NEW YORK—Louis Remy Mignot’s dreamlike oil titled Travelers in a Tropical Landscape, 1861, was the top seller at Shannon’s April 28 sale of American and European art, selling for $516,000 and just clearing the high end of the $300,000/500,000 estimate. The sale had its share of ups and downs, realizing a total of $5 million, compared with a presale estimate of $4 million/6 million, and selling 184, or 71 percent, of 258 lots.
The Mignot came from a private collection in New Jersey and according to Gene Shannon, president of the auction house, was purchased by “an American museum.” The price was a record for the artist, topping the $225,000 achieved for an 1855 painting, Solitude, at a sale at Phillips de Pury & Company in 2002.
Other artists whose work fetched robust prices were Sanford Robinson Gifford for the undated Bend in the Juniata River, which sold for $204,000, compared with an estimate of $70,000/100,000, John Frederick Peto whose Self-Portrait with Rack Picture, 1904, sold for $156,000, above the estimate of $50,000/75,000, Theodoros Stamos whose oil on masonite Venetian Mirror, 1949, brought $123,000, compared with an estimate of $15,000/25,000, and Roy Lichtenstein whose color screenprint Reverie, 1965 sold for $120,000, double the estimated $40,000/60,000.
Mary Bradish Titcomb’s Two Girls, Old Lyme, ca. 1905, sold for a record auction price of $120,000 (estimate: $60,000/80,000), Charles Sydney Hopkinson’s The Piazza Door, 1911, sold for $108,000 (estimate: $60,000/80,000) and Marisol Escobar’s undated painted-wood sculpture, Zoot, sold for $92,200, against an estimate of $40,000/60,000.
There were a number of sleepers in this auction, of which the Stamos was perhaps the most notable. Others included John Wesley’s oil on canvas Suitcase, 1964-5, which realized $84,000, against an estimate of $15,000/25,000, while William Smith Ronald’s Aurora, 1961, fetched $60,000 (estimate: $7,000/10,000), and Charles H. van den Eycken II’s Playful Kittens, 1901, took $60,000, compared with an estimate of $15,000/25,000.
Felice Casorati’s undated tempera on board titled Reading a Book sold for $50,400, compared with an estimate of $4,000/6,000, and Allan D’Arcangelo’s ca.1964 Two Mirrors sold for $40,800 (estimate: $3,000/5,000).
Shannon credited the strong prices to conservative estimates. “It promotes bidding and creates energy in the room. It gets people who probably wouldn’t be able to buy a work to think they have a chance,” he said.