SAINT LOUIS, MO. – The Summer Gallery Auction at Ivey-Selkirk in St. Louis took place Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9. The sale, offering over 845 lots, featured 176 American and Continental artworks.
This traditional quarterly auction also included antique and semi-antique furniture, decorative art, silver, porcelain, Asian ivories and minerals, Oriental carpets and jewelry which took in $926,198.; all told 84 percent sold.
American paintings by William Trost Richards, Ernest Lawson, Joseph Rusling Meeker and Luigi Lucioni were big sellers. A fine oil painting by William Trost Richards reached its high estimate of $60,000. and sold successfully for $69,000 to an East coast telephone bidder. William Trost Richards (1833-1905), was born in Philadelphia and studied in Florence, Rome and Paris and was a pupil of Paul Weber.
He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and won the bronze medal in 1889 at the Paris Exposition. Three oil paintings by Luigi Lucioni were offered on June 8th. Luigi Lucioni, a well-respected American artist known for the photographic realism of his landscapes and still life paintings, immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1911. He studied art at Cooper Union and at the National Academy of Design under William Auerbach Levy. A prolific etcher, the linear approach to this technique solidified his crisp, realistic style in painting. Lucioni taught at the Art Student’s League in New York but spent several months a year in Stowe, Vermont, and he was in fact dubbed “Artist Laureate of Vermont” by Life Magazine. The recipient of many awards, Lucioni, in 1932, was the first contemporary American artist to have a painting purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The rarity of Lucioni’s paintings being offered at auction brought forth intense interest. The “Steeple Through the Birches”, Manchester, Vermont, 1955, size 11 x 8 inches, attracted so much interest that the numerous telephone bidders and sealed bids more than doubled the presale estimate of $4,000-6,000., realizing a final bid of $17,250. Residents of Vermont easily recognized the scenery. The successful East coast telephone bidder was quite pleased with the outcome.
An antique American walnut “extra grade” Wooten desk, circa 1880, sold at its presale estimate for $21,850. The Wooten desk was patented in 1874 by William Wooten of Indianapolis, Indiana and manufactured in Indianapolis and Richmond, Indiana from 1874 to 1897. The Wooten desk represents the best of nineteenth century Hoosier craftsmanship in fine furniture and was owned by individuals of note from the business, social and political world including royalty and is a symbol of the transitions which occurred in manufacturing and business in the United States during the late nineteenth century. The Wooten became a prized collector’s rdf_Description and was declared an Indiana treasure on April 8, 1983 by Governor Robert D. Orr, in conjunction with the opening of the Wooten Patent Desk Exhibit at Indian State Museum. The English Furniture department offered an antique English walnut Gothic Grandfather clock reaching a height of twelve feet and sold to a local St. Louis bidder for $9,200.
There were over 200 lots of jewelry offered in the Sunday session, which offered a wide selection of platinum, diamond, gold, pearl and colored gemstones ranging from a Tiffany diamond lapel watch to Victorian brooches. A lovely South Sea pearl necklace measuring 19 inches in length with 10mm to 13.6mm pearls, sold for $9,487.50 to an Illinois absentee bidder.