Choice Renoir and Diebenkorn from Sidney Rothberg’s collection showcased at Freeman’s Hindman Feb. 27-28

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 'Pierre Goujon en Costume Marin,' estimated at $250,000-$400,000 at Freeman's Hindman.

PHILADELPHIA — An art collection assembled by Philadelphia native Sidney Rothberg — some of it originally purchased at Freeman’s saleroom — returns to market in a two-day sale at Freeman’s Hindman on Tuesday, February 27 and Wednesday, February 28. The catalogs are now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

“Mr. Rothberg was known for his expert eye and impeccable taste,” said Head of Sale Alasdair Nichol. “He regularly attended Freeman’s auction, so it is not only fitting, but also emotional, to see all these gems presented in the city he liked so much.”

The Portrait of Pierre Goujon dates from a pivotal moment in Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s (1841-1919) career, a professional crossroads where the artist was attempting to break the Impressionist mold and find a new aesthetic. Renoir grew discontented with Impressionism as early as 1879, when it became clear that cooperative exhibitions did not bring much success. Eager to make grander and more careful pictorial statements, Renoir sought an alternative. As he expressed to his friend and dealer Ambroise Vollard: “I had wrung Impressionism dry, and I finally came to the conclusion that I knew neither how to paint nor draw.” The Portrait of Pierre Goujon thus symbolizes a new path to making a painting. The Renoir work, which is the last of a foursome of portraits of child siblings remaining in private hands, is estimated at $250,000-$400,000.

Known for his abstract and landscape paintings, Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) delved into portraiture in the 1950s during the time he was associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement. In response to the dominance of Abstract Expressionism, several California artists returned to a figurative, representational style. Regarding his motivation, Diebenkorn said, “I had never given representational painting a mature chance … I felt that I wanted to take a shot at it.” Girl in Tiled Room from 1957 is estimated at $200,000-$300,000.

Model for Giant Ice Bag on a Corner Site-Oberlin is a design study undertaken by conceptual artist Claes Oldenburg (1929-2022). Originally envisioned as a colossal monument at Oberlin College in Ohio, Giant Ice Bag eventually surfaced at the Osaka World’s Fair in 1970. It later was exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1971. The design study is signed by Oldenburg and carries an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

John Kane (1860-1934) was born in Scotland but came to the United States at the age of 20, where he took up industrial sign painting as a trade. He became an overnight sensation when one of his works was selected for the annual international exhibition of the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh in 1927. My Birthplace features what is likely his childhood home in Scotland, with an added self-portrait to lend a surreal and dreamlike quality to the piece. The painting is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.

Ancient Egyptian sculpted pharaoh’s toe brought $38K at Thomaston Place

Silver mounted pink granite toenail fragment from a colossal statue of Ramses II, $31,000 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.

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THOMASTON, Maine — An ancient Egyptian sculptural fragment was the most eagerly contested lot in Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ Autumn Majestic sale on November 10, November 11 and November 12. The toe from a monumental pink granite statue of Ramses the Great (1279-1213 B.C.E.) hammered for $31,000 ($38,750 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $2,000-$4,000.

According to a framed letter dated 1919 included with the lot, the 5in (12cm) carving was collected by photographer, author and adventurer Sigmund Krausz (1857-1928) in 1899 at the entrance to the Luxor temple. He said he saved it from the crumbling statue as it risked being lost and took it home to Chicago where it was mounted in silver. The mount is inscribed Small Toenail from Colossal Statue of Ramses II. Temple of Luxor, Feb. 13th, 1899.

Krausz wrote a record of his time in Asia Minor, Egypt and India, Towards the Rising Sun, a Story of Travel & Adventure, published by Laird & Lee in Chicago, 1903.

Another standout lot from the second day was a Rhode Island mahogany block-and-shell chest of the type made famous by the Townsend and Godard workshops of Newport. The type was fashionable for a quarter of the century or more, but most are dated circa 1765. This one was relatively small, at 2ft 10in wide, and had web-less claw and ball feet rather than the more usual tapered ogre bracket feet. The brasswork and the backboards, with termite loss, were thought to be the originals, although some of the interior drawer components were old replacements. “Well deserving of restoration” was the opinion of the cataloger, and bidders agreed. Estimated at an appealing $6,000-$8,000, it hammered for $50,000 ($62,500 with buyer’s premium).

