Published: October 29, 2002
Manhattan Collector Purchases Stuart Church Portrait for $34,000 at Braswell
STAMFORD, CONN. – Braswell’s at the Stamford Auction Gallery launched its autumn auction series by conducting a two-part, two-day auction on September 8-9. Separated into an antiques and estate sale and a Twentieth Century design sale, the event drew more than 400 registered bidders who vied for a wide range of estate merchandise comprising the more than 1,000 lots.
The antiques and estate portion of the auction was conducted on the afternoon of September 8. Fine art was the focus of many collectors and dealers from the United States as well as abroad. Frederick Stuart Church’s oil on canvas of a young girl with butterflies attracted great interest from live, absentee and telephone bidders. Bids soared well above the preauction estimate of $15/18,000, and the painting sold for $34,000 to a Manhattan collector present at the auction.
Eugene Galien-Laloue’s oil on canvas of ships at a dock generated international interest with telephone bidders from the British Isles and the continent competing with bidders from all over the US eastern seaboard. The canvas sold well above the high estimate ($6/8000) for $11,000 to an English art dealer on a telephone bid.
American artists were the focus of great interest and many of the lots were to be had at bargain prices. An Arthur Beecher Carles oil on canvas, “Tulip Tree,” sold within the estimated range ($3/5000) for a reasonable $4,600, Thomas A. Cole’s Continental town view oil on canvas sold well below the estimate ($20/30,000) for a modest $5,000 and Thomas Bailey Griffin’s landscape with rapids, an oil on canvas, also sold below estimate ($1,6/1,800) for $1,200.
English painters were also well represented. Garnet Ruskin Wolseley’s oil on canvas of two girls resting in a flowering field sold slightly above estimate ($1,6/2,200) for $2,250 as did John Syer, Sr’s, “Coast of Devon” oil on canvas ($3,4/4,200) selling for $4,250.
Furniture and accessories made up the bulk of the estates auction. Standing out among the furniture was a highly unusual sized Eighteenth Century American ox-bow diminutive chest of drawers ($25/35,000) selling slightly below the catalog estimate to a New England furniture dealer for $22,500. A set of Mason’s Ironstone in the Chinoiserie pattern, 13 pieces, including platters serving bowls and plates, sold for the high but very reasonable estimate ($800/1,200) of $1,200.
September 9 saw a full house of eager bidders all competing for the best of the Twentieth Century design lots. Foremost among the more than 500 lots was a kinetic stainless steel and brushed aluminum sculpture from American artist George Rickey, dated 1990 and numbered 1/3 on the base. The scale model of the much larger sculpture displayed in front of the Guggenheim in Manhattan sparked a bidding war among telephone, absentee and audience bidders, causing the hammer price to soar above the catalog estimate of $6/10,000 and selling for $22,000 to an East Coast buyer.
A large private collection of modern art from the Francis X. Gina estate of Manhattan was made available. Among the highlights were Picasso ceramics; the white and black bird sculpture “Chouette” sold on the high estimate ($2,5/3,500) for $3,500 and the painted blue and black “Lampe Femme” went above estimate ($2/3,000) for $3,500.
Two Joan Miro pencil signed colored lithographs, “Woman Picking Grapes” and “The Watchers,” sold within the estimated range of $2/3,000 for $2,500 and $2,750, respectively. Also available from the collection were two Honore Daumier five-inch-high bronze busts,” Pelet de la Lozere” selling within estimate ($5/7,000) for $6,500 and “Le degout personnifie,” also selling within the estimated range ($5/7,000) for $6,500.
American artist Nathan Oliviera generated international interest for two of his mixed media on paper. “Man on a Branch” sold slightly below the preauction estimate ($2,5/3,500) for $2,100, and the abstract “Lovers II” went to an Italian collector by phone for slightly above the catalog low estimate ($2,5/3,500) for $2,600. A Robert Johan Gustav Michel mixed media titled “Stud:c-b:64” of the Bauhaus School sailed past its $1,500/2,000 preauction estimate sell for $5,000; and a Luigi Corbellini oil on canvas of a seated female nude also sold above the high ($1,6/1,800) for $3,000.
Also included were many outstanding examples of Twentieth Century designer furniture and accessories. An iridescent Murano glass framed mirror shot above the high estimate ($2/3,000) to sell for $4,250. Tiffany studios was represented by a bulbous bronze lamp base in the original rich brown patina selling on estimate ($3,5/5,500) for $4,000; and a favrile glass and bronze pendant chandelier also sold within the estimated range ($3/5,000) for $4,500. Also from Tiffany was a sterling silver cup with four angular handles marked London 1911-12 by C.C. Pillings selling above the high estimate ($1/1,500) for $1,800.
Furniture made up a great portion of the sale and many design giants were represented and prices reflected the popularity of the collective oeuvre. A Mies Van Der Rohe “Barcelona” chair and ottoman made for Knoll sold slightly above estimate ($1/1,250) for $1,400; also selling above estimate were a pair of Gilbert Rohde for Herman Miller exotic wood chests ($1/1,500) selling for $1,900, a Charles Eames for Herman Miller blue tweed sofa ($1/1,200) for $1,300; and a pair of bleached mahogany chests designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar sold within estimate ($1,6/2,000) for $1,600.
Not all designer pieces went high as evidenced by a Paul Evans signed buffet with sculpted front and copper plaques that sold for the bargain price of $2,500, well below estimate it $4/6,000 presale estimate.
Prices do not reflect a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
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