• LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • April 09, 2014

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E. Charlton Fortune's "Hall of Flowers," 1915, sold for $365,000 including premium, at Bonhams on April 8, 2014.
Courtesy Bonhams

Bonhams is delighted to announce the top lot of the April 8 California and Western Paintings auction was the image on the catalog cover, impressionist painter E. Charlton Fortune's "Hall of Flowers," 1915, which sold to the highest bidder for $365,000.  Considered to be a masterpiece work that was produced at the height of her artistic career, the painting was inspired by the creative atmosphere surrounding the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

The successful auction, simulcast with San Francisco, achieved a total sale of $3.4 million and almost 80% of lots sold and 86% sold by lot value.  The busy and anxious sale rooms in both San Francisco and Los Angeles set the tone for an exciting evening of bids.

Other highlights that performed well include plein air artist Granville Redmond's vibrantly colorful "Annandale wildflowers," reaching a final price of $269,000 and his other work titled, "In the afternoon, Menlo Park, California," which sold for $106,250.

As an interesting twist, bidders were also enthusiastic for paintings of European landscapes by American artists. One such example is Joseph Raphael's pointillist work in pastel colors entitled, "Flowering fields near St. Job, Uccle, Belgium," reaching more than three times its low estimate, finally selling at $173,000.  Edgar Payne's rendering of "Lake Lucerne, Switzerland" captures the grandness of the Swiss mountains and a quaint lakeside village, a departure from his widely-recognized California and western landscapes.  It sold for an impressive $112,500.

From the selection of Native American works, Laverne Nelson Black's "Watching the big event" performed remarkably well, selling for twice its low estimate at $100,000.  Additional high points in the auction included successful sales of Arthur Grover Rider's "Drying the sail" which sold for $67,500, nearly three times its low estimate, and Jessie Arms Botke's "White peacocks and Copa de Oro," selling for $65,000, more than three times its estimate.

With regard to the successful evening, Vice President and Fine Arts Department Director of Bonhams, Scot M. Levitt, comments, "All of the quality works, priced properly, sold extremely well. Quality continues to drive the market, as reflected in the prices for paintings such as the Joseph Raphael work, Edgar Payne’s "Lake Lucerne" and the cover lot by E. Charlton Fortune.  There is plenty of demand for the top examples by both California and Western painters and sculptors."

The department is currently accepting consignments for the next California and Western Paintings auction on August 5.  Further details can be found at www.bonhams.com/calwest.

Tags: American art

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