Cowan's Auctions Fine and Decorative Art Auction realized $925,000 in sales on February 25. With nearly 1,200 bidders from 30 different countries on the telephone, online and in attendance, the salesroom was alive with competitive bidding for the 470 lots.
The highest selling lot in the sale was a Coin Silver Kentucky State Agricultural Society Award Pitcher, which realized $41,125. The pitcher, dated circa 1859, is a coin silver pitcher by William Adams (New York). Adams is well-known for the mace he made for the House of Representatives in 1841-42 as well as, a presentation urn he crafted for his friend, Henry Clay, a senator and representative from the state of Kentucky. The piece offered in the sale was a presentation pitcher bearing the inscription, ““Presented by the Kentucky State agricultural Society and Spratt & Bourn Co. at their Tobacco Exhibition, May 25, 1859.” The pitcher was property of the late Caswell and Sara Lane, who were consummate Kentucky collectors, and was estimated to bring $8,000/$10,000 The Lanes specialized in silver from the Bluegrass state.
Fine art from the 19th and 20th Century was also among the top-selling lots offered in the sale. A painting by well-known Cincinnati artist, Frank Duveneck, titled Venetian Interior, hammered down at $18,800. A painting by Polish artist Jan Van Chelminski, titled Polish Sleighing Party, realized $27,025. A Kentucky Portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette by Asa Park sold for $21,150.
A Tonalist Landscape by Antanas Zemaitis far surpassed its original estimate of $500/700 and realized $16,800 in the auction.
A number of contemporary pieces of art exceeded their original estimates and did particularly well in the sale. A painting by Robert Rauschenberg, titled Mixed Media, sold for $15,275. An Abstract Work by Guatemalan artist Carlos Merida realized $15,600. A Lithograph by American contemporary artist Jasper Johns, signed and titled Bent Blue, hammered down at $7,200.
Miniature furniture from the Caswell and Sara Lane collection also brought higher than estimated prices at the sale. A set of 3 American Miniature Blanket Chests was estimated at $400/$600 and hammered down at $1,528. An Ohio Miniature Chest of Drawers, circa 1825-1835, also estimated at $400/$600, realized $2,233. A Kentucky Miniature Chest of Drawers from the early 19th century, with the pencil inscription “Mary Polly Howard, Spencer, Kentucky”, was estimated at $1,000/$1,500 and hammered down at $2,703.
An additional note-worthy lot in the sale was an American, early 20th century Tiffany Studios Counter Balance Table Lamp, marked “Tiffany Studios, N.Y., No. 415” on bottom. The lamp was estimated at $5,000/$7,000 and realized $7,343.75.
"We were pleased with the results of the sale," reported Cowan's Auctions President Wes Cowan. "Prices were exceptionally strong, and we believe they're a signal of even better things to come. As the economy picks up steam, we feel our customers are more willing to spend. This sale was a reflection of that confidence."
About Cowan’s Auctions, Inc.
As one of the nation’s leading auction houses with sales approaching $20 million, Cowan’s has been helping individuals and institutions build important collections for more than a decade. The company’s seven divisions of American History, American Indian and Western Art, American and European Fine and Decorative Art, Historic Firearms & Early Militaria, Asian Art, Ceramics, and Jewelry hold semi-annual cataloged sales that routinely set records for rare offerings. To learn more about Cowan’s Auctions visit cowans.com.
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Cowan's Auctions Inc
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About Cowan's Auctions
As one of the nation’s leading auction houses with sales approaching $20 million, Cowan’s has been helping individuals and institutions build important collections for more than a decade. The company’s six divisions of American History, American Indian and Western Art, American and European Fine and Decorative Art, Historic Firearms & Early Militaria, Asian Art and Jewelry and Fine Timepieces hold semi-annual cataloged sales that routinely set records for rare offerings. Through its extensive mailing list of more than 35,000 collectors, dealers and institutional clients, each Cowan’s auction typically attracts more than 1,000 bidders from across the globe. To learn more about Cowan’s visit our website at www.cowans.com.