The oil on canvas rendering, signed lower left and dated 1873, measured 24 inches by 42 ½ inches. It was also signed, titled and dated on the reverse. Edward Moran was renowned for his marine paintings and is credited with the Moran family’s entry into the art world. Born in England, he set up an art studio in New York City in 1872 and lived for years in Paris after 1877.
The auction’s second top lot would have been a headliner at most other art auctions. It was a stunning oil on canvas by Austrian painter Franz Richard Unterberger (1838-1902), titled Canal in Venice (180,000). The 31 inch by 47 inch work was signed lower left. Unterberger was best known for his colorful, romantic Italian views. He studied and painted throughout Europe.
In all, 200 works of art (a good percentage of them masterpieces or exceptional examples by the artists) came up for bid in an auction that grossed $2.5 million. Nearly 100 people were at the sale in person, while another 134 approved bidders participated online, through Artfact.com. A bank of twenty phones with close to 300 registered bidders were kept busy throughout the evening. The auction house also executed numerous absentee bids for prospective buyers.
“This auction was very successful, with bidders from 17 countries and 40 states,” said Sandra Germain of Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers. “The activity levels were high, and many of the works that sold exceeded our expectations. The key, of course, was the high level of quality paintings that came to us through consignment. It proved, once again, that quality prevails in the art market.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Several other world auction records were set. One was for Nicholas Krushenick (Am., 1929-1999), whose acrylic on canvas titled United Color Kit soared to $102,000. The large, 51 inch by 39 inch work was signed and dated (March 1967). Krushenick was a Modernist who took Pop Art to a whole new level, using primary colors and outlines of hard geometric shapes.
New auction records were also set for Lee Mullican (Am., 1919-1998), for his signed, titled and dated (1957) acrylic on canvas titled Sun Canyon, 50 inches by 30 inches ($38,400); and Hannes Beckmann (Am., 1909-1976), for his oil on canvas board titled Equiniox ($15,600). The 24 inch by 20 inch work was initialed lower left and dated (1963) and titled on the reverse.
Two other paintings topped the prestigious $100,000 mark. The first was an oil on canvas winter rendering by Edward Willis Redfield (Am., 1869-1965), titled Sleigh Days, signed lower left and painted circa 1917, 20 inches by 24 inches ($168,000). Redfield was from the New Hope School in Pennsylvania and was an Impressionist landscape painter, known for his snowy scenes.
The second was an oil on canvas depiction of the Grand Canyon by Arthur Wesley Dow (Am., 1857-1922), titled The Glory of Shiva, Shiva Temple, Grand Canyon ($120,000). The 24 inch by 18 inch painting was signed lower left and titled and dated (1912) on the reverse. The work is considered quite rare because it is only one of a few Grand Canyon paintings by Dow.
An oil on canvas by Walter Launt Palmer (Am., 1854-1932) titled Winter Stream, signed, 28 inches by 28 inches, brought $90,000. Palmer was famous for his use of color to exemplify reflections of snow in water. Also, a gouache painting by Surrealist Movement artist Gerome Kamrowski (Am., 1914-2004), titled Burning Spider Web, signed and dated 1946 made $50,400.
An oil on canvas painting by the Italian-born American artist Luigi Lucioni (1900-1988), done in Manchester, Vt., in 1939 and titled The Leaning Silo, breezed to $45,600. The 17 inch by 24 inch work was signed lower right and dated. Also, an oil on canvas by Dale Nichols (Am., 1904-1985), signed and dated (March 9, 1948) and titled For Sarah Day, commanded $43,200.
An oil on canvas by American artist John George Brown (1831-1913), titled Shoeshine Boy, 12 inches by 16 inches and signed lower right, went for $43,200. Brown was famous for painting children, especially poor street urchins. Also, an oil on canvas by French artist Marcel Dyf (1899-1985), titled Grand Bouquet, 12 inches by 16 inches, signed lower right, hit $38,400.
A wood sculpture by Nancy Grossman (Am., b. 1940), titled Vertical Message, 65 inches tall and 13 ½ inches wide, signed, titled and dated (1964) on the reverse, sold for $33,600. Also, an etching with extensive hand-coloring in watercolors by renowned French artist Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), titled Marche de Gisors, drawn circa 1894-1895, topped out at $33,600.
An oil on canvas by noted Russian-American artist David Burliuk (1882-1967), titled Still Life on the Beach, 30 inches by 25 inches, signed lower left and dated 1953, changed hands for $31,200. Also, a bronze sculpture by Harriet Whitney Frismuth (Am., 1880-1980), titled Crest of a Wave, 21 inches tall, signed and dated 1925 (Gorham Co., N.Y.) realized $28,800.
Historically, Shannon’s has specialized in American and European art executed between 1840 and 1940. In recent years the firm has expanded more into post-war Modern and Pop art. Shannon’s produces an extensive 132-page, color catalog, which is available for sale on their website (shannons.com)
To learn more about Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers and the upcoming April auction, please log on to www.shannons.com.