Birger Sandzen paintings wow Woody Auction: $371,000

This oil on canvas painting by Swedish-born Kansas painter Birger Sandzén (1871-1946), titled ‘Cedars and Rocks,’ 36 x 48 in., sold for $160,000. Woody Auction image

DOUGLASS, Kan. – Woody Auction celebrated the grand opening of their new Douglass auction hall with a major antique and fine art auction on Saturday, Feb. 24, one that featured four oil paintings by renowned Swedish-born Kansas painter Birger Sandzén (1871-1946), plus outstanding collections of Royal Bayreuth, Daum Nancy, Galle, Tiffany, Pairpoint, art glass and period American furniture. Absentee and Internet bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The four Sandzén paintings sold for a combined $371,000, easily making them the superstar lots of the auction. One of the works, titled Cedars and Rocks (above), brought $160,000. It was a vivid and colorful oil on canvas landscape rendering of Manitou Springs, Colorado, dated 1922. The large painting was professionally cleaned by WCCFA in Denver in 2015 and came housed in its original wooden frame.

The other paintings were Lake in the Rockies, a 26-by-22-inch oil on canvas using thick paint with high ridges (meringue technique), in the original frame, dated 1921 ($75,000); Horses in Wyoming, a 20- by-24-inch oil on board, a subject for another painting, circa 1930 ($26,000); and an untitled oil on board, but possibly Glimpse of Mountain Lake (below), 36 by 48 inches, circa 1938 ($90,000).

Oil on canvas painting by Birger Sandzén, untitled, possibly ‘Glimpse of Mountain Lake.’ Price realized: ($90,000). Woody Auction image

“We had bidders attend from as far away as California, but three of the four Sandzén paintings sold to Kansas residents,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction. “The fourth went to a former Kansas resident who now resides in Wyoming.” He added, “I spent nearly a year finding the Sandzén paintings for this auction. We developed a real nice sale based around the paintings. Bidder interest was pretty intense.”

Birger Sandzén was born in Blidsberg, Sweden, in 1871. He studied art in Stockholm and Paris early on, before coming to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas in 1894, to teach languages and assist in the art and vocal music departments. He remained at Bethany for the remainder of his career, becoming the principal art instructor in 1899 and retiring in 1946. He painted right up until his death in 1954.

All four of the Sandzén paintings are fresh to the market, not offered to the public in over 50 years. By themselves they would have made for a fine auction, but for Woody they were just for starters. “I gathered art, sculptures and other rare and important antiques for about nine months in preparation for this auction,” he said.

The numbers tell the story of a premiere auction event that was a success by any measure. Nearly 1,000 people registered to bid online (via the bidding platform LiveAuctioneers.com), and 2,475 bids were placed over the Internet, for a total of 108 winning bids. The number of visitors to the auction catalog online on auction day was a staggering 10,932. Also, 32 absentee bidders placed bids on 207 items.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted are hammer. All lots sold to the highest bidder, with no reserves or minimums.

A fantastic figural table lamp with a signed Galle French cameo art glass shade having a carved pink and green floral design with elaborate interior floral carved highlights, on a figural bronze base artist-signed “F. Gopnik,” lit up the room for $17,000. It sold to a LiveAuctioneers bidder.

Galle signed figural table lamp with a French cameo art glass shade having a carved pink and green floral design with elaborate interior floral carved highlights. Price realized: $17,000. Woody Auction image

Also, an all original Tiffany desk lamp, 15 inches tall, with a signed “L.C.T. Favrile” decorated art glass shade and signed on the base, made $7,000, also going to a LiveAuctioneers bidder.

All original Tiffany desk lamp, 15 inches tall, with a signed ‘L.C.T. Favrile’ decorated art glass shade and signed on the weighted base. Price realized: $7,00). Woody Auction image

Furniture attracted keen bidder interest. A Wooton (Indianapolis) American Renaissance Revival two-hinge, standard grade patent desk, walnut with burl walnut and bird’s-eye maple highlights, circa 1874, in outstanding condition, went for $12,000.

A figural bronze statue signed “Raoul Verlet” (French, 1857-1923), titled Cerberus (in mythology a multi-headed, monstrous dog, guarding the gates to hades), 39 inches tall and having the foundry mark of “Ferdinand Barbeditenne Paris”, gaveled for $4,500.

Bronze statue artist-signed ‘Raoul Verlet’ (French, 1857-1923) from the Ferdinand Barbeditenne foundry in Paris. Price realized: $4,500. Woody Auction image

Vases by Tiffany and Daum Nancy consistently brought high prices. A French cameo art glass vase signed Daum Nancy, 15 ¼ inches tall, having a mottled yellow and amethyst background with a cameo carved floral décor, brought $3,750; and a Daum Nancy French cameo art glass vase with a beautiful fall season décor and showing great colors, 4 ¾ inches tall, went for $3,000. A rare Tiffany Cypriot art glass vase (below) boasting gorgeous colors, 5 ½ inches tall and signed “L.C. Tiffany Favrile 8324J”, knocked down for $6,000.

Rare Tiffany Cypriot art glass vase boasting gorgeous colors, 5 ½ in. tall and signed ‘L.C. Tiffany Favrile 8324J.’ Price realized: $6,000. Woody Auction image

A French cameo art glass vase signed Daum Nancy, 4 ½ inches tall and showing three blackbirds on a winter scene background, finished at $3,500. Also, a Mount Washington Burmese art glass vase, nicely decorated with three full-figure fish, seaweed, and enameled seine net, in outstanding condition, was the top-selling example by that maker, finding a new owner for $3,750.

For more information contact Woody Auction at 316-747-2694 or info@woodyauction.com.