Freeman’s to Sell The Collection of Dorrance “Dodo” H. Hamilton

January 19, 2018, Philadelphia, PA — Freeman’s is honored to announce it has been selected to bring to auction the Collection of Mrs. Dorrance "Dodo" H. Hamilton, renowned philanthropist and horticulturist. It will be offered in two auctions: the fine art, furniture, porcelain, silver and other decorative and personal items will be presented as a single-owner sale, The Collection of Dorrance "Dodo" H. Hamilton on April 29; while Mrs. Hamilton's jewelry collection will be offered in Freeman's Fine Jewelry auction on May 9.

A woman of many accomplishments, Mrs. Hamilton had a special commitment to philanthropy.  “She was a much-beloved figure whose name resonates in Philadelphia and far beyond. ‘Dodo’, as she was known to everyone, left an indelible imprint upon the places she called home through her generous philanthropic acts which improved and enriched the lives of many,” said Freeman’s Chairman Alasdair Nichol. Mrs. Hamilton fostered the growth of the educational, environmental, cultural and creative sectors of the communities in which she lived. “Hers was a life well-lived and the collection reflects her passions and enthusiasms. We look forward to the exciting events and auctions this spring,” added Mr. Nichol. 

The collection of more than 150 lots, comprised of paintings by Cézanne, Hassam, and Garber, jewelry by Cartier and Tiffany & Co., European and American decorative arts, reflects her preference for surrounding herself with what she loved, without concern for trends. 

“One of the undoubted highlights of the sale is an exceptional oil painting entitled La Vie des Champs by the French master, Paul Cézanne. The painting has all the characteristic trademarks one associates with Cézanne as well as a storied provenance and history,” commented Mr. Nichol.  The painting’s original owner was the legendary art dealer Ambroise Vollard, who gave Cézanne his first exhibition in 1895, and whose clients included Dr. Albert C. Barnes, of Philadelphia. The painting then passed to Prince Alexandre Bibesco, a Romanian aristocrat, who counted Marcel Proust as a close friend amongst the many celebrated artists, musicians, and writers who formed his circle. It subsequently passed through the hands of noted dealers such as Pierre Matisse, Alex Maguy, and Acquavella Galleries before entering the collection of Elinor Dorrance Ingersoll, the mother of ‘Dodo’ Hamilton and the originator of her nickname.  It was exhibited twice in London in the 1920s and twice in Philadelphia, once in 1934 and most recently in the 1996 exhibit, “Paul Cezanne: Une Retrospective,” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Paul Cézanne’s La Vie des Champs, 1876-77 (estimate $1.2-1.8 million), will travel to London, Paris, Hong Kong, and New York for public and private viewings before returning to Philadelphia.

Mrs. Hamilton’s love for nature is mirrored throughout her collection and most notably in her landscape, seascape, and still-life paintings. In addition to La Vie de Champs by Cézanne, highlights of the European fine art include works by Eugène Boudin, Henri Fantin-LaTour, and Pierre-Joseph Redouté. While studying and living in Paris, Fantin-LaTour was friends with Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, and James McNeill Whistler. He was a painter and lithographer, most well-known for his portraits and floral paintings. Painting still-lifes was particularly important to Fantin-Latour, not only because it made him financially stable, but also because it was a way to understand the art and manière of the great Masters of the past, such as Velásquez and Rembrandt, whom he greatly admired and copied in the Louvre. Whistler invited him to England where he painted over 800 ‘floral portraits’ between 1864 and 1896. Fantin-LaTour revered the luminosity of pastel flowers and favored whites, yellows, and pinks. Narcisses Simples et Doubles Dans Une Verre Long (estimate $100,000-150,000) is a wonderful example of Fantin-LaTour’s oeuvre.

Mrs. Hamilton married her favorite regions and interests with the artists who represented them best: Pennsylvania’s countryside by Daniel Garber, sea and surf by William Trost Richards, and New England’s coast by Childe Hassam.  Within the collection are several works by these and other American artists such as Martin Johnson Heade, Maurice Prendergast and John Twachtman

Hassam, the prominent American Impressionist, visited Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1900 where he executed numerous paintings including White Church, Provincetown (estimate $250,000-400,000). Provincetown was one of the artist's favorite spots along the New England coast, together with Gloucester. The city was home to many artists during the summer months, and Childe Hassam chose to depict picturesque aspects of the town including its quaint architecture, rather than more traditional fishing activities. Hassam's pristine landscapes and lovely cottages exemplify his admiration for a region still associated with early American settlement and colonial prosperity.

