Published: July 15, 2020
Notable sales found in our July 24, 2020 issue offer an array of interests for collectors of all levels. Among the higher priced pieces of art, “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7: Pipe,” a masterwork by British sculptor Henry Moore sold at Bonhams while a six-panel composition titled “Cockatoo Chinensis (Hornbills and Cockatoos)” by Louisiana artist Hunt Slonem danced across the block at Neal Auction. Jewelry found high bids at Skinner for a diamond sautoir by Driecer & Co and its 9.65-carat diamond drop.
NEW YORK CITY – “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7: Pipe,” a masterwork by British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) sold for $602,075 at Bonhams Impressionist & Modern art sale on July 7. The sculpture was cast in bronze in a numbered edition of nine plus one artist’s proof. Other bronze casts of this work are in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London and the Whitworth Gallery at the University of Manchester. The original plaster from which the bronzes were cast is in the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. For information, www.bonhams.com or 212-644-9001.
BOSTON – Jewelry from three New England estates led the way at Skinner’s jewelry auctions on June 30. From the estate of Mary Weld Pingree, founder of the Pingree School and once described as “Boston’s richest girl,” was a diamond sautoir by Driecer & Co. The necklace and its 9.65-carat diamond drop (shown) sold for $175,000. Another estate included two rare colored stones – a Kashmir sapphire ring that sold for $262,500 and a Colombian emerald ring that sold for $100,000. For information, www.skinnerinc.com or 617-350-5400.
NEW ORLEANS, LA. – Neal Auction’s June 12-14 summer estates auction garnered impressive results, achieving $2.2 million in sales. Highlights from the George and Wendy Rodrigue collection included a monumental six-panel composition titled “Cockatoo Chinensis (Hornbills and Cockatoos)” by Louisiana artist Hunt Slonem (b 1951). The 2001 archetypal painting (shown) sold for $78,000. A 1986 screen-print of “Teddy Roosevelt” by American Pop art artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) also sold well at $33,500. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Rodrigue collection will benefit the Life and Legacy Foundation, nonprofit organization that inspires children of all ages and diverse backgrounds to explore the world of art through unique programming centered on and honoring the life and art of George Rodrigue. For information, 504-899-5329 or www.nealauction.com.
RED HOOK, N.Y. – The top lot in George Cole Auctions’ July 11 estate sale – and one of nine gas pumps in the sale -was this 1959 Tokheim 39L-RA gas pump “Fire Chief,” which made $2,970 against an estimate of $2/3,000. The sale, in which lots of badges and pin-up art also featured prominently, was more than 96 percent sold by lot. George Cole Auctions is at 7578 North Broadway. For information, 845-758-9114 or www.georgecoleauctions.com.
NEW YORK, PARIS, LONDON & HONG KONG – Leading nearly 80 lots in Christie’s Twentieth Century ONE sale, conducted globally through rooms in Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York City, was Roy Lichtenstein’s “Nude with Joyous Painting,” which achieved $46.2 million in a sale that grossed $420,941,042. The sale was watched by more than 80,000 people, with 37 percent of buyers from the Americas, 38 percent of buyers from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 26 percent from Asia and Australia. For additional information, www.christies.com.
REHOBOTH, MASS. – This circa 1930 painting of the town of Nantucket by American artist Frank Swift Chase (1886-1958) was the top lot at Americana Auctions’ July 12 Summer Estates sale, bringing $14,375 from a New York City trade buyer bidding on Invaluable. Chase, despite being from California, is known as the “dean” of Nantucket artists and spent most summers there from 1920 until his death, painting and teaching art. A comparable example to this scene is in the collection of the Nantucket Historical Association. Americana Auctions is at 380 Winthrop Street. For information, www.americana-auctions.com or 508-771-1722.
BERKELEY, CALIF. – It took only two bids to wrap up a magnificent first edition midcentury artists’ book at PBA Galleries’ July 9 sale of fine art, photography, prints, food and drink. Realizing $5,100, the four-volume set comprised each volume with three full-page color silkscreen prints and an additional silkscreen on the title page and upper cover. No. 47 of 200 copies, each volume was signed by the poet and artist on the limitation page. These included John Ashbery’s The Poems, with prints by Joan Mitchell; Frank O’Hara, Odes, with prints by Michael Goldberg; Kenneth Koch, Permanently, with prints by Alfred Leslie; and James Schuyler, with prints by Grace Hartigan. For information, www.pbagalleries.com.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Country Americana, garden and decorative arts crossed the block at Hyde Park Country Auctions on July 12 in a three-session sale that offered up the partial contents of several local estates and collections. The sale brought many items to auction for the first time, including property from two local physicians who were downsizing. The leading lot at $7,872 was a puffy sleeve folk art portrait, a miniature watercolor and hollow-cut silhouette portrait of a lady wearing a puffy sleeve blue dress and holding a sprig of flowers. Done in the early Nineteenth Century and attributed to Ezra Wood, the portrait was mounted in a period lemon gold frame, and conserved on reverse side to avoid staining. Sight size was 3½ by 4-1/8 inches. For information, www.hpcountryauctions.com or 845-471-5660.
MELBOURNE, FLA.- A signed Picasso exhibition poster for the 1960 Vallauris Exposition was the top lot at Mathesons’ Gallery when it sold for $5,175. It features the “Hors Commerce” stamp on the bottom left, one of only 30 known. Hors Commerce translates to “Out of Trade,” these prints are similar to artist proofs and only available from the artist directly. The poster measured 27½ by 22¾ inches. For more information, www.mathesonsgallery.com or 321-768-6668.
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