International fine art soars to Sarasota Estate auction

The first lot in the sale was “Sphinx” by George Byron Browne (1907-1961), which came from an estate in Sarasota. A Palm Beach buyer, bidding online, took it to $ 19,530 ($ 20 / $ 25,000).

Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos courtesy of Sarasota Estate Auction

SARASOTA, FLA. – “It’s been two long days, but we had a good sale, and we were pleasantly surprised, with many lots reversing their estimates. We are very, very happy.

It was Andrew Ford, owner of Sarasota Estate Auction, who shipped over 1,500 lots of art and antiques on Saturday and Sunday September 18-19. He noted that auctions of this size have become the norm for the company, which has a dedicated local audience but captures the attention of a global audience bidding on four internet platforms. It reported a total sales total of around $ 475,000, with lots going to buyers in 25 countries outside of the United States.

The best prize of the day was “Sphinx” by George Byron Browne (1907-1961), which brought in $ 19,530. The catalog noted that Browne was a central figure in the Modernist New York art scene in the 1930s and was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists. “Sphinx” was made in 1952 and measured 31½ inches by 25½ inches in its frame. It was from an estate in Sarasota and was sold to a buyer in Palm Beach, Florida, bidding online.

Approximately 75 lots in the sale were from the Dunedin, Florida mansion of grain magnate William Keith Kellogg (1860-1951). The house – which was to be demolished – was built in 1925 and, according to the auction catalog, many of the furniture in the sale were custom-made for the house. Of particular interest to bidders was a carved hardwood dining set that featured a 145-inch-long dining table and a set of eight chairs. The lot came with a low and tempting estimate of just $ 1 / 2,000, but after tendering it sold for $ 13,860. A marble-top buffet table from the same dining room closed at $ 11,970. Both were sold to buyers in Florida.

Not all of the Kellogg Mansion lots were three-dimensional. Eric Sloane’s view of the Manhattan skyline, seen from one of the boroughs south of Manhattan, is the only example Ford could find of the subject, which is atypical of the pastoral views that make up the bulk of the work. of the artist. It may have been painted while Sloane was studying at the Art Students League and sold for $ 2,772, a result Ford deemed “good value for money.”

“He was one of the sleepers in the sale,” Andrew Ford said of Arie Smith’s “Balinese” (1916-2016). With a few museums in pursuit, it closed at $ 7,560 ($ 600/900).

To complete the ranking of the sale at $ 13,230 and spark international interest in the process, a 9-inch-tall Tibetan Ming Dynasty Chinese Buddha of Vajrasattva was encrusted with gemstones. Ford said it was from a local private collector and said it was sold to a noticeable – and possibly international – buyer.

A California collection was Ford’s source for two works by two different Mexican artists: Olga Costa (1913-1994) and Arturo Estrada (born 1925). Both had been estimated at $ 400/600; a buyer in Mexico paid $ 9,450 for Costa’s “Hongos (mushrooms)”. It just beat the $ 9,135 that another Mexican buyer paid for “En El Espacio” by Estrada, which was exhibited in 1968 at the Salon De La Plastica Mexicana at the Instituto Nacional De Bellas Artes. Ford was not particularly surprised with the result for either painting, saying “We are seeing a real increase in sales of Latin American works.”

Ford stated that a few institutions were interested in Arie Smit’s “Balinese” (Netherlands / Indonesia, 1916-2016), a 13 x 13 inch acrylic on canvas. After lively auctions, the colorful painting of the waterfall fetched $ 7,560, which gives its $ 600 / $ 900 estimate a good dip.

The landscapes were popular among the bidders. A small Impressionist outdoor oil sketch on board, made in 1918 by Frank Johnston (Canadian, 1888–1949), had at least three Canadian bidders chasing and Ford suspected it had ended up there.

“The Canadian art market has really heated up over the past ten years. There are a huge number of Canadians who live here half the year, ”he said.

The $ 7,560 made for a view of Niagara Falls in winter by Peter Caledon Cameron (American, b.1852), which came from Questroyal Fine Art in New York, was a little below expectations. Ford said he was going to an art collector in Manchester, NH

At the head of nearly 75 Kellogg Mansion lots was this carved hardwood dining table and chairs, which had been made around 1925 when the Mansion was built.  A Florida buyer will sell it for $ 13,860 ($ 000).

At the head of nearly 75 Kellogg Mansion lots was this carved hardwood dining table and chairs, which had been made around 1925 when the Mansion was built. A Florida buyer will sell it for $ 13,860 ($ 1/2,000).

Robert Swain Gifford’s 1871 image of the Rock of Gibraltar, an oil on canvas measuring 27 by 37 inches in a gilded wood frame, fetched $ 4,725.

One of the more unusual works on sale was a weathered copper sculpture of a pelican wearing glasses and carrying a newspaper and umbrella. Ford was not surprised that he exceeded his estimate, landing at $ 3,150, heading to a new home a short distance from the auction house.

Interest often comes from the countries of origin of the works. This was the case of an 84 x 28 inch Chinese scroll painting that the bidders unrolled for $ 2,772; he returns to China. A Russian buyer has repatriated – for $ 2,646 – an 18th or 19th century Russian icon from the April icon of Menava, from the iconographic school of Novrogod. According to the catalog entry, the icon had been kept in the Suhovatovskaya Church. Made in tempera and gold leaf on a wood panel, it was described as “monumental” and measured 21½ inches by 18½ inches.

“We always get a good reception for local Florida art,” said Ford. “American art journal recently broadcast on important Florida art and the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida at Gainesville recently received Samuel Vicker’s Florida Art Collection; all of this sparked an increase in interest in Florida art. The markets follow research and arouse the interest of collectors. Ford was therefore not too surprised that Paul Arsenault’s coastal Florida scene titled “Whidden’s Marina” won over local buyers. It brought in $ 1,386.

Prices shown include buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.

The next Sarasota Estate Auction is scheduled for December 11-12.

For more information, or 941-359-8700.


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