• EAST DENNIS, Massachusetts
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  • January 15, 2021

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"Red House, Provincetown" by E. Ambrose Webster is the anticipated top lot at Eldred's Paintings Auction on January 28.

East Dennis, Mass. – Nearly 300 paintings will cross the block at Eldred’s inaugural winter Paintings Auction, which will be conducted Thursday, January 28, 2021 at the firm’s headquarters on Cape Cod, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern.  Works range from traditional 19th Century landscapes to contemporary abstracts.

“There’s a wonderful selection of works from the classic American art colonies, with particular strength in Cape Ann, Monhegan and Provincetown examples,” said Josh Eldred, president of the firm and head of the fine art department.   

The anticipated top lot is “Red House, Provincetown” by E. Ambrose Webster (Massachusetts, 1869-1935), a pulsating composition of organic forms juxtaposed with stark geometric shapes, characteristic of Webster’s use of light and color. Described in a 1968 issue of Art News as “an extraordinary, independent painting”, it has an extensive provenance and exhibition history, including descending almost 80 years within the artist’s family and inclusion in early shows at the Provincetown Art Association. It carries a $25,000/35,000 estimate, a similar estimate to two other Webster paintings, “The Cabbage Patch, Bermuda” and “Provincetown Garden, 1916”, which sold at Eldred’s in November 2020 for $45,000 and $30,000.

Other works by Provincetown and Cape Cod artists include a dramatically scaled 43” x 48” seascape by Anne Packard (Massachusetts/New Jersey, b. 1933), estimated at $12,000/18,000, a quiet view of Provincetown’s Commercial Street by John Dowd (Massachusetts, b. 1960), estimated at $3,000/4,000, and the jewel-toned “Girls Love Tea Dresses” by Nancy Maybin Ferguson (Pennsylvania/Massachusetts, 1872-1967), estimated at $12,000/18,000.

North Shore artists represented in the sale include Emile Albert Gruppe (Massachusetts, 1896-1978), Anthony Thieme (Massachusetts/California, 1888-1954), Aldro Thompson Hibbard (Massachusetts/Vermont, 1886-1972) and William Lester Stevens (Massachusetts, 1888-1969). Highlights include a frozen harbor scene by Gruppe, estimated at $12,000/18,000, and “Afternoon – Motif #1 – Rockport” by Hibbard, estimated at $20,000/30,000.

Other notable North Shore lots include “Winter in Annisquam” by George Wainwright Harvey (Massachusetts, 1855-1930), estimated at $6,000/9,000, “Swampscott Dory” by Charles Herbert Woodbury (Maine/Massachusetts, 1864-1940), estimated at $5,000/7,000 and five works by Hayley Lever (New York/Massachusetts, 1876-1958), ranging in estimate from $400/600 to $6,000/8,000.

The sale features a significant number of lots from estates and private collections, Eldred said. “It really came together organically, staring with a fine consignment of a western Massachusetts private collection, and continued to build nicely from there.”   

Hailing from an important Newport, Rhode Island collection is “Daybreak” by John Mecray (Rhode Island/Pennsylvania, 1938-2017), estimated of $20,000/30,000. In a striking departure for the artist, who is known for his close-in depictions of yachts, “Daybreak” is dominated by a moody sea and the yacht Coronet is seen on the distant horizon.  

“Meeting the Doctor” by Monhegan artist Jay Hall Connaway (Maine/Arizona/Indiana, 1893-1970) comes from a Massachusetts estate. Its provenance also includes Gerald Peters Gallery in New York, and it was exhibited at the Monhegan Historical & Cultural Museum in 2007. It carries a $12,000/18,000 estimate.  

Other highlights include “Dreams, Fairhaven, Massachusetts” by Duncan Gleason (California/New York, 1881-1959), from the Kelton Collection of Marine Art and Artifacts, estimated at $10,000/15,000, “Winter Tones 1915” by Cos Cob artist Leonard Ochtman (Connecticut, 1854-1934), estimated at $10,000/15,000, and three works by tonalist John Fabian Carlson, capped by the moody “Noctural Peace”, estimated at $20,000/30,000.

Four semi-abstracts by Vaclav Vytlacil (New York/California, 1892-1984), ranging in estimate from $800/1,200 to $2,500/3,500, are also included, as is a ink and inkwash industrial scene by Thomas Hart Benton (Missouri/Massachusetts/Kansas, 1889-1975), estimated at $8,000/10,000. 

Eldred’s Paintings Auction is a live auction with online, absentee and phone bidding available; due to Massachusetts COVID-19 guidelines, there will be no in-person bidding. A preview will be held Wednesday, January 27, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and by appointment.

All lots in the sale can be viewed on Eldred’s website, www.eldreds.com.  As guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic can change quickly, interested bidders are encouraged to visit the website or call 508-385-3116 for the most up-to-date information. Those interested in setting up a telephone bid or submitting an absentee bid should call        508-385-3116, submit a bid form on the website, or email bids@eldreds.com. Online bidding is available at www.eldreds.com.

About Eldred’s

The Robert C. Eldred Co. is New England's oldest established antiques and fine arts auction house, now in its third generation of ownership within the Eldred family. In addition to its headquarters on Cape Cod’s historic Old King’s Highway in East Dennis, Mass., the firm also has an office at 5 Roosevelt Avenue in Mystic, Ct. Eldred’s conducts approximately 25 auctions per year encompassing Americana, paintings, Asian art, European decorative art, maritime antiques, sporting art and collectibles. Eldred’s, the nation’s leading marine art auction house, conducts approximately 25 auctions per year encompassing Americana, paintings, Asian art, European decorative art, sporting art and collectibles in addition to marine art. It was recently named one of the top worldwide auction houses by Art + Auction and holds auction records across a wide range of collecting areas.  


For more information please call (508) 385-3116 or email info@eldreds.com. 



Cheryl Stewart
508-385-3116 x128

1483 Route 6a
East Dennis, Massachusetts
About Eldred's

Eldred's is New England's oldest established antiques and fine arts auction house. Approximately 25 auctions are held year-round encompassing Americana, Asian Art, Americana and European paintings, European decorative art, Maritime antiques, and collectibles.

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