Copley Fine Art Auctions Presents Winter Sale Highlights

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • January 16, 2013

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Philip R. Goodwin (1882-1935), October Hunting, 1911, signed “Philip R. Goodwin" lower right, oil on canvas, 25 by 36 in., ($125/175,000)
Copley Fine Art Auctions

Copley Fine Art Auctions, LLC will return to New York City for its Winter Sale on January 21, 2013. Copley aims to build on the success of last year’s winter sale, which set ten records, and brought a total of $1.92 million, up 23% from their inaugural sale. Copley’s specialists have assembled a variety of top-notch items, from antique decoys and decorative carvings, to paintings and bronzes.


A highlight of part one of the sale is a large oil by Philip R. Goodwin (1882-1935), titled October Hunting, which was featured as the frontispiece in Scribner’s October 1911 issue ($125/175,000). An expertly rendered painting, the work demonstrates the artist’s skill at illustrating, and his debt to his renowned teacher Howard Pyle (1853-1911) and his good friend Charles Russell (1864-1926). The dynamic composition, bright colors, and realistic figures make this one of the most desirable Goodwins to come to market in recent years.


Also of note is the classic Ansel Adams (1902-1984) photograph, Grand Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942 ($40/60,000). It represents the best of his work: iconic subject matter, dramatic composition, and expert technical skill.



John Whorf (1903-1959) will be well-represented in the sale, with five works by the artist included in the auction. In addition to five watercolors, Copley will offer an oil painting of an outdoorsman running the rapids ($8/12,000). This important Whorf work is remarkable for its rich hues and interesting perspective.


Two Lynn Bogue Hunt (1978-1960) oils will cross the auction block, with one featuring pheasants titled, Grapes and Grain ($8/12,000) and the other, Ruffed Grouse in the Wild Grapes ($10/20,000). These two paintings are great examples of the artist’s work, with their careful brush work and accurately depicted upland game birds.

Preening Eider Drake, Augustus Aaron Wilson (1864-1950), Maine, c. 1900, ($150/250,000)
Copley Fine Art Auctions


Other works include an expertly painted watercolor of black ducks by Aiden Lassell Ripley (1896-1969) ($25/35,000), a Frank Benson (1862-1951) ink wash of swans ($8/12,000); two Carl Rungius (1969-1959) landscapes ($8/12,000 each); two Harry Curieux Adamson (1916-2012) oils Flight to the Backwaters ($8/12,000) and Return to Medina ($20/25,000); Buffalo Herd ($15/20,000), a seminal bronze by James E. Fraser (1876-1953); an Oliver Kemp (1887-1934) oil titled Portage ($10/12,000), which served as a Saturday Evening Post cover; as well as original works by David Maass (b. 1929), Dan Loge (b. 1954), David Hagerbaumer (b. 1921), Nicholas de Grandmaison (1892-1978), Percival Leonard Rosseau (1859-1937), Richard LaBarre Goodwin (1840-1910), and William J. Koelpin (1938-1996).


The top-estimated lot of the sale is an important Augustus Aaron Wilson (1864-1950) preening eider drake decoy ($150/250,000). This boldly carved sea duck is one of the finest examples of Maine decoy carving by the region’s premier maker, and has never before been offered at auction. Pictured in Ricco and Maresca’s American Vernacular, it is a singular bird, appealing to folk art collectors and decoy enthusiasts alike.  Its impeccable dry surface, original paint, and stellar provenance place it among the country’s greatest carvings.


The sale will feature an Ira D. Hudson (1873-1949) bluebill drake in a turned position from the tip of its bill to the tip of its tail ($50/70,000).  This stellar Hudson has not been to auction since the sale of the Carter Smith Collection in the 1980’s. Remarkable for its rarity, form, and original paint, the bird exemplifies Hudson’s best traits.


Copley will offer a number of quality shorebirds, including a curlew ($22,5/27,500), willet ($10/15,000), and robin snipe ($12,5/17,500) by Harry V. Shourds (1861-1920); two Nantucket curlews, an eskimo curlew from the Folger rig ($30/50,000), and a grand two piece model ($25/35,000); and a Mason Decoy Factory (1896-1924) salesman’s sample robin snipe ($18/24,000).


In addition to these shorebirds, two A. E Crowell (1862-1952) decoratives from the Donal C. O’Brien, Jr. collection, a lesser yellowlegs acquired directly from William J. Mackey, Jr. ($10/15,000), and a preening greater yellowlegs with raised wing ($20/30,000), will cross the auction block. Copley has also assembled several impressive  working birds by Crowell (1862-1952), including a rare dowitcher ($40/50,000) and a golden plover ($25/35,000) with an inquisitive attitude, as well as a group of birds acquired from the maker that descended through the Joseph F. Sherer family, including a pristine yellowlegs pair ($30/40,000), a flattie willet ($2/4,000), a pre-brand redhead drake with crossed, raised wingtips ($20/40,000), and a Canada goose with the maker’s oval brand ($10/15,000).


Other works include: several lots by the Ward brothers (Lemuel T., 1896-1983 and Stephen, 1895-1976), among them an early pristine mallard pair ($25/35,000) and a pinched-breast broadbill drake ($30/50,000); two canvasbacks by Ivar Fernlund ($10/15,000 drake); a James F. Harper (1857-1948) turned-head bluebill drake ($12/16,000); two Chauncey Wheeler (1888-1945) flyers, a blue-wing teal drake ($10/15,000) and a goldeneye drake ($10/15,000); an Oscar Peterson (1887-1951) Golden Pheasant plaque ($10/20,000); an important Atlantic salmon carving that was made as a trophy for the largest fly-caught salmon ever taken on the Wye river ($10/15,000); several Clark Vorhees (1911-1980) whales; and numerous fishing related items, such as a collection of twenty-one outstanding pike or muskie floats ($1/2,000).


Copley will once again kick off the week with their Scotch and Smoked Salmon Preview Party, beginning at 5:30pm on Saturday, January 19. The one day sale will commence at 11am the following Monday, January 21. For more information, or to order a catalog please contact Aimee Stashak-Moore at, call 617.536.0030, or visit

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