Published: June 28, 2016
At Butterscotch Auction, Dutch Still Life
Finds Floor Bidder At $66,000
Review and Onsite Photos by W.A. Demers; Additional Photos Courtesy Butterscotch Auctioneers & Appraisers
BEDFORD, N.Y. — It was a sunny and warm Father’s Day in this picturesque Westchester County village on June 19, but that did not keep serious collectors at home as a still life with carnations, a bird’s nest and other flowers and insects by Jan Van Huysum (Dutch, 1682–1749) elicited a robust price and enthusiastic applause inside Historical Hall. Just 20 lots in from a diverse estate sale of more than 700 lots, Butterscotch Auctioneers & Appraisers’ Paul D. Marinucci hammered the oil on copper painting to a final price of $66,000 to a floor bidder.
“It came out of Greenwich, Conn., a person who collected still lifes,” said the firm’s fine art appraiser Brendan Ryan. “We were thrilled with the result. It’s always interesting, we try to take as many photos as we can because there is always some presale skepticism. But we knew this was right.” In the end, the work was chased by four different bidders — two in the room, one on the internet and another on the phone.
Measuring 9 by 11½ inches and with a faint inscription in upper left corner, the work appears to be a preparatory study for the larger still life by the artist that sold at Sotheby’s London in December 2014 for $478,000, according to catalog notes. The composition is nearly identical to the lower half portion of the larger work with the same bee on the ledge at lower left, nest at lower right, cluster of four carnations to the left and upturned leaf at upper right.
Also performing well in this sale was Olaf Wieghorst’s (American, 1899-–1988) light-infused oil on canvas “Siesta Time,” an oil on canvas, 24 by 30 inches, that also sold to a bidder in the room. It brought $27,600, near its high estimate.
A sleeper in the sale was a selection of eight Japanese woodblock prints, featuring a print of two females and five prints of miscellaneous landscapes, seven framed, one unframed, that also went to an in-house bidder. Estimated just $200/400, they added a rousing note toward the end of the sale by finishing at $24,000.
“The rest of the sale did a lot better than we expected it would,” said Ryan. “There was really good turnover.”
“The Ancient Mariner,” an oil on canvas by Victor Anderson (American, 1882–1937), started at less than $1,000, but robust bidding pushed it to a final price of $5,520. A phone bidder was victorious for the 17-by-12-inch work that was signed lower left, titled on verso and inscribed “Victor C. Anderson / Meadowdale / Albany Co. / N.Y.” on the stretcher.
Other fine art highlights included a landscape with washerwomen by a river by Spanish artist Martin Rico y Ortega (1833–1908), which went out at $6,000; an oil on board depiction of “Turkey Mountain Brook — 1950” by Aldro T. Hibbard (American, 1886–1972) fetching $5,520; and a rocky beach landscape titled “Honolulu, Hawaii” by American artist Lionel Walden (1861–1933) that commanded $6,600.
The sale offered a rare example of American antique clock technology in a wall clock by J.R. Brown & Sharpe, a Providence, R.I., a firm that was renowned for its precision machinery. This example was from the second half of the Nineteenth Century with a handsome mahogany case and it achieved $10,800, well above its $500/700 estimate.
A jewelry highlight was a 1.65-carat diamond pendant of H color and S12 on a 14K chain that went out at $6,000, and representing top midcentury material was a Gino Sarfatti/Arredoluce Triennale brass floor lamp with three adjustable arms that took $7,200.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. Butterscotch’s next sale is slated for November 6 and will feature a collection of contemporary Chinese paintings. For information, 914-764-4609 or www.butterscotchauction.com.
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