Skinner auction to feature Rembrandt, Warhol prints Sept. 9
BOSTON – Skinner Inc. will auction prints, photographs and paintings on Friday, Sept. 9, in two sessions at their Boston gallery. The prints portion of the sale will begin at noon followed by paintings at 4 p.m. The two sessions will total over 600 lots including works by Cahoon, Parrish, Warhol, Burliuk, Corot and Utrillo.
LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.
Two prints both signed and numbered from Andy Warhol’s 10-image series Cowboys and Indians will be available at the sale. As a portraitive work, Geronimo, lot 172, is consider more quintessential of Warhol’s style. It has an estimated auction value of $15,000 to $25,000. Plains Indians Shield, lot 171, has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. Another Warhol print, Speed Skater, lot 170, will also be offered. This print is from the deluxe edition of 50-plus proofs, published by Visconti Art Spectrum, and numbered and signed. Speed Skater is expected to fetch $5,000 to $7,000 at auction.
A 17th-century impression by Rembrandt van Rijn titled Old Man with Beard, Fur Cap, and Velvet Cloak will also go on the block. This print, lot 129 and estimated at $6,000 to $8,000, was part of the collection of Mary Jane Sexton Morgan, the cousin of J. Pierpont Morgan by marriage. The sale of her extensive collection of prints, paintings, silver, and decorative arts was highly publicized, and according to a New York Times article published March 16, 1886, the entire sale brought $1.2 million, an extraordinary sum for the sale of an art collection in the 19th century.
Uniquely collectible items from the Peter Norton Christmas Project are expected to draw interest. Each year since 1988, rather than sending out a holiday card, Norton has commissioned an artist to create an edition – usually sculptural objects or books known as “multiples.” Most are made by a celebrated artist who is already represented in Norton’s own collection. Included in the offerings are: from 1997, a pop-up silhouette book by Kara Elizabeth Walker titled Freedom: A Fable, lot 169; Anna Gaskell’s 2001 contribution, Peep Book, lot 44; the 2002 doll house made by British artist Yinka Shonibare, lot 139; Teacup made by Robert Lazzarini in 2003, lot 95A; among others. Each piece is valued between $200 and $1,200.
One of the jewels of the sale is Theodore Robinson’s Hansom Cabs, lot 523, which is estimated to sell between $120,000 and $180,000. Robinson is considered one of America’s premier Impressionists and is also credited with increasing the appreciation of French Impressionism in the United States. According to Robin Starr, director of Fine Paintings at Skinner, “The piece is not designed to make a big splash across the room, but to draw you in for close study.” Robinson died young at the age of 44. His illness inhibited him from carrying large canvases outdoors, and, as such, many of his works are more intimate in scale.
Other American highlights include a charming 1977 Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr. painting titled Paper Hanging, lot 580, depicting mermaids engaged in wallpaper application and estimated to be worth $20,000 to $25,000; Frederick John Mulhaupt’s Gloucester Gill Netters, lot 481, previously exhibited at the Cape Ann Arts Festival and the National Arts Club Oil Exhibition, is estimated at $50,000 to $70,000; and Hanson Duvall Puthuff’s Mantle of Autumn, lot 438, estimated at $30,000 to $40,000, a classic example of Puthuff’s “en plein air” Impressionist approach, purchased from the artist in Pasadena, Calif., and descended to the present owner through the family. Lot 413, a 1908 Maxfield Parrish piece, titled Summer is accompanied by the original sales receipt and a handwritten letter from the artist that provides background on the origin of the work. The painting has an estimated auction value of $40,000 to $60,000.
Features from European artists include a David Davidovich Burliuk work, probably a Connecticut view, Lake Scene with Boat, lot 446, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000; two works by the French artist Jean Dufy Chasse à courre à Preuilly-sur-Claise, lot 591, and Place de l’Opéra et rue de la Paix, lot 593, both gouache on paper and estimated to be worth $15,000 to $25,000 each; and Thomas Buttersworth Sr.’s The Battle of Trafalgar, lot 345, coming to Skinner from a private New Hampshire collection and expected to sell for $50,000 to $70,000. Also available at the sale, French artist Eugène Louis Boudin’s Les Bords de la Touques à Trouville Pendant les Grandes Marées, lot 341, was part of the collection of J. Eastman Chase, the Boston art dealer. Its auction value is estimated to be $70,000 to $90,000.
An interesting piece, lot 515, titled Figures in a Field by the Hungarian artist József Rippl-Rónai came to Skinner out of a house in a large consignment of items. The oil on cardboard was purchased by Miklos Sperling of Indianapolis probably while traveling in Hungary, and handed down within his family. Skinner was able to obtain definitive authentication only by sending the work to experts in Budapest, as they had originally dismissed it based on images and color transparencies. József Rippl-Rónai was one of the leading artists of his generation in Hungary. After studying abroad, Rippl-Rónai returned to Budapest in 1901 and developed a personal approach that brought the avant-garde styles of Paris to bear on subjects of Hungarian domestic life. The piece is estimated to be worth $50,000 to $70,000.
Another work fresh to the market is by the French artist Maurice Utrillo. Impasse Trainee sous la Neige à Montmartre, lot 518, which came to Skinner from a Massachusetts estate. Utrillo first began creating art at the age of 19, while hospitalized at Sainte Anne Asylum, a municipal hospital for mental and nervous disorders. He was persuaded by his mother, artist-muse Suzanne Valadon, to take up painting and drawing as a diversion from heavy drinking. Utrillo painted intensely, producing 150 works between the autumn of 1903 and winter of 1904. Despite his personal struggles, he continued to work prolifically throughout his career, painting street scenes of Paris, particularly the bohemian Montmartre district. Utrillo’s work is characterized by a noticeable degree of impasto and vibrant colors, and at its best, displays a naïve vision with exacting detail. This piece is expected to sell for $100,000 to $150,000.
Another notable item to be auctioned on Sept. 9 is the 1946 Alexander Calder sculpture Shoe with Split Heel. Calder was an artistic “jack of all trades.” He worked in metal, from jewelry to large-scale public works; he made paintings as a theatrical set designer; and he was also a successful lithographer. His wit and energy are realized in the current work, lot 617, which is registered with the Calder Foundation and is estimated to be worth $30,000 to $50,000. Other sculptures featured in the scale are works by Cyrus Dallin, Paul Manshi, and Harriet Frishmuth.
Previews will be held Wednesday, Sept. 7, from noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 8, from noon to 8 p.m.; and Friday, Sept. 9, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. On Thursday, Sept. 8, there will be a Fine Art Gallery Walk presented by Robin Starr, director of Skinner’s Paintings & Prints Department, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and Gallery Walk at 6 p.m. at the Skinner Inc. gallery, 63 Park Plaza, Boston. Register here: http://conta.cc/9-8-art-event.
Catalogs for American & European Works of Art: Fine Paintings & Sculpture and American & European Works of Art: Fine Prints & Photography, #2560B, are available by mail for $35 ($42 for international requests) from the subscription department at 508-970-3240. They are also available at the gallery for $32. Auction results will be available on the Skinner website during and after the sale. For details, visit www.skinnerinc.com or call 508-970-3000.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE