Published: October 2, 2001
Second Cohen/Fontaine Event Brings $500,000 Total
PITTSFIELD, MASS. – The John Fontaine Gallery’s busy preview rooms were decorated with about 550 fine art lots – the colorful occasion being the second auction mounted by the new Cohen/Fontaine Fine Arts service on September 8-9.
The two-day event generated some $500,000 with buyer’s premium – about the same as the debut event in May – but highly selective buying across the board suggested concern about the economy both here and, particularly, abroad.
Supported by a 174-page catalogue, the event was once again attended by a national and international audience via Realbidder.com.
The sale’s top lot was a brooding and lush 201/4 by 27-inch oil by Emil-Soren Carlsen showing flowers in a sunlit Chinese bowl, which fell within estimates at $24,725.
Still other strong American performances were delivered by a 32 by 36-inch oil by Hamilton Hamilton showing a snow-covered sunlit village that doubled estimates at $13,800; and a 193/4 by 24¼ -inch tempera/masonite work by important African/American WPA artist Charles Sebree that more than doubled estimates at $13,800.
Reflecting market caution, phone and Internet bidding from California and abroad were noticeably down from the first sale, explaining why even some of the best European and contemporary examples did not perform as they might have another day.
Still, there were bright spots among the European offerings. An unsigned work from the French School (Fete au Maison) reached $9,775; an oil by Brit John Gifford showing a fox hunting scene made $8,625; an oil by German Wilhelm Von Breitschwert titled “The Passing Balloon” realized $5,750; and an oil entitled “The Itinerant Vendor” by Russian artist Kazimierz Alchimowicz (first exhibited at the Chicago world’s Exposition) made $20,700.
Still other American works performing creditably were an ink drawing of a goose by Frederic Remington ($4,312); a 41/4 by 67/8-inch oil of a luminous landscape by David Johnson that made $7,475; and a 12 by 16-inch landscape by Henry Pember Smith showing boaters and ducks near a marshland cottage ($6,325).
“Morning Walk” by Thomas Addison Richards reached $6,325; a 6 by 91/2-inch work by John Enneking, showing a lush marshland sunset with fishermen made $6,900; and a work entitled “Purple Parasol, Yellow Bonnet” by George Lawrence Nelson also reached $6,900.
The top lot in the Sunday session (devoted to estates and collections) was an apparent self-portrait by American artist Dines Carlsen that more than doubled its high estimate at $8,050.
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