Published: March 23, 2021
Notable sales in our April 2, 2021 issue start with a late 1950s abstraction by Elaine de Kooning that soared past its estimate of $40/60,000 to land well into six figures at Doyle. Meanwhile, a snowscape oil on canvas by Fern Coppedge was bid to $18,000 at Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries. Porcelain results included a Qing Dynasty bottle vase that achieved north of $20,000 at Showplace Auction and three porcelain articles in the manner of Sevres, circa 1840s that sold for three times their estimate at Michaan’s. Collectible firearms represented by an Eighteenth Century French musket and a Kentucky long rifle found active bidding at Beattie Auction and Cordier. Read on for more interesting lots offered by auctioneers across the United States.
NEW YORK CITY – Doyle posted a successful auction of midcentury abstraction featuring works from the estate of Violet Werner on March 17. With international competition, the sale totaled $1,493,352, far surpassing the estimate of $600/979,300, with 98 percent sold by lot and 99 percent sold by value – only two lots in the sale remained unsold. Highlighting the sale was a late 1950s abstraction by Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) that attracted strong competition from a large number of determined bidders, sending the work soaring past its estimate of $40/60,000 to achieve $428,400 – the second highest auction price for the artist. Elaine de Kooning was overshadowed by husband Willem through much of her life, and this oil on Masonite was an example of her approach to action painting, deftly holding its own with the work of her male peers. For information, 212-427-4141 or www.doyle.com.
CLARENCE, N.Y. – A French Industrial Revolutionary clock, circa 1890, a “steam engine” example with barometer and thermometer dials, sold for $9,145 at Schultz Auctioneers on March 13. It was a notable lot at the firm’s two-day auction selling approximately 150 pieces of artwork, a large collection of stamps, coins, silver, jewelry, ephemera and more than 300 lots of military, guns and medals and more. For information, 716-759-8483.
MANCHESTER, VT. – “We had a good auction,” reported Eric Nathan regarding his firm’s online-only single-owner sale that ended on March 15. Crossing the block was the lifetime collection of the late Barbara Riley, a passionate collector of fine art, Native American material and much more. One of the standout lots in the sale was a pair of male and female polychrome santos figures, 27 inches high. Probably from New Mexico, early Nineteenth Century, the figures brought $7,380. For information, 802-362-3194 or www.nathanre.com.
BELOIT, WISC. – In an online auction that ran through March 3, Beloit Auction & Realty offered material relating to the Columbus Museum & Chicago 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Honoring the legacy of Christopher Columbus, the online auction featured the personal collection of Dan and Rose Amato, particularly focusing on the 1492 to 1892 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus’ discovery of America. The Amatos began collecting in 1981. Their intrigue with the Italian explorer and navigator who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, opening the way for European exploration and colonization of the Americas, was on display in their collection of items they had amassed over decades. A highlight was a bronze World’s Columbian Expo 400th Anniversary of the Landing of Christopher Columbus medal (shown), 3 inches, which sold for $260. Also, a capodimonte porcelain figure by Luciano Cazzola, “Columbus 500th Anniversary,” #104/500, brought $1,051, while “Christopher Columbus at the Royal Court of Spain,” an artwork, 37 by 52 inches, by J. Murphy went out at $291. For information, www.bid.beloitauction.com or 608-364-1965.
HAMPTON FALLS, N.H. – Edward B. Beattie Auctions conducted an estates auction on March 18 in which the star lot was an Eighteenth Century French Charleville Revolutionary War musket that hit $1,092. According to Wikipedia, the Charleville musket was a .69 caliber standard French infantry musket used in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. It was made in 1717 and was last produced during the 1840s. However, it still saw limited use in conflicts through the mid-Nineteenth Century, including the Crimean War. Ed Beattie said his next auction will take place in early April. For information, 603-770-9878 or email email@example.com.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – Three porcelain articles in the manner of Sevres, circa 1840s but in Eighteenth Century style, comprising a Piedestal a Oignons, and a teacup and saucer zoomed from a $400/500 estimate to sell for $10,200 in Michaan’s Traditional Furnishings and Old Masters auction on March 19. The items were probably all produced at the Minton factory in England. The pedestal was of typical low-bellied form, with green-blue ground, between gilt bands, each side finely painted with fancy birds within oval cartouches decorated with rococo scrolls and foliate motifs. The Tasse (goblet) Hébert or teacup with entwined handle and saucer were well-painted with shaped cartouches containing a bird among foliage, and with an oieil de perdrix and vining foliate gilding below gilt bands. For information, www.michaans.com or 510-740-0220.
NEW YORK CITY – The highlight of Auctions at Showplace’s March 21 Asia Week NYC estate auction was a pear-form Chinese Tiangiuping porcelain bottle vase with a slender neck and a crackle glaze body with pink peony floral decoration that sold for $25,000. The base included six-character marks and a label “Yung Cheng 1723-1735,” probably referencing Yong-Zheng, the Yongzheng emperor (1678-1735) who reigned during the Qing dynasty. For information, www.nyshowplace.com or 212-633-6063.
HARRISBURG, PENN. – A classic American long rifle (also known as a Kentucky rifle or a Pennsylvania rifle) signed by master gunsmith John Armstrong of Emmittsburg, Md., was a high selling lot in Cordier Auctions & Appraisals’ March 21 auction, taking $9,600. John Armstrong is considered to be one of the most important early gunsmiths, and his rifles are known for their high-quality and intricate patch boxes. “This example may be an old period restock as the butt architecture and cheek piece molding are not consistent with the normal Armstrong; if this is the case, the restocker was an expert and he chose a fine piece of wood,” said the firm’s Melanie Hartman. For information, 717-731-8662 or www.cordierauction.com.
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – A snowscape oil on canvas by Fern Coppedge (1883-1951) sold for $18,000 at Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries’ March 20 sale. The work measured 20 by 24 inches and centered on a Bucks County village with a fresh layer of snow dropped on it. A faint inscription on the stretcher read, “Property of Mary Rule(?).” Coppedge is the subject of a boutique solo show at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Penn., currently on view through April 18. That exhibition brings forward a number of her scrapbooks and recent acquisitions of works in the museum’s collection. For information, www.midhudsongalleries.com or 914-882-7356.
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