NEW YORK—A floral still life by French painter Henri Fantin-Latour (1836- 1904) at the May 4 auction of Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers exceeded all expectations, capping a highly successful sale of paintings and sculpture at the Greenwich, Conn., house. Given an estimate of $150,000/250,000, Bouquet d’hiver, 1877, reached a final hammer price of $925,000.
Of the 252 lots on offer, 87 percent found buyers, posting a total sale of $4.85 million and bettering the $3/4.4 million presale estimate. “It was our best ever sale,” reports the company’s president Gene Shannon.
Six bidders “of consequence” competed for the Fantin-Latour work, two remaining as the bidding reached $600,000, Shannon told ARTnewsletter. The painting, which came from a private Connecticut collection, was purchased “by the European trade,” he says.
Among the top performers: Evening Glow, by Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837-1908), fetched $190,000, above the $100,000/150,000 estimate; Wildflowers by the California Coast, 1912, by Granville Redmond (1871-1935), earned $100,000 (estimate: $100,000/150,000); Country Club, Pittsburgh, circa 1910, by Charles C. Hoffbauer (1875-1957), produced $80,000 (estimate: $50,000/75,000); and A Family Event, by Giovanni Battista Torriglia (1858-1937), brought $120,000 (estimate: $80,000/ 120,000).
A number of pieces with more modest estimates also outperformed expectations, including two paintings by Louis Aston Knight (1873-1948)— Rose Garden by a Stream, Launay, and Cottage by a Stream—which carried the same estimate of $6,000/8,000 and drew $16,000 apiece; two paintings by Italian-American Luigi Lucioni (1900-88)—Tocata in Yellow, 1978 (estimate: $15,000/25,000), and Fast Shadows, 1946 (estimate: $6,000/ 8,000)—which reached $70,000 and $16,000, respectively; The Road Back Home, by Harry Leith-Ross (1886-1973), which flew past its $25,000 high estimate to make $42,000; and A Summer Sail, by Francis Stillwell Dixon (1879-1967), which had been estimated at $3,000/5,000 and brought $19,000.
This was a record for the artist, whose previous auction high mark stood at $2,200. The entire sale, Shannon says, produced “perhaps 20 auction records” for artists.