N.C. Wyeth Drawing Brings $105K at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries' August Sale

"First Farmer of the Land", charcoal drawing by N.C. Wyeth that sold for $105,300 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries' on August 30.

THOMASTON, ME:  Aggressive bidding at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries Summer’s Bounty II sale on August 29 & 30 yielded many surprises and strong results.  Grossing over $2.2 million, the auction attracted 797 phone and absentee bids, and online participants in 22 countries.

Thomaston Place Auctioneer and President Kaja Veilleux said: “This auction offered an amazing inventory of artistic and historic importance.  I’m thrilled that the “virtual” format continues to be well accepted by bidders everywhere.”

The sale’s top lot was a charcoal drawing by N.C. Wyeth (PA/ME/MA, 1882-1945) titled “First Farmer of the Land” that brought $105,300.  With an image depicting George Washington overseeing workers on his plantation, this was a study for Wyeth’s last painting which was unfinished at the time of his death by train accident in October 1945. The incomplete work was used on the cover of the February 1946 issue of “Country Gentleman” magazine, and it is currently displayed at the N.C. Wyeth Studio, Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA.

Many other works attracted strong bidder interest, including: “Listen Lord”, an oil on canvas painting by Aaron Douglas (NY/KS, 1899-1979) that sold for $60,000; a Dutch Old Master still life that brought $58,500; a sumptuous fruit and champagne table top still life by Severin Roesen (PA/Germany, 1815-1872) that reached $46,800; Ivan Aivazovsky’s (Russia, 1817-1900) painting depicting Cairo as seen from the Nile River that achieved $39,600; and an abstract gouache and ink study by Wassily Kandinsky (Russia/Germany/France, 1866-1944) that brought $38,025.

Frenzied bidding on several paintings led results that greatly exceeded pre-sale estimates.   These included: an oil sketch “Oxen Ploughing in Nevers” by Rosa Bonheur (NY/France, 1822-1899) that was estimated at $1,500-2,000 and finished at $27,000; a Renaissance era Old Master painting depicting a pope’s presentation of a model for a cathedral to a king (estimated at $10,000-15,000) that sold for $25,740; and “The Arrival of the Empress”, a 1936 work by Wong Siu Ling/Wang Shaoling (China/CA/NY, 1909-1989) depicting the ocean liner “Empress” arriving at Queen’s Pier in Hong Kong (estimated at $10,000-15,000) that raised $25,740.

From the large group of Asian antiquities, an important 15th Century Sino-Tibetan carved and painted figure of Guanyin of “1000 Arms”, with extensive international museum exhibition history, brought $84,000. A three-part Chinese Ming Dynasty sancai glazed earthenware pagoda form stupa, with Walker and Astor Foundation provenance and Metropolitan Museum display history, sold for $27,000. And, a Chinese Zhou Dynasty bronze ding reached $12,000 after aggressive bidding.

Several sculptures also attracted strong bidder interest.  These included: a contemporary stainless steel work titled “Jazz in the Gardens” by Kevin Robb (CO, 1955- ) that sold for $15,210; “Ballet Group”, a bronze sculpture with carved ivory faces by Bruno Zack (Austria/Germany/US/Ukraine, 1891-1945) fetched $14,400; a pair of 18th Century  French Neoclassical bronze musician sculptures that reached $11,700; and a framed cloisonné enamel on copper panel titled “Iris – Panel II” by Margaret Seeler (Germany/CT, 1909-1996) rocketed past its $1,000-2,000 estimate and brought $9,600.

There was a variety of other hotly contested items, such as: a cased fully rigged Napoleonic prisoner-of-war ship model that reached $17,550; an art glass necklace by Rene Jules Lalique (France, 1860-1945) that fetched $15,210; and a William and Mary period japanned chest on stand that sold for $9,000.  Noteworthy was the strong bidder interest in furniture offered in this sale – virtually every furniture lot sold, with many pieces at or above pre-sale estimate.

A complete list of auction results can be found at www.thomastonauction.com.  The next Thomaston Place Auction Galleries fine art and antique feature auction, Summer’s Bounty II will take place on November 13, 14 & 15.

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is Northern New England’s premier auction and appraisal company located on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston.  Thomaston Place is a leader in discovering antique and fine art treasures: offering Free Appraisals each Tuesday at the Gallery, creating fundraiser events for civic and charitable organizations, providing house call appraisal services, and creating new selling strategies to serve the changing needs of consignors and buyers.  Their expertise in researching and marketing antiques and fine art has earned Thomaston Place the respect of buyers, collectors and experts worldwide.

NOTE:  All prices include buyer’s premium.


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