CRANSTON, R.I. – A Spanish street painting titled Palma De Mallorca Street Scene by the French-American artist Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962), best known as the illustrator for the popular Madeline children’s book series, sold for $13,750 to take top lot honors at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ Antiques & Fine Art Estate Auction, a 356-lot sale conducted on April 14th.
The sale was held online and in the Bruneau & Co. gallery, at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston. “I was pleased to see the Bemelmans painting exceed our expectations,” said Kevin Bruneau, the president and auctioneer of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. “In fact, there was strong bidding all around, with some prices making it feel like it was fifteen years ago. It was overall a great sale.”
The casein paint, ink and pencil on board by Bemelmans measured 26 inches by 30 inches in the frame and depicted a quaint strip of homes in Palma, the capital of the Balaeric Islands of Spain. It was signed and dated 1956. Bemelmans was truly an international artist. He was born in what was then Austria-Hungary (now Italy) to a Belgian father and German mother. His first language was French (his second was German). He emigrated to the U.S. and became a citizen in 1918.
The rest of the sale was an eclectic mix of merchandise from a diverse array of categories. “Strong results were seen for French furniture and decorative arts when compared to years past,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “Competitive bidding brought the French Neoclassical bronze figural group to a private collection in Egypt, followed by a pair of parquetry inlaid bombe chests to Canada. You never know where things are going to end up.”
The fine and large French Neoclassical bronze figural group showed a courting couple standing near a plant stand. The couple stood 26 inches tall but, when added to an ormolu bronze mounted rouge marble base, the overall height was 36 inches. The piece was signed “Dumege” and stamped “Made in France” and, at $5,625, was one of two other lots to top the $5,000 mark.
The other was a 19th century Italian Carrera marble fountain bowl base, which fetched $5,312. It was part of a delightful selection of exterior architectural antiques in the auction. The bowl, 38 inches in diameter and 22 inches tall, was quatrefoil form, with foliate ornamentation in relief, decorated with birds on either side. It was supported by four marble pedestals, all later added.
Another exterior architectural antique that drew much bidder attention was a monumental 18th century (or older) Indian carved stone temple doorway – about 7 feet tall by 4 feet wide ($3,438). It was sold in place, at the estate where it currently resides in Providence, R.I., and consisted of upright columns, two overhead lentils and a footer stone, with carvings of deities throughout.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium. Internet bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com, Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com, Invaluable.com and Bidsquare.com. Telephone and absentee (left) bids were also accepted.
A large circa 1880 Japanese Meiji period carved wood etagere, 96 inches tall, found a new owner for $3,835. The etagere was profusely carved hardwood with multiple hand-decorated impasto painted panels of landscapes, with several shelves on a Kang form base. Also, a late 19th century jade rock crystal bronze shelf clock, made in China and Switzerland, with a rock crystal bangle embellished dial flanked by opposing birds clutching branches with two peaches, made $2,812.
A Queen Anne stained tiger maple highboy, made in New England in the 18th century, 76 inches tall, having five graduated drawers over two vertical over three drawers with a fan-carved center, supported by stout cabriole legs with a shapely skirt, finished at $2,500; while a fine 18th century American Chippendale carved gilt and gesso mirror with Aesthetic chinoiserie design, having a full-figured phoenix bird crest adorning a shapely pierced foliate frame, 54 inches tall hit $4,688.
An oil on canvas impressionist landscape painting signed by Gustave Cimiotti, Jr. (N.Y., 1875-1969), possibly depicting the Bear Mountain region of New York and housed in a period Arts and Crafts frame measuring 24 inches by 20 ½ inches, changed hands for $1,375. Also, a late 19th or early 20th century antique Turkish Oushak Oriental wool carpet rug, 14 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 3 inches, with a central floral and tendril field and geometric borders, brought $2,250.
Bruneau & Co. has three auctions lined up for May. A Military, Firearm & Weapon Auction will be held Saturday, May 5th, at 10 am; and a Pop Culture, Street Art & Unusual Art Auction will be held Saturday, May 12th, at 11 am. Both will have live and online bidding. Also, an Antique & Collectible DiscoverIt Auction (no online bidding) will be held on Friday, May 14th, at 6 pm.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has a new auction schedule for 2018. There will be no pre-sale with the estate auctions, as before. They will usually be on the first Saturday of each month and will start at 11 am Eastern time. Monday night auctions will be held the third Monday of the month.
To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the slate of auctions planned for May, visit www.bruneauandco.com. To contact Bruneau & Co. via e-mail, use firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
63 Fourth Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island
About Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is a full-service auction company based in Cranston, R.I. The firm specializes in fine art, antiques and collectibles in the liquidation of estates and collections.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
P: (401) 533-9980