Published: March 26, 2002
Up-and-Down Sales of American and European Prints and Paintings at Skinner Bring a $1.2 Million Total and a Surprise Top Lot
By Daniel Grant
BOSTON, MASS.- An up-and-down afternoon and evening of sales of American and European prints and paintings at Skinner auction house in Boston on March 22 resulted in total sales of $1,226,000. The auction house had estimated that the entire sale would bring in between $1.1 million and $1.6 million, “so, considering all the buy-ins, I think we did quite well,” she said.
Among the positive surprises was a 1906 oil sketch entitled “Biarritz/Harbor With Tied Rowboats” by Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923), which was purchased by a private collector for $94,000, well above the $25/35,000 estimate. The next highest price reached was $49,937 (est $10/15,000) for American Paul Sample’s (1896-1974) undated oil on canvas “Two White Horses at Brownington,” which had once been owned by the Currier Gallery of Art in New Hampshire. The $38,187 paid for an undated “Venetian Canal View” by the French oil painter Antoine Bouvard (b.?-1956) also exceeded its estimate ($8/12,000), as did Frank Weston Benson’s (1862-1951) undated watercolor and gouache on paper “Eiders Landing/A Nature Sketch,” which was purchased by a private collector for $22,325 ($4/6,000). As many as half a dozen bidders vied for the Benson.
There was also considerable interest in the work of American printmaker Gustave Baumann (1881-1971), whose three-color woodcuts up for sale all exceeded their estimates. “Night of the Fiesta – Taos,” 1920, sold for $6,462 ($2/4,000), while the 1925 “Rancho de Taos” fetched $9,400 ($3,500/4,500) and Procession” (1923-30) sold for $14,000 ($3/5,000). Prints generally did well at the auction, generating more than $200,000 in total sales for the 179 lots offered.
Among the other notable sales were Georges Braque’s (1882-1963) 1911-12 etching “Bass,” which sold for $19,000 (15/25,000), and American Edward Simmons’s (1852-1931) 1903 oil on canvas “Afternoon Wind,” which fetched $29,375 ($28/32,000).
On the down side, a number of pieces expected to do well failed to sell, including the 1913 oil “L’Oeud d’el Kantara” by French Impressionist Maxime Maufra (186½-1918), which had been estimated at $25/35,000, and American painter Aiden Lassall Ripley’s (1896-1969) undated oil “Autumn Harvest” ($15/35,000). A 1652 etching by Rembrandt, entitled “Christ Preaching,” which had once belonged to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston did sell for $9,889, but that was below the $12/18,000 estimate.
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