Published: February 2, 2021
Notable sales in our February 12, 2021 issue start with the oil on canvas “A Happy Elephant” by David Shepherd that sold at DuMouchelles for five figures. A Korean scroll painting of Avalokesitesvara gaveled at more than twenty-times its high estimate at Andrew Jones. Eldred’s moved a snow scene painting by Jay Hall Connaway, while a musical piece of art in the form of an elaborately carved Steinway & Sons grand piano hit a high note in the five-figure range at Lark Mason. An Arts and Crafts carpet, more paintings and a four-poster bed invite you to explore even more.
DETROIT, MICH. – Day two of DuMouchelles’ January 28-29 auctions was still raging on when the firm’s Karen Beecher reported standouts of the sale – two oils on canvas of African wildlife by David Shepherd OBE, FRSA (British, 1931-2017). Shepherd’s iconic African elephant, “A Happy Elephant,” 24 by 52 inches, sold for $57,150 (pictured), and lions depicted in his “Two Gentlemen of Savuti,” 18 by 30 inches, also sold for $57,150. Shepherd is well known for his paintings of elephants and wildlife and was one of the world’s most outspoken conservationists. The Shepherd paintings were from the estate of a Pleasant Ridge, Mich., sporting art collector. Bidders were on the phone and on the internet, with the winning bid hailing from the internet. DuMouchelles’ next auctions are February 25-26 and will be the third session for the collection of Senator Jack Faxon, an avid art collector and a champion for the arts that led to him create the Michigan Council for the Arts. For information, 313-963-6255 or www.dumouchelles.com.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – Iconic Midcentury Modern furniture by top designers such as Nakashima and Arne Jacobsen, the art of Miro and Chagall, Native American turquoise and sterling silver and rare Chinese porcelains beckoned bidders to Michaan’s January 23 gallery auction. A Chinese ding-type lobed bowl marched from its $1/1,500 estimate to sell for $15,600 to a local collector, with international bidding on the phone and online. Property from a Vancouver, Canada, estate by descent, the bowl featured deep rounded sides indented into six petal lobes, the interior center incised with a floral spray, the exterior walls further decorated with similar floral design, the base incised with a calligraphic inscription, covered overall with a thick creamy glaze, the rim bound in metal. It measured 7¾ inches wide. Also during the weekend sale, new auction records were set for Judith Azur’s painting, “Spectral Angles,” 1974, oil on canvas, at $6,000 and for Mildred Howard’s untitled 1995 mixed-media assemblage collage at $1,920. For information, www.michaans.com or 510-740-0220.
ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – Estate antiques, fine art and jewelry crossed the block at Burchard Galleries on January 24, with more than 100 works of art to include paintings, prints and sculpture. An autumnal Chilean river landscape (shown) by Alfredo Helsby (Chilean, 1862-1933) led the 516-lot sale, going out at $8,400. Signed lower right, the oil on canvas measured 24 by 18¼ inches. Also doing well in the sale was Charles Wilda’s (Austrian, 1854-1907) full-length portrait of a young girl, an oil on canvas dated 1904, 52 by 31¾ inches, in an elaborate period pierce carved and gesso frame with floral festoon ribbon application. From the Maestro Dino Bigalli collection, it was bid to $6,000. For information, 800-520-2787 or www.burchardgalleries.com.
LOS ANGELES – The January 27 DTLA Collections & Estates auction at Andrew Jones featured a strong section of Asian and Chinese works of art as well as fine art, furnishings, design and accessories. A surprise lot among a selection of Asian works of art was a Korean scroll painting of Avalokesitesvara that jumped its $800-$1,200 estimate on 45 bids to finish at $27,500. The Water-moon Avalokiteshvara is an iconographic type that was popular in Korea during the Goryeo period. She was worshipped for her ability to prevent calamities and diseases and to safeguard travelers on their journey. From the Nineteenth Century or possibly earlier, the 69-by-30-inch panel was in distressed condition on scroll supports with holes in the backing, creases, tears and discoloration. The auction house said it would benefit from some restoration. For information, 213-748-8008 or www.andrewjonesauctions.com.
PHILADELPHIA – Kamelot Auctions’ January 28 interiors sale was advertised as “a highly curated collection of 356 objects of beauty.” From an $8 million Bar Harbor estate, a prominent 80-acre Montgomery County estate and an Art Deco collection amassed over 35 years, the 356-lot sale was led by a carved French king-size poster bed with upholstered headboard and tassel decoration by Nancy Corzine. Bringing more than ten times its $600/800 estimate to retire at $10,400, the bed’s inside dimensions were 74¾ by 85½ inches, 91 inches high. For information, www.kamelotauctions.com or 215-438-6990.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – It was not the highest price achieved at Eldred’s 289-lot Paintings Auction on January 28, but it was one of the best results relative to estimate, with “Meeting the Doctor” by Jay Hall Connaway (Maine/Arizona/Indiana, 1893-1970) bringing $22,500. Estimated at $12/18,000, the 16-by-20-inch oil on board, from a Massachusetts estate, was exhibited at the Monhegan Historical & Cultural Museum in 2007 and had a Gerald Peters Gallery provenance. Josh Eldred, president of Eldred’s, said he was pleased with the sale results across the board. For information, www.eldreds.com or 508-385-3116.
GLEN COVE, N.Y. – An Arts and Crafts carpet attributed to British artist Gavin Morton (1867-1954) flew past its $4/6,000 estimate to land at $25,600 at Roland NY’s January 30 estates auction. The Donegal design was created on the 208-by-148-inch textile. Morton is perhaps best known for his work as head of the design department for Morton & Co (later Morton Sundour Fabrics Ltd.). The Scotland based textile company, founded by his uncle Alexander Morton, made muslin, lace, tapestry, printed fabrics and carpeting. Over time, Morton & Co aligned itself with the rising Arts and Crafts Movement in Great Britain. This movement, founded by William Morris, sought to counter the craze for “Orientalist” imports and mass-produced goods by encouraging a renewed interest in domestic artisans (using non-industrialized working tools), while ensuring they received fair pay and good working conditions. For information, 212-260-2000 or www.rolandauctions.com.
EAST MORICHES, N.Y. – Topping South Bay Auctions 300-lot auction on January 30 was an oil canvas by French artist Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) depicting stags in the forest. Signed and dated “1883” lower left, the 19-by-23½-inch canvas outperformed its $1/3,000 estimate and sold for $8,250. Born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur, she was widely considered to be the most famous female painter of the Nineteenth Century, mostly as a painter of animals but also a sculptor in a realist style. For information, 631-878-2909 or www.southbayauctions.com.
NEW YORK CITY – An elaborately carved Steinway & Sons Model B Tudor-style grand piano hit a high note for $51,000 at Lark Mason & Associates’ French Furniture & Decorative Arts sale that closed January 26. The piano had provenance to Henry Luce III, who held a number of positions at Time magazine, the company his father started, before becoming publisher in 1969. Luce III would bring Time-Life into the music industry before he devoted his attention fully to the Henry Luce Foundation. Circa 1911, the piano and matching bench seat featured carved motifs of cherubs, foliate curlicues and fish scales. For information, 212-289-5524 or www.larkmasonassociates.com.
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