Published: June 15, 2021
Notable lots that share the spotlight in our June 25, 2021 issue start with a Latour — not the wine, but the painting — as Henri Fantin-Latour’s “Fleurs: camomille et dahlias,” 1871 brought six figures to lead Heritage Auctions’ June European Art Auction. American art raised some paddles at Nye’s Estate Treasure auction with a painting of Florida’s Fort Matanza by Frank Shapleigh crossing the block north of $100,000. Meanwhile, a Duffner and Kimberly bronze double student lamp shed light on serious bidding at Nadeau’s, while a carved peacock strutted across State Line. These and more await the avid auction reader.
DALLAS – Henri Fantin-Latour’s “Fleurs: camomille et dahlias,” 1871, sold for $225,000 on June 4 to lead Heritage Auctions’ European Art Auction. The painting was first owned by the artist’s British friend and dealer Edwin Edwards who, together with his wife Elizabeth, nearly single-handedly created the British market for Fantin-Latour. The painting is executed with extraordinarily sensitive brushwork and the restricted palette for which the artist is known. It was being sold by a New York collector and will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist. For information, www.ha.com.
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – Eldred’s Memorial Day Weekend auction on May 27 was memorable for many reasons, not least of which was the new world record the firm set for a work by Twentieth Century Massachusetts artist, Claude Louis Payzant. According to Joshua Eldred, president of the firm, the 30-by-36-inch moody scene titled “Setting the Nets” was “subtly evocative of Winslow Homer’s seascapes.” Estimated at $400/600 and sourced from a New England seller, the work sailed to $2,625 from a New England buyer bidding online. For information, www.eldreds.com or 508-385-3116.
BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – A painting of Florida’s Fort Matanza by Frank Shapleigh (American, 1842-1906) scored a “10” in the eyes of serious collectors for its quality, condition, rarity and provenance and led Nye and Company’s June 2 Estate Treasure auction. Estimated at $20/30,000, it saw competitive interest and sold for $141,000 to a private collector in Florida bidding online. The work had been given to Montclair, N.J., banker Charles S. Shultz by the artist in 1889, provenance that was further confirmed by a letter tucked inside the painting. The painting was deaccessioned from the Charles Shultz House to benefit the collections fund of Montclair History Center, Montclair, N.J., in accordance with the museum’s collection policy. For information, 973-984-6900 or www.nyeandcompany.com.
BEVERLY, MASS. – A handcrafted tiger maple bonnet-top desk and bookcase made by – and bearing the original maker’s label for – Eldred Wheeler outperformed expectations at Kaminski Auctions’ June 5 Estates Auction. More than half of the 343 lot sale came from the Groton, Mass., estate of David J. Bryan, MD and the Wheeler piece was one of several pieces of vintage colonial reproductions in the sale. It sold to a buyer bidding online for $7,500, handily beating its $3/5,000 estimate. For information, 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com.
NEW YORK CITY – A Chippendale cherrywood chest of drawers bearing a plaque for Eighteenth Century Connecticut native Jonathan Hunt sold for $24,600 at Keno Auctions’ June 2 sale. The chest was made in New London County circa the 1770s. “The elaborately scrolled apron, consisting of 12 outward facing scrolls, relates to cabinetwork found on several pieces associated with Norwich, Conn.,” Keno wrote. The auctioneer said that the chest may have been a wedding gift when Hunt married Lavinia Swan in 1779. After the couple moved to Vermont, Hunt would become a sheriff, judge and later the second Lieutenant Governor of the state of Vermont from 1794 to 1796. For information, 212-734-2381 or www.kenoauctions.com.
WINDSOR, CONN. – Measuring 34 inches high, a Duffner and Kimberly bronze double student lamp sold for $11,070 at Nadeau’s Auction Gallery’s June 5 sale. Each lantern featured six panels of caramel slag glass under a pierced bronze design with shield decorations. Duffner & Kimberly, a New York City company, introduced its first lamps in 1906. Both Frank Duffner and Oliver Kimberly had prior experience with established lighting producers, Duffner with Bradley & Hubbard and the Phoenix Glass Company, Kimberly with Tiffany, where he worked in the lamp department. For information, www.nadeausauction.com or 860-246-2444.
SARASOTA, FLA. – A painted porcelain plaque took 25 bids on its quest to $23,800 at Helmuth Stone Gallery’s June 6 auction. The work featured a seated scholar in a vibrant red robe and measured 16¼ by 10 inches. It was signed upper left and lower right for Wang Bu, known as “the king of blue & white.” Bu was a second-generation porcelain artist who apprenticed in the craft from the age of 9 years old. He began brush painting in the late 1920s. For information, www.helmuthstone.com or 941-260-9703.
CANAAN, CONN. – Why did the peacock cross the state line? If it was a 27-inch carved wooden example offered on June 6 by State Line Auctions & Estate Services, it was likely because it was being chased by bidders. The bird was depicted with stylized crest or crown feathers and a flat tail and standing on a carved and painted book base. Estimated at $75-125, it received the most bids of 560 lots in the sale and flew from an opening bid of $50 to a closing bid of $3,894. For more information, 860-453-4370 or www.statelineauctionsandestateservices.com.
DALLAS – A circa 1450-55 folio leaf from the Gutenberg Bible rode a surge of competitive bidding after passing its estimate of $30,000 en route to a final total of $162,500, one of the highlights of Heritage Auctions’ June 9-10 sale. The “Noble Fragment” from the imperfect copy was purchased at auction in 1920 by Joseph Sabin and sold to bookseller Gabriel Wells, who then issued a leaf book with single leaves of the “42-line” bible, along with A. Edward Newton’s essay. The sale realized $2.7 million in total sales, the most ever at a Heritage Book auction, which previously had a record total of $2.25 million, set in October 2020. For information, www.ha.com.
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