NEW YORK—A tidy 87 percent of the 270 lots on offer found buyers at a sale of fine American and European paintings and drawings at Shannon’s auction house in Greenwich, Conn., on April 28. The entire sale garnered $3.8 million, falling at the high end of the auctioneer’s presale estimate of $3/4 million, which exceeded the $2.7 million sale last spring (See ANL, 6/8/04).
A number of works achieved solid prices, especially the top earner—Nudes on the Cove, 1904, by Childe Hassam (1859-1935)—which fetched $357,625, comfortably exceeding its high estimate of $300,000. That painting had been consigned by a New York collector and purchased by a private collector, one of eight bidding for the work.
An undated oil on panel, Dance of the Boats, by Richard Hayley Lever (1876-1958), reports auction house owner Gene Shannon, was purchased by an “East Coast dealer” for $159,625, surpassing the $120,000 high estimate. The 1847 painting A Wreck on the Coast of New England, by Fitz Hugh Lane (1804-1864), took $143,125 (estimate: $125,000/175,000); and an untitled and undated floral still life by French post-Impressionist Henri Lebasque (1865-1937) brought $70,500 (estimate: $30,000/50,000).
Two major lots, large paintings of mountain scenes by American artist Birger Sandzen (1871-1954), were withdrawn before the auction as a result of a legal dispute over whether or not the auctioneer was legally empowered to sell the works. Shannon’s had estimated their value at $150,000/250,000 apiece.