Sublime painting by John F. Kensett (American, 1816-1872) fetch $ 1.08 million at Cottone Auctions
GENESEO, NY – A truly sublime painting titled Singing Beach and Eagle Rock, Magnolia, Massachusetts by American landscape artist John Frederick Kensett (1816-1872), was the first lot in the Cottone Auctions fine art, antiques and clock auction held on Saturday, September 18. The painting saw business competition hit the highest six figures and easily exceeded its estimate, selling to a private collector over the phone for $ 1.08 million. Overall, the sale grossed $ 3.7 million.
Kensett’s painting was purchased in 1955 by Mrs. Adrian Smith (formerly Lusyd Wright Keating) of Buffalo, New York, from Victor D. Spark of New York, and bequeathed to his daughter Cynthia Doolittle in 1971. It has already been exhibited two times at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, first in 1958 and again in 1983.
“It has been a privilege to market the paint,” said Matt Cottone of Cottone Auctions. “I was happy for our shipper – the Doolittles – who could have sent their stuff anywhere but gave us the opportunity.”
The catalog notes included quotes regarding the painting, including a letter from John K. Howat, Assistant Curator of American Paintings and Sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Mrs. Adrian W. Smith, May 25, 1965, stating: “The Kensett hit me as being a very good one. The arrangement and the colors are very clear and energetic – a good sign in Kensett’s work. The silence of these spare Kensett’s is very impressive.
More recently Susan Crane, Associate Curator of the Albright Knox Art Gallery, in a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle on March 24, 1983, said: “Your Kensett has been an important part of the success of the exhibition. . glow. Several art historians, in fact, have commented on its excellence. He truly ranks among the most magnificent of his works, and we are grateful that we were able to show him in the context of his “peers”.
There were also a lot of exceptional lamps in the auction. These were run by a rare elaborate Tiffany Studios Peony lamp on a telescopic bookcase base with a 22 inch shade ($ 390,000); a beautiful Tiffany Studios Dragonfly table lamp on a reticulated Indian base with a 20 inch shade ($ 153,600); a Tiffany studio, Nenuphar table lamp on a twisted vine base with a 20-inch shade ($ 127,200); a Tiffany studio Bamboo table lamp with a 16-inch shade ($ 136,800); and a rare Duffner and Kimberly Poppy Renaissance floor lamp ($ 98,400).
Modern and Contemporary Art included an oil on canvas designator by Ted Stamm (American, 1944–1984), titled DGR-32 (Dodger), sold for $ 55,200 to a foreign buyer. A gouache by Patrick Heron sold for $ 23,400 and Maternity by Vu Cao Dam grossed $ 21,600. An oil on cardboard by British artist Tristram Hillier titled The mud bunk sold to a UK buyer for $ 16,200.
An ancient Tibetan Thangka from a private collection in Rochester, New York, sold over the phones for $ 30,000. A beautiful Turkish sword (Kilij) from the historic Wadsworth family was sold to a buyer in Istanbul for $ 24,000, and a rare 17th century scagliola table, also from the Wadsworth family, fetched $ 12,000.
The category of clocks included a rare E. Howard & Co. No. 49 astronomical hanging regulator, purchased directly from Edward Howard in 1875 by Henry Abbott, which sold for $ 174,000 to a telephone bidder. Other highlights include a rare DJ Gale astronomical calendar gallery clock, patent model 1871, sold for $ 43,200, and a mysterious oscillating clock Robert Houdin (Paris), sold for $ 12,000.
Americana featured two exemplary Navajo weaves, one a second phase chef blanket, circa 1860-1870, the other a transitional Navajo blanket, in near pristine condition. Both were descended from the family of Othniel Charles Marsh, a paleontologist at Yale University. The blankets were reportedly given to him by Red Cloud, the native American leader of the Sioux. After intense competition, the blankets totaled $ 204,000.
The period furniture was directed by a beautiful and rare slanted Chippendale serpentine blocked end desk, circa 1770, in figured mahogany with a rich deep amber patina, a carved and blocked shell interior, block ends and ball feet. and bold label with original period brasses, from the Wadsworth family ($ 15,000); and a small Queen Anne New England tiger maple highboy, circa 1740–1760, with a deep, rich honey-brown patina, cap-like feet and feet padded with period brass, purchased from Israel Sack in the United States. 1940s ($ 18,600).
For more information on Cottone Auctions and the company’s schedule of upcoming auction events, please visit www.cottoneauctions.com; or call (585) 243-1000.
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