A Rare Aesthete’s Landmark Collection Comes Up for Auction.
Brunk Auctions, the premier Southern U.S. auction house has announced the kick-off to the Fall auction season with the much-anticipated single-owner sale of the collection of William N. Banks, Jr. The auction consists of the contents of Bankshaven, the collector’s renowned historic property and architectural gem in Newnan, Ga., housing an unrivalled collection of Federal and Classical American furniture and Nineteenth Century American paintings. The 300+ lot sale will take place, both live at Brunk Auctions, Asheville, and virtually, on September 12, 2020.
William N. Banks Jr., a consummate scholar/collector, historian, preservationist, playwright, and southern gentleman, passed away last November at age 95. A regular contributor to The Magazine Antiques, Banks was considered a Renaissance man — passionate about historic art, architecture and landscape and well-known for preserving historic homes in Georgia and New Hampshire. “The collection is a testament to Mr. Banks’s highly sophisticated eye, says Andrew Brunk, President and CEO of Brunk Auctions. “He was a rare and true aesthete – a collector and connoisseur at the highest level. Brunk is honored to handle this exceptional collection.”
For lovers of the American decorative arts, the furniture highlights in the collection include a spectacular tiger-maple Grecian sofa (above) with a caned back and sides and verd antique and gilt feet; and a very fine rare set of Six Lyre Back Klismos Chairs, attributed to Duncan Phyfe, New York, circa 1815; A Classical and Ebony Inlaid Parcel Gilt Rosewood Swivel Top Card table by Duncan Phyfe, previously attributed to Charles-Honoré Lannuier (left) 1815-20; a Classical marble top pier table attributed to J.&J.W. Meeks, circa 1830); and a marble top center table attributed to Anthony Quervelle, Philadelphia, circa 1829.
Banks actively bought American paintings at New York auctions and from some of the most eminent names in the business, including Spanierman Gallery, Hirschl & Adler Galleries in New York, and Vose Galleries (Boston). Through Hirschl & Adler he acquired “Franconia Range from the South with Village of South Woodstock, New Hampshire,” an important 1857 work by Asher B. Durand (below left). Other major highlights include Sanford Robinson Gifford’s Mt. Washington from the Saco River, 1856, oil on canvas (below right), and other New Hampshire views by Cropsey, and Shapleigh. Other exceptional painting highlights include John Frederick Kensett’s Beacon Rock, Newport, 1856, oil on canvas.
About William N. Banks, Jr.
William Nathaniel Banks, Jr. (1924-2019) earned degrees at Dartmouth and Yale (Phi Beta Kappa) and was a four-time MacDowell Colony Fellow, playwright and writer. He was in residence at MacDowell in 1958, twice in 1964, and in 1965. His plays “The Curate’s Play” and “The Glad Girls” were both professionally produced, and he was the longest standing member of MacDowell’s Board of Directors, having served since 1966. Banks devoted his considerable energy and resources to Bankshaven, his beautiful 1820’s Federal style home and gardens in Newnan, GA, which he rescued, restored and reconstructed on the site of his family’s property. In addition to Bankshaven, he maintained an important 19th century residence in Temple, New Hampshire. He was a generous supporter of many nonprofit and arts organizations including the High Museum, Atlanta, where he was a life board member. He was a Bryant Fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and maintained homes in New Hampshire, Georgia and New York City.
About Brunk Auctions
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Brunk Auctions has been conducting sales of fine and decorative arts for over 30 years, handling a diverse mix of fine art, antiques and design, spanning across furniture and paintings to jewelry, with an active and dynamic institutional and private following. The auction house employs a full time staff of 22 specialists, with a combined 100+ years’ experience in New York and Boston with auction houses, galleries, and major museums.
Auctions are held in Brunk’s North Carolina saleroom and are attended – via phone and internet – by bidders from around the world. Its 26,000 square-foot state-of-the-art multimedia auction gallery, evaluation center and auction venue are based in Asheville, North Carolina.
Consistent with public health directives, the collection of William Banks will be available for viewing by appointment at Brunk Auctions’ Asheville gallery at 117 Tunnel Road.
For information, 828-254-6846 or www.brunkauctions.com.