Jewelry Sparkles and Fine Art Flies at The Fall Auction

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • November 08, 2021

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Lot 36: Van Cleef & Arpels Gold, Platinum, 'Mystery-Set' Ruby, and Diamond Leaf Brooch, SOLD $781,250
Lot 156: Ellen Gallagher (American, b.1965), Lips & Paper, 1993, ink, oil, and collaged paper on canvas, 72 x 64 in., SOLD $156,250

Important signed jewelry and contemporary art led the way at Grogan & Company’s annual Fall Auction on Sunday, November 7, which featured 226 lots of jewelry and fine art. Thousands tuned in to the auction, which was live-streamed from the firm’s Beacon Hill gallery. With no in-gallery attendance, bidders participated live online, on the telephone, and through absentee bids, driving over 50% of lots to hammer above their high estimate. The sale totaled over $3.7 million, with a 92% sell-through rate.

The auction opened with a strong selection of over 100 pieces of fine jewelry, including many important signed pieces. A Van Cleef & Arpels platinum, ‘mystery-set’ ruby, and diamond leaf brooch stole the show, selling for $781,250, surpassing its $70,000-$100,000 estimate. Another highlight from the jewelry portion of the sale included a gold, amethyst, and pink tourmaline ‘cedar tree’ brooch designed by René Boivin’s daughter Germaine for her mother’s 80th birthday. The Boivin creation is completed by an accordion plaque bearing the names of designers, bench jewelers, and those who worked closely with Maison Boivin, and it sold on Sunday for $125,000, exceeding its high estimate of $35,000. 


Other impressive signed period pieces in the Jewelry portion of The Fall Auction included Cartier platinum, Burmese ruby, and diamond earclips, which sold for $78,125, Cartier platinum and diamond paisley dress clips, selling for $75,000, and a Cartier platinum and diamond wristwatch which sold for $46, 250. These pieces amongst the other pieces of fine jewelry caught the attention of private and trade interests alike. 

Contemporary art led the fine art portion of The Fall Auction with an impressive piece by Ellen Gallagher measuring 72 x 64 in. Lips & Paper sold for $156,250, hammering well above the estimate of $50,000 $70,000. Describing her creative process for Lips & Paper,  Gallagher writes that the “haptic weaving” of the applied penmanship paper, transfer of black ink lip forms, and painting into the printed field is about histories and embodied lived memories. 

Lot 160: Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903-1974), Untitled, 1965, acrylic on paper, 20 x 15 in., SOLD $93,750

Other fine art highlights included a 1965 Burst painting by Adolph Gottlieb which sold for $93,750, a 1957 gouache, watercolor, and crayon piece by Graham Sutherland which sold for $46,875, and a vibrant Elaine De Kooning painting entitled Theme of the Bull #14 which sold for $40,000, selling above the high estimate.

Artwork by artist and community activist Eukua Holmes, who is currently represented in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, garnered enthusiastic interest from bidders. Holmes’s smaller collage entitled Progeny and measuring 10 x 16 in. sold for $18,750 exceeding the high estimate of $1,200, and her larger work Let the Games Begin sold for $20,000, likewise surpassing its high estimate. 

Two sculptures by artists Paul Manship and Olin Warner, which exceeded their high estimates, demonstrate the demand for bronzes! Paul Manship’s sculpture of a Sleeping Dog sold for $31,250, surpassing its estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The tiny bronze was a gift from Manship to his mentor and friend Solon H. Borglum and modeled after Borlum’s Dalmatian. The bronze portrait bust of artist Julian Alden Weir, sculpted by his friend and artist Olin Warner in 1880, also sold for $31,250, selling above its estimate of $1,500-$2,500.  Weir’s portrait of a Lady in a Kimono also exceeded its high estimate of $8,000, selling for $31,250.

All prices include Grogan & Company’s 25% buyer’s premium. For complete auction results, visit Grogan & Company has headquarters at 20 Charles Street in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill. The firm’s upcoming Holiday Auction will be on Sunday, December 5, 2021, at 11 AM, and they are currently seeking fine art and jewelry consignments for their annual Spring Auction, scheduled for May 1, 2022. 

Eliza Hodgson
Grogan & Company

Grogan & Company

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