Published: February 8, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photo Courtesy Eldred’s
EAST DENNIS, MASS. – Nearly 300 lots of paintings and fine art crossed Eldred’s block on January 27, a day or so before a Nor’easter blew through New England, leaving the house without power for more than a day. It may have inconvenienced winning buyers who wanted to pick up their purchases, but it did not appear to affect the result of the Paintings and Fine Art sale, which realized a total of nearly $400,000.
For a number of years, Eldred’s has been selling hundreds of works by Charles Green Shaw (New York, 1892-1974), whose large estate was left to the family of Charles H. Carpenter. Of the four Eldred’s offered in this auction, one found favor at the top of the sale. Eldred said Shaw’s geometric works, and those from the 1930s, are always popular. An untitled abstract in yellows, grays and browns that was dated to April 1936, combined both merits and won top-lot honors, going to a trade buyer on the phone for $22,500. Shaw’s “By The Dawn’s Early Light,” from 1955, finished at $7,500.
Bidders lobbed a flurry of bids at “Snow Scene” by Isaac (Itshak) Holtz (Poland/America, 1925-2018), which, at $21,250, was the sale’s second highest selling work. Eldred noted that the artist’s New York City scenes are perennial favorites and surmised that some bidders may have been able to identify the exact location depicted in the landscape, which came from a private collection in Connecticut. An online bidder had the winning bid.
“That was just a wonderful little painting; a fun piece of Americana,” Eldred said about a portrait of a girl with her dog by Samuel S. Carr (New York/New England, 1837-1908), which surpassed expectations and brought $8,750 from a private collector in New York State.
Global participation in Eldred’s sales has increased and Eldred mentioned that the firm sold to 48 different countries in 2021; he estimated that between 80 and 85 percent of this sale sold to buyers outside of Cape Cod. A European trade buyer won a gouache on cardboard still life of daffodils by Italian American artist, Fulco di Verdura (1878-1878) for $8,125. Eldred said it came from a collection in Vermont and was a surprising result, given that the artist’s landscapes and seascapes typically outperform still life pictures.
Eldred was also surprised that a painting of sailboats on a beach, by Massachusetts artist Robert Henry Logan (1875-1942) that “was popular from day one” sold to a buyer in Europe. The work, which was done in oil on canvas and measured 15 by 18 inches, had been acquired directly from the artist and brought $5,313, more than four times its high estimate.
Another work that was popular with bidders was “Still Life in Gray with Bird,” by James Lechay (Massachusetts/Iowa, 1907-2001). It was one of six works by the artist in the sale and had been exhibited at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, in 1997. A trade buyer from New England chased the 36-by-42-inch oil canvas to $5,000.
“We had several works in the sale that had been on the market before,” Eldred said, noting that “Morning Gloucester” by Emile Gruppe (Massachusetts, 1896-1978), was one of them. The painting bore a presentation inscription to “Mr & Mrs Bob Blue October 22, 1960, by Emile A. Gruppe.” The 25-by-30-inch oil on canvas came from a private Massachusetts collection, which had acquired it in 2016 from James Julia. It sold for $7,500 to a Pennsylvania private collector.
Eldred’s next sale will offer Marine Art on February 24.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For more information, www.eldreds.com or 508-385-3116.
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