Shannon's Fine Art Auction Skyrockets to $3.8 Million Dollars--Iconic Harnett Garners $552,000

  • MILFORD, Connecticut
  • /
  • November 08, 2010

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William M. Harnett, "The Golden Horseshoe," 16" x 14"

On October 28, 2010, Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers held a record-setting auction that highlighted the resiliency of the art market and the appeal of fresh-to-market works from private collections.

Fueled by enthusiastic bidders from forty-two states and seventeen countries, the sale resulted in a sell-through rate of 76% with records set in several categories. Over 90% of the sale went to private collections.

The sale was led by The Golden Horseshoe, a trompe l'oeil still life by William Michael Harnett (1848-1892) that brought $552,000 in a clash between private collectors. After a flurry of competition, the field narrowed to two phone bidders in the final stretch.

Other notable results were Andrew Wyeth's Bird Bath, painted from his barn on Benner Island, Maine, and acquired by an American museum for $228,000. Eastman Johnson's The Card Players, painted in 1853, soared to $168,000 on enthusiastic bidding from two well-regarded private collectors. A luminist Jasper Cropsey autumnal view, On the Susquehanna, brought $120,000, also from a private collector.

In American Modernism, Rolph Scarlett was the talk of the evening. A large, Miro-esque abstract set yet another Shannon's-generated world record for the artist at $84,000 to a private collector in heated competition from five bidders. Scarlett kept the crowd's attention with a world record for a work on paper--a strong, Kandinsky-like image for $24,000. Other modern works included a Rainer Fetting for $38,400, a 1936 Werner Drewes at $31,200, and a drawing by David Smith at $24,000.


Shannon's offered a number of 19th-century American landscapes, all of notable quality with prices that reflected buyers' interest. Following the $120,000 price for the Cropsey were Alexander Wyant at $96,000, Samuel Colman for $36,000, an A.T. Bricher coastal for $31,200, a tiny Hudson River School landscape, likely a Kensett, soared to $36,000, a Louis Remy Mignot snow scene went for $31,200, and a pair of miniature Connecticut landscapes by George Henry Durrie surpassed the estimate selling at $31,200.

Charles Leickert, "Skaters Near a Windmill," 32" x 48"

American Impressionism is always a favorite at Shannon's and the offerings were choice. Among the dozens of opportunities was an intimate view of a young woman reading by John White Alexander that brought the handsome sum of $78,000. Other fine works were two paintings by Martha Walter at $55,200 and $36,000, a Charles Courtney Curran at $44,280, and an Albert Herter of a woman with flowers for $43,200.

Fine European works filled up the phones with a Charles Leickert skating scene bringing a cool $90,000, two French summer scenes in watercolor by Luigi Loir heated up the crowd garnering $66,000 and $43,200, an Orientalist work by Pujol sold for $57,600, a blue-water Emilio Sanchez-Perrier floated to $31,200, a maiden with sheep by Chialiva went for $26,400, and a drawing of a Spanish girl by Francis Picabia sold to a German client for $15,600.

Rolph Scarlett, "Untitled," 42 3/4" x 56 1/2"

Other notable prices were attained for works by Frederic Waugh for $38,400, Otis Kaye for $52,800, Harry Roseland for $36,000, Dale Nichols for $24,000, Thomas Hill for $60,000, Sherry Edmondson Fry's masterpiece, a bronze of Chief Mahaska for a world-record $43,200, and an Andy Warhol watercolor of a rooster for $16,800 to an American museum.

There was something for everyone at this sale, and quality was attainable even at modest prices. A Mulhaupt beach scene sold for $5,100, a charming Frank Bicknell of apple blossoms reached $4,200, a Mabel Woodward of hollyhocks saw $3,600, a George Smillie achieved $6,000, and an impressive N. C. Wyeth drawing hit $7,200 on enthusiastic bidding.

Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers' next auction is April 28, 2011. Consignments will be accepted through the end of February. Please contact Shannon's at or visit our website,, for additional information.


Joseph Newman
Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers
(203) 877-1711

Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers
49 Research Drive
Milford, Connecticut
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.

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