Auction records for artists are routinely set — and broken — at large auction houses in New York City so it’s not often when a smaller auction house in the suburbs is able to achieve record prices but on April 18, the Benefit Shop Foundation got to do exactly that in its monthly sale.
Featuring a striking selection of fine art, the auction was led by a rare and early folk art oil painting by Charles Fazzino (b 1955), dated 1983. The 13-by-11-inch painting depicted people on a farm, a hot air balloon and a horse-drawn wagon filled with hay and riders. The consignor’s parents purchased the painting while Fazzino was living at home in New York with his parents. The artist is better known for his silkscreen serigraph 3D-style constructions that he turned to later in his career.
The top auction price for a work by Fazzino was $1,500, Stone said, and in this sale, buyers pushed the price to $5,715 with the painting going to an art collector online.
“It was an exciting auction, we had an inkling this painting was going to do well based on the presale interest we were seeing but we had no idea we would set an auction record,” said owner and founder Pam Stone.
Another standout was a limited edition stone litho portfolio by renowned artist, Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), comprising 23 lithograph reproductions of the artist’s work, going well above the $500-1,000 estimate to fetch $2,857 from an online buyer. The portfolio traveled with the consignor’s family from Germany (where the artist also hailed from) to Norway and then New York.
Several other artworks also performed well, including an energetic contemporary painting by Joe Taylor recreating the cover of Buckwheat Zydeco’s Hey Joe album and measuring about 6 by 6 feet, selling for $2,413. It was painted for Tower Records’ Los Angeles store. A surprise performance was an oil on canvas painting by Michele Harvey, titled “Hadley, MA,” showing a small country town surrounded by farmland, green mountains and blue sky with detailed clouds. It bested its $300-600 estimate to realize $1,778.
Besides fine art, Benefit Shop Foundation’s auctions usually feature a choice grouping of Oriental rugs. Leading this sale were an antique multi-toned Oriental carpet runner, 170 by 38 inches, which earned $1,524, triple its high estimate, and an antique Russian handmade wool runner, 196 by 42 inches, selling comfortably over estimate at $635.
Rounding out the auction standouts were an ornately sculpted artist-signed chess set, signed Piero Benatti, that doubled high estimate to bring $1,016 and a pair of Lalique art glass crystal vases with female nude forms amid a grape design motif, in frosted and clear glass, 9 inches tall, that sold for $635, far above its $50-100 estimate.
The monthly Red Carpet sales feature choice collections of antique, Midcentury Modern, brand furnishings, sterling, china, crystal, jewelry and fine art. With a mission of “to donate, to discover and to do good,” the foundation is a non-profit and all auction proceeds support community organizations. Consignors get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and local non-profits get much needed funds.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For more information, https://www.thebenefitshop.org or 914-864-0707.
185 Kisco Ave Suite 201
Mount Kisco, New York
About Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc.
The Benefit Shop receives donations from the finest estates in Bedford and beyond and showcases them in one convenient and beautifully-staged location. The estates get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and non-profits in the community get the money. This elegantly-conceived, eco-friendly concept is the brainchild of Pam Stone and she is thrilled at the response from the community. It’s no secret that non-profits, from hospitals to homeless shelters, are having a tough time in this economy. Responding to the call for funding to fill the gaps , local resident Stone imagined a new possibility, an auction gallery with donated merchandise from the grand estates that surround the area. For 10 years, Stone has been busy visiting estate sales in the area, encouraging people to make high quality, tax-deductible donations for the satisfaction of helping a host of community organizations, including Neighbors’ Link and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as the continued support of Northern Westchester Hospital. According to Pam, “Often these kinds of shops benefit a big national charity, but I really wanted the beneficiary to be my community, for the people who live and work here.” Mission statement: To donate, to discover, to do good.