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    Description

    The Hon. Paul H. Buchanan, Jr. Collection

    JOHN HERBERT EVELYN PARTINGTON (American, 1843-1899)

    The Havens' Estate, Piedmont, California, 1892
    Watercolor and gouache on paper
    14-3/4 x 22 inches (37.5 x 55.9 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: JHE Partington / 1892

    PROVENANCE:
    The artist, to his descendants, until 1986;
    Purchased from Richard York Gallery, New York, April 13, 1987 (label verso on protective cardboard backing).

    A fondness for meticulous realism led Paul Buchanan to acquire the work of a number of English-born artists who settled permanently in the United States during the course of the nineteenth century. Among these was John Herbert Evelyn Partington who handled watercolor in the descriptive English manner. Born in Manchester, England, Partington settled in Oakland, California in 1889 where he founded the Partington Art School with his son Richard Langtry Partington.

    In this late career work titled The Havens' Estate, Piedmont, California of 1892, John Partington recorded one of the most idyllic spots in Piedmont, California - the extensive grounds of the home of an entrepreneur and innovative real estate developer, Frank Colton Havens (1848-1917). A native of Sag Harbor, New York, Havens came to California in 1866 after a year's shipping experience in China. At first he worked for the Savings and Loan Association in San Francisco, but by 1880 had formed a successful stock brokerage firm in partnership with Van Dyke Hubbard. He also organized several insurance and investment firms before forming the Realty Syndicate in 1895 in association with F. M. ("Borax") Smith. Together with Smith, their large-scale firm was involved in real estate and utility development for the entire East Bay.

    The same year Partington produced this romantic view of Havens' property, the nearby Piedmont Hotel burned down. Havens saw the disaster as an opportunity to do something for the city. He bought the hotel property and built a new restaurant and clubhouse. He installed electric lights in the park surrounding it and made beautiful paths and bridges. There was even an outdoor theater where plays and musical events could be held. An art lover, Havens also constructed a gallery where the city tennis courts are now located.

    Although Partington's view of the Havens estate gives the impression that the property was located in the countryside rather than within the city of Piedmont itself, this is not the case. Havens and other wealthy Piedmont citizens of the period, including James Gamble, the president of Western Union Telegraph, chose to build their homes - and grounds - right in the middle of the city. They were devoted to the idea of metropolitan green spaces people could enjoy. In his later years, Havens became involved in real estate development promotions in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties where extensive plantings of pine and eucalyptus trees were an important initiative of his.




    Condition Report*: Archivally matted and framed under UV glass. No visible damage or repairs.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    10th-11th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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