Published: March 30, 2021
Notable sales in our April 9, 2021 issue include everything from sought-after art to brilliant mechanical devices. To start, a panel painting by graffiti artist Hebru Brantley sold for $28,290 at Kensington Estate Auctions. Other art pieces this week include a Pierre Soulages etching on paper at Lark Mason, a painting by Maud Earl at Copake, and an early work by Bruce Conner that brought five figures at Michaan’s. A French Paul O’Dobey wire tower clock, circa 1899, doubled its high estimate at Miller & Miller. Round these out with a Doulton Burslem Fox Hunt punch bowl and a Horner furniture suite and you’ve got some great bidding activity going on.
CLINTONDALE, N.Y. – A two-part panel painting by graffiti artist Hebru Brantley sold for $28,290 at Kensington Estate Auctions’ March 15 sale. Of acrylic on plywood, the work featured a number of the artist’s recurring images, including Fly Boy, anime characters, superheroes and other commentary. Brantley’s work is inspired by the Afro Cobra Movement of the South Side of Chicago as well as the comic strips he read growing up. Each panel measured 41½ by 57½ inches. For more information, www.kensingtonestateauctions.com or 917-331-0807.
NEW YORK CITY – A Pierre Soulages (French, b 1919) etching on paper titled “Eau-forte no 10 B” sold for $15,625 in Lark Mason’s single-owner online sale that ended March 16. The work was editioned 49 of 65 and was published by Juster Gallery in 1957. Now 102 years old, Soulages has held a slew of major museum shows throughout his career, including a centennial life celebration at the Louvre. For information, 212-289-5524 or www.larkmasonassociates.com.
NEW HAMBURG, ONTARIO, CANADA – The top lot in Miller & Miller Auctions’ March 20 sale of music machines, clocks and Canadiana, including the Koolen collection, was a French Paul O’Dobey wire tower clock, circa 1899, that doubled its high estimate to ring up $9,430 from a buyer in the United States bidding online. The clock had come from a monastery and featured an “angelus strike” that strikes 12 times on a small bell to signal the monks to prayer three times daily. It was one of almost 100 lots from the collection of Cathy and Gerry Koolen that formed a sizeable portion of the nearly 650-lot sale. Prices have been converted from Canadian dollars to US dollars. For information, 519-662-4800 or www.millerandmillerauctions.com.
COPAKE, N.Y. – A painting by Maud Earl (British-American, 1864-1943), “Miss Hatfield’s Wire-haired / Fox Terrier ‘Morden Bric-a-Brac,'” fetched top price, $5,605, at Copake Auction’s March 20 online estate sale. The oil on canvas with a Richard Green label verso measured 18 by 24 inches. Maud Alice Earl was known for her canine paintings, accurately recording many breeds with works much enjoyed by dog enthusiasts. For information, www.copakeauction.com or 518-329-1142.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – Michaan’s monthly gallery auction on March 20 tilted “young, fresh and exhilarating,” said the firm’s fine art specialist Jenny Wilson, whose highlights included a Bruce Conner (American, 1933-2008) painting and photographs by Annie Liebovitz. Topping the auction lots was “Birth,” an early work by Conner that finished at $24,000. Conner was a provocative and influential Beat Generation artist whose works are held in museum collections and celebrated in exhibitions around the world. In 1959, Conner founded what he called the “Rat Bastard Protective Association,” an informal underground community of artists and poets who lived and worked together in the Fillmore district. Its members included Jay DeFeo, Michael McClure, Manuel Neri, Joan Brown, Wally Hedrick, Wallace Berman, Jess Collins, George Herms and Carlos Villa. In 1960, Conner opened the Batman Gallery, which served as a spiritual home for the San Francisco avant-garde and the heart of Beat Generation visual arts production in the Bay Area. For information, 510-740-0220 or www.michaans.com.
GUILFORD, CONN. – “Mill Houses at Brandywine River,” a 30-by-30-inch oil on canvas by William Chadwick (1879-1962) brought $6,561 to lead Lotus Auction International’s February 28 sale. Among those influential artists associated with the Lyme Art Colony, Chadwick’s Impressionist style saw many of his works completed en plein air as he connected with his surroundings. The sale saw other naturalists ascend, including two lithographs by John James Audubon, both 19 by 24 inches. “Gray Fox (Plate 21) sold for $2,624 and “Black or Silver Fox (Plate 116) brought $1,125. For more information, www.lotusauctions.com or 203-689-5062.
CANAAN, N.Y. – A nine-piece dining room set by R.J. Horner sated the market’s thirst for Victorian furniture when it sold for $7,800 at Ralph Fontaine’s Heritage Auctions Inc’s March 21 sale. The set featured a round dining table with two leaves, a mirrorback sideboard, a curio cabinet and six chairs. The sideboard featured carved columns with images of full-bodied men holding staffs or long walking sticks. The auction house said the furniture came in its original finish. For information, www.fontaineheritage.com or 413-442-2537.
DOYLESTOWN, PENN. – A view of the famed Kaaterskill Falls by American artist John Frederick Kensett (1816-1872) sold for $22,200 in the Fine American Art Auction and Spring Sale held by Gratz Gallery on March 21. The oil on canvas measured 9 by 17 inches and had provenance to a private New Hampshire collection. Kensett’s Luminist scenes earned him renown along with names like Sanford Robinson Gifford and Martin Johnson Heade. The sale also found a $16,800 result for an Old Master painting by an unknown artist that the firm believed to depict Catherine De Medici. For information, www.gratzgallery.com or 215-348-2500.
SCHNECKSVILLE, PENN. – A wonderful one-of-a-kind collection of English fox hunt, steeple chase, equine antiques and Asian items was offered at Tom Hall Auctions on March 23. A Doulton Burslem Fox Hunt punch bowl flushed out a $5,664 winning bid, far above its $50-$500 estimate. The footed punch bowl’s interior and exterior were decorated with countryside scenes of riders on horseback with hounds. It stood 7¾ inches tall and was 14¼ inches wide. For information, www.tomhallauctions.com or 610-799-0808.
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