Published: July 18, 2000
CEDAR FALLS, IOWA – A recent American and European sale at Jackson’s totaled $1,786,200 and featured a variety of collections. Holdings of the Holy Nativity Convent, Fond du Lac, Wis.; art glass from the estate of Mrs Helen Buell, Bartlesville, Okla.; and the collection and inventory from the estate of longtime art glass dealer Lois Hamlin, Allegan, Mich., were offered.
More than 200 in-house attendants, slightly over 1,200 telephone, on-line and absentee bidders were registered according to Client Services Director Sandi Miller. Additionally over 37 states and eight countries were represented.
By far the rdf_Description which seemed to have attracted the most attention was lot 237, a small 13 by 15 inch oil on board sketch by American artist Grant Wood. The painting would best be described as an outdoor still life, depicting a limestone wall with an old millstone resting against it. It was executed in 1930, the same year as Wood’s magnum opus, American Gothic. Wood produced the work as an in- person painting exercise for a young Iowa artist he had befriended. The artist, Carl Flick, who was a resident in the Amana religious colony not far from Wood’s home of Cedar Rapids, had written Wood asking advice on what type of brushes to use when painting landscapes.
In typical Grant Wood fashion, instead of answering the inquiry by post, Wood visited Flick in person, which sparked a lifelong friendship between the two. The painting was handed down in Flicks family to his two remaining grandchildren who consigned the painting. Estimated at $60/80,000, the painting opened at $50,000 and slowly but steadily would its way up to the $100,000 mark at which point two bidders dropped out and one new bidder entered the fray. When it was all said and done the painting sold for $145,600 (including 12 percent buyer’s premium) going to a private collector who apparently beat out a Midwestern museum.
The auction began with Russian icons. The most expensive was an icon of Christ, circa 1900, overlaid with a cloisonné enameled riza and gown of seed pearls that sold to a Florida phone bidder for $20,160.
The first offering of American and European paintings included a charming oil on panel by Luigi Chialiva (Swiss 1842-1914). The 14 by 22-inch genre scene depicted a nursemaid with children amongst a flock of sheep. All ten phone lines were lit-up as the painting opened at $10,000 and quickly raced to the final price of $49,280, against an estimate of $8/12,000.
An oil on canvas by British artist John Bagnold Burgess (1830-1897), depicting Spanish girls rolling cigarettes, 25 by 33 inches, sold for $13,440, a charming 17 by 13-inch genre painting titled “Good News,” Belgian artist Edward Antoon Portielje, sold to a European buyer for $12,320, a landscape by British artist Alfred A Glendening (1861-1907), 26 by 16 inches, went to a New York buyer for $8,120, a lovely seascape measuring 30 by 50 inches by Nineteenth Century British artist James Burrell, $6,720.
An oil on canvas painting by Edith Dune Hume (British, died 1906) depicting women washing laundry along a coast, 20 by 30 inches, $7,560. And an oil on canvas landscape with Highland cattle by British artist Alfred De Breanski, Jr sold for $5,600.
Ecclesiastical art included some paintings from the Convent of the Holy Nativity in Fond du Lac, Wis. An oil on panel copy of the Presentation of the Magi by Ghirlandaio reached $10,920.
A four-inch tall Russian silver and enameled card case by the Eleventh Artel sold to a West coast collector for $13,440. A 28 by 20-inch gouache by Maliavin depicting a country girl with a goat reached $5,000, and a group of three watercolor stage designs by Alexandre Benois (1870-1960) sold for $10,360.
A small but important watercolor and gouache by German artist Adolf Friedrich Erdmann Von Menzel sold to an American collector by phone for $79,520, and a 16 by 21-inch oil on panel of a young girl resting her head against her hand, American artist John Sloan (1871-1951), brought $17,920. A group of five paintings by Carl Flick, whose work, according to Julia’s, has apparently never been offered at auction, had wide interest and the five oils brought $6,700.
A pair of oils by Frederick Stuart Church (American 1842-1924), each measuring 33 by 18 inches and depicting a “Woman with a Tiger” and a “Woman with a Swan,” sold for $21,280. An oil on canvas depicting a young girl carrying hay, 24 by 19 inches, by American artist Wilder Darling (1856-1933) set a new record at auction for the artist at $8,400. A very small oil on panel landscape, 8 by 10 inches, by California artist Maurice Braun sold for $6,720 and garnered a happy response from the consignors who had recently purchased the painting for a $120 at a rural auction.
European works included a fine Belgian triptych dated 1919 depicting the Holy Family at center and an angel and St. Lucy on the wings. Measuring 45 inches wide when opened, it sold to a Michigan collector for $11,200. An pair of carved and polychrome wood figures of the Virgin and St. Joseph holding the infant Christ and each measuring eight feet in height, reached $14,560.
The second session began with Moser and Bohemian glass from the Edward Garber estate. The high lot was a Moser pillow vase with applied amber feet and overall decorated with florals and bees, which rung up $2,128. A 21-inch Galle vase in amber and green sold for $6,832.
A variety of porcelain sold led with a small offering of KPM plaques, including a large, hand-painted KPM plaque, 15 by 12 inches, depicting a religious scene of the Triumphant of the Mother Church, which sold for $9,240.
A set of eight early “Stickley Brothers’ Mission oak side chairs with rush seats and red paper labels sold to a New York collector for $3,640. A large walnut entry hall mirror with carved arched crest and marble bench top sold to a California collector for $3,000. Vintage lighting included a 12-inch Tiffany desk lamp with bronze harp shape base holding a pulled green feather shade, which sold for $4,760.
A set of 12 oil on canvas paintings after the murals from San Marco by Fra Angelica representing major church feast days, circa 1900, each 49 by 42 inches canvas was contained in a matching oak frame, sold for $24,600. A group of four oils by French artist Jules R. Herve (1887-1981) depicting Paris scenes, 8 by 10 inches, reached $10,000. Another Herve, this one measuring 40 by 32 inches depicting an impressionistic lakeside scene, sold for $7,000.
The James Snook collection of vintage countertop cigar lighters included some gas-operated examples exhibiting a perpetual flame emitting from a most often figural form. Others were fuel-fed and sparked by built in battery spark generators. Highlights of the 65-piece collection included a rare Vaseline hobnail glass advertising countertop kerosene lighter, marked “Owl Cigar Company New York and Florida,” which sold for $2,000. A cast metal wall mounted allegorical figure gas cigar lighter measuring 12 inches in length sold for $1,800, and an Eldred “Our Special” snap handle lighter with cast cherub on elaborate metal base reached $1,680.
A collection of art glass shades were organized by lot into matching groups of four, three and two. The fourth lots of various shades totaled $16,800. Last to sell was a group of mostly thread worn Oriental rugs form the Convent of the Holy Nativity. The 35 lots of rugs and carpets totaled $27,580.
“We couldn’t have been happier,” said the firm’s President and CEO James L. Jackson. “We came quite close to the two million dollar mark with this sale.”
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