CRANSTON, RI – An oil on canvas landscape painting by Hudson River School artist Julie Hart Beers (NJ/Mass., 1835-1913), titled Summer at Mossy Brook, was one of the top lots in an online-only auction by Estate Fine Art & Antiques hosted by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers on January 6th, fetching a whopping $20,000, including the buyer’s premium. Other original artworks also performed well.
The auction included 386 lots, mostly from estates and collections across New England. “The auction was an exciting start to the new year with plenty of bidding across all platforms and categories, from fine arts to Asia across the board,” said Kevin Bruneau, President of Bruneau & Co and Auctioneer. “It was good to see. We look forward to the rest of 2022.”
The Beers painting was a naturalistic depiction of towering birch trees beside a sparkling lake. Measuring 17″ by 11″ (unframed), the work is signed lower right ‘Julie H. Beers ’78’ and titled on verso. Beers’ work conveys the intimacy of the Hudson River and the vast New England landscapes. She was one of the few prolific painters of the Victorian era.
Beers was the sister of two other Hudson River School artists: James McDougal Hart and William Hart. She learned to paint from them, as well as from her husband, who was also an artist. Her work has been exhibited across the United States, including at the Boston Athenaeum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the National Academy of Design.
“It was uplifting to see such strong results for the paintings of Julie Beers and Anthony Thieme as more traditional subjects were pushed back,” said Travis Landry, auctioneer at Bruneau & Co. and the firm’s director of pop culture. “That boded well for markets as we enter 2022.”
The painting by Anthony Thieme (Mass./California, 1888-1954) was a watercolor on paper depicting groups of men in boats floating through calm waters surrounded by tropical trees. The work measured 19½ in. by 28 in. (see through, less frame) and was signed ‘A Thieme’ in the lower right corner. The painting easily surpassed its estimate of $500-$800, finishing at $12,500.
Thieme studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts with George Hacker, later in Italy and Germany. He is best known for his depictions of boats, fishermen and harbors. A major figure in the Rockport (Mass.) School of American Regional Art, Thieme was an accomplished artist outdoors Artists. But he suffered from depression and took his own life at the age of 66.
An original portrait painting by Edgar S. Paxson (Mont., 1852-1919) of a Native American with strong side profile, long thick black hair and a single feather headdress on a deep blue background changed hands for $12,500. The oil-on-cardboard painting, 5 ½ in. by 4 ½ in., was housed in a 9 in. by 8 in. frame and signed and dated ‘ES Paxson 1906’ lower right.
Paxson was a notable artist of the vanishing West who was born in New York and received his early art training from his father, a sign painter and carriage decorator. He moved to Montana in 1881, where his studios became popular attractions for artists visiting the West. Paxson was most interested in painting the portraits of those who fought at Little Big Horn. This led him to befriend and eventually paint Gall, the chief of the Sioux.
An abstract modern oil on canvas painting by Sudanese artist Hussein Shariffe (1934-2005) found a new owner for $11,250. The work featured an abstract figure with an elongated, scrawny neck and legs, next to a bird in deep muted colors, with the setting sun as the background. The 32″ by 24″ painting (view) was signed ‘Shariffe’ lower left.
Shariffe attended the University of Cambridge, later the Slade School of Fine Arts in London, where he studied with Lucien Freud (1922-2011). In 1960 Shariffe began teaching at the School of Fine Arts in Khartoum, marking a period of experimentation in his craft. Shariffe’s work has been exhibited at Gallery One in London, the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil, the Sharjar Art Foundation, and in Jordan, Egypt and Germany.
An early 20th century black “Supercharged” Auburn pedal car manufactured by Murray Mfg. Co. (Cleveland, Ohio), was a surprise sleeper at the auction, topping its pre-sale estimate of $300-$500 and selling for $5,938. The car came from the collection of a Plainfield, Conn. estate and was 52 inches long. It had scratches and loss of color due to age and use.
The second-best lot after the Beers painting was an exquisitely carved 19th-century bronze ingot of European mahogany glass. The bar, 10 feet high and 13 feet 6 inches wide, featured stained glass paneling over a large mirror decorated with blue and white tiles over a marble top above three doors, an opening to reveal a sink flanked by two large ones bronze pillars of figures Herculean men with lion skins draped over their shoulders.
The bar was removed from the Miramar Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island and fell short of its estimate of $20,000 to $40,000 and sold for $19,200. It has some minor casting defects on the bronze figure columns and some light surface wear but was otherwise in good condition. Sumptuous mahogany staves like the one on offer would make a wonderful addition to any home.
Web bidding was made possible by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, Bidsquare.com, bidLIVE.Bruneauandco.com and the Bruneau & Co. mobile app. on iTunes or GooglePlay. Telephone and postal bids were also accepted. All prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers always accepts high quality shipments for future auctions, with commissions as low as zero percent. Now would be a perfect time to clean up your attic. To contact Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers regarding the consignment of a single item or an entire collection, you can email [email protected] Or you can call them at 401-533-9980.
To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, please visit www.bruneauandco.com.
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