Published: November 29, 2011
More than 750 lots were offered in room settings over Columbus Day weekend, October 9‱0, at the Connecticut XL Center, and the sale produced some remarkable results, according to auctioneer Louis J. Dianni.
A Sunday highlight was an oil on canvas by William Preston Phelps (American, 1848‱923) titled “Carving the Pumpkin,” circa 1885, and retaining its grand, original frame. It featured a seated man carving a jack-o’-lantern while a young girl oversees the activity. The scene was set in a field of fall harvest, with red and orange colored leaves on the trees and farm buildings under a colorful fall sky. This work was fresh from a Florida estate, and its untouched original condition helped to set a record in the size category, bringing $18,400.
This exceeded in price a 82-inch work by Antonio Jacobsen of the tugboat George K. Kirkha, which sold for $16,100 and was the top lot of nine works by Jacobsen from the Charles E. Schif estate.
A hotly contested work by Lockwood de Forest depicting a Middle Eastern scene brought $7,110. A modern work by Albert Nemethy pictured the Hudson River side-wheel steamship Mary Powell passing Storm King Mountain. It was painted in the manner of James Bard and brought $7,475, an auction record for this artist as well, according to Dianni. An item well researched by the auction group was a pair of pilot whale jawbones scrimshawed and with roots back to Hawaii in 1845, which brought a bargain $3,800 from a marine arts dealer.
On Monday, the top lot was a three-piece set of Mughal empire armor consisting of a shield, helmet and one gauntlet and dating to the late Eighteenth Century, selling for $9,200. Other arms included an Eighteenth Century wheellock pistol, which finished at $2,875, and a Russian musket Model 1808, also realizing $2,875 on a $300/500 presale estimate.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
Dianni’s next sale is the third annual Palm Beach Auction to be conducted over President’s Day weekend, February 19′0, and will include maritime art and artifacts, fine art, as well as arms, armor and Americana. It will be conducted at the Hilton Hotel just off I-95. For more information, 914-474-7710 or www.LouisJDianni.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm