Published: January 11, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Nadeau’s Auction Gallery
WINDSOR, CONN. – Nadeau’s Auction Gallery’s annual New Year’s Day auctions are always eagerly anticipated, as they invariably present a broad swath of antiques, fine art and decorative accessories. In the heyday of live auctions, the firm’s spacious gallery would be filled with dealers, collectors and retail customers hoping to win their heart’s desire as it crossed the block. Online selling and the pandemic have changed that landscape; still, online participants and phone bids filled out the ranks and there was no dearth of great material included in 714 lots presented on January 1. The sale totaled just over $2.7 million, according to Ed Nadeau, which he said he believes may be a record for the one-day event, and sold 95 percent. Invaluable, BidSquare and LiveAuctioneers and in-house participation supplied a total of 8,650 bidders, and there were between 50-60 people in the gallery at any point in the 11-hour sale until the last few hours. Recalling the days when more than 350 people would routinely fill the gallery, Nadeau said, “At the end of the sale, for the last 20 items, we had one person in the room, but the computers were hitting it good throughout. Things were very strong right to the end of the day.”
The trove included 113 lots of artwork, some of the best that has ever come through Nadeau’s doors to include paintings by John Singer Sargent, Jane Peterson, Raoul Dufy, Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
At the head of the pack was Raoul Dufy’s (1877-1953) “Araut La Course: Epsom,” a watercolor and gouache on paper depicting a scene from the famed racecourse in Surrey, England, which is used for thoroughbred horse racing. The painting, sourced from a local estate, met its low estimate and then some, selling for $125,000 to an online bidder. Painter, draftsman, textile artist and printmaker, Dufy is remembered for his colorful, playful paintings of landscapes, interiors and scenes of leisure – at the regatta, opera and races – along the French Riviera. Though he experimented with other styles, he was a devoted follower of Fauvism. This work was signed lower left and titled lower left “Epsom,” written on cardboard backing in pencil, “Mr Furse 925 Park 7C.” Paper size was 19-7/16 by 26-1/16 and accompanying the piece was a certificate of authenticity from Fanny Guillan-Laffaille, which stated that this piece is now in the “Catalogue raisonne des Aquarelles gouaches et pastels de Raoul por Fanny Guillan-Laffaille.”
Fine art filled up most of the winners’ circle, although there were more than 200 lots of jewelry, diamonds and men’s watches featuring Cartier, Tiffany, Rolex and more, along with 60 silver lots, including a Tiffany Chrysanthemum full tea set that performed well.
The second highest selling fine art lot was a Christo (1935-2020) original wrapped piece that came out of a New York estate. “Package on Carozza, Project for A Chile Berdinger, Taranto, Italy,” 1971, sold for $51,200. The mixed media, pencil, cloth and string three-dimensional work on cardboard housed in a Plexiglas box was signed lower right, with the title across the bottom in pencil. Registered at the Christo and Jeanne-Claude archive and measuring 22¼ by 28¼ inches, it came from the estate of Alexis Gregory and its sale benefits the Alexis Gregory Foundation. Alexis Gregory (1936-2020) was born in Switzerland to Russian parents and was educated in the United States, graduating in art history magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1957. He founded and owned the Vendome Press, a book publishing house with a special commitment to the fine arts, music, architecture and culture in general. He was co-publisher of the Journal of Art, served as a member of Sotheby’s advisory board and was on the visiting committee of paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fogg Museum. He established the Alexis Gregory Foundation which is devoted to the fine arts and music.
Husband-and-wife duo Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, simply known as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, achieved worldwide acclaim through their large-scale public installations, many of which took years of planning, fundraising and construction to realize.
A painting by Jane Peterson (1876-1965), “Road to Rocky Neck, East Gloucester,” brought $43,200. The oil on canvas depicting a country dirt road with Gloucester Harbor in background measured 40 by 30 inches and was signed lower right. It stemmed from the collection of the artist and by descent in her family until about 1968 when it entered a private New Jersey collection, going to Godel & Co. Fine Art, New York, in 1995, and then to a private Brooklyn, N.Y, collection from which it was consigned. Peterson was an American painter known for her impressionistic depictions of landscapes and floral still lifes.
