Keno Auctions Score $3.45 Million Sale of American Art and Furniture

A Chippendale tea table signed by cabinetmaker Henry Clifton sold for $1,895,500 at Keno Auctions.
Photo: Courtesy of Keno Auctions

Keno Auctions announced a $3,456,500 sale of just 13 lots as part of its “America Week” in New York.

The highlight of the sale was a Chippendale tea table signed by cabinetmaker Henry Clifton. The table sold for $1,895,500, nearly quadruple its $500,000 low estimate.

“The table is a rosetta stone of American furniture that sheds light on some of the world’s most famous 18th century creations by some of the best carvers in Colonial America,” said Leigh Keno. The table is known as the Potter-Crouch-Jordan Family tea table, and has been in the same family as the original owners for 250 years with its original finish sill intact. Keno added that “of the four factors that can be used to evaluate a scalloped-top Philadelphia tea table – quality, rarity, condition and provenance – this example ranks at the very top, representing the apogee of Philadelphia Rococo craftsmanship.”

Other highlights of the sale included a 1973 sculpture by Ruth Asawa called Untitled S.621 (Hanging, Six-Lobed, Multi-Layered, Interlocking Forms with a Sphere in the Third Lobe) selling for $965,000, nearly four times its $250,000 high estimate. Also, two works by sculptor Alexander Calder sold. One, a mobile titled Pig’s Tail (1968), sold for $365,000; the other, a gouache titled Spotted Orb and Pyramids (1956) sold for $78,750.

Also on the block were several rare documents, including two issues of the New York Gazette from 1789. One, which sold for $43,750, was the earliest obtainable printing of the Bill of Rights; the second, which sold for $36,250, included George Washington’s first presidential Thanksgiving proclamation.

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