Bill Traylor folk art brings $42,550 at May 5 Slotin sale A painting on original found cardboard of a blue cat by the Alabama freed slave folk artist Bill Traylor (1856-1947) sold for $42,550 at a folk art sale held May 5 by Slotin Auction in Buford, Georgia
News-Antique.com - May 16,2007 - PAINT ON CARDBOARD WORK BY BILL TRAYLOR REALIZES $42,550
AT SLOTIN AUCTION'S SELF-TAUGHT MASTERPIECE SALE, MAY 5th
(Buford, Ga.) - A painting on original found cardboard of a blue cat by the Alabama freed slave folk artist Bill Traylor (1856-1947) sold for $42,550 at a sale of self-taught masterpieces and pottery pieces held May 5 by Slotin Auction. The unsigned work, painted a vivid blue on a show card, was framed and sailed past the high estimate of $30,000. Prices quoted include a 15% buyer's premium.
“It is a tribute to Mr. Traylor's continuing popularity in the folk art genre that this piece commanded such a high price,” said Amy Slotin of Slotin Auction, “but it was also typical of what we experienced throughout the day. This sale really rocked. We had more record-breaking prices than ever before.” Ms. Slotin said nearly 900 lots changed hands and the sale, overall, grossed over $863,000.
“What's noteworthy to me about this sale is that the field expanded its buying base,” Ms. Slotin said. “While it's true that the bulk of the major items sold to regular bidders who have been with us a very long time, there were many new people who joined in, too. They are really keeping the field fresh. The economy may be a little uncertain, but this sale proved the market for folk art is strong.”
A modest crowd of about 100 people made the trek to Slotin Auction's spacious auction facility in Buford, Ga. But there was a very active phone bidding component, as the 12 phone lines remained lit most of the day. In fact, most of the items ended up selling to phone bidders. Also, 26.2 percent (237 lots) of auction items sold online. Slotin reported 64,000 visitors to the online catalog.
Absentee bids also accounted for a high percentage of sales. There were around 150 absentee bidders (vs. a little less than 200 phone bidders, “very high for us,” Ms. Slotin said). About $150,000 in sales were posted in-house; another $100,000 was attributed to online sales (through eBay Live and LiveAuctioneers.com). The rest – about $500,000 - came from phone and absentee bidders.
In other highlights:
Handsome prices were realized for pottery pieces, a genre on the rise. A devil face jug by Lanier Meaders (1917-1998), previously housed in the Smithsonian Collection, soared to $16,100, a record price for the artist. The ash glaze piece, 7” tall, was done circa 1969-1971. It didn't carry a signature, but that didn't deter bidders, who appreciated the piece for its rarity and special qualities.
Two other Lanier Meaders pieces also did well. One was a rock tooth devil jug done in the early 1970s and in mint condition; an eBay buyer paid $7,935 for it. The other was an exquisite grape decorated cookie jar with lid (also early '70s). The signed, highly detailed piece went for $5,750. Also, an 18” tall grape decorated vase by Arie Meaders, possibly turned by Cheever Meaders, made $6,210.