Fine Art Highlights in Copley's Sporting Sale 2019 | July 24-25

  • HINGHAM, Massachusetts
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  • July 08, 2019

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Arthur Burdett Frost (1851-1928) | "Fall Woodcock Shooting," 1885 | watercolor and gouache, 13.5 by 22.5 inches | Estimate: $70,000-$90,000

On Wednesday, July 24 and Thursday, July 25, Copley Fine Art Auctions, the nation’s premier decoy and sporting art auction house, will host their Sporting Sale 2019. The sale will offer the opportunity to see and take home world-class paintings and fine bird carvings. The auction will be held at the Hotel 1620, located on Plymouth’s bustling waterfront. Items will be available to preview Wednesday, July 24 from 5–7 p.m. and Thursday, July 25 from 8:30–10 a.m. The live auction will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 25.

The fine art portion of the sale will be led by four exceptional works by Arthur Burdett Frost (1851-1928). These paintings come out of the collection of Henry M. Reed, who in 1967 first published The A. B. Frost Book, which continues to be the definitive text on the artist. Reed owned dozens of Frost’s works, and purchased the gouache Fall Woodcock Shooting from the John T. Dorrance Jr. Collection in 1989 (Estimate: $70,000-$90,000). It has descended in the family and will be on offer for the first time since the famed Dorrance sale. Grouse Shooting, another major work, painted c. 1895, will also be available ($25/35,000).

Edmund H. Osthaus (1858-1928) | "On Point, Up Hill" | oil on canvas, 24 by 36 inches | Estimate: $30,000-$50,000

Copley Principal Stephen O’Brien Jr. is excited about this year's offerings, stating, “The A. B. Frosts are coming straight from the Reed family. Henry M. Reed was the world’s leading authority for one of America’s greatest illustrators, and the sporting Frosts are world class.” 

Two important works by noted painter Edmund Osthaus will be included. A rare oil painting depicting a covey of quail comes out of the John E. Veneklasen Collection ($25/35,000), and a classic sporting dog oil titled On Point, Up Hill will be available ($30/50,000). Other exemplary works by sporting art masters include a fine duck hunting watercolor by Ogden M. Pleissner ($20/40,000), the watercolor Fishing on the Battenkill ($20/30,000) also by Pleissner, and the classic upland watercolor Grouse on a Winter Morning, by Aiden Lassell Ripley ($25/35,000). 

Additional paintings and works on paper will cross the block by Frank W. Benson, Alexander Pope Jr., Roland Clark, Harry Curieux Adamson, Lynn Bogue Hunt, Percival Rosseau, Eric Sloane, Robert Farrington Elwell, Maud Earl, and George Browne, among others. These join with bronzes and contemporary works by Walter Matia, Chet Reneson, Ewoud de Groot, Luke Frazier, and Brett Smith.

Ogden M. Pleissner (1905-1983) | Duck Hunting | watercolor, 18 by 24 inches | Estimate: $20,000-$40,000

For over a decade, Copley’s auctions have led the fields of sporting art and decoys with first-rate offerings and strong results. The firm’s successes in these arenas are, in large part, due to its in-depth research, extensive cataloging, and accurate reporting. Copley’s database, with over 11,000 objects, is the largest and most accurate resource of its kind available to the public. The ability to use this powerful tool gives buyers and sellers alike the confidence to participate in the market at the highest level. Additionally, Copley’s rigorous standards for pre-sale inspection, including hundreds of decoy X-rays, have advanced the field. 

In the past decade, Copley has placed twenty-six lots on Decoy Magazine’s “100 All-Time High Prices” list, more than all other auction firms combined. In addition, Copley has set over twenty-seven world records for American and sporting artists, including Ogden Pleissner, Aiden Lassell Ripley, Edmund Osthaus, A. B. Frost, Lynn Bogue Hunt, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Francis Lee Jaques, William J. Koelpin Sr., Chet Reneson, Thomas Aquinas Daly, and William Goadby Lawrence, among others.

Catalogs can be ordered at Telephone and absentee bidding is available, and online bidding will be offered through Bidsquare and the sporting art industry’s first app, Copley Live. For more information, call 617.536.0030 or email

Copley Fine Art Auctions
65 Sharp Street
Hingham, Massachusetts
About Copley Fine Art Auctions

Copley Fine Art Auction experts provide a host of services for collectors: Appraisals, including trusts and estates; auction, gallery, and private sales; collections management; custom framing and restoration. Whether you're a new or seasoned collector, we are happy to discuss options for the formation, development, or sale of a collection encompassing our specialties. We work with private collectors, museums, and corporations nationwide, and have helped form many leading collections. In addition, we offer advice regarding personal property for trusts, estates, and private clients to aid fiduciaries, executors, advisors, and collectors.

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