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    Description

    WILLIAM MICHAEL HARNETT (American 1848-1892)
    The Pipe Rack (The Artist's Pipe Rack), 1877
    Oil on panel
    7-3/4 x 7-1/4 inches (19.7 x 18.4 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: WM (within H) 1877
    Inscription verso: Presented to Mr. George Y. Browne/by Frank lavaud of Rossville/Staten Island 1884./This picture hung on the wall of the hotel several years before it was presented to Mr. Browne.

    Provenance:
    Thomas Lavaud [also known as Lavand], about 1877 (Staten Island, New York);
    George Y. Browne, 1884;
    Mrs. Mimi Bloch (New York);
    Coe Kerr Gallery (New York);
    Private collection, about 1981 (New York)

    Exhibition:
    Adelson Galleries, American Still Life Paintings 1860-1900, November 4 - 30, 1968, no. 114

    Literature:
    American Still Life Painting, 1860-1900 (Boston: Adelson Galleries, Inc. 1968), p. 12, 14 (reproduced)

    The Pipe Rack, painted in Philadelphia in 1877 was originally owned by Thomas Lavaud, the owner of the Rossville Hotel in Staten Island, where the work was displayed for several years. The picture relates to Harnett's "smoking scenes" of the late 1870s, which commonly include a pipe, beer stein, tobacco holder, matches, biscuits, and a folded newspaper. Over the course of his career, Harnett created a number of pictures which focus on a single object that appears to be hanging on a wall or door.

    Alfred Frankenstein noted that the specific pipe that appears in Harnett's trompe l'oeil still lifes of this time usually has "a richly stained bowl, a cherry-wood stem, and a rubber but, and there are bright brass fittings at the point where the bit fits into the stem and around the upper end of the bowl" (After the Hunt, William Harnett and Other American Still Life Painters 1870-1900, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1953, p. 42). Harnett's ability to render such meticulous details earned him a strong clientele, not merely among art lovers but particularly among business types who prized the keen observation which lay behind the verisimilitude.


    Condition Report*: on panel, minor abrasion and associated inpainting to right upper margin, areas of right margin and lower margin, the picture plane is in excellent condition
    *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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    24th-25th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,206

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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