American Impressionism became well established in Pennsylvania by the community of artists known as the “New Hope School” which included Daniel Garber. An en plein air painter like Hassam, Garber favored scenes along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania’s countryside. His landscapes were prolific in exploring this subject. Morning Train (estimate $200,000-300,000), executed in 1924, is one of many views looking down the curving sweep of the Delaware River from the hill at Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Also on offer is an earlier work by Garber, Water Birch – Springtime (estimate $120,000-180,000), executed in 1919 and set in the idyllic New Hope area capturing the colors of the Spring season.

A native of Philadelphia, William Trost Richards first exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. By 1881 when he moved to Jamestown, Rhode Island, he was well-known as a significant Hudson River School artist. The majority of his work is marine paintings and Harbor Entrance on Bull Point, Conanicut Island, Rhode Island (estimate $150,000-250,000) is a radiant example. Trost Richards, favoring realism over romanticism, captures the glowing golden light emanating from the clouds and reflecting upon the water.  There are three additional works by Trost Richards in the collection. 

The collection also features two works from the Birds of America folio, Roseate Spoonbill (estimate $40,000-60,000) and Great White Heron (estimate $30,000-50,000) by the celebrated ornithological artist, J. J. Audubon.  

Within the collection, the decorative arts are as varied as Mrs. Hamilton’s interests and were closely related to the houses for which they were chosen.  The Philadelphia residence was elegant and formal, and featured the fine Chinese export, English and European porcelain collection she loved, highlighted by pieces featuring botanicals and fauna by Meissen, Staffordshire, and Derby. The seaside Newport residence featured nautical and ocean-related objects, such as a collection of American Sailor’s valentines, as well as a fine collection of American Arts and Crafts furniture and objects by Stickley, Greene & Greene, and Newcomb pottery. Throughout the house, family pieces such as a vintage Goyard trunk were still in use.

Not to be outshined is Mrs. Hamilton’s jewelry collection. Foremost is an exquisite 16.56 carat emerald-cut diamond and platinum ring (estimate $600,000-800,000). The emerald-cut diamond is F-color with VS-2-clarity and is flanked by tapering baguettes. This ring will accompany La Vie des Champs by Cézanne to London, Paris, Hong Kong, and New York. Everyday, cocktail, and formal styles are represented in her collection. Highlights include a Cartier diamond strap bracelet covered watch (estimate $30,000-50,000); an Art Deco diamond and rock crystal strap bracelet (estimate $30,000-50,000); and an emerald cabochon encrusted silk purse (estimate $500-700). Mrs. Hamilton’s jewelry collection will be offered in the Fine Jewelry auction on May 9.


London Exhibition* January 29 & 30   |   22 Connaught Street, Lyon & Turnbull

Paris Exhibition* February 1 & 2 

Hong Kong Exhibition* February 6-9

New York Highlights Exhibition   |   Details to be announced. 

Main Line Highlights Exhibition   |   Freeman’s Eagle Village 503 W Lancaster Ave, Wayne   |   Details to be announced. 

*Available for viewing at these locations will be Cézanne’s La Vie de Champs and the 16.56 carat emerald-cut diamond and platinum ring. 

Philadelphia Exhibition April 21-28   |   Freeman's 1808 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

The Collection of Dorrance “Dodo” H. Hamilton
AUCTION | Sunday, April 29 at Freeman's

Fine Jewelry featuring The Collection of Dorrance “Dodo” H. Hamilton
EXHIBITION | April 21-28; May 4-8 at Freeman’s
AUCTION | Wednesday, May 9 at Freeman’s

For information regarding The Collection of Dorrance “Dodo” H. Hamilton
Thomas B. McCabe   |   Vice President, Private Collections 
267.414.1235   |

For additional images or media inquiries:
Tara Theune Davis, Bespoke Strategies  |  917.318.5577  |




About Freeman’s: As America’s oldest auction house, Freeman's has been a constant throughout the auction world for seven generations. Founded in 1805 by Tristram Bampfylde Freeman, the company’s traditions of excellence have benefited many new generations of private collectors, institutions, estates, and museums. Freeman’s holds more than 25 auctions a year in the following categories: American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists; American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design; Asian Arts; Books, Maps & Manuscripts; British & European Furniture & Decorative Arts; European Art & Old Masters Jewelry& Watches; Modern & Contemporary Art; Silver & Objets de Vertu. Freeman’s marketing alliance with Scotland’s Lyon & Turnbull—Scotland’s oldest auction house—has extended Freeman’s international reach. Additionally, Freeman’s offers Trusts & Estates and Museum Services. For more information, visit: