ROCKWELL’S FIREFIGHTER TO HIGHLIGHT GROGAN AUCTION

  • DEDHAM, Massachusetts
  • /
  • February 10, 2014

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Norman Rockwell, The Firefighter, gouache study
Grogan and Company

Dedham, MA- Grogan and Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers is pleased to announce their upcoming February 23rd auction includes over 800 lots of Jewelry and Silver, American and European Fine Art, 18th and 19th century Furniture and Decorations, Asian and Tribal Works of Art, and Oriental Rugs and Carpets from various New England Estates and Collections.  The sale will appeal to a myriad of collecting tastes. 

The highlight of the auction is an oil study for The Fireman by venerated illustrator and American icon Norman Rockwell.   The 14 x 11 inch oil on paper board, painted as a study for the May 27, 1944 cover of The Saturday Evening Post, is estimated at $50,000-100,000. The study, which includes the original autographed photograph of the sitter, was a gift from the artist to the sitter, Howard Lewis of Dodd, Mead and Company, New York's pioneer publishing house. 

The work was inspired by Rockwell’s discovery of an antique gilt frame in a junk shop which was carved with axes, hoses, ladders, and other firefighting artifacts. Rockwell set out to find the perfect sitter, who turned out to be Howard Lewis, whom he met at a publisher’s party in New York City.  Struck by Lewis's old-fashioned look, Rockwell invited Lewis to his studio where he dressed him in a turn-of-the-century fireman's uniform and took his photograph.  The study lead to a larger oil on canvas painting, which is now in a private collection.

The sale which begins at 10 a.m. with Jewelry and Silver, will be followed by over 150 paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture.   American works on paper include Springtime, a 21 x 16 watercolor by well known Massachusetts painter Dennis Miller Bunker ($10,000-15,000) and Deer Isle Maine, a 1932 watercolor by John Marin ($20,000-30,000).  American Landscapes are represented by Spring Snow, an oil on canvas by Rockport painter William Lester Stevens ($5,000-7,000; and Schouschis Rock, an oil on canvas by venerated Hudson River painter, Thomas Hill ($6,000-8,000).  A rare to the market seven volume leather bound set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, first octavo edition includes 500 hand colored lithographs and is estimated to bring $25,000-35,000.  Modern and Contemporary offerings include Suomi, a circa 1976 oil by German/American painter Friedel Dzubas ($15,000-25,000); and Quarry, a color lithograph by Robert Raushenberg ($1,000-2,000).  Sculpture highlights include Silence and Repose, a pair of gilt painted plaster bookends by African American artist Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller ($3,000-5,000). 

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European highlights include a salon size painting by Italian artist Osvaldo Bignami.   The impressive  47 x 59 inch Orientalist Scene, created in 1897, is estimated at $20,000-30,000.  French painter Rene Rousseau-Decelle’s Study for Paddock at Argenteuil, is a 12 x 24 inch oil on canvas estimated at $10,000-15,000.  The full sized finished version of this painting was purportedly hung at the 1908 Paris Salon and was sold at Sotheby’s in New York in 2006.  The lot is accompanied by a document identifying the names of the thirty sitters, all of whom were members of the Societe de Steeple-Chase d'Argenteuil.  Modern and Contemporary works of art include four works on paper by Irish born artist Louis Le Brocquy, an oil on canvas by French artist Charles Lapicque, as well as a gouache by Latin American artist Florencio Molina Campos.

John James Audubon, Birds of America
Grogan and Company

Many of the auctions highlights arise from the collection of a New York City family, including an Old Master drawing St. Peter Before Christ, a brown ink wash with sanguine attributed to Andrea Boscoli ($5,000-15,000) and The Flood, an unattributed sepia ink drawing estimated at $4,000-8,000.  The collection also features a large selection of tribal works of art, including a Papua New Guinea Carved and Painted Wood House Board ($5,000-10,000) and a New Ireland Malanggan Carved and painted Wood Ceremonial Figure from Papua, New Guinea ($5,000-10,000).  The collection includes ceremonial masks, carved wood figures, Pre Columbian carvings, as well as other artifacts from antiquity.  

Russian works include a rare illustrated book by Princess Marina Petrovna Romanoff titled La Princess Nen Kedjane, Legende Tatare de Crimee, published by Honore Champion of Paris in 1926, is estimated at $3,000-5,000.   Marina Petrovna was the daughter of Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich of Russia.  She is described as a gifted artist who studied painting in St. Petersburg before escaping the Russian Revolution with members of the Romanoff family aboard the British ship the HMS Marlbourough in 1919.  Two 18th century Russian/Latvian Portraits depicting Anton Von Lowis of Menar and Maria Von Boye of Genaers, a couple from Riga Latvia, bear $4,000-6,000 estimates (each) and have descended within the family.  The pair of circa 1770 portraits, which have yet to be attributed, hail from the Golden Age of Catherine the Great’s reign. 

Louis Le Brocquy, Connemara Idyll, watercolor
Grogan and Company

The sale will continue with an impressive array of 17th, 18th and 19th century furniture and decorative works of art and conclude with Oriental Rugs.  

The exhibition will open to the public beginning Wednesday, February 19th.  Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.  The auction begins promptly at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 23rd.   A fully illustrated catalogue can be found at www.groganco.com.  For more information call 781-461-9500. 

 

Contact:
Michael B. Grogan
Grogan and Company
781-461-9500
grogans@groganco.com

Grogan & Company
22 Harris Street
Dedham, Massachusetts
grogans@groganco.com
781-461-9500
http://www.groganco.com
About Grogan & Company

Grogan and Company has been serving the Antique and Auction needs of New England for over twenty years. Located in historic Dedham, the company conducts 4-5 estates auctions each year and offers free appraisal days every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With an international clientele, on-line bidding and a friendly and attentive staff, Grogan & Company is the perfect place to buy or sell your fine art and antiques.


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