LOS ANGELES — John Moran Auctioneers presented its Spring California & American Fine Art auction on May 9, featuring fresh-to-market artworks from private and public collections throughout California and the Southwest, as well as a group of important early California works deaccessioned by the Jonathan Art Foundation of Los Angeles. Leading the sale were works by Edgar Alwin Payne, Sydney Mortimer Laurence, John Marshall Gamble, Marion Wachtel, Carl Oscar Borg and Charles Reiffel.
A favorite among collectors, Edgar Alwin Payne proved once again that his early American works are timeless. First to come up was his Fishing Boats West Coast of France. This painting was estimated at $30,000-$40,000, but the winning bidder made a splash with a triumphant $59,375 offer. Then came Payne’s Sierra Trails Temple Crags, with a $40,000-$60,000 estimate. After major interest was shown online and through phone bids, this mountainous landscape brought $62,500.
Another favorite early American landscape painter featured in the sale was Sydney Mortimer Laurence (1865-1940), in the form of his work Mount McKinley, estimated at $20,000-$30,000. This stunning view, done in an array of calming blue tones, achieved $43,750.
There were two works by the well-known Santa Barbara artist John Marshall Gamble on offer in the May 9 sale. Of the two, lot 91, Wild Lilac – Santa Barbara, estimated at $20,000-$30,000, proved to be the more coveted by collectors. The plein-air painting earned $34,375.
Houses And Street Glimpsed Through Dense Trees by Clara Jane Stephens was definitely one of the biggest surprises of the auction. Starting with a modest $1,000-$1,500 estimate, her work achieved a whopping $17,500.
One of the few offerings by Pennsylvania Impressionist artists from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was contributed by Walter Emerson Baum. His 1926 work Road Across The Creek well surpassed its estimate of $7,000-$9,000, ultimately bringing $13,750.
Another noteworthy moment in the auction happened with Palisade Glacier, an oil on canvas by Paul Grimm. It rose to $7,500 against an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.
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