Published: May 22, 2012
“Soup to nuts, for paintings under a $100,000, the crowd was extremely active and competitive,” stated Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers principal Gene Shannon in the days following the most recent auction conducted by the gallery on April 26. The diversity that Shannon referred to ranged from an excellent mainstream selection of contemporary, abstract and Hudson River School works to bronzes and sculpture. Despite a handful of the star lots failing to sell, the auctioneer was obviously quite pleased with the performance of the other 80-plus percent of the art offered.
The broad selection of paintings attracted a huge audience of bidders that competed actively throughout the evening, not only in the gallery, but also on the telephones and Internet. “We had more than 500 bidders registered,” stated Shannon, who broke that figure down into buyers from 42 states and 18 different countries.
“It was an oddball sale,” commented Shannon, an auction that took on a different appearance than past Shannon auctions. Missing from the auction was the usual selection of top gun paintings; in their place was an assortment of just plain old good quality, solidly performing art. There were a couple pieces of contemporary art from artists that Shannon refers to as “breathers.” There was a good assortment of Modernist, including several works by Rolph Scarlett, who has been bringing strong prices at Shannon’s over the past few sales. There was a good selection of Hudson River School art, Persian sand paintings, sculpture and nautical works.
A group of David Burliuk paintings continued to perform well at Shannon’s, and the sale started off with a couple scenes executed during a period the Russian American artist spent in Florida. The first lot to cross the block was Burliuk’s pastel-colored oil “Florida Cove” depicting a beachfront home and boathouse. Not pursued by the Russian buyers, the lot sold for $16,800 to a couple that owns a home in Palm Beach. The couple claimed the next Burliuk lot as well, with “Flowers Near a Beach” going out at $15,600.
The top lot of the sale came as a Paul Cornoyer oil on canvas, 18 by 24 inches, titled “A Spring Day, New York,” was offered. Shannon termed the painting an “extraordinarily good work. A lot of his pictures were done after rainy days and they can be a bit dark,” he said. The painting on the auction block was an atypical scene, a bright sunny view of New York with all of the bells and whistles. A horse-drawn carriage coming down the street, a nanny on the sidewalk bordering a park, shadowed buildings and dappled sunlight in the park were all depicted in a pleasing manner. Estimated at $60/80,000, the painting opened to the floor at $50,000 and moved between five telephone bidders, selling at $96,000.
A wonderful Edward Moran luminist sunset scene titled “New York Harbor” depicted several sailing vessels and had been consigned from a private collection. Going out just under estimate, the painting realized $75,000.
“Brewster’s Creek, Bay Shore, Long Island,” a “Renoiresque” colorful Impressionist oil on canvas by Ashcan School artist William Glackens, was sought after. A gentleman in the gallery chased the lot as it opened for bidding at $22,000, and after a fierce battle with the telephones, it sold in the room for $60,000. The painting went to a private couple in Maryland, purchased in the gallery by their agent.
The first series of paintings from a collection of works by Antonio Jacobsen was offered. “The tug boat was arguably one of the best things he ever did,” stated Shannon in reference to the 22-by-36-inch oil on canvas depicting the stately E.S. Atwood . Riding high on waves and proudly flying a large American flag, the painting carried an estimate of $12/18,000; two telephone bidders pushed the price well beyond, with it selling at $28,800.
“Everyone wanted it,” said Shannon in regard to a small Luigi Lucioni oil, 9 by 16 inches, titled “Approach to Mt Mansfield.” Consigned from a home in Oregon, the painting returned to New England and soared past the $5/7,000 estimate to sell at $20,400.
Hudson River paintings did well, with a Worthington Whittredge 12-by-15-inch oil titled “Landscape with Brook” selling at $28,800. Also offered was a warm James McDougal Hart oil titled “Sunset in the Adirondacks, consigned from a Pittsfield, Mass., private collection, that went out at the low estimate, bringing $32,400.
James Renwick Brevoort’s oil “A View From The Farm” attracted quite a bit if interest. A charming scene depicting a farm house in the foreground with tree-lined fields extending back toward mountains, the painting was modestly estimated at $6/8,000. “Everyone was all over that,” stated the auctioneer, with the painting selling after spirited bidding for $16,800.
A departure from his typical landscapes, a Walter Granville Smith portrait titled “Woman by a Window” did well, selling at $18,000.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
Consignments are currently being accepted for Shannon’s next auction. For additional information, 203-877-1711 or www.shannons.com .
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