Jewelry, American Women Artists, and Newly Re-Discovered William Merritt Chase Lead Grogan & Company’s Spring Auction

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • April 26, 2021

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Lot 9. Helen Frankenthaler, Untitled, 1969, acrylic, 11 x 8 in., $50,000-80,000
Grogan & Company

Grogan & Company’s annual Spring Auction will be held on Sunday, May 2 at 11 am at the firm’s headquarters in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill. This year’s sale features a curated selection of over 450 works of fine art, jewelry, silver, and decorative arts from private collections and estates from New England and beyond.

The auction begins with an offering of 200 pieces of fine art, led by a selection of works by notable female artists of the 20th century. There are three paintings by Grandma Moses on offer, including a charming 17 x 26 in. oil titled Over the River to Grandma’s House on Thanksgiving Day, which bears a $70,000-100,000 estimate. An intimate, brightly colored 11 x 8 in. Helen Frankenthaler acrylic on canvas is estimated at $50,000-80,000. The work, which was painted in 1969 as a gift from the artist to her neighbors, was included in the 1978-9 traveling exhibition Helen Frankenthaler: A Selection of Small Scale Paintings. Other women artists represented in the auction include Dorothy Knowles, Fanny Brennan, Gloria Vanderbilt, Edna Andrade, Alyce Frank, Lilla Cabot Perry, and Laura Coombs Hills.

A newly re-discovered William Merritt Chase oil painting is a highlight of a selection of 19th century American paintings. When the work was shown at the Exhibition of American Art Galleries in 1884, a reviewer described it as, "charming in color and with a delicious sky and impossible water." The whereabouts of the painting, which comes to market from the collection of a prominent New England family, had been unknown to Chase scholars since 1902. The work has now been confirmed by D. Frederick Baker as Port of Antwerp, entry L.41 in the William Merritt Chase catalogue raisonne.

Other notable fine art works include a 22 x 44 in. Wolf Kahn oil landscape, estimated at $20,000-30,000, and Frank Swift Chase’s view of Nantucket estimated at $10,000-15,000. Hindu Dancer, a brightly colored Maurice Prendergast watercolor and pastel, is estimated at $25,000-35,000, while a Ralph Cahoon oil titled Netting Mermaids is estimated at $10,000-15,000. A Frank Weston Benson watercolor of sea ducks in flight leads the selection of sporting art and bears an estimate of $8,000-12,000.

Lot 82. William Merritt Chase, Port of Antwerp, oil, 15 x 21 in., $50,000-75,000
Grogan & Company

A rare Gustave Baumann oil comes from the same Boston family as the Grandma Moses works. Titled Cochiti Ensemble, this pentagonal 32 x 36 in. painting is housed in a silver-gilt frame hand-carved by the artist. The work is estimated at $40,000-60,000. Also on offer from the same collection is striking pair of American folk portraits, first discovered by Edith Gregor Halpert of the Downtown Gallery in 1959. The brightly colored pair, likely depicting a husband and wife, are thought to be Philadelphian and date to ca. 1830. The pair bears an estimate of $50,000-100,000. Other artists represented in this collection of a Boston family include Leon Gaspard, William Henderson, Burt Phillips, and Oscar Berninghaus.

Lot 325. Platinum, 4.31 cts. Kashmir Sapphire, and Diamond Ring, $75,000-100,000
Grogan & Company

The jewelry portion of the auction is led by an impressive selection of items that come to market having descended within the DuPont family. Highlights of this grouping include a 4.31 cts. Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring, estimated at $75,000-100,000, a 19.10 cts. natural Ceylon orange sapphire ring (est. $30,000-50,000), and a charming Raymond Yard platinum, gold, enamel, and gem-set house brooch bearing a $15,000-25,000 estimate. A Tiffany & Co 3.10 cts. D, VS1 diamond and platinum ring (est. $30,000-50,000) leads a wide selection of diamond engagement rings from various private estates and collectors. Other makers represented in the sale include Cartier, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Leo de Vroomen, and Line Vautrin.  The jewelry portion of the auction is capped off by a selection of 14 watches, a highlight of which is a Rolex, Tiffany & Co. gold oyster perpetual day-date Wristwatch, estimated at $8,000-10,000.

The Spring Auction ends with an offering of over fifty lots of silver and decorative arts. Silver highlights include an early Tiffany & Company silver tureen (est. $3,000-5,000) and a collection of Russian silver. Decorative arts and furniture highlights include a Chippendale mahogany kneehole dressing table (est. $15,000-25,000), two Louis Vuitton trunks, and an Aaron Willard tall case clock (est. $5,000-8,000. The auction concludes with a selection of decorative arts, rugs, and furniture from two important private collections: the collection of a Boston family, and the collection of the late, noted Harvard scholar Guido Goldman. 

The Spring Auction will be held live at 11am ET on Sunday, May 2 at Grogan & Company’s Beacon Hill headquarters. All bidding participation will be executed remotely via absentee, internet, and telephone bids. The sale will be live streamed on their website. Private exhibition viewings are available by appointment beginning on April 19. For more information and to view the online catalogue, visit

Michael B. Grogan
Grogan & Company

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