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Significant Historical Artifacts and Items from
The Geiger Collection - Media Page:

Live Auction: Tuesday, October 30, 10AM - Significant Historical Artifacts and Items from The Geiger Collection.  A collection of remarkable items ranging from original oils of George Washington to Civil War artifacts to modern Presidential memorabilia.  Mark your calendars now for one of the most significant historical auctions ever held in Kansas City!  Public exhibition Monday, October 29th from 10am to 5pm.  Invitation only showing Monday evening from 5:30 to 9pm.

Press Releases        Media Coverage        High-Resolution Images        Auction Ads

Press Releases:

For Immediate Release:

Sunflower Auction Reaffirms Authenticity of Jeremiah Paul Masterpiece
October 23, 2007
Overland Park, KS
Sunflower Auction President Gregg Pfister today revealed additional research on the Jeremiah Paul oil on canvas George Washington Leaving His Family, scheduled for auction on October 30th.  The research packet is available on the company’s website
“Experts in early American art from museums in New York and Philadelphia have viewed the painting privately and shared with us additional insights about its probable origin, as well as its aesthetics,” said Pfister. “Paul’s technique is clearly evident in the painting and the canvas is certainly of the period. The Geiger oil appears to be Paul’s masterpiece, having been freely painted.”
Washington died in December 1799. Although the exact composition date of the painting remains obscure, it appears to have been painted shortly after his death, during a period when Washington’s image was in great demand.
According to an article published in the February 23, 1959 edition of Life Magazine, the original painting on which the Edward Bell engraving was based disappeared in 1800 after being sent to London. While the Geiger oil and Bell engraving share a strong consistency in form and appearance, on that basis alone, we cannot definitively say that the Geiger oil was the basis for the engraving. It is possible that Paul painted more than one version of the scene, a common practice for artists of his time.
“Three images of the scene are now available for comparison,” said Pfister, referring to the April 1967 issue of Antiques magazine, profiling a similar oil-on-canvas scene from the Madine Collection. Close examination of the Madine oil reveals significant differences from both the Bell engraving and Geiger oil, leading us to conclude that the Madine oil was not the basis for the engraving.
Research Director Charles Keller says the form of the artist’s signature is important. It appears as “J. Paul Junr.” in the Geiger oil, “J. Paul Junr.” in the engraving, but “J.P. 1800” on the Madine. “The signature on the Geiger painting matches another of Paul’s paintings located in Philadelphia,” said Pfister.
These additional insights have caused Sunflower Auction’s Research Director Charles Keller to revise his appraisal of the painting’s symbolism.
“When viewed through a period lens we see the painting as expressing Washington’s final farewell – to his family and the nation as a whole,” he said. “Placed in this broader historical context the image rises to iconic status. A more appropriate title might be Washington’s Final Farewell.”
The painting will be sold on October 30th at Sunflower Auction’s Overland Park gallery and carries a pre-sale estimate of $500,000 - $1,000,000.
Media contact: Charles Keller, (913) 239-8622,

Download this press release with the research packet (.pdf)


