Freeman’s Auctioneers and Appraisers

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freemans-logoFreeman’s holds an esteemed place in America’s history as its oldest auction house, and as one of the country’s first family owned businesses. For seven generations, since 1805, Freeman’s has made up an integral part of the country’s auction culture, taking part in countless, often historically significant sales of  jewelry, fine art, furniture, and antiques on behalf of private collections, estates, and museums.

From Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 full-length portrait of George Washington to Renoirs and Cezanne’s from the collection of Nelle and Mary Mullen and H. Richard Dietrich Jr.’s rare and early colors from the USS Constitution, there is little that Freeman’s hasn’t seen or sold over its lengthy history.

The company began by the efforts of a printseller Tristram Bamfylde Freeman who came to America from London. After an order from Pennsylvania Governor Thomas McKean, Freeman was appointed to the office of auctioneer in Philadelphia, where he subsequently began the company in 1805. Now with offices in New England, the Midwest, the Southeast, and on the West Coast, it has never been easier for clients to connect with auction house experts. America’s oldest auction house is your local connection, wherever you are, to the international art market.

Sharing both English roots and a mutual love for scholarship, preservation and restoration of British cultural heritage, Freeman’s has been a proud sponsor of the Royal Oak Foundation Drue Heinz Lecture Series for the past five years. Most recently, we added Beverly Hills and Los Angeles to the roster in response to Freeman’s newly appointed West Coast representative.

In the fall of 2013, we were all delighted by Oliver Everett and his lecture “King George IV, the Greatest Royal Collector of Art.” King George IV was passionately fond of lavish display and decoration. He furnished his palaces from Brighton Pavilion to Windsor Castle with an amazing collection of paintings, furniture, clocks, porcelain, and sculpture. While the king had many advisors, it was John Bridge who was responsible for guiding His Majesty in the assemblage of his magnificent collection of gold and silver objects. John Bridge, along with his business partner Philip Rundell, were responsible for one of Britain’s most important and successful silver manufacturing businesses. The firm became regular suppliers to the Royal Family, and as the Royal Goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell became synonymous with the Imperial style in silver reflected in the enhanced pride of Britain at the time.

This past May, Freeman’s offered a spectacular example of this English craftsmanship in our Silver & Objets de Vertu auction; a fine George III silver centerpiece by John Bridge for Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell, manufactured in London sometime around 1809-10. This piece is reflective of one of the Royal Family’s particular tastes—that of having antique elements adapted into modern creations. The Bacchanalian mask in this centerpiece is taken from the 2nd century Warwick vase. David Walker, head of the Silver & Objets de Vertu department said of the centerpiece, “This impressive piece encapsulates everything that should appeal to the silver collector—quality, scarcity, provenance and the cache of a royal maker.”

In addition to Silver & Objets de Vertu, Freeman’s offers over 30 live in-house auctions a year, in categories such as fine and modern art, British and European furniture and decorative arts, Pennsylvania folk art, KPM porcelain, Asian antiquities, fine jewelry, as well as rare books and manuscripts. The intrigue of the auction business is that one never knows what will come through the door next, and we hope it will be you!

Freeman’s is pleased to extend our tradition of hospitality to Royal Oak members. For more information about Freeman’s preview events, upcoming auctions, or requests for complimentary catalogues, please contact Senior Vice President Tara Theune Davis at 267.414.1229 or