American & European Art Auction Recap

16 May

Yesterday’s American & European Art Auctions were a mixed bag.  Some big hits and more than a few misses peppered the three sessions.  Overall, the sale total was just north of $5million including buyer’s premium, which fell below the agressive $8million low estimate expected for the auctions.

65.5% by lot
58% by value
$5,007,313 total sales


The highlight of the day was William Adolphe Bouguereau’s lovely Fishing for Frogs, a large oil on canvas from 1882.  Three bidders tried to take this work home, with the winning client spending $1.5million hammer, $1,762,500 with premium, to make it his.

Throughout the day, there was quite alot of chatter around that clients were saving their pennies for the last session of the night.  The Jean and Graham Devoe Williford Charitable Trust Collection was a resounding success, with 164 of 188 lots selling for just over $1million.  We were very pleased with the results, as multiples bidders were spending freely to obtain an artwork from the collection.  The top lot in this session was Sanford Robinson Gifford’s glorious View from Above, Kaaterskill Cove from 1860.  Estimated at $5,000-7,000, the bidding soared quickly to the final price of $68,500.  Throughout the 3-1/2 hour session, I was bidding with many clients who knew Graham Williford and shared their thoughts and stories with me while waiting for their turn to bid.  It seems like he was very well beloved by his friends, though one client mentioned that Williford was great, but don’t get in his way while he was trying to buy a painting!  I know the family is pleased with the results of this auction and knowing that the works are now being shipped off around the country to other great homes and collections.


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