NEW YORK—A still life of tulips in a vase by Kees van Dongen (1877-1968) led Shannon’s May 1 sale of American and European art, earning a hammer price of $468,000, well above the Greenwich, Connecticut, auction house’s estimate of $150,000/250,000. The painting had been consigned by a private collector in Westchester County, New York, who had received it as a wedding gift in the 1950s. It was purchased by a New York broker on behalf of a private collector.
The 261 lots in the auction produced a total of $4.2 million in sales, compared with the presale estimate of $3.8 million/4.5 million. The total was not higher because 32 percent of the lots did not find buyers, which was “a higher buy-in rate than we’ve ever had,” president Gene Shannon told ARTnewsletter. The buy-ins included Jasper Francis Cropsey’s 1890 Boating on Greenwood Lake and Luigi Lucioni’s Resting Athlete, which bore estimates of $80,000/120,000.
However, a number of lots in the sale did well, including Cropsey’s 1875 Extensive Autumn Vista with Cattle, which sold for $168,000 (estimate: $150,000/250,000); Paul Manship’s 1916 Flight of Night, which brought $144,000 (estimate: $120,000/180,000); Martha Walter’s Lady Knitting in a Flower Garden, which earned $138,000 (estimate: $60,000/80,000); and Joseph Dwight Strong Jr.’s View of Diamond Head, which brought in a record $102,000 (estimate: $20,000/30,000). The latter painting was consigned by a Connecticut resident who had found the work in the basement of the New Haven house she purchased 20 years ago.
Another artist record was set for Dale Nichols (1904-95), whose Big City News, 1935, earned $78,000, more than double its $25,000/35,000 estimate, after being pursued by a dozen phone bidders.
Two paintings—Hermann Herzog’s Sunset with Deer (estimate: $60,000/80,000) and Albert Bierstadt’s Overlook Mountain from Olana, 1866, (estimate: $80,000/120,000)—generated $90,000 apiece, and John Williamson’s Summer Day on Lake George sold for $81,600 (estimate: $40,000/60,000).