Leading the line was a late Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting of a young girl with flowers in a waterside landscape offered in what was probably the original Impressionist matched corner frame. In a private collection in Maine since it was bought from a New York gallery in 1952, it was estimated at $40,000-$60,000 and took $65,000 ($81,250 with buyer’s premium). The scene, measuring 19 by 16in,  probably depicts Cagnes-asur Mer, where Renoir lived from 1908 to 1919. In fragile health, he suffered from such a debilitating arthritism it required him to change his painting technique, tying brushes to his wrist when needed.
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Silver-mounted pink granite toenail fragment from a colossal statue of Ramses II, which sold for $31,000 ($38,750 with buyer’s premium) at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
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Rhode Island mahogany block-and-shell chest, which sold for $50,000 ($62,500 with buyer’s premium) at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir oil of a young girl at Cagnes-asur Mer, which sold for $65,000 ($81,250 with buyer’s premium) at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
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From Americana to Renoir paintings, Thomaston Place’s Nov. 10-12 sale has it

Federal period Sheraton sideboard made for U.S. Navy Captain Joseph Whitmore of Newburyport, Massachusetts, estimated at $6,000-$8,500 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.

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THOMASTON, Maine – A printed silk broadside recording Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address to Congress of March 4, 1801 forms part of Thomaston Place Auction GalleriesAutumn Majestic Sale, taking place Friday, November 10 through Sunday, November 12. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Printed by in Boston by William Pechin, it is one of only four recorded copies on silk known to exist. Jefferson gave his address in ‘Washingtin City’, in the Congressional Hall (the only completed room in the new Capitol building), using his 1,725 words to plead for unity among the new country’s factional politicians. He famously declared, “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names, brethren of the same principles. We are all Republicans”.

Many more similar ink-on-silk printings survive of Jefferson’s 1805 speech for his Second Inauguration. These were available by subscription and published in quantity by True & Parks of Boston. However, this 12 by 15in broadside from 1801 has an estimate of $7,000-$9,000.

A fine example of Federal period furniture appearing in the sale lineup is a Sheraton sideboard made for U.S. Navy Captain Joseph Whitmore of Newburyport, Massachusetts. As a young man, he was injured at Bunker Hill, and endured a mutiny and a plague of yellow fever while on the U.S.S. Warren in Havana harbor. His son, also named Joseph, opened the Amazon River to steam navigation, for which the U.S. Congress issued him a gold medal.

The family’s sideboard, made in mahogany with unusual birch side panels, was sold in 1929 from the estate for $1,600 (about $28,000 in today’s money). It comes with the original bill of sale and an estimate of $6,000-$8,500.

Another well-provenanced piece of Americana with a Newburyport, Massachusetts connection is a carved and painted spruce eagle by local woodcarver Joseph Wilson (1779-1857). Remarkably, this 2ft 3in high architectural element is known from an albumen photo stereoview card showing it in situ on a building on State Street in Newburyport circa 1870. Retaining much of the original paint, it has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

The large and diverse inventory at Thomaston Place ranges from the modern to the ancient. Representing the latter category is an ancient Egyptian sculptural fragment that comes in a silver mount inscribed ‘Small toenail from colossal Statue of Ramses II. Temple of Luxor, Feb. 13th, 1899.’ According to a letter dated 1919 included with the lot, the 5in pink granite carving was collected by photographer, author and adventurer Sigmund Krausz in 1899 at the entrance to the Luxor temple. It was purportedly from one of the colossal statues of Ramses II (1279-1213 BCE). Krausz wrote a record of his time in Asia Minor, Egypt and India, titled Towards the Rising Sun, a Story of Travel & Adventure, published by Laird & Lee in Chicago, 1903.

