Collection of Kathryn and James Abbe, Jr. Provenance Note-Keno 1-22-2013

American School, first quarter 19th century, oil on canvas paintings, a pair of Portraits Depicting Twin Girls in White Dresses

p4A ItemID E8932814
An American School oil on canvas painting, Soda Sarsaparilla & Ginger Ale, New York, late 19th century

p4A ItemID E8932796
A 19th century American School oil on canvas painting, Double Portrait of Boy with Whip and Girl with Rose

p4A ItemID E8932793
A circa 1945 oil n canvas painting, American School, Peri at the Gates of Paradise.

p4A ItemID E8932790

Collection of Kathryn and James Abbe, Jr.

James Abbe, Jr. and his wife Kathryn had identical passions in life. Both had established careers in photography and shared an enthusiasm for art and antiques; their interests meshed perfectly – antiques, old buildings and photography. Mr. Abbe’s particular interest in American folk art was first stirred in the 1930s when he saw the Museum of Modern Art’s pioneer folk art show; even retaining the catalogue as an adult. During the 1960s Mr. Abbe’s passion for antiques prompted his retirement from photography when he opened an antiques shop in Oyster Bay. An early champion of American folk art, he became one of the pre-eminent dealers on Long Island. The couple loved to go on buying trips, to antiques shows and to auctions together.

The Abbes’ home is a wonderful, welcoming, sunny place. The splendid, American folk art is everywhere throughout the house: the kitchen, the bedrooms, living room, even in the bathroom, where old advertising signs hang above the sink. The folk paintings depicting young twin girls in identical white empire dresses, dating from circa 1815; their stern expressions showing an edginess which is found in the best American folk art. “What is most impressive about the furnishings is the richness, the sense there are wonders everywhere. The store closed one year before Mr. Abbe’s death in 1999, but Kathryn still treasures the many folk art pieces and antiques she and her husband collected through the years.

Information courtesy of Keno Auctions, January 22, 2013.

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