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Appel Painting Draws International Buyer to Boston Auction

Karel Appel’s semiabstract oil painting Flowering Personage, 1970, was the top lot at Boston auction house Grogan and Company’s two-day sale of fine art and art glass, held May 21–22.

NEW YORK—Karel Appel’s semiabstract oil painting Flowering Personage, 1970, was the top lot at Boston auction house Grogan and Company’s two-day sale of fine art and art glass, held May 21–22. The painting sold for $92,000, including premium, but it missed the $100,000/150,000 estimate. Consigned from a Massachusetts estate, the work was sold to a foreign private collector who had never heard of Grogan but learned of the Appel’s availability through an Internet alert, according to Allyson Lee, the house’s director of fine art.

Overall, the sale earned $1.87 million, exceeding the estimate of $1.19 million/1.83 million, with 740, or 88 percent, of the 842 lots finding buyers. In the fine-art category, there were 195 lots, which earned a total of $662,900; 149, or 76 percent, of them sold.

Among the other fine-art lots that brought top prices were William McGregor Paxton’s oil A Modern Madonna, 1932, which sold for $37,375, compared with an estimate of $10,000/15,000, and Jean-Baptiste Robie’s Still Life with Strawberries and Tankard, 1866, which realized $27,600 on an estimate of $30,000/50,000.

A suite of seven color woodcuts by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, entitled Nana Hyaku Mizu, dated late 1960s to early ’70s sold for $23,000, on an estimate of $20,000/30,000, André L’hote’s Landscape, 1938, sold for $18,400, on an estimate of $20,000/30,000.

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