Published: October 10, 2000
LUDWIGS CORNER, PENN. – Pook & Pook Inc. conducted an auction on September 30 which included an important work by the American painter Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904).
The small 101/8 by 22¼ -inch oil on canvas landscape depicted a sunset on the marshes. A letter of authenticity from Theodore Stebbins accompanied the painting, which dates the work to 1860-61. In need of cleaning, the work carried the gallery’s estimate of $90/110,000.
Correspondent J.M.W. Fletcher reports that when bidding doubled the low estimate, the action in the very busy gallery proved to be no match for the phone bank, which had been augmented to seven cell and line phones. Five of the seven lines became mute when the bidding doubled the high estimate, and there was only one cell phone still in business when auctioneer James Gibson let the hammer fall at an astounding $270,000.
A ten percent buyers premium was charged. A full review of this auction will follow in an upcoming issue.
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