Post image for J.P. Morgan Herter Brothers Cabinet Coming To Auction

J.P. Morgan Herter Brothers Cabinet Coming To Auction

by John Werry on April 15, 2010

A Herter Brothers cabinet commissioned by J. Pierpont Morgan in the early 1880s  is coming up for sale during a May 8th and 9th auction at Stair Antique Auctioneers and Appraisers in Hudson, NY.  The painted and gilt cabinet is a signed and numbered piece and can be seen in the photo above.  More details from Stair Galleries:

The sale will feature an important Herter Brothers painted and gilt maple cabinet made c.1880-1882 for the financier, banker and art collector J. Pierpont Morgan. In 1880, Morgan purchased a c.1853-1856 brownstone house at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and East 36th Street, New York City. He commissioned the New York firm of Herter Brothers to remodel the house and to decorate and furnish the interior. The project was overseen by Christian Herter, who worked closely with Morgan’s wife, Frances Morgan, on the interior decoration and on the selection of textiles and other furnishings. For the drawing room, the firm created a “Pompeian” decorative scheme featuring dado paneling painted ivory with gold flecks, pilasters and frieze in Pompeian red and a mosaic-style coved ceiling. Herter Brothers also provided much of the furniture, which included the cabinet offered for sale. The cabinet’s ivory paint with gold flecks, red highlights and gilt details echoed the ivory, red and gold color scheme of the drawing room’s decoration. The cabinet can be clearly seen in a photograph of the Morgan drawing room, published in 1883 in George Sheldon’s “Artistic Houses.” A year after the Morgan commission was completed, Herter Brothers decorated the drawing room of the Oliver Ames house in Boston and supplied a very similar cabinet, which is now in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Published: George William Sheldon, “Artistic Houses, Being a Series of Interior Views of a Number of the Most Beautiful and Celebrated Homes in the United States with a Description of the Art Treasures Contained Therein,” New York, 1883;  Arnold Lewis et al., “The Opulent Interiors of the Gilded Age,” New York, 1987, p. 146 (for a period photograph showing the cabinet in situ in the drawing room at 219 Madison Avenue);  Doreen Bolger Burke, et al., “In Pursuit of Beauty: Americans and the Aesthetic Movement,” 1986, p. 167 (for an illustration of the Morgan cabinet);  Katherine S. Howe et al., “Herter Brothers: Furniture and Interiors for a Gilded Age,” 1994, pp. 86-88 (for a discussion of the 1880-1882 Morgan commission) and p. 85 (for a period photograph of the drawing room with cabinet in situ).

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

misslilybart April 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm

The Oliver Ames house in the Flickr gallery is not the house decorated by Herter Brothers, which is at 355 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston.

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misslilybart April 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm

The related cabinet for Oliver Ames is on the Met’s site at http://shar.es/mtJGF

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John Werry April 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Thanks MLB. I fixed the Ames link with what I think is the real deal. I thought that other one looked a wee bit small for a Herter commission.

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Funbud May 7, 2010 at 11:31 am

You’ve got the correct link now…that is indeed the Oliver Ames mansion whose interiors were done by Herter Brothers.

It’s now office space and had a thorough renovation/restoration in the 1980s. According to the book ” The Opulent Interiors of the Gilded Age” (cited above), most of the woodwork and other interior details are stil intact. I’d love to look around inside sometime when I’m in Boston. Relatively few Herter interiors survive in any condition.

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John Werry May 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

Gotta remember to check the sale price when this is over…

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John Werry May 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Sold, $37,500

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mark pope June 7, 2010 at 1:11 am

So it went for $43,125 if cash or check with the buyer’s premium? I think it would have done better if it was not painted furniture, but natural maple. I don’t think this is a particularly pretty design. Kind of spindly.

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