Published: March 27, 2012
A Jasper Francis Cropsey painting, fresh to the market after having descended in the same California family for the past 80 years, returned from the West Coast to the Hudson River Valley county where it was painted †to be sold at auction this past Saturday, March 24, at Mid Hudson Galleries.
Auctioneer JoAnne Grant described it as a “serendipity story,” commenting that she received a phone call in January from a couple in California who wondered if their Cropsey painting might be “suitable” for her to sell at one of Mid Hudson’s auctions. A flight to San Francisco was quickly scheduled and it was not long before the oil titled “Head of the Lake,” surely another of the artist’s renditions of one of his favorite subjects †Greenwood Lake †was featured at the Mid Hudson auction.
With four telephones ready, Grant opened the lot for bidding at $50,000 with one of the phone bidders hitting the lot right away. Another phone bidder jumped in at $60,000 and it was then that a couple seated in the room advanced the bid to $70,000. The determined couple, private collectors from Pennsylvania, stayed in the action until the bitter end, ultimately claiming the painting at $180,000, including premium.
The couple related to Grant that the purchase of the rare painting was a “celebratory present †a birthday present to themselves.”
A complete review of the auction will appear in a future issue. ⁄SS
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