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Benefit Shop auction sets record for a folky Fazzino

A LiveAuctioneers bidder purchased this oil on canvas painting signed Charles Fazzino for a record price of $5,715. Benefit Shop Foundation image

MOUNT KISCO N.Y. – Auction records for artists are routinely set at large auction houses in New York City, but occasionally an auction house in the suburbs is able to achieve a record price. Such was the case on April 18 when the Benefit Shop Foundation got to do exactly that in its monthly sale. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Featuring a striking selection of fine art, the auction was led by a rare and early folk art oil painting by Charles Fazzino (b. 1955), dated 1983. The 13-by-11-inch painting (above) depicted a barnyard scene of a horse-drawn hay wagon and people. The consignor’s parents purchased the painting while Fazzino was living at home in New York with his parents. The artist is better known for his silkscreen serigraph 3D-style constructions that he turned to later in his career.

The top auction price for a work by Fazzino was had been $1,500, and in this sale, buyers pushed the price to $5,715 with the painting going to an art collector through LiveAuctioneers, said Pam Stone, owner and founder of Benefit Shop Foundation.

“It was an exciting auction, we had an inkling this painting was going to do well based on the presale interest we were seeing but we had no idea we would set an auction record,” said Stone.

Another standout was a limited edition stone litho portfolio by renowned artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), comprising 23 lithograph reproductions of the artist’s work, going well above the $500-1,000 estimate to fetch $2,857 from an online buyer through LiveAuctioneers. The portfolio traveled with the consignor’s family from the artist’s native Germany to Norway and then New York.

This limited edition portfolio of 23 stone lithograph works by Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) brought $2,857. Benefit Shop Foundation image

Several other artworks also performed well, including an energetic contemporary painting by Joe Taylor recreating the cover of Buckwheat Zydeco’s Hey Joe album and measuring about 6 by 6 feet, selling for $2,413 to a LiveAuctioneers bidder. It was painted for Tower Records’ Los Angeles store.

Joe Taylor’s recreation of the album cover of Buckwheat Zydeco’s ‘Hey Joe,’ made for Tower Records’ Los Angeles store, sold for $2,413. Benefit Shop Foundation image

A surprise performance was an oil on canvas painting by Michele Harvey, titled Hadley, MA, showing a small country town surrounded by farmland, green mountains and blue sky with detailed clouds. It bested its $300-600 estimate to realize $1,778.

Outperforming its $300-$600 estimate at $1,778 was this oil on canvas painting by Michele Harvey titled ‘Hadley, MA.’ It sold to a LiveAuctioneers bidder. Benefit Shop Foundation image

Besides fine art, Benefit Shop Foundation’s auctions usually feature a choice grouping of Oriental rugs. Leading this sale were an antique multitoned Oriental carpet runner, 170 by 38 inches, which earned $1,524, triple its high estimate, and an antique Russian handmade wool runner, 196 by 42 inches, selling comfortably over estimate at $635.

The sale featured an antique Oriental carpet runner, 170 by 38 inches, that earned $1,524, triple its high estimate. Benefit Shop Foundation image

Rounding out the auction standouts were an ornately sculpted artist-signed chess set (below), signed Piero Benatti, that doubled high estimate to bring $1,016 and a pair of Lalique art glass crystal vases with female nude forms amid a grape design motif, in frosted and clear glass, 9 inches tall, that sold for $635, far above its $50-$100 estimate.

This ornately sculpted chess set signed Piero Benatti doubled high estimate to realize $1,016. Benefit Shop Foundation image

For more information, contact the Benefit Shop Foundation at 914-864-0707.

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