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Estate of Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch

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Matthew Wilcox
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Published: 7 October 2015

The Estate of Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch

Nancy du Pont Reynolds CoochFreeman's is pleased to be offering selections from the Estate of Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch throughout our autumn auction season.

At her Foxwood estate in Greenville, Delaware, Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch spent a long life creating fine sculpture, raising her children, entertaining friends, and pursuing her antique collecting interests, from early American glass flasks to rare French wine. Committed to her community, she found time to serve numerous children’s charities, museums, and institutions throughout the region. A childhood friend of Andrew Wyeth, Mrs. Cooch appointed her home with his paintings, and cherished his personalized Christmas cards to her family. An avid fisherman, equestrian and hunter, her Foxwood home reflected her many interests and hobbies, with shotgun shells tucked away discretely underneath a superlative collection of Delftware pottery, and prized fishing rods hung on walls like fine paintings. As a member of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin Clos de Vougeot in Bourgogne, she frequently entertained fellow wine lovers from the U.S and Europe, drawing from her impressive wine cellar. As an artist, Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch pioneered sculpting in the modern medium of Lucite, and also worked in bronze. Over her lifetime her works were exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, the National Sculpture League in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in numerous regional venues.

A descendant of Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, founder of the du Pont chemical company, who in 1802 began producing gun powder for the young United States, Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch always embraced her family’s rich American history. She was a member of the Colonial Dames, a charter member of the Mayflower Descendants, and League of American Pen Women. At Foxwood she preserved an important family archive stretching back to Eleuthere’s father, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours. Fittingly, her art also embodied the du Pont heritage, as her unusual medium of choice for sculpture, Lucite, was invented by the du Pont Company in 1931. Moreover in the 1940s she designed a hooked rug, now on exhibition at the Hagley Museum & Library, which was the first such  creation made of nylon, another breakthrough du Pont product. The rug depicts the history of the du Pont family saga, from the ship that brought  her forebear from France, to important historical sites in the Brandywine valley, the du Pont’s early mills and company offices, as well as Christ  Episcopal Church in Greenville, Delaware, which the family attended.  On a whimsical note, Mrs. Cooch also included her little dog, Huffy.  

Highlights from this fine estate include "Winter Corn Fields" by Andrew Wyeth, estimated at $600,000-800,000, which will be offered in the December 6 auction American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists, and the only known copy of a treatise on the first principles of democratic government, the Memoire pour les républiques équinoxiale by Pierre Samuel duPont de Nemours. Estimated at $30,000-50,000, this manuscript will be offered in the October 22 auction of Books, Maps & Manuscripts.

The collection of Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch will be sold throughout the fall of 2015 in the following auctions:

Asian Arts Auction 09/12/15
English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction 10/06/15
Books, Maps & Manuscripts Auction 10/22/15
The Pennsylvania Sale Auction 11/10/15
American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts Auction 11/11/15
The Sporting Sale Auction 11/19/15
American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists Auction 12/06/15
Silver & Objets de Vertu Auction 12/15/15

Estate of Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch

 

 

 

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