Published: February 8, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photo Courtesy Quinn’s Auction Galleries
FALLS CHURCH, VA. – Quinn’s Auction Galleries’ January 29 auction was a cornucopia of fine and decorative arts featuring Asian, American, European and Modern material arts with an offering of fine art by Norah McGuinness, Merton D. Simpson, Jean Louis Voille and other significant artists. Royalty won the day when Voille’s 142 (French/Russian, 1744-after 1801) oil on canvas portrait of Count Paul Alexandrovich Stroganoff (1774-1817), 1792, rose from its $10/15,000 estimate to sell for $66,675. Signed and dated on right side of the subject’s shoulder, the 23¼-by-18½-inch portrait came with extensive provenance, including the collection of Nicholas R. Burke, Washington DC, previously sold in Sotheby’s May 19, 1995, Old Masters paintings sale where it brought $30,000.
Also selling for $66,675 was an 1882 battle scene by Russian artist Nikolai Dmitriev-Orenburgsky (1838-1898). Orenburgsky is known for the military themes that predominated his work after he participated in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 and for paintings depicting Russian village life. The oil on panel Russo-Turkish War scene of Russian troops in fortification had been estimated $10/15,000, but the market pushed it much higher. Signed and dated lower center, the 12¼-by-17¾-inch painting also came from the Burke collection, previously listed in Sotheby’s May 26, 1983, sale of important Nineteenth Century European paintings, drawings and watercolors.
Another Russian military scene, this one an oil on canvas by Ivan P. Pryanishnikov (Russian, 1841-1909) and also from the Burke collection, was bid to $31,750, three and a half times its high estimate. The scene depicts the Russian military at rest, possibly during the Russo-Japanese War. It was signed in Cyrillic lower fright and measured 12¼ by 21½ inches.
From military battle scenes to a fanciful Irish landscape, an oil on canvas by Norah Allison McGuinness (Irish, 1901-1980), “Roadside Grasses, Donegal” 1969, brought $20,320. Signed and dated lower right, the 19¾-by-27¾-inch work sported a 1969 gallery label on verso from the Dawson Gallery in Dublin and also came from the Burke collection. A figurative artist, McGuinness painted vivid, highly colored landscapes and she was associated with the modern movement in Ireland. She helped found the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1943 and became its president in 1944.
The estate of Arthur S. Welch contributed a portrait of General Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805), the British army officer who served as a general during the American Revolution. The portrait, dated 1761, was by German artist Johann Nikolaus Grooth (1723-1797) and depicted the 1st Marquess Cornwallis, probably after his promotion to brevet lieutenant-colonel. The oil on canvas, which tripled its high estimate to take $12,700, was signed and dated lower right and measured 19 by 15½ inches.
Attributed to Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, 1775-1851), an early Nineteenth Century untitled landscape rendered in watercolor on paper carried a hand-written attribution on the frame backing paper. Realizing 15 times its estimate at $9,525, the 14½-by-9¼-inch work also stemmed from the Burke collection.
In addition to the fine art, the sale boasted some notable results for furniture and Asian decorative arts.
Sold for $16,510, triple its high estimate, was an American Aesthetic Movement parcel gilt cabinet, circa 1865-70, New York, 75 by 64 by 20½ inches. Featuring pine secondary with rosewood and ebonized primary, a scroll top backsplash with central mask and swag frieze and mother-of-pearl banding over rosewood a recessed paneled door, it had a repousse plaque of the Greek mythological figure Penelope at her loom with “Penelope” in Cyrillic over an 1869 date. The door enclosed two shelves flanked by rosewood half columns with incised gilt floral tendrils over an arched open compartment. The piece was flanked by two open shelves raised on rosewood columns with gilt floral ornament over doors with marquetry inlaid trophies. Its interior cabinets and shelves were lined with bird’s-eye maple.
A group of two Twentieth Century Chinese blue and white porcelain items left their $200/400 estimate in the dust to finish at $12,700. Included were a bowl depicting two dragons with luck clouds, “Daqing Qianlong Nianzhi” mark to the bottom, and a gu-shape vase depicting an officer training a zebra and a scene of children playing in the yard. From a Maryland estate, the group was acquired by the consignor’s grandmothers, who collected fine and decorative art from several areas of the world.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated the auction. For more information, www.quinnsauction.com or 703-532-5632.
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