Published: January 26, 2021
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Andrew Jones Auctions
LOS ANGELES – Andrew Jones Auctions, which began holding sales a little more than two years ago, typically sees its bread and butter in English and Continental decorative arts and modern and contemporary art. In the first sale of the new year, which was conducted on January 12, the firm’s DTLA (Downtown Los Angeles) Collections and Estates online-only auction was more heavily stocked with American fine and decorative arts than they have ever offered in one go.
By any standard, it was a success, with nearly 94 percent of the 428 lots selling and achieving a sale total of approximately $275,000. Absentee bidding supplemented online bidding through three platforms including the company’s own. Phone bidding, which is typically available during the higher-end sales, was not an option for buyers.
“It was a very good sale and a departure for us,” commented vice president and senior specialist, Aileen Ward, when we reached her by phone after the auction. “Paintings were the star. It was a mixed sale but had a significant Americana section, which we thought might be a dicey proposition in Los Angeles, but in light of the pandemic and how things are going, it did really well for us and we’re happy with the results.”
Three collections – one from Palm Springs, another from Long Beach, Calif., the third from Los Angeles – and the Los Angeles estate of Keith McCoy provided the majority of the American fine and decorative arts on offer. “The Palm Springs and Long Beach sellers were old-school collectors who were downsizing,” Ward said in reference to the two collections. “We’ve been really lucky that as our company develops a following, we have been able to build sales that dovetail well together. In the case of this auction, when we were able to offer Americana in critical mass, the material reached an audience it hadn’t reached before. We had lots of interest from the East Coast and New England, and many new bidders.”
The Palm Springs collection featured 60 lots and was the source of the priciest in the sale, a painting depicting a Native American seated by a tree done on a cradled panel and painted in the style of Benjamin West. A private collector from London, who was bidding online, was the top bidder, acquiring it for $16,250. Also from the collection was a Nineteenth Century Hudson River School landscape that depicted a view between Sixth and Seventh Lake, John Brown Track and Rockwell Point and sold to a collector in New York for $5,500.
The Palm Springs collection was not limited to American paintings. A set of four Chippendale carved mahogany dining chairs, attributed to New England, sold for $2,750 to a buyer in San Francisco who beat out interest from the East Coast. More than tripling its high estimate when it sold to a buyer in Los Angeles was a Nineteenth Century Federal inlaid mahogany sideboard, while a late Eighteenth Century New England Chippendale cherry chest of drawers sold on its low estimate for $200.
More than 150 lots in the sale were from the Long Beach collection, which also saw strong results in American furniture. Notable here was a circa 1817 American Classical carved mahogany drop-leaf table with a label by New York cabinetmaker Michael Allison (1773-1855). The table related to an example at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was illustrated in Honoré Lannuier, Cabinetmaker from Paris: The Life and Work of a French Ébéniste in Federal New York. It sold to a southern California collector, for $4,500, exceeding its high estimate. A circa 1840 Chippendale cherry tall case clock made by Samuel Hofford Berlin of Somerset County, Penn., sold to a buyer in Pennsylvania for $2,750, almost doubling its high estimate. Going out for $2,125 was a Boston Chippendale mahogany oxbow slant front desk, while an early Nineteenth Century American polychrome paint-decorated pine miniature jelly cupboard sold for $1,750, nearly three times its high estimate.
A late Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania Chippendale walnut two-part Dutch cupboard from a Pasadena, Calif., collection closed just shy of its low estimate at $3,500.
The second highest price in the sale was achieved for Charles Louis Heyde’s view of Burlington Bay from Burlington, Vt., which sold for $11,875. Despite competition from Vermont and other New England states, the oil on canvas sold to a collector in the Midwest. A Mount Hood river landscape with Native American encampment by Walter Markmann sold to a buyer in Oregon for $4,000. Rounding out the top-selling fine art lots from the Long Beach collection was a landscape with marsh done by Arthur Hoeber (American, active/lived in New Jersey and New York, 1854-1915), that sold to a buyer in the American South, for $4,500, three times its low estimate.
In the firm’s December 6 “Design for the Home and Garden” sale, two of the top lots were two provincial landscapes by Grandma Moses that came to Andrew Jones Auctions from the estate of Keith McCoy. A few more primitives from that estate populated this sale and were well-received. Among these were three works by Jane Wooster Scott (American, Twentieth Century), whose “Small Town Pleasures” brought the most, selling to a collector in Palm Desert, Calif., for $4,500. Scott’s other paintings sold for $2,375 for “The Most Popular Guy in Town” and for $1,375, “Choosing the Tree.” American primitive artist Streeter Blair (American, 1888-1966), was represented by two works, with spring landscape selling to a collector in the Midwest for $3,250, just ahead of the more seasonally appropriate “The Last Snow” that brought $3,000.
Two works consigned by two different private collectors in Los Angeles also brought some of the top results in the sale. A frame ship’s passport for Thomas Jefferson, signed in April 1805 and countersigned by James Madison sold to a collector in San Diego, Calif., for $5,000, while a post-1950 bronze portrait bust of Abraham Lincoln, after an original model by George Bissell (1839-1920), brought $4,000 from a collector in Oregon. The bust included paperwork documenting its provenance to Van Dyke Galleries in Chicago as well as the Lincoln Museum at Lincoln College in Lincoln, Ill. Another bronze, this from the Palm Springs collection, was a late Nineteenth Century French bronze figure of George Washington on black slate base that realized $3,250.
Top prices were not limited to Americana. A New York collector snapped up a Twentieth Century Tang-style sancai glazed model of a horse for $3,750, more than ten times its high estimate. Selling to a local buyer for $2,375 and three times its high estimate was a late Nineteenth Century Continental carved mahogany library bookcase. A collector in Wisconsin pushed interest in a pair of Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century portraits of the Marquis and Marquise de Lafayette to $3,500 and despite international interest, an Eighteenth Century English school portrait of a gentleman in a blue jacket sold to a collector in Florida for $4,500.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
The next sale at Andrew Jones Auctions will be a DTLA Collections and Estates auction on February 10.
Andrew Jones Auctions is at 2221 South Main Street. For information, 213-748-8008 or www.andrewjonesauctions.com.
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