Sunflower Auction to Sell Washington Painting, van Gogh Letter and Important Civil War Artifacts from The Geiger Collection on October 30th
September 20, 2007
Overland Park, Kansas
Sunflower Auction’s ( October 30th auction of significant early American, Civil War, van Gogh and other historical artifacts from The Geiger Collection is attracting international interest. “Even though we’ve just begun promoting the auction, we’ve already heard from the van Gogh Museum in Holland and Radio Deutschland,” said Sunflower Auction Research Director Charles Keller.
The auction will be held at the Sunflower Auction Gallery, 7375 West 161st Street, Overland Park, Kansas at 10am on Tuesday, October 30th, 2007. A full-color print catalog may be ordered by calling (913) 239-8622. An online version of the catalog has been posted at
Auction highlights:
George Washington Leaving His Family original oil-on-canvas by Jeremiah Paul, circa 1798. A lush, romantic and deeply symbolic portrait of the first family of the American Revolution, it shows George Washington leaving Martha and his three adopted grandchildren after President John Adams’ administration appointed him Commander in Chief of the U.S. Army in 1798. The appointment was a reaction to France’s threat of war against the U.S., and resulted in France backing away from its threat, rather than face their former ally and hero of the American Revolution. Sunflower Auction President Gregg Pfister says the response from the art community to the painting has been overwhelming. “The depth and meaning of Paul’s symbolism is only now being fully recognized and understood,” he said. “Two hundred years after its creation, this national treasure continues to stir deep feelings of patriotic pride.” The painting carries a presale estimate of $500,000 - $1,000,000.
Vincent van Gogh’s two-page handwritten Sunflowers letter to G. Albert Aurier, 10/11 February 1890. Van Gogh expresses his gratitude to G. Albert Aurier, author of the only review of van Gogh’s work to appear in his lifetime and discusses his approach to his art, contemporary artists and the famed Sunflowers paintings. The text reads like a window on van Gogh’s soul, revealing clues about his battered mental condition, making him subject to storms of emotion and insecurity that would plague him until his suicide five months later. Keller, a consultant and lecturer in Victorian and early 20th century European history, believes the letter to be one of van Gogh’s most important. “Given the intellectual historical value this letter holds for van Gogh scholars and devotees, his artwork becomes all the more precious when viewed through the artist’s own candid and self-deprecating lens.” The letter carries a presale estimate of $250,000 - $500,000.
Abraham Lincoln handwritten “Manly Man” endorsement, September 1864. President Lincoln personally answers a soldier’s request for transfer by issuing an endorsement note to the soldier’s commanding officer: “I have seen this man, who seems to be an intelligent & manly man, and whose story I believe to be true. If it does not involve much inconvenience, let the transfer he asks, be made.”
Michigan 5th Corps Civil War Gold Honor Badge named to Lt. Col. Throop. Polished cast gold cannon cross, incised edges with inset black enamel-style detail. Hand engraved with Throop’s service record and battle honors such as the Occupation of Alexandria, Bull Run, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, Wilderness and Brandy Station. An unprecedented opportunity for Civil War collectors.
Union General’s John Henry Hobart Ward’s Kepi, Smith & Wesson Revolver and Spyglass. Without doubt one of the finest and best-preserved examples of both a Union General’s kepi and Smith and Wesson revolver in private hands today.
100th New York Volunteers Regimental Flag. Traced to Longly & Brothers of Cincinnati, circa 1863. Well preserved and beautifully presented.
“Fort Independence” 13 Star Ensign. Civil War-era hand sewn wool muslin example of the so-called “Fort Independence” 1781 flag. The U.S. Navy used thirteen star flags throughout the nineteenth century.
Confederate First National 11 Star Flag. A rare example of the CSA’s first official flag.
Jacqueline Kennedy’s Louis XV-style Georgetown and White House Lamp. A rare opportunity to own a piece of Camelot, this Louis XV-style lamp was so well liked by the Kennedys that it was taken from their Georgetown residence to the west sitting room of the White House, and later to Mrs. Onassis’ New York apartment.
Abraham Lincoln Marble Bust by Italian sculptor Pio Fedi. A beautiful bust of President Lincoln, sculpted by the famous Italian artist Pio Fedi in 1865 as Europe mourned the assassinated president. Concurrent with Fedi’s famous sculpture, Pirro che rapisce Polissena.
Ford’s Theater Flag Fragment and Packing Case Attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Two small fragments of red stripe from an American flag, attributed to Ford’s Theater the night of Lincoln’s assassination. “New Salem, Ill” marked packing case traced back to a D.C. antique dealer of Lincoln White House artifacts in 1870.
Additional lot details and photos are available on the web site.
Media contact: Charles Keller, (913) 239-8622,

Download this Press Release (.doc)

Kansas City infoZine®

Media Coverage:

Greater Kansas City Community Newspaper Group Editorial by Jack "Miles" Ventimiglia

Antique Trader Editorial by Mark Moran

Antiques and The Arts Weekly, October 19, 2007, pages 38 and 68


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