A lively trio of characters are depicted in Leonidas Gambartes’ (Argentina) “Personajes,” 1962. The chrome gesso on board, signed lower right, 31 by 47½ inches, more than doubled its high estimate to finish at $30,000. Gambartes (1909-1963) is known for works that range from surrealism to the deployment of the magical world of the cultures of the Northwest and the Coast, populated by legends and mythological animals.
Canadian artist Stanley Royle’s (1888-1961) “Spring Morning Among Bluebells,” 1913, also doubled its high estimate to earn $30,000. Depicting the artist’s wife, the oil on canvas was signed and dated lower left and measured 25 by 30 inches. From the artist’s family, it then went to Richard Green Gallery, London, acquired for a private New York City collection in 1996. The receipt from the gallery showed a $35,000 purchase price.
American artist John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), known for his portraits of society women, was represented in this sale with a full-length portrait of an unidentified woman in a long flowing black and red dress. The oil on canvas, signed upper right, was relined, measured 36¼ by 24 inches and was bid to $25,000.
Additional fine art highlights in the sale included a watercolor and pencil on paper sketch with writing or notes by Edward Lear (1812-1888) titled “Jerusalem, April 24, 1858,” going out for ten times its high estimate at $24,000, and an untitled 1961 gouache on paper by Giuseppe Santomaso (Italian, 1907-1990), which doubled its high estimate to sell for $20,000. Like the Christo, it was property from the estate of Alexis Gregory and sold to benefit the Alexis Gregory Foundation.
Jewelry in the sale was led by a three-piece lot that included a chalcedony bracelet. It surprised by soaring over its $800-$1,200 estimate to command $114,000. The bracelet was mounted with three cabochon cut stones, and there was a 14K gold ring mounted with chalcedony and amethyst along with a white gold and chalcedony shoe clip. “After it hit $30/40,000, only two people knew who the maker was,” observed Nadeau.
“The chalcedony jewelry trio is one lot I’ll never forget. With more than 90 bids placed on it, it would go on to realize 100 times its high estimate. I almost forgot to breathe as the bids escalated through the roof,” said Nadeau’s son, Eddie.
Fetching $21,600 was a platinum diamond link bracelet that included three rectangular links alternating with five Gucci-style links connected with three square-shaped hinged links. Each rectangular link was set with a round brilliant cut diamond in the center surrounded by 18 round full cut diamonds with an additional 27 round full cut diamonds on each side of the frame of the links. In all, the total carat weight of diamonds in the links of the bracelet was approximately 18.25 carats.
A sparkler in the form of an 18K white gold and diamond ring, set with two diamonds, 2.20 carats and 2.07 carats, respectively, and size 4¾ changed hands at $18,000.
Leading men’s watches was a Rolex Coke GMT wristwatch, model #16710, with Jubilee bracelet, accompanied by box, papers and tag, which sold for $19,200.
Among the additional highlights was the above-mentioned Tiffany & Company Chrysanthemum sterling silver seven-piece tea set, which garnered $28,290; a Herend Queen Victoria porcelain dinnerware set at $23,750; an Emile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933) sideboard designed by Maxime Old taking $48,000; and a New Ireland mask or head, having original paint and hair, depicting jumping fish on top as well as black snakes circling the face. Selling for $28,800, the piece came from New Ireland, one of several islands in the Bismarck Archipelago and politically part of Papua New Guinea. It would be used in tribal ceremonies that consisted of great feasts and dancing, which are performed using head masks.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. The auction house will conduct its next sale on Saturday, February 8. For information, 860-246-2444 or www.nadeausauction.com.
January 25, 2022
January 25, 2022
January 25, 2022
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