WINDSOR, Conn. – Only a few times has an item ever sold for over $1 million at a Connecticut auction, but this rare feat was accomplished on Jan. 1 when an oil on board painting by Wayne Thiebaud (American, b. 1920), titled Lollipop Tree, soared to $1.08 million at Nadeau’s Auction Gallery’s annual New Year’s Day auction. The sale price includes the buyer’s premium. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
With a presale estimate of $400,000-$800,000, the painting was easily the auction’s expected top lot, but what wasn’t expected was the fact that it finished at more than $200,000 beyond even the high figure. The colorful and whimsical painting, 13 inches by 10 ¼ inches, was artist signed and dated 1969 in pencil and still had the Allan Stone Galleries (N.Y.) label on verso, from 1970.
Wayne Thiebaud is a pop artist widely known for his colorful works depicting everyday objects, such as pies, lipstick, paint cans, ice-cream cones, pastries and hot dogs. But he’s also renowned for his landscapes and figural paintings. He uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are usually evident.
Nearly 700 quality lots came up for bid. The sale grossed $3.1 million, a record for Nadeau.
“This was by far and away the largest and the strongest sale in our company’s history,” said Ed Nadeau, owner of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery. “Breaking the $3 million barrier was a first for us, and we saw strong results across all categories, even to include furniture, which has been quite soft for the past few years. We look forward to continued success throughout 2018 and beyond.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
A lovely art glass vaso mosaico (mosaic vase), executed by the Italian entrepreneur and designer Ercole Barovier (1888-1974), sailed past its $30,000-$50,000 estimate to finish at $108,000. The 9 ½-inch-tall vase, circa 1925, consisted of clear glass with a mosaic pattern of clear, cobalt, amethyst and emerald.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the sale was the 16th- or 17th-century Old Master oil on wood panel painting of Jesus carrying the cross, in a period frame with new gilt. Assigned a modest estimate of $2,000-$4,000, the 35 ¾- by-27 ½-inch painting sold for $174,000.
The fine selection of Victorian furnishings from the estate of Frank Perotti was led by a pair of Renaissance Revival walnut and burl walnut cabinets, 75 inches tall, with pierce-carved tops over bronze panels over marble tops ($39,000); and a Renaissance Revival walnut, burl walnut and ebonized wood cabinet with mirrored etched doors, 9 feet 3 inches wide ($46,800).
A Rolex stainless steel Oyster Daytona Cosmograph watch having an engraved tachymeter bezel (serial #2788664, model #6265) sold for $46,875. Also, a partially glazed ceramic terra-cotta bottle by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) for Madoura, titled Bouteille Gravee, having the bottom inscribed “Edition Picasso 15/300 Picasso,” 17 ½ inches tall, rose to $20,400.
A pair of antique musical instruments combined for $50,000. One was a Lyon and Healy concert harp, gilt and satinwood, 70 inches tall by 36 inches wide ($30,000, against an estimate of $1,000-$2,000). The other was a Steinway rosewood grand piano dated 1859 with scroll carvings and cabriole legs, 103 inches in length ($20,000, against an estimate of $3,000-$6,000).
Two lots had identical estimates of $15,000-$25,000. One was a Tiffany Studios Daffodil table lamp having a leaded Favrile 20-inch glass shade with cascading daffodils on a bronze base that brought $20,400.
The other was an oil on canvas painting by Virginie Demont-Breton (French, 1859-1935), titled Mother and Child in the Garden, artist signed, 40 inches by 28 inches, which made $43,750.
A snowy oil on artist board streetscape by Guy Carleton Wiggins (New York, 1883-1962), titled Winter on 5th Avenue, Midtown, signed lower right and measuring 10 inches by 8 inches, sold for $18,000; while an oil on Masonite by Albert Eugene Gallatin (1882-1952), titled Geometric Abstract, signed and dated (Dec. 1936), with a Copley Gallarie label on verso, reached $28,800.
A Regence French gilt bronze Boulle Cartel wall clock and barometer, having brass inlaid brown tortoiseshell with heavy ormolu mounts and two classical figures, circa 1725, garnered $42,000. Also, a Hugo Lonitz majolica game tureen depicting deer atop a cover, with fox handles and ducks around the tree trunks, all on a base of sticks and ferns, 16 inches long, realized $23,750.
For details contact Nadeau’s Auction Gallery at 860-246-2444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.