The first auction from the Leigh Keno's new Keno Auctions house has brought some big results including the sale of one very expensive Chippendale chest. The auction was held last weekend in Stamford, Connecticut and had two sessions. The first part, the collection of H. Robert Leese of Pennsylvania, consisted of 178 lots, all of which sold without reserve. During the second session the James Beekman Chippendale carved mahogany chest of drawers from the shop of Thomas Brookman with carving attributed to Henry Hardcastle came up for bid. Antiques and the Arts reports that this New York chest, circa 1752 was estimated at $200/600,000 but sold for $1.428 million, setting a record for a New York piece of furniture.
The third session on Sunday brought the second highest price in the sale, when the portrait of Anna Brodhead Oliver circa 1743 was sold without reserve to David Schorsch of Woodbury, Connecticut, for $1,118,600. The estimate was just $40/80,000 and the portrait was the property of a descendant of the sitter. Leigh Keno said that the auction brought in a total of $5,818,460 including the buyer's premium but that four major postsale offers pending will boost the total to $6.014 million.
The blond twin Keno brothers are experts in American furniture and have often appeared on "Antiques Roadshow." Both Leigh and Leslie Keno have been interested in rare Americana since they were kids and have been involved in the antiques business since their teenage years and Leslie Keno was in the audience for this auction. The pair recently announced their own furniture line.