Published: January 31, 2023
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Shannon’s
MILFORD, CONN. — “We are very pleased with the overall results of the sale, which was more than 80 percent sold and doubled the high presale estimates. Half of the top lots sold to new buyers, [and] we had a lot of new bidders for this sale! Our targeted marketing plans have increased our buyer base tremendously over the past few years.”
Such was the report by Sandra Germain, Shannon’s managing partner, when we reached out to her after the firm sent 208 lots across its online auction block on Thursday, January 19.
With just one or two exceptions, the top dozen lots not only exceeded expectations but more likely than not realized multiples of their high estimates. Such was the case with the sale’s top lot, an untitled and recently discovered oil on canvas collage with gauze and string by Giuseppe Santomaso (Italian, 1907-1990) that featured earth tones punctuated with a splash of vivid blue color to the upper register and measured 25½ by 35½ inches. Previously exhibited at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., its provenance also included the Olsen Foundation and a private collection in Connecticut. Germain confirmed the work garnered considerable attention — and numerous bidders — from both the United States and Italy. Interest pushed it from an estimate of $4/6,000 to $21,590 from a trade buyer in the United States.
Earning the sale’s second highest price of $16,250, double its high estimate was “Misty Afternoon” by Russell Chatham (American, 1939-2019), a 1991 oil on canvas work that measured 30 by 36 inches. Germain noted the artist has gained popularity lately and several bidders competed for it, with a private collector having the top bid.
Rounding out the leaderboard at $15,240 was John Willenbecher’s (American, b 1936) “Small Systems #1” and “Small Systems #3” two 1966 constructions that were being sold together by a nonprofit organization. Shannon’s had estimated the lot at $800-$1,200 and the result was not just a surprise to Germain but also a new world auction record for the New York multi-media artist.
Western art continues to be a hot corner of the market, evidenced by cross-country interest in Frank Tenney Johnson’s (American, 1874-1939), “Woman with Rifle,” which came from a private collection in Arizona and also sold for $15,240.
Illustration art also maintains interest among bidders, who drove “Southern Pacific Locomotive 2361” by Howard Fogg (American, 1917-1996) to $10,625. The painting had been illustrated in Bruce A. MacGregor and Richard Truesdale’s South Pacific Coast- A Centennial (Pruett Publishing Co, 1982).
A private collector who lives near where Jervis McEntee (American, 1828-1891) painted “Round Pond, Kingston, NY” will be giving it a homecoming, for $9,375. The painting had descended in the family of the artist before going into an Ohio private collection.
“We are excited for Spring!” concluded Germain, who noted the firm’s upcoming April 27 sale would include four works by Lynn Drexler from the early 1960s, as well as an oil painting by Michael Goldberg from 1959. The sale will also feature two monumental impressionist works by Richard Hayley Lever, while the Hudson River School will be represented with works by A.T. Bricher, John Casilear, J.F. Cropsey, among others.
Prices quoted the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For additional information, www.shannons.com or 203-877-1711.
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
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