Published: June 25, 2002
NEW YORK CITY – Records for American artists toppled one after another at Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg’s auction of American art in Manhattan on May 21. Overall, 12 artist’s records were set in the $13,999,555 auction with 89.9 percent sold, in which many paintings fetched five and ten times their high estimates. The Glen S. Foster collection accounted for $8.2 million of the total.
According to Betty Krulik, director of Phillips, de Pury’s American art department, “The success of the sale can be attributed to the philosophy we implemented in putting it together. We only took property which was extremely fresh to the market, from important collections or of the highest quality, and the collecting community, both private and trade, responded with great enthusiasm.”
Auctioneer Simon de Pury fielded bids from all over the packed salesroom for paintings including Fitz Hugh Lane’s “Ship in Fog, Gloucester Harbor,” which soared to $904,500, over an estimate of $600/800,000, and James E. Buttersworth’s “Puritan Leading Genesta, Americas Cup, 1885” which brought $728,500 against an estimate of $250/300,000.
Hudson River School painter Jasper Francis Cropsey’s autumnal “Greenwood Lake” excited collectors to bid up to $673,500 against an estimate of $250/350,000 and a fantastic “Ode to the American Chestnut Tree” by Charles Ephraim Burchfield fetched $486,500.
Hometown pride may have played a part in several other exceptional prices at the sale. A jewel-like “View of Boston Harbor” by Robert Salmon was knocked down after a ferocious bidding war for $552,500 ($125/150,000), a Lumnist “View of Boston Harbor at Twilight” by William Bradford made $459,000 and James E. Buttersworth’s “New York from the Bay” far surpassed its $275/325,000 estimate, selling for $574,500.
All prices cited include the buyer’s premium.
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