ARTnewsletter Archive

Selective Buyers, Bargain Hunters Heat Up Shannon’s Spring Sale

Buyers trolling for bargains were in evidence at the April 26 auction of American and European paintings, drawings and sculpture at Shannon’s auctioneers, Milford, Conn.

NEW YORK—Buyers trolling for bargains were in evidence at the April 26 auction of American and European paintings, drawings and sculpture at Shannon’s auctioneers, Milford, Conn.

Eighty-two percent of the 272 lots found buyers and realized a cumulative total of $3.8 million. This figure included the buyer’s premium, in the middle of the presale estimate of $3/4.5 million, says Gene Shannon, president of Shannon’s.

Lots with the highest estimates—including Paul Cornoyer’s oil Early Evening, Madison Square (estimate: $60,000/80,000), and Peruvian Frederico del Campo’s 1892 Street Scene, Venice (estimate: $50,000/75,000) failed to find buyers, while many works in the $30,000/60,000 range sold just below the low estimate. An oil painting of a young woman by Charles Courtney Curran (1861-1942)—Far Away Thoughts (estimate: $120,000/180,000), which was on the cover of the catalogue—drew the highest hammer price of $115,000. Consigned by a private mid-Atlantic collector, the Curran was purchased by a dealer.

Bidding was more competitive for modestly priced pieces such as Mauritz F.H. De Haas’ oil Sunset on the Coast, which a New England collector acquired for $65,000, the second-highest hammer sale price of the day and more than double the high estimate of $30,000.

Shannon notes that 20 bidders competed for the painting, which had been consigned by a New York State antiques dealer.

Twin Records for Eric Sloane

Two paintings by Eric Sloane (1905-85)—Hill Farm and Autumn, Vermont, both estimated at $20,000/30,000—were each picked up for $50,000 —a figure that marks a record for the artist. “The sale was a mixed bag,” Shannon said, “but generally solid. People chased what they really wanted.”

Two paintings by Elliot Daingerfield flew past their estimates: Two Bluejays, estimated at $12,000/18,000, won $28,000; and A Country Road at Sunset took $17,000, more than tripling its $5,000 high estimate. Both a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln, by George Edwin Bissell, and Anna A. Hills’ 1922 oil Evening Glow, Palm Springs, each estimated at $3,000/5,000, fetched $12,000 apiece. Dutch painter Adrian Lubbers’ 1924 Don Bepe drew $19,000, far exceeding its $5,000/7,000 estimate.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the sale was the $20,000 paid for Henry W. Bannarn’s Modernist Exhibition, which had been estimated at $2,500/3,500. Two dozen bidders vied for the painting by Bannarn, an African-American art teacher in Detroit. Consigned by a private collector in Cambridge, Mass., it fell to a dealer.

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