Published: August 9, 2011
“It came in with a pile of junk in the trunk of a car,” stated auctioneer Josh Eldred prior to the start of Eldred’s Americana auction this past week, August 3‵. While the rest of the junk remained in the trunk, the younger of the Eldred auctioneers plucked the dirt laden painting out of the mess and left the rest.
“It was filthy and the frame was hiding the signature,” said Eldred, who decided to bring it inside for a better look. After a thorough cleaning and authentication, the rare small William Merritt Chase painting on panel, “Sailboats on Beach,” measuring roughly 8 by 10 inches, was featured on the cover of the catalog.
Substantial interest was expressed in the painting prior to the auction and a host of phone bidders actively competed for the lot as it crossed the block. Selling at more than double the $40/60,000 presale estimates, the rare work brought $126,500.
A complete review of the Eldred’s Americana auction will appear in a future issue.
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