Published: February 15, 2016
CHARLESTON, S.C. — On February 12, Boston-based Copley Fine Art Auctions saw a commanding oil painting by Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius of a bull moose sell for $180,000, continuing Copley’s strong results for the wildlife artist. His subject gazing directly at the viewer, Rungius’ “Bull Moose,” 1909, 23¼ by 35½ inches, featured realistic coloring and shadowing of the moose’s rack across his body, emphasizing the imposing size of the animal. Copley offered hundreds of antique and contemporary decoys and American sporting art at the American Theater on a weekend where thousands of decoy and sporting art enthusiasts converged for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Copley’s auction of more than 480 items realized more than $1.9 million in sales. There was robust bidding across all categories, including paintings, prints, folk art, and antique and contemporary decoy carvings. The top decoy lot was George Boyd’s swimming Canada goose, which sold for $90,000 on its $50/70,000 estimate. The second highest decoy lot was the Ward brothers’ Canada goose, landing at $69,000, within its $60/80,000 estimate, and A.E. Crowell’s ruffed grouse brought $63,000, well above its $35/45,000 estimate.
St Michaels, Md.-based Guyette & Deeter also conducted its North American decoys auction in Charleston over the weekend, its February 13 sale topped by a stylized pair of canvasbacks by Ward Brothers, which beat its $20/30,000 estimate to bring $36,650. The sale was “packed,” according to Gary Guyette, owing to its unique ballroom siting contiguous to the exposition. He added, “North Carolina decoys went very high, two-three-, four-times their estimates, and shorebirds from the Barbara Gilford collection all went way over their estimates, including a Daniel Lake Leeds robin snipe, circa 190, that sold for $21,450.”
Full reports on both sales to follow later.
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