Thomas Molesworth's Annenburg Commission to auction at Christie's

On September 25 in New York, Christie's will offer The Annenburg Commission by Thomas Molesworth, Property from Ranch A as part of its Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Paintings and Prints sale.

Thomas Molesworth Ranch A Annenburg Christie's auction
The ranch as pictured in National Geographic magazine in the 1950s

The Annenburg Commission is comprised of 28 pieces of furniture and objects created by Thomas C Molesworth (1890-1977), who is credited as the creator of the American Western aesthetic.

The commission, from Moses Annenburg in 1933, was Molesworth's first, and one that would launch his career at the forefront of American furniture making.

Ranch A refers to the site at Beulah, Wyoming, that publishing mogul Annenburg bought in 1932. He had stopped at a local restaurant and, being particularly taken with the trout served, asked where it was bought. When told, he immediately went and purchased the 650 acres of land surrounding the creek that had been fished, paying $27,000 in cash on the spot.

Thomas Molesworth Firescreen
This Molesworth firescreen will see some of the highest bids, valued at $30,000-50,000

In keeping with the ranch's setting, it was decked out in an exaggerated cowboy style by Molesworth, complete with Navajo blankets and rugs, Chimayo weavings and Western art, a theme that would be present in Molesworth's work for the remainder of his career.

The collection has been consigned by the present owners of Ranch A, whose parents bought the ranch in the early 1950s. Now owned by the State of Wyoming, the ranch functions as the Ranch A Educational Centre.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a magnificent selection of fine furniture available in our online store.

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