NEW YORK—At Skinner’s sale of American and European paintings and prints on Sept. 11 in Boston, just under 81 percent of the 804 lots found buyers. The sale earned $1.96 million, within the $1.6 million/2.5 million total estimate, surpassing last spring’s $1.7million total (estimate: $1.8million/2.7million) and last November’s $754,401 total (estimate: $1.2million/1.84million).
“The mood in this sale was much brighter than during our sales in March and May,” said Robin Starr, interim director for the department of paintings and prints. “Dealers were buying stock again, not just bidding for individual collectors, which we think is a positive sign.”
Topping the sale was Raoul Dufy’s watercolor-and-ink drawing Grand Orchestre, 1948, which sold for $92,430, within the broad $75,000/125,000 estimate. Other strong performers included Henry Moore’s charcoal, wax crayon, watercolor, ink and gouache drawing Studies for Sculpture, 1950, which sold for $82,950 on an estimate of $30,000/50,000; Diego Rivera’s ink-and-watercolor Pozole Seller, 1938, which sold for $53,325 on an estimate of $40,000/80,000; Frank Weston Benson’s watercolor and graphite Canada Geese in the Snow, which sold for $50,363 on an estimate of $30,000/50,000; and Percival Leonard Rosseau’s Stylish Mack/Portrait of a Pointer in a Landscape, which sold for $47,400 on an estimate of $30,000/50,000.
Among a number of artists whose works sold well, Andy Warhol was represented by three prints from a 1983 edition, Endangered Species. African Elephant sold for $23,700 (estimate: $20,000/30,000); Giant Panda brought $21,330 (estimate: $15,000/25,000); and Bighorn Ram sold for $18,960 (estimate: $15,000/25,000).
A Wolf Kahn oil, Barn in Summer, 1971–72, fetched $20,145, above its $12,000/18,000 estimate. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s lithographic poster Jane Avril, 1899, on the other hand, brought in only $35,550, well below its $50,000/70,000 estimate. Some consignors of work by less well-known artists received pleasant surprises, such as the $23,700 paid for Albert Herter’s oil Mohamed Ben Hadge Abdeslam Djedidi/A Tunisian Portrait, circa 1925 (estimate: $800/1,200); the $14,220 for Paul Cornoyer’s oil on panel Rainy Day, New York City (estimate: $1,200/1,800); and the $13,035 for a watercolor of a nude, circa 1929, by George Grosz (estimate: $5,000/7,000). —D.G.