Diverse Offerings: Asian Decorative Arts to a Pennsylvania Oil on Canvas Lead Sales at Garth's The diversity of the crowd reflected the range of lots offered as Garth’s Auctioneers hosted its 2010 opening auction of Fine Art, Furniture & Decorative Arts on January 29-30th.
News-Antique.com - Feb 24,2010 - With a great and diverse crowd arriving from across the United States, Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers hosted the first auction of its 2010 schedule with a wide selection of Fine and Contemporary Art, Oriental Rugs, and Asian, Continental and American Furniture and Decorative Arts on January 29-30. Garth’s Vice-President Andrew Richmond noted before the sale even started that “There is something very exhilarating about standing in our saleroom - a circa 1820 barn in central Ohio - and have the chance to hear the buzz of numerous languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, German, French, and English in at least two British dialects”.
The diversity of the crowd reflected the range of lots offered as the first lot of the Saturday session was a life-size, carved wooden figure of a knight on horseback. Attributed to Florence, Italy during the late 15th century, the figure of the man wore Gothic armor and the horse was 16 hands high. Purchased from French & Co. of New York in 1960, the majestic piece estimated at $2/4,000, had one Pennsylvania dealer charging to a final bid of $8,225.
Knowing that the second lot of the Saturday session had in excess of a dozen phone lines reserved for it boosted the staff moral as they prepped for a busy day. Lot 202, the monumental 42” x 46” oil on canvas landscape by Pennsylvania artist Arthur Meltzer titled “The Robe of Winter”, opened up at $20,000 – a bit higher than the conservative estimate listed in the catalog – and did not stop until it was knocked down for a record breaking $156,875 to Boyertown, Pennsylvania dealers, Valerie and Kurt Malmberg of Greshville Antiques and Fine Art. Deaccessioned from the Columbus Museum of Art and retaining labels from six major, early 20th century exhibits and the evidence of three other missing labels, the landscape was displayed in its original frame as well. All these features prompted the Malmbergs to cancel their previously arranged phone bids and make the trip to Ohio to bid and eventually win the lot in person. Post –auction Valerie Malmberg was undeniably passionate in her assessment of the canvas stating, “It is an honor to have purchased such a beautiful painting and it is exciting that it is one that represents the rare ‘total package’ - excellent condition, original frame, award winning history and a strong provenance. It is a gem!” As it was purchased for stock, the Malmbergs plan to unveil the painting at an upcoming show or gallery event after very light restoration.
Other paintings of interest included an oil on canvas, titled verso, “Coming Winter Squall”, by New York/California artist Bolton Brown. Retaining a marked Newcomb Macklin frame, the tranquil landscape sold for $2,938. One of two paintings by Polish artist Victor Chiemielinski was an oil on canvas scene of troikas passing through a village. It sold for double its mean estimate for $1,567, while the other work by the artist sold for $1,687. Another painting sold to benefitthe