American History. The Nutt Collection of Early American Silver at Sotheby’s New York. Top#1 Auctions.
Highlighting Sotheby’s Americana Week Auctions in January 2015.
NEW YORK, 8 January 2014. Sotheby’s is honored to present American silver, furniture and decorative art from The Collection of Roy and Ruth Nutt in a series of auctions beginning January 2015 during Americana Week in New York. Mrs. Nutt’s encyclopedic collection of early American silver in particular represents the finest and most comprehensive group of this material ever to appear at auction. Spanning from the 17th century to the present, and ranging from great masterpieces to rare regional items and intriguing small pieces such as school prizes and Masonic medals, the silver offers a unique overview of early American history.
Sotheby’s auction series will begin on 23 January, with an auction dedicated to the Important Americana & Decorative Arts from the collection that is led by The Capen Family Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Bombé Slant-Front Desk circa 1780 (estimate $500/700,000*). On the 24th, Sotheby’s will offer a curated selection of more than 400 lots of Highly Important American Silver from the collection, including 28 creamers, 25 sugar bowls, 21 tankards, 20 porringers, 16 teapots, 10 coffee pots and much more. With more than one-third of the collection offered at estimates under $5,000, the sales represent an unprecedented opportunity for collectors at all levels to acquire a rare piece of American history.
Ruth Nutt and her husband Roy – co-founder of Computer Sciences Corporation and co-creator of the computer programing language FORTRAN – together collected American furniture and paintings throughout their lives, but it was Mrs. Nutt whose passion for American silver drove her to become the most prominent collector of this material for more than two decades. Her highly-academic approach to collecting was informed by a love of form and its evolution over time – for example, how a common teapot would develop from decade to decade and century to century. Mrs. Nutt played a critical role in the museum community, as a major lender to seminal exhibitions including Myer Myers: Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York, a donor of important pieces to institutional collections, and the underwriter of the Curatorship of American Decorative Arts at the Seattle Art Museum, among many other contributions to the field.