Chinese censer, Rodin watercolor stand out in Bruneau Aug. 17 sale

Rodin watercolor

Eighteenth century Chinese Qing dynasty bronze tripod censer with the Xuande character seal mark (est. $3,000-$5,000). Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

CRANSTON, R.I. – A Fine Art & Antiques Auction featuring items pulled from several fine estates around New England and beyond – to include a great selection of French furniture and accessories, marvelous paintings, bronzes, jewelry, clocks, Chinese arts, modern arts and more – will be conducted on Saturday, Aug. 17, at noon Eastern, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

“This auction is sure to have something for every collector,” promised Bruneau & Co. president Kevin Bruneau. “The selection ranges from Chinese jade and jadeite carvings to French arts and quarter-midget go-karts. It’s going to be interesting to see where the final hammer falls on the Chinese censer.”

The Chinese censer he mentioned is an 18th century Chinese Qing dynasty bronze tripod censer (above), originally used to burn incense to honor ancestors, purify the air or cure ailments. The front and underside of the 1½-inch-tall censer are both impressed with the Xuande character seal mark. In overall good condition, with original untouched patina, the lot has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.

“My personal favorite of the auction is the Heinrich Kley mythical dragon painting,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “He’s an artist we’re very familiar with, having set his world auction record in 2017. Plus, I’m sure the Auguste Rodin study and Stanley Woodward paintings are sure to stir art collector interest. All in all, it should be a great sale.”

The painting by Heinrich Kley (German, 1863-1945), is a mythical illustrative work titled Der Patient. It depicts an ill dragon resting on a pillow stuffed with gold, as a wizard inspects his wound and a bare-breasted woman with a worried look stands beside him. The piece, signed “Kley” and titled, is 8½ inches by 13 inches, with a 12-by-16-inch mat (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Rodin watercolor

Mythical illustrative painting by Heinrich Kley (German, 1863-1945), titled ‘Der Patient’ (est. $3,000-$5,000). Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

Art aficionados are familiar with the name Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), best known for his iconic statue The Thinker. His watercolor nude study of a person standing on one foot and leaning forward with her other leg in the air is signed “A. Rodin” in the lower right corner and carries an estimate of $10,000-$15,000. The work is nicely housed in a 26-by-22-inch frame.

Rodin watercolor

Watercolor by Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), signed ‘A. Rodin’ (est. $10,000-$15,000). Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

The plein air impressionist landscape painting by Rockport community artist Stanley Woodward (Massachusetts, 1890-1970) is expected to command $1,500-$2,500. The signed and framed work depicts a rocky trail through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, along with a craggy tree in the foreground. A blue-purple monetesque color is used throughout the mountainous background.

A strong candidate for top lot of the sale is the remarkable pair of 19th century French Empire neoclassical bronze torchieres, impressive at 84 inches tall each (est. $12,000-$18,000). The fine cast gilt and patinated bronze torchieres feature female winged goddesses surmounting a five-light sphere, with figural lion heads over opposing ormolu eagles, each on dolphin tripod bases.

Rodin watercolor

Pair of 19th century French Empire neoclassical bronze torchieres (est. $12,000-$18,000). Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

Also from France, a finely cast sculpture of the Greek poet Sapho by Emmanuel Villanis (French, 1858-1914), on a base and with an overall height of 28½ inches, should bring $2,500-$4,000. The model, signed and titled on the base, depicts Sapho standing with her lyre in flowing diaphanous drapery.

Returning to Asia, a fine pair of Chinese Qing dynasty carved jadeite table screens, decorated with Hsi Wang Mu, the Royal Lady of the West, shown seated on a phoenix on one and a crane on the other, with a poem about spring on both, has an estimate of $6,000-$9,000. The screens, each 14½ inches by 16¾ inches, are variegated apple green, lavender and spinach green jadeite.

Rodin watercolor

Pair of Chinese Qing dynasty carved jadeite table screens (est. $6,000-$9,000). Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

Rounding out just a few of the auction’s highlights is a bronze sculpture of a pixie (or nymph child) with a flower hat, lunging forward on a bed of wild grass, by Edward Henry Berge (Maryland, 1876-1924). Originally cast in 1909 as a life-size model, this was the second casting, issued in 1916, before the smallest in 1923. Overall 20½ inches on a base, it should bring $2,000-$3,000.

For details contact Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers at or phone 401-533-9980.