Published: April 19, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Helmuth Stone Gallery
SARASOTA, FLA. – An allegorical painting by Austrian-Italian artist Hans Zatzka (1859-1945) achieved the apex at Helmuth Stone Gallery’s April 10 Spring Fine Art & Antique Auction, bringing $27,090 from online buyer and besting its $18/25,000 estimate. In its idealized depiction of a young maiden with cupids, the painting typified the work of the artist, who attended the fine arts academy in Vienna between 1877 and 1892 before he studied under Professor Blaas. He was awarded the Golden Fugermedal in 1880 and made several study trips to Italy. Classical style allegories are among what he is most well known for and drove interest in the painting.
“What is interesting about the Zatzka was that we had sold it to the seller in 2019, who paid about $15,000 for it at the time,” Austin Helmuth said. “He called us recently to say he wanted to sell it; he’s very happy with how it did.”
Helmuth said he was very pleased with the sale, which achieved a total of about $325,000. He was particularly thrilled that the sale saw prices that set new auction records for four artists.
One of the new records was for Boscoe (Arthur Aldwyn) Holder (Trinidad, Tobago and England, 1921-2007) whose oil on board painting of a reclining woman brought the second highest price of the day at $12,100. Like the sale’s top lot, the painting also depicted the female form but the similarities end there. Where the Zatzka was rendered in pastel tones and idealized forms, Holder’s painting utilized vibrant primary colors and quick, impressionistic brushstrokes.
Landscapes, particularly works by the group known as the “Florida Highwaymen,” continue their popularity with buyers. A total of 18 works by the group were offered in the sale; all sold with most exceeding expectations. Leading the group at $9,680 was a seascape painting by Alfred Hair (1941-1971), which was done in oil on Upson board and measured 23 by 46½ inches. It was followed, at $8,773, by Livingston Roberts’ painting of a royal poinciana tree; Mary Ann Carroll’s (1940-2019) “Florida Sunset,” went out the door for $8,470. The same buyer – a private collector in Delaware – bought the Roberts and Carroll landscapes and paid prices that established new records for the artists.
“[The Florida Highwaymen paintings] are really starting to take off. We’re really pleased by the results we’ve been seeing for those.” Helmuth said. He noted that many of the ones Helmuth Stone has sold in recent years came from a local estate.
While not technically a Florida Highwaymen, Hermann Herzog’s (1832-1932) Southern riverscape painting that may have shown a scene near the Saint Johns River likely benefited from the Florida paintings in the sale. Previously part of what the catalog described as “an important private Florida collection,” a buyer from Orlando, Fla., took it to $8,773, slightly below estimate.
Helmuth Stone’s next sale will take place in June, the date still to be determined.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, www.helmuthstone.com or 941-260-9703.
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