A Finely Carved Pine Sternboard Portrait Bust of Daniel Webster, Sag Harbor, New York, Circa 1850

Height 29 1/2 inches. 

Sotheby's, New York, The Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection, Part I, December 11-12, 1981, sale 4758, lot 506;
William Greenspon, New York;
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, January 22-23, 2010, sale 8608, lot 518;
Allan Katz, Woodbridge, Connecticut;
Sotheby's, New York, Sculptural Fantasy: The Important American Folk Art Collection of Stephen and Petra Levin, October 10, 2019, lot 212.

Holly Solomon and Alexandra Anderson, Living with Art, (New York: Rizzoli International, 1988), p.96.

New York, Museum of American Folk Art, The Hunt for the Whale, 1967.

Daniel Webster (1782–1852) was a member of the Whig party representing Massachusetts in the Senate for 19 years (1827-1841, 1845-1850).  He also served as US Secretary of State under Millard Fillmore, William Henry Harrison, and John Tyler.  

Provenance:Property from the Collection of Paul M. Bentley, Oostburg, WI

Paul Bentley was a lifelong collector of idiosyncratic Americana and folk art, who, along with his wife Judith, built a one-of-a-kind collection which they installed in their equally interesting home. Nestled on the western shore of Lake Michigan and designed by renowned Chicago architect Margaret McCurry, the home was nicknamed “The Crayola House.”

During the planning stages, Paul wrote an essay for McCurry about the life of a retired ship captain. The essay was prompted by Paul’s encyclopedic knowledge of pirate history and his 30 years diving Lake Michigan shipwrecks, especially as a volunteer with the Wisconsin Historical Society Underwater Archaeology team. It sparked the architect’s imagination and ultimately inspired the design for the one-of-a-kind home.

Paul’s impressive collection of American folk art includes carved wood figures, carnival toys, a Popeye riding toy, trade figures and signs, and several other rare and unusual examples. His life was full of exploration and curiosity, which is so clearly represented in the objects he acquired.

Estimate: $6,000 - $9,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us


Cowan’s Cincinnati Office offers an in-house, full-service shipping department which is unparalleled in the auction industry. Shipping costs are provided with your finalized invoice 24-48 hours after auction. For furniture and oversized items, we recommend using third-party services. For more information, click HERE or contact cowansshipping@hindmanauctions.com.  

NOTE: All pickups and preview are by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call 513-871-1670 or email cincinnati@hindmanauctions.com