Josef Israels painting brings $20,700 at Converse sale An original oil on board painting by the Dutch artist Josef Israels (1824-1911) sold for $20,700 at just the third-ever auction by Gordon S. Converse & Co., held April 25th in Malvern, Penn.
News-Antique.com - May 28,2009 - (MALVERN, Penn.) - An original oil on board painting of a lone woman by the sea, done by the renowned Dutch artist Josef Israels (1824-1911), sold for $20,700 at a multi-estate sale held Apr. 25 by Gordon S. Converse & Co., the fledgling auction firm launched just last year. The painting – titled Watching and Waiting and measuring 26 inches by 19 inches – was the top lot of the 300 items offered.
It was just the third-ever auction for Gordon S. Converse & Co., but it was a good one, loaded with vintage clocks, period furniture, estate silver, collectible books, fine art and more. And it was the last auction held in the firm's Malvern facility, which it quickly outgrew. Future auctions will be held somewhere in nearby Wayne, Penn. (also a suburb of Philadelphia), at a yet-to-be-determined location.
“The Malvern gallery served our purposes to help us get started, but already it's time to move up to the next level,” said Gordon S. Converse, adding, “We don't want to take just any space that's larger. It has to be suitable for our needs and comfortable for bidders. The site selection process is underway now, and I'm confident we'll be in a new facility in time for our next sale, in September or October.”
Mr. Converse said the April auction grossed more than the two that preceded it, making it his best sale yet. “The in-house crowd was as usual,” he remarked, “but I was particularly impressed with the amount of activity online, through LiveAuctioneers.com. We had around 100 registered bidders, with about 20 percent of all sold lots selling online.” Phone and write-in bids were also active, he said.
“We've got our hooks in this business and we're going to keep going, despite what is undeniably a sour economy,” Mr. Converse continued. “The fact that every sale has outperformed the one before it is hugely encouraging, and I attribute that to some pretty wonderful fresh-to-the-market consignments, from prominent local estates. We're aggressively gathering more quality items now, for our fall event.”
Following are additional highlights from the April auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer's premium.
An oil on canvas seascape by Julius Rose (German-born American, 1828-1911), showing a ship entering a rocky cove or fjord (30 inches by 48 inches), realized $1,955. Mr. Rose had a studio in New York, where he became a noted landscape painter. Also, a lithograph in a matted frame, by Marie Laurencin (French, 1885-1956), an artist known for her ethereal female figure renderings, made $288.
Other prints did well, too. A set of twelve framed prints of exotic interest by Joao Barbosa Rodrigues (1842-1909), an important Brazilian botanist who did studies of Amazon regional flora life, made $3,105; a J. J. Audubon print of the Great White Heron, signed by R. Havel (1835), and framed, realized $2,415; and a Japanese print of the Grand Canyon (11-1/2 inches by 17 inches) rose to $345.