Published: August 7, 2017
BEDFORD, N.Y. – A bit of everything crossed the block July 16 in one of Butterscotch Auctioneers & Appraisers’ diverse quarterly auctions, including fine art, furniture and Asian arts. While the top lot of the auction was a 9.87-carat old European cut diamond, light yellow, that attained $72,000, the story of the day seemed to be paintings.
The sale attracted a good-sized audience, with about 30 people packing into the quaint historical hall and kicked off with paintings. The first across the block was a Howard Chandler Christy oil on canvas, “Seated Nude,” that made its high estimate, going out at $2,640.
Highlights included a Charles Wilbert White (American, 1918-1980) etching, “Matriarch,” 1969, that made $5,160; and a Franz Heckendorf (German, 1888-1962), an oil on canvas, “Coastal Village,” 1924, that earned $4,320.
“We were pleased with the overall result,” said Brendan Ryan, an appraiser and auctioneer with Butterscotch Auctioneers. “The strongest items were the Chinese works,” he said, also noting that since they only do sales about every four months, there were more than 800 lots crossing the block this time and it took them until 9:30 pm to get through the auction. “We were especially pleased because it was a summer sale when things tend to be quieter.”
The top-selling painting came early in the sale with a Yanzhou Xu oil on canvas, “Chatting Among the Yimeng Villages,” measuring 56½ by 70-1/8 inches, depicting three young women talking with two children in tow. The work quickly went over its high estimate and sold for $30,000 to a phone bidder. As the bidding got underway, owner/auctioneer Paul Marinucci said that he had sold five works by this artist in November and that this was the best one, describing it as “his masterpiece.”
The Asian arts theme continued with a pair of Nineteenth Century China Trade oil paintings, including a scene of a seated noblewoman and attendants, and the other depicting people at a table, that brought $8,400; a six-piece grouping of Chinese export watercolors showing people from various historical plays that realized $10,800; and two Chinese “chicken-head” celadon jars, Western Jin or later, that respectively fetched $3,600 and $3,000, well over their reasonable $500-$1,000 estimates.
Another strong contender in the fine art category was an oil on canvas by Lesser Ury (German, 1861-1931), “Evening Kurfurstendamm view,” 1889, that brought $25,200, while a William Merritt Chase oil on canvas, “Woman in a High Collar Blouse,” was a good buy at $14,400.
A grouping of Beatles recordings and memorabilia, consigned by a former Apple Records executive, was led by a lot of five candid photographs of John Lennon and George Harrison that fetched $3,360.
Furniture crossing the block was led by a George II mahogany ball and claw tea table, circa 1740, having a one-board pie-crust top, that achieved $6,000, well above its $700/900 estimate.
Rounding out the auction were a 107-piece Royal Copenhagen blue fluted full lace dinner service for $8,400, an early English flintlock musket with a tiger maple stock for $10,200 and a French ribbon-form diamond bracelet centered with a .6-carat round brilliant diamond going within estimate for $7,200.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For more information, www.butterscotchauction.com or 914-764-4609.
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