Pair of American School PortraitsSarah Bennett, age 11 and Mary Bennett, age 10 Possibly Isaac A. Wetherby (American, 1819-1904)
Oil on canvas
29 x 24 inches (each)
Portrait of Mary Bennett inscribed on verso: ÒMary Bennett born 1845 daughter of Hon. A.H. Bennett, Davenport, Iowa, 10 years old when this was taken. Possibly by Isaac Augustus Wetherby (1819-1904)Ó and Òattributed to Isaac Wetherby 6/1/1988, James Abbe Junior Oyster Bay, NYÓ Portrait of Sarah Bennett inscribed on verso of canvas: Òattributed to Isaac A. Wetherby (American, 1819-1904) and ÒSarah Bennett, born 1844, daughter of Hon. A.H. Bennett, Davenport, Iowa, 11 years old when this was takenÓ.
Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000
James Abbe, Jr. and his wife Kathryn had identical passions in life. Both had established careers in photography and shared an enthusiasm for art and antiques; their interests meshed perfectly - antiques, old buildings and photography. Mr. Abbe's particular interest in American folk art was first stirred in the 1930s when he saw the Museum of Modern Art's pioneer folk art show; even retaining the catalogue as an adult. During the 1960s Mr. Abbe's passion for antiques prompted his retirement from photography when he opened an antiques shop in Oyster Bay. An early champion of American folk art, he became one of the pre-eminent dealers on Long Island. The couple loved to go on buying trips, to antiques shows and to auctions together.
The Abbes' home is a wonderful, welcoming, sunny place. The splendid, American folk art is everywhere throughout the house: the kitchen, the bedrooms, living room, even in the bathroom, where old advertising signs hang above the sink. The folk paintings depicting young twin girls in identical white empire dresses, dating from circa 1815; their stern expressions showing an edginess which is found in the best American folk art. "What is most impressive about the furnishings is the richness, the sense there are wonders everywhere. The store closed one year before Mr. Abbe's death in 1999, but Kathryn still treasures the many folk art pieces and antiques she and her husband collected through the years. Keno Auctions is honored to bring to auction the tremendous collection the Abbes' assembled with great passion and a discerning eye," concludes Mr. Keno.
Condition: Relined, Re-stretched.