Auction Records Set for American Folk Art Portraiture, Botero Sculpture, Yellow Diamond

A model displays a 110.03 carats Sun-Drop Diamond described as fancy vivid yellow at the Sotheby's preview in Geneva.  The gem fetched an auction record $12.4 million.
A model displays a 110.03 carats Sun-Drop Diamond described as fancy vivid yellow at the Sotheby's preview in Geneva. The gem fetched an auction record $12.4 million.
  • American School, 18th Century Portrait of Abigail Rose, North Branford, Connecticut, 1786, at the Age of Fourteen.  Unsigned.  Sold for $1.27 million at Skinner's in Boston on Nov.  5, 2011.

    American School, 18th Century Portrait of Abigail Rose, North Branford, Connecticut, 1786, at the Age of Fourteen. Unsigned. Sold for $1.27 million at Skinner's in Boston on Nov. 5, 2011.

    Skinner's

  • Botero's "Dancers" set an artist auction record of $1.7 million at Christie's.

    Botero's "Dancers" set an artist auction record of $1.7 million at Christie's.

    Christie's

Skinner's sold a rare 18th-century portrait for a record-setting $1,271,000 with commission (est. $150,000-250,000) on Nov. 5 in Boston. The portrait of Abigail Rose of North Branford, Conn., broke the previous record for American folk art portraiture, set in January 2007, and is one of three folk art portraits to have passed the million-dollar mark at auction.

The painting, from 1786, depicts a 14-year-old Abigail seated in a Queen Anne chair next to a table on which rests a group of books and a Battersea patch box. The asymmetrical composition is unique for the time period. Well-preserved, in original condition, and not seen publicly since the 1930s, the portrait descended through the family of the sitter, according to a press release.

Stated Stephen Fletcher, director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts at Skinner, “I knew the portrait of Abigail Rose had potential, as it is the finest early American folk portrait offered here at Skinner in 40 years. There were a couple of quiet predictions in the trade that the picture might well bring a million dollars, and we were delighted that it brought a record-setting price.”

Fletcher continued, “Apart from the success of the portrait, this sale showed strong results across the board and demonstrated that the market for rare and distinctive American antiques and art remains healthy.”

Columbian artist Fernando Botero reached a new auction height with his monumental 10-ft. 5-inch 'Dancers' sculpture depicting two huge bronze figures. Sold for $1.7 million (est. $1.5-2 million) at Christie's Latin American sale in New York on Tuesday, the voluptuous duo went to an European buyer. 

Christie's lot description read: "Unlike the artist's paintings of couples, particularly dancers, where one partner is considerably smaller than the other, these majestic figures have nearly the same stature, underscoring the importance of both halves of this relationship."

Three works by Botero pushed the sale total to $15.3 million with nine new artist records, led by Brazilians. Overall, the sale achieved a 76 percent sell-through rate by lot and 83 percent by value.

A yellow diamond set a record this week with the Sotheby's Geneva sale of the Sun-Drop Diamond for 11.2 million Swiss francs ($12.4 million).

Weighing 110.03 carats, the stone is the largest known pear-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world. Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale was part of a series which totaled $70.1 million, falling short of pre-sale estimates $72 million to $102 million.


More News Feed Headlines

"Mrs.  Cazalet and Her Children Edward and Victor" (1900-1901) by John Singer Sargent

Barbra Streisand to Donate John Singer Sargent painting to LACMA

  • May 27, 2015 22:10

A rarely-exhibited painting by American master John Singer Sargent is headed for permanent ...

Read More

Ancient Etruscan Kalpis returned to Italy from the Toledo Museum of Art collection.

U.S. Returns Valuable Trove of Antiquities to Italy

  • May 26, 2015 14:59

American investigators relieved some American collections of looted antique artifacts worth ...

Read More

Kennardphillipps recreation of Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World.

Andrew Wyeth's Iconic Image Remade with Oil Spill by UK Artists in Shell Protest

  • May 26, 2015 14:59

The open field and quaint house depicted in Andrew Wyeth's famous painting "Christina's World" ...

Read More

"Tania Bruguera" by Lia Villares.

Artist Tania Bruguera Among 163 Detained in Cuba's Weekend Crackdown

  • May 25, 2015 20:12

Artist Tania Bruguera and over 160 others were arrested in Cuba over the weekend as part of the ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

Clarke NY Auction: June 1 at 4 PM

ArtfixDaily Artwire