NEW YORK—A small oil on board by Hudson River School artist Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823–1900) emerged as the star of Skinner’s sale of American and European paintings in Boston on May 16. The work fetched $369,000 (including buyer’s premium), far exceeding the $15,000/25,000 estimate.
The painting, Autumn on the Hudson, 1858, was consigned by a collector in New York state and won by a dealer after furious bidding in the saleroom, online and on all ten telephones, said Robin Starr of Skinner’s American and European art department. She noted that the painting, a finished study for a major work, had “never been seen before; no one knew of its existence. It was everything you could possibly want in a Cropsey.”
The sale yielded a total of $1.3 million, in the middle of the presale estimate of $1 mil¬lion/1.5 million. There were 509 lots up for bidding, the majority estimated in the low four digits; just over 80 percent of the lots found buyers.
As with the Cropsey, low teaser estimates sometimes resulted in surprising final sale prices: An untitled 1957 oil and collage on paper by Michael Goldberg (1924–2007), which had been estimated at $15,000/25,000, brought $50,363. A still life with seashells, attributed only to “Northern School, 17th Century Style” and given a $2,000/4,000 estimate, sold for $31,995. An ink drawing attributed to Felice Giani (1758-1823), Virgin Interceding on Behalf of Plague Victims, brought $7,703 (estimate: $2,000/4,000). On the Road, an oil on panel by Giuseppe de Nittis, sold for just under $32,000, far surpassing its $800/1,200 estimate. Spanish painter José Arpa y Perea’s In the Studio, which was estimated at $5,000/7,000, realized $21,330.