Published: September 8, 2020
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy James R. Bakker Antiques
PROVINCETOWN, MASS. – James R. Bakker Antiques conducted a live online fine arts auction featuring property from a Provincetown collection, a New Hampshire gentleman and other private collections on August 29.
Leading a selection of masterworks representing the Provincetown Art Colony was a large untitled 1960s abstract oil by Peter Busa (1914-1985), which sold for $8,125. The painting measured 40 by 50 inches, 44 by 54 inches framed.
In addition to the fine art on offer, it was tax-free weekend in Massachusetts on August 29 and 30. So, if a purchase was paid for by end of day Sunday, the purchase was tax free for items less than $2,500.
A small oil on panel view of Wellfleet by Henry Hensche sold over estimate at $4,688. It measured 12 by 15 inches.
“My Grandfather’s Farm,” an oil landscape by Ross Moffett that had been exhibited at the Provincetown Art Association in 1959 brought $4,375. Depicting a pair of cows languidly watering at a round metal trough against an idyllic landscape, the canvas was 24 by 36 inches.
More than a dozen record auction prices for Provincetown artists were made or broken, including Jean Miller Cohen’s “Valley of the Dunes,” a monumental canvas last exhibited at The League at the 1993 Cape exhibition at the Provincetown Art Association, bringing $3,125 to a local collector.
Several works by William Littlefield crossed the block, with top honors going to his “Rites of Spring” oil bringing $1,375.
Other works by contemporary Provincetown artists fared well, with an oil painting of MacMillan Wharf, Provincetown by Sal Del Deo fetching $2,875 and “West Broadway, New York” by Arthur Cohen selling for $1,750. Del Deo’s was among several works by contemporary Provincetown artists offered to the highest bidders.
Provincetown women artists as always were well-represented in the sale. An oil on paper of ducks by Pat de Groot brought a solid $1,825, also setting a new auction high for the artist. A floral watercolor by Edna Boies Hopkins brought $2,250 and “Rolling Hills,” an oil on canvas by Margaret J. Patterson went out at $4,063. “Wharf & Nets,” a small white-line woodcut by Angele Myrer, who shared a studio in Provincetown with Ferol Warthen, sold over estimate at $2,000, as did other works on paper, including an ink drawing by Mary Frank at $1,750.
A moody, untitled oil on panel by Nanno Freerk de Groot (1913-1963) went out at $3,375.
Capturing the lively scene of a “Festival-Fleet at Pier,” an oil on canvas, 25 by 11 inches, by Solomon Wilson (1896-1974) landed at $2,750.
And a still life by Marion G. Hawthorne (1870-1945), oil on canvas, realized $2,500.
Other important work by American artists offered in the sale included a pastel study for “The Third Rung” by Alexander James, an oil painting selling at $1,875. There were a few pleasant surprises when a small 1921 Cape Cod School dunescape that was signed illegibly doubled its $200/400 estimate to sell for $1,000 and there were several bargains to be had as well.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, 508-413-9758 or www.bakkerproject.com.
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