognized American anthems.

Poet and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe wrote it in November 1861 during the early days of the American Civil War, after witnessing a skirmish between the Union and Confederate armies.

The anthem became an instant hit with Union soldiers.  

According to Coover, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s favorite pieces.

“Lincoln loved this piece and asked for it to be performed on many occasions,” he said.

Paul Revere's teapot

A silver teapot made by the American patriot, Paul Revere, is another historic item featured in the exhibit.

Revere made his famous ride in 1775 to alert American troops near Boston that the British were coming. Many people are unaware that the Revolutionary War hero was a silversmith.

“Both before he made his famous ride to Lexington and Concord, and after the revolution, he went back to his trade as a silversmith,” said Jeanne Sloane, deputy chairman at Christie’s.

The teapot was made in 1782, the year Revere came back from fighting in an artillery regiment.

Chinese porcelain

Another treasure in the collection is porcelain which was made to order in China for both President George Washington and President Thomas Jefferson.   

“It’s so wonderful for us to see all of these materials together,” said Becky MacGuire, a senior specialist of chinese Export Art at Christie's. “When you read about it in the history books, it just does not come alive the way these pieces do.”

Christie's Paul Provost said the market for Americana is strong, and with the upcoming elections, the timing couldn’t be better.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid