Freeman’s British and European Furniture and Decorative Arts department specializes in European furnishings and objects from the 17th through early 20th centuries. The department’s multiple annual auctions feature an array of fine furniture, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, silver, and objets de vertu.
With deep market knowledge and a range of focus areas across regions and time periods, Freeman’s British and European Furniture and Decorative Arts specialists bring recently rediscovered and fresh-to-market works to collectors. Freeman’s has had excellent results selling perennial favorites from famed European makers, from Sèvres and KPM to the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory; recent results have shown a market demand for antiquities, Spanish Colonial works, and Chinese Export porcelain.
Our specialists bring both individual objects and single-owner collections to market. Impressive individual results include a Flemish giltwood and carved alabaster retable from the circle of Jean Mone, circa 1530, and a 15th-century Nasrid-style early marquetry and inlaid walnut cassone—demonstrating the market’s strong response to exceptional early modern pieces.
Recently, the department expertly handled the sale of Across Continents: The Collection of Ambassador & Mrs. Alexander Weddell, an important deaccession from the Virginia House Museum that achieved $1.57M. The department was also responsible for the white-glove sales of The Jeff Hunter Collection of Antiquities & Tribal Art and Selected Contents of Vaux Hill: The Collection of Robert & Barbara Safford—which, after an international tour and extensive media coverage, achieved $3.9M and set a new world record for a rare gilt bronze mounted porcelain tall case clock by the Berlin Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur (KPM).
Hedge fund manager and statistician Victor Niederhoffer amassed an eclectic collection that spanned disciplines and reflected various passions. Formed over many years, the collection encompassed larger themes such as human accomplishment and heroic achievement. Totaling over $1m, the single-owner sale was comprised of impressive American and European sterling silver trophies and other fine examples that celebrated the craftsmanship and technical prowess of the greatest silversmiths; patriotic and whimsical Americana; folk and illustration art; and a wide selection of first editions, autographs, fine bindings and sporting books from his personal library. Additional selections from Niederhoffer's library were offered in two subsequent sales.
April 10, 2019
Freeman's was proud to offer selected property from the collection of United States Ambassador Alexander Weddell (1876-1948) and his wife Virginia Chase Steedman Weddell (1874-1948), deaccessioned by the Virginia House Museum, in a single-owner sale. The time-capsule collection incorporated art and objects from all over the world, including Spain, Europe, Near & Far East, Britain, and the Americas. This vast collection was held together by the Weddells’ personal story—their shared travels, their love for each other, and their joint passion to collect items with which to furnish their beloved Virginia House in Richmond. Spirited bidding was a common occurrence throughout the single-owner auction, which more than doubled its pre-sale estimate and to date recorded the highest number of registered bidders for a single auction at Freeman’s.
March 13, 2019
Totaling just shy of 50 lots, The Jeff Hunter Collection represented a remarkable lifetime of collecting ancient art. The renowned talent agent’s collection consisted of antiquities and tribal art that shared a consistent theme: the human form. Hunter bought from high-quality sources so the emergence of his collection at auction represented an exciting moment for the market. As such, nearly two-thirds of the lots sold above their estimates, with many highlights emerging from the auction. Garnering much international interest, the sale achieved an 100% sell-through rate and nearly doubled its pre-sale high estimate, demonstrating Freeman's ability to present, showcase and successfully sell quality and fresh-to-market private collections and to achieve exceptional prices in Philadephia for property found in New York.