RUNGIUS PAINTINGS HIT HIGH NOTES, PLEISSNER RUSHES PAST OLD RECORD AT COPLEY’S 2010 SPORTING SALE Copley Fine Art Auctions announces the strong sale results from its 2010 Sporting Sale. Paintings and decoys combined to bring $4.3 million in sales, surpassing last year's record.
News-Antique.com - Aug 13,2010 - Copley’s fifth annual summer auction was a huge success, with the much-anticipated collection of five oil paintings by Carl Rungius (1869-1959) out of the collection of H. Wendell Endicott headlining the record-breaking sale. These museum-quality works saw active participation in the room and on the overflowing phone banks, which brought outstanding results. Humpback Grizzly led the charge, realizing an auction-high sale price of $460,000 on an estimate of $300,000-$500,000. Bull Moose followed closely behind, nearing its high estimate with a sale price of $373,750 ($200,000-$400,000). "Near Summit Lake, British Columbia," a striking image of cliff-side mountain goats, sold for $316,250 on an estimate of $200,000-$400,000. The two smaller canvases brought over their high estimates, with "Coming Up the Valley" hammering at $86,250 and "Toward the Skyline – Mountain Sheep" bringing $69,000, each on a $40,000-$60,000 estimate.
The striking oil painting by Ogden M. Pleissner (1905-1983) titled "The Rapids" was the breakout of the sale, rushing past the previous high water mark for the artist of $220,000, set in 1996. "The Rapids" saw fierce competition between bidders on the phone and in the room, and finally sold to a gentleman collector in the room for $345,000, leaving its $60,000-$90,000 estimate far behind. Copley solidified its market leadership with further strong results for works by Pleissner, with "Early Morning" bettering its 2001 result at Christie’s. This 1950 calendar image previously sold for $49,350, while competitive bidding brought it up to $71,875 on a $50,000-$70,000 estimate at the Plymouth sale.
Etchings by Boston artist Frank W. Benson (1862-1951) continued to be in high demand, and the notable offering of each of the “Big Four” etchings achieved strong results. "The Gunner" led the way with what is believed to be an auction record for any etching by the artist, selling for $21,850 on a $10,000-$15,000 estimate. "Old Tom" and "Marsh Gunner" each sold for $11,500, within their $10,000-$15,000 estimates, and "Winter Wildfowling" exceeded expectations, fetching $10,925 on a $5,000-$10,000 estimate. Benson’s exceptional watercolors also proved to be popular, with the best image "Two Duck Hunters" selling over its $60,000-$90,000 estimate for $92,000 to a collector in the room. The fishing scene "Poling Out" was a relative bargain, estimated at $60,000-$90,000 and selling just above the low mark for $69,000.
This year’s sale included a significant offering of works by notable British sporting artists, and international participation in the bidding helped eighteen of the nineteen original watercolors by Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935) to find homes, with most selling within their estimates. The striking bird of prey "Gyrfalcon" sold for $7,475, over its estimate of $4,000-$7,000. Works by Sir Peter Markham Scott (1909-1989) also performed well, with "Curlew’s Early" bringing $9,200 on an $8,000-$10,000 estimate and "Pinkfeet" surpassing its estimate of $4,000-$6,000 with a sale price of $8,625.
Other highlights included strong results from American dog painters Percival Rosseau (1859-1937) and Edmund H. Osthaus (1858-1928). A small painting of two English Setters by Rosseau brought $15,525 on a $10,000-$15,000 estimate. Osthaus’ oil of two setters with haystacks