MILFORD, CT. – Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers just concluded its best auction in five years, as the firm achieved an 80 percent sell-through on the 244 artworks that came up for bid in a sale that grossed $2.5 million. The event – Shannon’s bi-annual American & European Fine Art Auction – was held on Thursday, April 26th, online and at Shannon’s gallery in Milford, Conn.
The sale was a big success across all genres, which included the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, Modernism and European fine art. Many fine 19th century paintings also came up for bid. Modernism in particular did especially well, with new world auction records set for two artists: Eugene Berman (American/Russian, 1899-1972) and Alice L. Mattern (Am., 1909-1945).
Remarkably, both record prices were identical – $81,250. The Berman painting was a 52 inch by 38 inch oil on canvas titled Esmeralda, From The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1943). The work reflects the artist’s flair for painting solitary figures in architectural ruins, and was inspired by imaginary worlds created by Hollywood, where Berman lived for nearly ten years in the 1940s.
The Mattern painting, Cadence, was included in the 1944 exhibition of the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (a precursor to the Guggenheim) and was accessioned by the Guggenheim Museum in 1961 before entering a private collection. Shannon’s set record auction prices for the artist twice before, selling Allegro in 2017 for $55,200 and Con Moto in 2016 for $31,000.
The sale’s top lot was an oil on board painting by the American Impressionist Colin Campbell Cooper (1856-1937). It realized $162,500. The fresh-to-the-market 25 inch by 30 inch painting, titled New York From Brooklyn (circa 1922), was signed lower right and depicted the busy ferry traffic on the East River and the Brooklyn Docks looking out toward lower Manhattan.
Another standout painting was a regionalist scene by Dale Nichols (Am., 1904-1995), painted by the artist in 1969 and titled Winter on the Farm. Shannon’s achieved a new world record price for Nichols when Mid-Nation Winter sold at a prior auction for $120,000. Winter on the Farm sold for $62,500.
Leading the 19th century paintings category was an exceptional seascape fresh from a private Connecticut collection, titled Off Conanicut, by William Trost Richards (Am., 1833-1905). The 20 inch by 32 inch canvas – signed and dated “98” lower right – featured the luminist sky and translucent waves characteristic of Richards’ best paintings. Like the Nichols painting, it brought $62,500.
Several paintings exceeded their high estimates. An oil on canvas by Frantisek Zdenek Eberl (Fr./Czech., 1887-1962), titled Chess Players, estimated at $6,000-$8,000 sold for $47,500; an oil on canvas Floral Still Life by Charles Ethan Porter (Am., 1847-1923), with an estimate of $4,000-$6,000 changed hands for $40,000; and a rare oil on canvas by Mary Louise Fairchild MacMonnies (Am., 1858-1946), titled The Garden, estimated at $8,000-$12,000, hit $37,500.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium. In addition to live, in-house bidding, online bidding was provided by Invaluable.com.
An oil on canvas by Emil James Bisttram (Am., 1895-1976), titled Penetration (circa 1938), signed “Bisttram” lower right and 42 inches by 27 inches, sold for $75,000; and an oil canvas by the French artist Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), titled La Cite, Vue de l’Hotel de Ville (“Le Marche Aux Pommes”), artist signed “R. Dufy”, went to a determined bidder for $68,750.
An oil on canvas by John Joseph Enneking (Am., 1841-1916), titled Picnic, signed “Enneking” and dated “83” lower left, measuring 18 inches by 23 ¾ inches, topped out at $68,750; while an oil on canvas by George L.K. Morris (Am., 1905-1975), titled Spring Sun, artist signed “Morris” lower right and titled and dated “1970”, beat the $25,000 high estimate by selling for $52,500.
An oil on canvas by the French-Vietnamese artist Le Pho (1907-2001), titled La Baignade, artist signed “Le Pho” lower left, measuring 28 ¾ inches by 23 ¾ inches, knocked down for $52,500; and an oil on canvas painting by French artist Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927), titled Rochers au Trayas, artist signed “Guillaumin” lower left, 18 ¼ inches by 21 ¾ inches, realized $52,000.
An oil on canvas by George Inness (Am., 1825-1894), titled Midsummer, signed “Geo. Inness” and dated “1862” lower right, measuring 14 inches by 20 inches, topped out at $50,000; and an oil on paper mounted on Masonite by Albert Bierstadt (Am., 1830-1902), titled Morning – Summit, New Jersey from Hotel, artist signed “Bierstadt”, found a new owner for $42,500.
Shannon’s produces an extensive 180-page, color catalog, which is available for sale on their website (www.shannons.com). A large, eight-page color brochure gets mailed to 18,000 clients prior to auction. If you would like to join the Shannon’s mailing list, please contact the gallery or sign up for email alerts through their website, www.shannons.com.
Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. The next auction will be an Online Fine Art Auction in June, followed by another cataloged Fine Art Auction in October. To consign a single piece of artwork, an estate or a collection, you may call (203) 877-1711; or, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more, visit www.shannons.com.
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Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers
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.
Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers
P: (203) 877-1711