NEW YORK—Greenwich, Conn.–based auctioneer Shannon’s Oct. 23 sale of American and European art yielded weaker-than-expected results, with 38 percent of its lots unsold, including many of the highest-estimated works.
The 262 lots in the auction brought in a total of $2.75 million, well short of the presale estimate of $3.62 million/4.6 million. On a day when the European markets were reeling from the financial crisis, prices for western European modernist works seemed to be especially affected. Many of these works came from two estates—one in Westchester County, New York, and the other in Saratoga, New York.
Auction house president Gene Shannon told ARTnewsletter that some of the European modernist works had already been bought up after the sale, adding that the house turned down a number of offers that it considered too low.
Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Homestead on Greenwood Lake, 1886, carried the highest estimate in the auction at $300,000/500,000, and produced the sale’s highest price, $396,000 with buyer’s premium. However, Massimo Campigli’s 1949 painting Two Women (estimate: $100,000/150,000), Henri Fantin-Latour’s painting Bouquet of Flowers (estimate: $100,000/150,000) and Jean Dubuffet’s 1963 painting Memoria (estimate: $200,000/300,000) all failed to sell.
There were some strong sellers among the mid-priced lots, including Colin Campbell Cooper’s Place de L’Opera, Paris, circa 1895–1900, which sold for $120,000 (estimate: $100,000/150,000); Cropsey’s An Autumn Morning, 1890, which sold for $78,000 (estimate: $70,000/100,000); Maurice de Vlaminck’s Cottage in Flanders, which sold for $72,000 (estimate: $40,000/60,000); and Sanford Robinson Gifford’s On the Coast of Long Island, which sold for $66,000 (estimate: $60,000/80,000).
Some modestly priced lots far exceeded expectations, such as Evgeny Aleksandrovich Lansere’s The Warrior, which was estimated at $8,000/12,000 but sold for $32,400. Dutch artist Jan Hoynck van Papendrecht’s Rigjende Artillerie Op De Hede, one of the lots from the Westchester County estate, went for a final price of $48,000 (estimate: $20,000/30,000). “The bidding was all by phone, from buyers in Holland,” Shannon said.