Published: June 23, 2020
Review by W.A. Demers, Catalog Photos Courtesy Abell Auction Company
COMMERCE, CALIF. – A painting by Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius (1869-1959), “Alarmed (Big Horn Rocky Mountain Sheep)” climbed to $372,000, securing its status as top lot at Abell Auction’s June 14 sale of fine art and antiques. The oil on canvas, 30 by 40 inches, was signed lower right. Provenance included the Douglas & Eunice Goodan Living Trust, Jackson Hole Art Auction: September 13, 2014, and Thomas Nygard Gallery, Montana. Rungius, a leading American wildlife artist, was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States. He spent his career painting in the western United States and Canada.
The two-session sale included jewelry as well as fine art and antiques, with an 18K gold, platinum and fancy natural gray-blue and pink diamond ring making the top grade among nearly 100 lots of important sparklers when it was bid to $300,000. From a Carmel, Calif., estate, the ring centered one round modified brilliant-cut fancy natural gray-blue diamond weighing 3.10 carats [VS2]; one pear modified brilliant fancy purplish pink natural diamond [SI2] weighing 0.59 carats; one pear modified brilliant fancy pink natural diamond [I1] weighing 0.56 carats; 22 full cut fancy pink diamonds [SI] weighing 0.11 carats total; and 82 full cut diamonds [G/VS] weighing 0.41 carats total 5.30 grams.
Two artworks by wildlife artist Bob Kuhn (1920-2007) were included in the fine art session’s top roster. “Aquacade” depicting a wading elephant, acrylic on Masonite, 24 by 40 inches, was bid to $114,000, while “Cool, Cool Sand,” circa 1987, an acrylic on board, 20 by 32 inches, depicting a lolling cougar, went out at $102,000. Like the Rungius, both had provenance to the Douglas and Eunice Goodan Living Trust.
Also with Goodan provenance and fetching $84,000 was Birger Sandzen’s “Glimpse Of Long’s Peak.” The circa 1937 oil on board, signed lower left, depicted the high and prominent mountain summit in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Sandzen’s trademark thick, textural, impasto style of painting. It measured 22 by 28 inches.
By Gerald Harvey Jones (1933-2017), “Across High Meadows,” a 30-by-24-inch oil on canvas signed lower right with Goodan provenance reached its high estimate at $36,000. Painting under the pseudonym of “G. Harvey,” Jones was an American painter whose Western art often included portraits of cowboys.
Elaine De Kooning’s “Bull,” a watercolor on paper, 11 by 14 inches, signed lower left and with provenance to Kenmore Galleries in Philadelphia charged way beyond its $5,000 high estimate to bring $30,000.
A sculpture highlight in the sale was a Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997) “Fountain,” which rose to $33,000, just above its high estimate. Bristling with copper tubes and glass, the exuberant circa 1967 work measured 36 by 38 inches. The American sculptor, painter, printmaker, jewelry designer and teacher is most renowned for her large-scale abstract metal and glass public sculptures.
Joe Baratta, Abell’s fine art and antiques specialist, said, “Our successful auction was highlighted by an impressive collection of Western paintings. Many of the top lots came from the estate of Douglas and Eunice Goodan. Douglas Goodan was the grandson of Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler, and his wife Eunice was a long-time Los Angeles arts patron and philanthropist. Property from the Goodan collection came from residences in Cambria, Pasadena and Montecito.”
The firm’s jewelry specialist Alexandra Brown said her department was thrilled with the results of the Important Jewels sale. “Most pieces surpassed their high estimates, and the top lot of the sale was the fancy grey-blue and fancy pink diamond ring. Other highlight pieces in the sale included designs by Bulgari, Harry Winston, Tiffany, Schlumberger and other iconic names.”
Another top sparkler in Abell’s jewelry session was a platinum and diamond ring that went out at $150,000, a premium over its $110,000 high estimate. The size 6¼ ring from the same Carmel estate as the top lot contained one cut-cornered rectangular modified radiant brilliant cut diamond [I/VS1] weighing 10.02 carats, and 0.24 carats in accent diamonds.
Two jewelry lots each attained $117,000. The first was an 18K white gold and diamond ring containing one round brilliant diamond [J/SI2] weighing 10.01 carats, and 0.66 carats of accent diamonds. The other was a pair of Roberto Coin platinum and diamond stud earrings containing one round modified brilliant cut diamond [E/SI2] weighing 5.02 carats and one round modified brilliant cut diamond [E/SI2] weighing 5.03 carats. Both pieces stemmed from the Carmel estate.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, 323-724-8102 or www.abell.com.
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