Property from the Collection of Dr. Larry McCallister
Live Auction: 22 September 2022 • 12:00 PM EDT • New York

Property from the Collection of Dr. Larry McCallister 22 September 2022 • 12:00 PM EDT • New York
Dr. Larry McCallister

S otheby’s is privileged to present the remarkable collection of Dr. Larry McCallister. Rarely does a collector’s interests branch in so many categories. Walking into Dr. McCallister’s home was experiencing collecting through the eyes of a deeply passionate man for all things Americana. Just as the earliest collectors of Americana, Dr. McCallister sought out exemplary examples of furniture across three centuries. While his main focus was on Federal and Classical Furniture, his interests ranged from Pilgrim Century to the Gothic Style. He accented his house with exemplary examples of mid-nineteenth century glass lighting and gilt brass girandole garniture sets. His very first purchase, nearly fifty years ago, was a patent time piece by Howard & Davis (lot 197) which set him on a journey of great discovery. Always researching and learning, Dr. McCallister became enamored with nineteenth century shelf clocks two of which are on offer (lots 201 and 202). His sights were soon set on grander pieces, and he began collecting superb examples of Chippendale and Federal furniture. The Potts Family desk-and-bookcase with bust, possibly by Martin Jugiez of Philadelphia (lot 41), is an outstanding example of the form and even retains a highly desirable early historic surface. The “sofa-armed” Philadelphia easy chair is another of the collection's standout pieces. Dr. McCallister purchased several of Thomas Seymour’s brilliantly designed side chairs. As Robert Mussey thoroughly detailed, the joinery of these chairs is beyond compare and stand as some of the highest styled seating furniture ever made in Boston. His adoration of Classical design is exemplified by his remarkable assemblage of such a diversity of forms. His collection includes sideboards, desk-and-bookcases, sofas, chairs, looking glasses, sofa tables, work tables, pier tables and center tables. His Duncan Phyfe sideboard with en suite cellarette is a master of the celebrated cabinetmaker. Beyond Phyfe’s meticulous joinery is his brilliant use of vibrant bookmatched mahogany veneers. The collection’s Phyfe cheval glass and secrétaire à abattant complement and present an unparalleled opportunity to examine several pieces, likely by the renown cabinetmaker. From the brilliant blue Sandwich lamp to the Hooper and Company sinumbra lamp, Dr. McCallister’s collection of American fluid lamps is laudable. The Princess Feather canary yellow compote is a supreme example of mid-nineteenth century American glass.

It would be one of Dr. McCallister’s greatest pleasures that the pieces he so much enjoyed collecting, researching, and living with become treasured objects of future generations.

The collection will be exhibited at our New York City York Avenue headquarters. For more information, please contact the department by emailing, or calling the department +1 212 606 7130.

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Auction Highlights

Early Baroque Design in America

Early Base Metal Lighting

Furniture of a New Nation

Nineteenth Century American Glass and Lighting

Philadelphia Furniture

Classical Design

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