Leading the lineup are some big-hitting oil paintings. A late Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting of a young girl with flowers in a waterside landscape comes in what is probably the original Impressionist matched corner frame. In a private collection in Maine since it was bought from a New York gallery in 1952, it is estimated at $40,000-$60,000. The scene probably depicts Cagnes-sur-Mer, where Renoir lived from 1908-19. During that period, he was in fragile health and suffering from arthritis so debilitating it required him to change his painting technique, tying brushes to his wrist when needed.

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Federal period Sheraton sideboard made for U.S. Navy Captain Joseph Whitmore of Newburyport, Massachusetts, estimated at $6,000-$8,500 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
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Carved and painted spruce eagle by Joseph Wilson of Newburyport, Massachusetts, estimated at $2,000-$3,000 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
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Printed silk broadside recording Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address to Congress of March 4, 1801, estimated at $7,000-$9,000 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
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Silver-mounted ancient Egyptian granite toe fragment, purportedly from a Luxor temple statue of Ramses II, estimated at $40,000-$60,000 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.

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Pierre Auguste-Renoir, ‘Girl with Flowers, in Landscape near Cagnes-sur-Mer,’ apparently in its original Impressionist matched corner frame, estimated at $40,000-$60,000 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.
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Impressionists at forefront of Capsule’s June 15 American & European art sale

Marc Chagall, ‘La Caverne des Nymphes,’ estimated at $7,000-$10,000. Image courtesy of Capsule Auctions
Marc Chagall, ‘La Caverne des Nymphes,’ estimated at $7,000-$10,000. Image courtesy of Capsule Auctions
Marc Chagall, ‘La Caverne des Nymphes (Cavern of the Nymphs),’ estimated at $7,000-$10,000. Image courtesy of Capsule Auctions

NEW YORK – On Thursday, June 15, Capsule Auctions presents American and European Art, a sale of figurative work, landscapes, genre scenes, still lifes, and marine paintings from 19th- and 20th-century artists. The auction spans Realist, Barbizon, Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Fauvist works from artists such as Louis Valtat, Marc Chagall, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Armand Guillaumin, Louis Lozowick and sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Edgy Paul Evans sideboard rose to the top at Roland sale

Paul Evans Cityscape sideboard, $50,000
Paul Evans Cityscape sideboard, $50,000

GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Roland Auctions hosted its final auction of the summer season on September 10. Coming out on top were a Mid-century Modern Paul Evans wall-mounted sideboard and a gilt framed Chinese scroll, as well as a Renoir lithograph.

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Paul Evans shares stage with Roussel and Renoir at Roland, Sept. 10

Paul Evans Cityscape sideboard, est. $6,500-$8,000
Paul Evans Cityscape sideboard, est. $6,500-$8,000
Paul Evans Cityscape sideboard, est. $6,500-$8,000

GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Roland Auctions NY will present its latest in a summer series of specially-curated multi-estate auctions on Saturday, September 10 at 10 am Eastern time. The sale features hundreds of lots of fine and contemporary art, silver, decorative arts, unique Asian items, antique and vintage furniture, rugs, jewelry and lighting. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Late September Hindman sales exceed $7.5M

Martin Wong, ‘Persuit (El Que Gane Pierde – He Who Wins Looses)’, $1.1 million
Martin Wong, ‘Persuit (El Que Gane Pierde – He Who Wins Looses)’, $1.1 million
Martin Wong, ‘Persuit (El Que Gane Pierde – He Who Wins Looses)’, $1.1 million

CHICAGO – Hindman Auctions presented its fall Fine Art sales this week, realizing more than $7.5 million across three days of sales and setting 15 new world auction records. A strong selection and intense bidding activity drove incredible results across the September 27 American and European Art, the September 28 Post War & Contemporary Art and the September 29 Prints & Multiples auctions. Martin Wong’s Persuit (El Que Gane Pierde – He Who Wins Looses) was the standout of the sales, setting a new world auction record for the artist and soaring past its presale estimate of $500,000 to $700,000 to achieve $1.1 million. Artworks by Hans Hofmann, Nicolai Fechin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Sonia Delaunay, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Frank Stella and Yvonne Thomas also achieved remarkable prices.Continue reading