Published: April 7, 2020
Review by Tom O’Hara
SARASOTA, FLA. – Andrew Ford kept his gavel pounding at Sarasota Estate Auction for the two-day sale March 28-29, with more than 1,100 lots moving across the dais through the internet. Using LiveAuctioneers as its platform, the sale was a success even though bidders in the majority of cases were never able to touch and feel the objects. Such is Ford’s reputation that “buyers are now following our sales worldwide, watching for the notices through traditional publications like Antiques and The Arts Weekly with its online presence,” he said. “We had registered bidders from all across America, Europe, Africa and China for this sale bidding up the fine art, African art and much more.”
Ford did express disappointment in not having a live audience in the gallery, saying, “People bidding live is always more fun for the sale and it can usually help in the final prices achieved, but this weekend we were very pleased with results.” He said that good pieces still did well, many selling at the high end of their reserve or even exceeding it, while at the same time there were bargains for many bidders.”
Among the examples of the sale’s achievements was the Llewelyn Lloyd oil on canvas which was expected to yield $5/8,000 but was finally hammered down at $22,420. A mountain scene by Benson Bond Moore, also an oil on canvas, reached $3,540, about triple its estimate. A winter scene by him also did well when it hammered down at $1,416. A small oil portrait of George Washington, unsigned in the original oval frame went up to $1,888.
Included was an extensive collection of African Tribal art from many tribes, including the Masaai tribe of Kenya, Senufo and Baule people of the Ivory Coast, the Bobo tribe from Burkina Faso and the Dogon People. A rare Chokwe mask, carved in hardwood, was $472. Polychrome African Bobo masks took $295; seven Masai carved wooden figures reached $413.
One of the more startling yields was the John Wilde oil on board titled “Poor Lark,” depicting a nude woman in front of the bird whose breast she had just pierced, selling for $10,030. The Edward Moran oil on canvas of the Canadian Atlantic coast was actively bid to a total of $6,962. Daguerreotypes were moving quickly with more than 35 lots in total selling, with three or more pieces per lot from $35 on up to $177.
There was more variety at this sale with Eighteenth Century American furniture, including a pair of bird cage Windsor side chairs selling for $95; a sack back Windsor armchair at $148; the Connecticut corner cupboard reaching $590; and two tiger maple chests of drawers sold for $265 and $560.
Prices listed reflect the in-gallery’s buyer’s premium; buying through LiveAuctioneers has a slightly higher buyer’s premium.
The next auction also online and with phone bidding will be Sunday May 3. The gallery may also be open for prospective bidders if the government rules are suspended by then. Previews will be Monday through Saturday, April 27- May 2. Sarasota Estate Auction is at 6030 North Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota, Fla. More information is available at www.sarasotaestateauction.com or 941-359-8700.
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