MILFORD, Conn. – A previously unrecorded oil on canvas painting by the renowned American artist Louis Remy Mignot (N.Y./S.C., 1831-1870), titled Tropical Scene, soared to $120,000 at an auction held April 28th by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, in the firm’s gallery located at 354 Woodmont Road in Milford. It was the top lot in a sale that grossed $2 million.
The painting, depicting figures traversing a Luminist tropical landscape, came out of a private collection in Switzerland. Measuring 24 inches by 39 inches, it was monogrammed and dated (1864) lower right and had been expected to hit at least $100,000.
Mignot, a native of Charleston, S.C., began his career in New York City. He became associated with the artists of the Hudson River School, particularly Frederic Edwin Church, who would become his friend and mentor. In 1857, Mignot and Church traveled and painted across the tropical wilderness of Ecuador.
The auction featured 275 artworks (77 percent of which sold). “It was a solid sale, with overall strong demand at all price ranges,” said Gene Shannon of Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers. In addition to live bidding in the room, internet bidding was provided by Invaluable.com.
There were two “catalogs within a catalog.” One was a collection of 44 scenes of New York from the early 20th century to the present. The artists included such notables as Guy Carleton Wiggins (1883-1962), Paul Cornoyer (1864-1923), Lee Lash (1864-1935), Edmund Greacen (1876-1949), Johann Berthelsen (1883-1972), and Reginald Marsh (1898-1954).
Leading the group was a winter Manhattan scene from Wiggins, titled Fifth Avenue, which sold for $84,000. The painting by Paul Cornoyer, also a winter depiction of lower Manhattan, titled Washington Square in Winter, fetched $72,000.
The other “catalog within a catalog” was a collection of seven newly discovered paintings by the Provincetown plein-air Impressionist artist Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872-1930). The group was led by a large unfinished beach scene that sailed past its $2,000 high estimate to hit $66,000. The group sold for a combined $141,600. The paintings descended in the same family since 1957.
The following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
Western bronzes were highlighted by Cyrus Edwin Dallin’s (Am., 1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit, a 21 ½ inch model cast after the famous monumental sculpture in front of the MFA in Boston ($84,000); and a cowboy on a bucking bronco after Charles M. Russell (Am., 1864-1926), titled A Bronc Twister, 18 inches tall ($20,400).
Leading the Latin American art category was a large (48 inches by 72 inches) pastel on canvas by the Cuban painter Julio Larraz (b. 1944), titled Flotilla, signed and dated 1976 ($33,600); and a black marble sculpture by Mexican artist Francisco Zuniga (1912-1998), titled La Mujer Sentada, 12 ¼ inches tall and signed and dated 1981 ($26,400).
Other notable European and Asian works included a rare linocut in colors by the Spanish master Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), titled Tete de Femme, signed and numbered (32/50) ($72,000); and an oil on canvas of female figures in a garden setting by the French/Vietnamese artist Le Pho (1907-2001), titled Le Gouter ($50,625), purchased by a bidder from Hanoi.
Also sold was a 20 inch by 10 inch oil on board painting by the American/Israeli artist Isaac (Itshak) Holtz (b. 1927), titled Going to Synagogue, signed and dated 1969 ($31,200); and a visually arresting gouache on paper by Moroccan painter Hassan El Glaoui (b. 1924), titled Fighters on Horseback ($21,600).
Historically, Shannon’s has specialized in American and European art executed between 1840 and 1940. Recently the firm has expanded more into post-war modern and pop art. Shannon’s produces an extensive 180-page, color catalog, which is available for sale via shannons.com. Shannon’s conducts two major fine art auctions per year. The next sale will be held in October.
Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece of artwork, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them at (203) 877-1711; or, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers and the firm’s upcoming schedule of auctions, please visit www.shannons.com.
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49 Research Drive
About Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers
Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneer’s opened in 1997 as Connecticut’s premier fine art auction house. Founded by partners Gene and Mary Anne Shannon, the firm quickly established a reputation for integrity, knowledge of fine art and personalized service. With over 40 years of experience as a fine art dealer and auctioneer, Gene Shannon provides his clients specialist knowledge of American and European 19th and early 20th century paintings and the fine art market.