Grogan & Company’s annual Fall Auction on Sunday, November 17 featured nearly 500 lots of fine art, jewelry, silver, and selective decorative arts and clocks from private estates and collections throughout New England and beyond. The sale, which totaled over $2,575,000 with 35% of lots hammering above their high estimate, saw intense competition as an animated standing room only crowd at the company’s Boston headquarters vied for lots against telephone and internet bidders alike. “We are incredibly impressed by the continued growing enthusiasm and confidence we see from private collectors, from around the corner, across the country, and throughout the world. The energy and excitement we felt from the bidders in our Beacon Hill gallery during this auction was unparalleled,” remarks Georgina C. Winthrop, Fine Art Director.
A strong offering of over 190 works of art led off the auction, the majority by noted American artists. 45% of fine art lots hammered above their high estimate, demonstrating the impressive level of depth and bidder interest in the paintings on offer. A striking bright pink large format (52 x 66 in.) Wolf Kahn oil entitled Fog Bank was the top fine art lot of the day, selling for $97,600 to a telephone bidder against a $50,000-70,000 estimate, and achieving the third highest price at auction for a Kahn oil. Three Kahn pastels also saw strong competition, all selling above their high estimates. Collectors were drawn to the compelling offering of Maine-themed paintings, with works by John Marin, Richard Estes, and Alex Katz achieving top prices. All four Marin watercolors sold to private collectors: Stonington Harbor, Deer Isle, Maine (1924) brought $97,600, Boat and Gull (1945) sold for $79,300, Sea and Rocks, Small Point, Maine (1917) achieved $39,650, and Sea Movement, Maine (1937) rounded out the group with a sales price of $36,600. Two private collectors bidding in the room competed fiercely for Richard Estes’ 1996 oil Mount Desert VI, which ended up selling for $61,000, while Alex Katz’s early oil Lincolnville Beach sold to a telephone bidder for $48,800. Other notable highlights from this selection of Maine works of art include a William Trost Richards 6 x 9 3/8 in. pencil drawing of Mount Desert Island that sold to a private collector for $11,590 against a $800-1,200 estimate. Similarly, a William Stanley Haseltine ink wash view of Ironbound Island, Maine achieved $10,980 against its $800-1,200 estimate, also selling to a private collector. Private collectors snapped up other top fine art lots, including an Arthur Grover Rider oil which sold for $51,850 (est. $20,000-30,000), a Frank Lloyd Wright presentation drawing which brought $19,520 (est. $8,000-12,000), and a Frank Henry Shapleigh New Hampshire view that achieved $27,450, the second highest price at auction for a Shapleigh New Hampshire scene.
The top lot of the day was a platinum and diamond ring featuring a 4.59 carat Asscher-cut diamond graded as D color, VVS1/Potentially Flawless by the GIA. The ring sold for $146,400 to a private Boston collector. The same collector purchased a Van Cleef & Arpels diamond and sapphire bracelet that originated in the family of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. The bracelet sold for $30,500. Another top jewelry lot of the day was a diamond ring purchased by a young couple bidding live in the room. The diamond ring was set with a 3.03 carat round brilliant-cut diamond graded as F color, VS1 by the GIA flanked by two pear-shape diamonds and sold for $48,800. Private buyer participation stood out as a trend across all collecting categories in The Fall Auction.
A brooch from Cartier’s “Fauna and Flora” line featuring a diamond-set parrot perched atop of peach colored cabochon sapphire sold for $24,400. A Tiffany & Company three stone ring centering a fancy yellow diamond sold for $48,800. The jewelry results confirm that signed, period jewelry as well as large high quality stones continue to lead jewelry sales at auction today.
The silver section of the sale was highlighted by a Tiffany & Company Silver Flatware Service for eighteen in the English King Pattern which sold for $13,420 to a private collector. Silver by Danish maker Georg Jensen brought competitive bidding, including a set of eight Silver Grape Cluster Water Goblets, No. 296C selling for $10,980, Cactus Pattern Silver Flatware Service selling for $8,540, and a Silver Rose Bonbonniere, No. 262 selling for $7,930.
In the decorative arts department, a Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Five Piece Garniture from early 19th century sold for $11,590. A Federal Carved and Inlaid Mahogany Lift Top Games Table, also from the early 19th century, sold for $6,100. Both strong prices for decorative arts in today’s selective market.
Of the six tall-case clocks offered, a Federal Inlaid Mahogany Rocking Ship Tall-Case Clock by Roxbury, Massachusetts maker William Cummens (1768-1834) garnered the most interest selling for $14,640. A Federal Brass-Mounted Mahogany-Inlaid Rocking Ship Tall-Case Clock by Yarmouth, Massachusetts maker David Akin (18th/19th century) also sold for a strong sum of $10,980.
All prices include Grogan & Company’s 22% buyer’s premium. For full auction results, visit groganco.com. Grogan & Company’s upcoming auction schedule includes Fine Oriental Rugs and Carpets on December 5, 2019 and The Spring Auction on May 10, 2020.
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About Grogan & Company
Established in 1987, Grogan & Company assists the Boston and greater New England community with the sale of their fine art and antiques. Specializing in quality jewelry, fine art, silver, decorative arts, and Oriental carpets, Grogan & Company holds four to six auctions annually featuring items across all collecting genres.