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Guarded Interest Prevails at Shannon’s European-American Sale

Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, Milford, Conn., held a sale of American and European paintings, drawings and sculpture on Oct. 26 that realized a total of $4.4 million—in line with the $4/5 million estimate, with 75 percent of 317 lots sold.

NEW YORK—Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, Milford, Conn., held a sale of American and European paintings, drawings and sculpture on Oct. 26 that realized a total of $4.4 million—in line with the $4/5 million estimate, with 75 percent of 317 lots sold.

The top lots were Bathers on the Beach, an oil on board by Martha Walter (1875-1976), which fetched $130,000 (estimate: $80,000/120,000); and a circa 1870s painting by William Bradford (1823-92), Arctic Explorers, which made its low estimate of $100,000. Buyers of the Bradford and many of the other higher-estimated works expressed both interest and caution, generally paying on the low side of estimates.

Similarly, an oil painting by Guy Carleton Wiggins (1883-1962), Plaza and the Park (estimate $60,000/80,000), earned $60,000; and Harbor Sketcher by Milton Avery (1885-1965), estimated at $50,000/75,000, brought $50,000.

Desdemona, by Manierre Dawson (1887-1969), took its low estimate of $80,000, while Two Setters on Point, by Edmund Osthaus (1858-1928), likewise sold for its low estimate of $40,000. Abstract Composition, a gouache by Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956), also earned its $40,000 low estimate; and The Chinese Vase, by William Worcester Churchill (1858-1926), realized $75,000, brushing just past its low estimate of $70,000. Additionally, City of Columbus, by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921), nailed its low estimate of $20,000.

Shannon’s president Gene Shannon told ARTnewsletter that some of the higher-estimated works had come “not from estates but from private collections, and it was a stretch to get them.” Consequently, he said, these works were “fully estimated” rather than conservatively priced.

However, a number of lots sold above the auctioneer’s estimates, including Hawaiian Fisherman near Diamond Head, by Joseph Dwight Strong Jr. (1852-99). Offered with a conservative $5,000/7,000 estimate, it earned $80,000.

Paintings by both Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924) and Dale William Nichols (1904-95) were estimated at $20,000/30,000, each drawing $55,000. The work Winter Solitude, by New England painter Emile Albert Gruppe (1896-1978), estimated at $12,000/18,000, was bought for $32,000; and Amusing the Baby, by Italian painter Guiseppe Magni (1869-1956), was a big winner with a $90,000 bid (estimate: $40,000/60,000). “Magni is big in the Italian genre market,” says Shannon, who reports that the work was sold to an art dealer in Italy.

Some of the bought-in lots had a visible impact on the overall total. These included Bathing Beach, by Charles Demuth (1883-1935), estimated at $40,000/60,000); and the watercolor By the Stream, by Maurice Prendergast (1859-1923), estimated at $70,000/90,000. Four watercolors by Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938) also failed to sell.

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