NEW YORK—A painting of two little girls titled Fishing for Frogs, 1882, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, earned the top price at the three-part, May 15 sale of American and European art, held at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, bringing $1.7 million, and falling within the $1.5 million/2 million estimate. There were some other strong prices, such as $242,500 (estimate: $200,000/300,000) for Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s 1890s Port of Saint-Tropez, and $170,500 (estimate: $80,000/120,000) for Martin Johnson Heade’s Cherokee Roses in a Glass Vase, ca. 1883–88.
Wladyslaw Czachórski’s The Proposal, 1891, sold for $116,500 (estimate: $70,000/90,000), and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s Le Vallon des Chevres, ca. 1872, sold for $110,500 (estimate: $90,000/120,000).
However, many of the highest-estimated lots failed to sell, including Renoir’s Portrait of a Young Girl, ca. 1868–70, which was estimated at $650,000/950,000, and Francis Silva’s piece titled The Old House by the River, 1881, which had an estimate of $400,000/600,000.
In all, 300, or 65 percent, of the 458 lots in this day-long auction were purchased, earning just over $5 million and missing the presale estimate of $8.3 million/11.7 million.
Bouguereau was also the top seller at Sotheby’s sale of 19th-century European art, held in New York earlier this month. Girl with a Pomegranate, 1875, which was consigned from a private collection in Oregon, was estimated at $500,000/700,000, but fetched a final price of $2.3 million. The sale was dominated at the top end by private American buyers, who accounted for six of the ten-highest lots. Of 110 lots offered, 71, or 65 percent, found buyers.
Other top prices included James Jacques Joseph Tissot’s undated painting The Morning Ride, which brought $1.8 million, albeit missing the $2 million/3 million estimate, and Giovanni Boldini’s Portrait Of Mrs. Howard-Johnston, 1906, which fell within the $1.5 million/2 million estimate to sell for $1.76 million.