Published: October 16, 2007
Buyers turned out in force at Rago’s sale of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century fine art on September 15. The house was full and hundreds more bidders participated by phone, online and by absentee bid, buying more than 90 percent of the sale by lot.
Rago’s sale included many of the great names associated with the New Hope School: Edward Willis Redfield, George William Sotter, Walter Emerson Baum, Alfred Nunamaker, Fern Isabel Coppedge, Charles Rosen, BJO Nordfeldt, Lloyd Ney, Antonio Pietro Martino and Joseph Barrett, among them. The Nunamaker sold for $20,400, the second highest price yet paid for a work by this artist. The oils by Baum, large and fresh to market, also did exceptionally well. A 25½-by-30-inch oil on canvas sold for $45,000 and a small, but luminous oil on board for $8,400.
Strong prices were also garnered for work by Martino, $16,800; Charles Rosen, two studies in oil, $10,200; a gouache by Nordfeldt, $7,200; a watercolor by Ney, $5,100; and Barrett’s oil, “Canal House,” for $7,800. New records were set for New Hope artists Bernard Badura, $7,800; Joseph Crilley, $2,280; and Anthony Michael Autorino, $4,200.
Strong selling prices were not limited to this grouping. They were achieved throughout the sale, as exemplified by the sale of a small work by Charles Warren Eaton, $11,400; an oil by John R. Grabach, $7,800; a portfolio of ten collotypes by Andrew Wyeth, $19,200; a fine and small oil by Jasper Francis Cropsey, $45,000; and two works by William Aiken Walker, $33,600 and $16,800. New records were set for work by Thomas Rathbone Manley, $6,000; Raymond Granville Barger, $4,800; Franklin Benjamin DeHaven, $8,400; Bruce Braithwaite, $15,600; and John B. Lear, $7,800.
This well-defined auction, conducted in September and February, is fast developing a secondary market for contemporary artists of the Delaware Valley working in a range of styles and media. Virtually all artists new to the auction sold within estimate or higher. Barry Snyder, Erie Jackson, Jane Gilday and Colette Sexton all achieved notable prices.
“We love that this sale appeals to collectors of art †historic and present day †locally, nationally and internationally,” said Meredith Hilferty, director of fine art. “The results have been just amazing, particularly for a sale that is relatively new to the field. It’s our intention to keep building on this success, offering a range of work in each sale that varies in price point, but not quality.”
All prices reported include a buyer’s premium of 20 percent. For information, 609-397-9374 or www.ragoarts.com .
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