June 5, 2022 14:00 EST

American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists

 
  Lot 58
 

58

Sarah S. Stilwell Weber (American, 1878–1939)
Three of Us (Saturday Evening Post Cover)

Signed with Artist's initials 'S.S.W' bottom center right (under the far right girl's foot); also with original preparer's label on bottom stretcher verso, oil on canvas
32 x 27 in. (81.3 x 68.6cm)

Provenance

Collection of Alexander R. Boyd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A gift from the above in 1929.
Private Collection, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
By descent in the family.
Private Collection, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Estimate
$30,000 - $50,000
 

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Signed with Artist's initials 'S.S.W' bottom center right (under the far right girl's foot); also with original preparer's label on bottom stretcher verso, oil on canvas
32 x 27 in. (81.3 x 68.6cm)

Provenance

Collection of Alexander R. Boyd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A gift from the above in 1929.
Private Collection, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
By descent in the family.
Private Collection, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Literature

The Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 25, 1917 (illustrated on the cover as Three Little Girls at Beach).

Note

Sarah S. Stilwell Weber was an important Philadelphia-based illustrator of magazines and books who studied at Drexel Institute under Howard Pyle. As he considered her one of his best students along with Franck Schoonover, Pyle advised Weber not to marry to focus on her career, and helped her secure deals in New York City. She was also a member of Philadelphia’s very own The Plastic Club (an art organization for women which included, among many noteworthy women artists of the day, fellow artists Jessie Willcox Smith, Violet Oakley, Cecilia Beaux and Fern Coppedge), which enabled her to own a revenue of her own, and therefore compete with the all-male students of the nearby Philadelphia Sketch Cub. Weber painted a total of 60 covers for The Saturday Evening Post from 1904-1921, and is renowned for her charming depictions of young children at play, as in the present work - a charming depiction of three young girls gleefully enjoying a day at the beach, and which can be seen as a classic example of the artist’s best known oeuvre.

The painting has strong tied with the city of Philadelphia as its first owner, Mr. Alexander R. Boyd (Doyle & Sons), was one of the builders of the historic Art Deco Boyd Theatre, which opened its doors in December 1928, and was the last movie theater in downtown Philadelphia prior to its closure in 2002. It was through the friendship between Mr. Boyd and the grandparents of the present consignor that Three of Us came to be acquired via family descent. Its sale at Freeman's marks its first public appearance since it was shown in the ladies lounge of the city's landmark theater.

  

Frame: 36 x 31 1/8 x 1 1/2 in.

The strip-lined canvas in overall fair condition. The work evidently suffered from a past flaking condition judging from the (now stabilized) craquelure throughout the work, which is especially visible in the white background. Examination under UV light confirms it as we are able to notice many inpainted pinpoint dots throughout the composition, which correspond to the old flakes mentioned above. There appear more prominent in the background (where we can also notice thin repaired scratches at upper center left and upper center), but are also present on the figures. See specialist's pictures for more details.

Please note: All lots show signs of wear consistent with age and use, and the absence of a statement regarding condition issues does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from imperfections or the effects of aging.

Unless otherwise noted, all information provided is the opinion of Freeman's specialists.


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All property offered and sold (“property”) through Samuel T. Freeman & Co, (“Freeman’s”) shall be offered and sold on the terms and conditions set forth below which constitutes the complete statement of the terms and conditions on which all property is offered for sale. By bidding at the auction, whether present in person or by agent, by written bid, telephone, internet or other means, the buyer agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.

1. Unless otherwise indicated, all Property will be offered by Freeman’s as agent for the Consignor.

2. Freeman’s reserves the right to vary the terms of sale and any such variance shall become part of these Conditions of Sale.

3. As a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, in person inspections of the Property are available by appointment only and therefore, Freeman’s has also made available to the Buyer the opportunity to (a) view the lot online at freemansauction. com and to view the auction’s e-catalogue, (b) submit a request for a condition report either through the online lot listing or by contacting the specialist directly and (c) have a virtual consultation with the specialist. Buyer acknowledges that it has had the right to take advantage of the aforementioned inspections prior to the sale to determine the condition, size, repair or restoration of any Property. Buyer acknowledges that  it had the right to make a full inspection of all Property prior to sale to determine the condition, size, repair or restoration of any Property. Therefore, all property is sold “AS-IS”. Freeman’s is acting solely as an auction broker, and unless otherwise stated, does not own the Property offered for sale and has made no independent investigation of the Property. Freeman’s makes no warranty of title, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, or any other warranty or representation regarding the description, genuineness, attribution, provenance or condition to the Property of any kind or nature with respect to the Property.

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