Published: October 26, 2021
CLEVELAND, OHIO — Of the nearly 400 lots in Rachel Davis Fine Arts’ October 23 Fine Art auction, a portrait by Clyde Singer bested works by Rembrandt, Edward Potthast, Marcel Dyf and ceramics by Claude Conover. The sale featured nine lots by Singer (American, 1908-1999) and the top lot of the sale was a 42-by-36-inch oil on canvas portrait of the artist’s wife, Berniece. The painting had been exhibited at Ohio University in 1943 and descended in a private North Olmsted, Ohio, collection. Its first owner was Richard Robinson of Malvern, Ohio, who acquired it directly from the artist. According to Rachel Davis, Robinson was Singer’s dentist who would take paintings in lieu of payment. After a bidding war between two online bidders, two phone lines and clients bidding in the room, it sold to a private collector in Detroit, Mich., who had known Singer and who paid $30,750. It was underbid by a Medina, Ohio, collector who owned a portrait of the artist he hoped to hang Berniece’s portrait next to.
“While Clyde Singer’s works have been steadily climbing over the past years,” Davis said, “the ones that have always commanded the most money were the New York street scenes. I was hoping it would sell to someone in the estimate ($6/9,000), never expecting it to hit the price it did.”
A more extensive recap will appear in a future issue.
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