CRANSTON, R.I. – Paintings by the renowned Indian artists Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2011) and B. Prabha (1933-2001) fared so well in past Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers sales, the pair will be back for an encore in the upcoming Estate Fine Art & Antique Auction slated for Monday, November 15th, online-only, starting at 6 pm Eastern time. Over 325 lots will come up for bid.
In September, a dynamic oil on canvas Cubist painting by Husain, depicting a rider on the back of a wild horse, sold for $43,750. Prior to that, in March 2020, an equestrian-themed watercolor on paper by Husain realized $16,250. In that same auction, a figural oil on canvas by B. Prabha, titled Woman with a Pear Basket, brought $11,875. Prices quoted included the buyer’s premium.
In the November 15th auction, the B. Prabha painting titled Indian Women Painting, depicting six Indian women with their hair tied back and long limbs, walking through a village, 30 ½ inches by 77 ½ inches, has an estimate of $15,000-$20,000. The work is signed by Prabha’s agent, Nayana Sarmalkar. Prabha entered the art world when few Indian women were involved professionally, and worked on more than 50 exhibitions, both inside and outside of India.
The Husain painting is a Cubist figural watercolor depicting a man and woman in bright polychromatic outfits on the back of a white horse. Housed in a 33 inch by 27 inch frame, the painting should reach $10,000-$15,000. It comes with a certificate of authenticity. Dubbed “the Picasso of India," Husain started off painting billboard signs in India but quickly developed his own style by blending together folk, tribal, and mythological arts.
The Estate Fine Art & Antique Auction will feature fine items pulled from prominent estates and collections across New England, to include artwork, decorative arts, collectibles and Asian arts. “This will be the last fine art and antique auction of the year, rounding out with some amazing Indian artwork and looking forward to what we find in the New Year,” said Travis Landry, an auctioneer with Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers.
Kevin Bruneau, Bruneau & Co’s president and an auctioneer, added, “The sale consists of several local estates, including a longtime friend’s that features the whimsical statues that everyone gives a high-five to in the gallery.” He was referring to the pair of life-size figural kinetic metal sculptures – one male and one female, comprised of painted metal rods, one six feet tall and the other 80 inches tall. They should hammer for $800-$1,200.
Lots 1, 2 and 3 are bound to get paddles wagging right away. They are circus sideshow banners, led by Lot 1, titled That Strange Creature Obby Dobby Alive by Fred G. Johnson (American, 1892-1990), considered the best sideshow circus banner artist in history. The banner, measuring 7 feet 10 inches by 9 feet 7 inches, features a large, colorfully painted iguana in a jungle setting. The banner carries a rather modest estimate of $2,000-$3,000.
Lots 2, by Jay Meah (American, b. 1937), is titled Fish Girl Devil’s Child and depicts a blonde mermaid to the top half and a devil baby to the bottom half. The 7-foot-8-inch by 9-foot-7-inch banner is signed, “Meah Studios Weeki-Wachee, Fla.” lower right. It has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. Meah has works in the Smithsonian and the Barnum Museum.
Lot 3, by Florida artist Jay Sigler, consists of four banners that will be sold as one lot (estimate: $2,000-$3,000). They are titled Children of Forgotten Fathers, The World’s Strangest Babies; Addict Babies (depicting a baby and a syringe); Two-Headed Baby (shown in a crib); and Human Frog Baby Twins. The Addict Babies banner is signed “J. Sigler Tampa” lower right. The group comes out of a Burrillville, Rhode Island estate.
A late 19th/early 20th century Malles Goyard large rectangular French steamer trunk that opens to one removable tray with two lidded compartments and one open compartment next to one clothing basket set into a large removable basket over a second removable basket, should bring $2,500-$3,500. The trunk is marked, "Malles Goyard 233 Rue Saint Honore Paris Monte Carlo Biarritz" on a metal tag and "Goyard" on the top of the lid.
A 19th century Swiss (or Austrian) enameled automaton music box, the top of the box decorated with women and sheep beside a lake with landscape cartouches to each side, and the interior of the box having a Viennese movement and red feathered bird that chirps and moves side to side, 2 inches tall and 4 ¼ inches wide, should sell for $2,000-$3,000.
Also up for bid will be a US 1925 Saint Gaudens $20 gold coin, graded NGC MS 62, housed in a case (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); and a Japanese “Thousand Faces” porcelain censer, from the late 19th or early 20th century (estimate: $600-$900). The censer boasts a figural three-toed dragon finial mounted to an ornate gilt and tendril lid over a footed censer decorated with a plethora of people, nicely supported by three figural bamboo feet.
Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, Bidsquare.com, bidLIVE.Bruneauandco.com and the mobile app “Bruneau & Co.” on iTunes or GooglePlay.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions, with commissions as low as zero percent. Now would be a perfect time to clean out your attic. To contact Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers about consigning a single piece or an entire collection, you may send an e-mail to email@example.com. Or, you can phone them at 401-533-9980.
To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the Estate Fine Art & Antique Auction on Monday, November 15th, please visit www.bruneauandco.com. Updates are posted frequently.
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Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
63 Fourth Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island
About Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is a full-service auction company based in Cranston, R.I. The firm specializes in fine art, antiques and collectibles in the liquidation of estates and collections.