Published: January 29, 2019
MONROE, CONN. — You never know what’s going to come in through the door on appraisal day. It’s an auctioneer’s mantra, and it was borne out on January 18 when the top lot at Fairfield Auction’s sale turned out to be an unsigned study by Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823–1880), which had the estate sale stamp verso. The painting, measuring 8 by 18-7/8 inches and in untouched, “attic-found” condition, sold for $36,000, including premium. “It was brought into a recent appraisal clinic, and the consignor was unaware who painted it — so the result made for a very pleasant surprise,” said the firm’s owner Jack DeStories. Gifford was an American landscape painter and one of the leading members of the Hudson River School. His landscapes are known for their emphasis on light and soft atmospheric effects, and he is regarded as a practitioner of Luminism, an offshoot style of the Hudson River School.
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