Published: March 14, 2006
A Romare Bearden painting set a mood of excitement and an auction record when it achieved $104,500 at Ron Rhoads Auction event, February 4, at the Kimberton Fairgrounds.
Customers were surrounded by gold gilded furniture, marquetry tables, Oriental rugs, an Indian collection and fine Meissen but the major event of the day was Bearden’s life-size painting of “Woman with Greens.”
As the bidding commenced on the Bearden, the atmosphere was filled with expectation and excitement. After careful research, the auction house had expected the high estimate of $50,000 would be met.
Starting at $20,000, the bidding steadily approached that figure with the stilled standing-room-only crowd in amazement after it passed $60,000.
The final exhilarating competition for the painting, done in the early 1940s in New York City and accompanied by provenance, was conducted on two phone lines between two eminent New York galleries, with the final hammer falling at $104,500.
The throng burst into applause, especially when auctioneer Ron Rhoads announced the record setting price.
The rest of the auction kept a similar pace. A diminutive BenAustrian painting of a single chick produced $17,600, a near recordfor the size; a C. Ferranti courting scene, “Italian Lovers,” in anoriginal gilded frame took $2,200; and a signed Chatrousse ParisJoan of Arc bronze brought $3,300.
Furniture standouts included a gilded collector’s cabinet at $3,740, a Pennsylvania chest on frame for $7,150, a Montgomery County grandfather clock in original paint for $10,000, an Ansonia Fisher and Falconer double swinger clock at $3,430 and a marquetry table for $3,430. Under the decorative arts heading, a grouping of Meissen realized $3,850.
The next sale will be The Carolyn Sunstein miniature collection April 8-9. All prices include the 12 percent buyer’s premium. For information, contact auction coordinator Eileen Rhoads at 610-385-4818.
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