Americana is a broad term used by vintage Americana auctions and dealers to describe any artifact or object that relates to United States history, cultural heritage or folklore. For example, Americana includes a style of music like Johnny Cash or country music, art movements such as Andy Warhol or old Westerns, and even everyday objects such as vintage jukeboxes and soda pop machines. The auction house’s collection of Americana spans all these categories, with departments devoted to Art & Antiques, Autographs, Contemporary Fine Arts, Printed & Manuscript African Americana, Illustration Art, Books & Antique Prints and Vintage Posters.
Swann Galleries was founded in 1942, making it New York’s oldest specialty auction house. Swann has established a reputation for integrity and innovation in the field, offering rare and antiquarian books, works on paper, Americana, fine art, decorative arts, and furniture.
Old Americana Auctions: Unveiling the Timeless Charm of Vintage American Collectibles
A highlight of our summer sale was a major offering of vintage and modern magic apparatus from the collection of Jim Deloach, including props made by Okito, Petrie & Lewis, Norm Nielsen, Abbott’s and Thayer. This was complemented by a trove of sideshow memorabilia, including costumes, electric chair props, and banners from the legendary Tom Thumb.
Another highlight of this sale was a pair of Charles Peale Polk (1767-1822) portraits of Eleanor and Gerard Briscoe, painted in 1799 and 1801. The auction record for this historic material is $72,900, and it sold to an East Coast dealer who had outbid a Virginia institution on the phone. A selection of early American glass deaccessioned from Vermont’s Bennington Museum also performed well, led by a blown-molded GII-6 deep bowl in an unusual brilliant yellow green that came from the collections of John and Barbara Hoyle (lot 488, $39,477).