SKINNER REPORTS EXCELLENT RESULTS FROM AMERICAN FURNITURE AND DECORATIVE ARTS AUCTION: SALE GROSSES A study by Constantino Brumidi for The Apotheosis of Washington set an auction record at the March 4, 2012 Skinner American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction in Boston.
News-Antique.com - Mar 08,2012 - BOSTON, Mass. – March 7, 2012 – Skinner, Inc. today announced exceptional results for its recent American Furniture and Decorative Arts sale held last Sunday, March 4th. The sale grossed $2,167,558.97, including buyer’s premium, with many lots far exceeding pre-sale estimates.
Brumidi’s The Apotheosis of Washington
Constantino Brumidi’s study for The Apotheosis of Washington set the world record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by the artist. The study was sold to the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum for $539,500, exceeding its estimated high of $350,000. The fresco, for which this painting is the final study, is found on the ceiling of the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building and is considered to be the Italian-born Brumidi’s masterpiece.
Brumidi’s career included other notable achievements such as the restoration of the 16th century frescoes in the Vatican’s Third Loggia. While his frescoes decorate many meeting rooms and hallways of the Capitol, The Apotheosis of Washington remains his crowning achievement. It is widely considered to be the most important fresco in America.
The previous record for a work by Brumidi was $21,000, for, fittingly enough, a portrait of George Washington. “Prior to the sale, we had great interest in the painting from all the right quarters,” said Chris Barber, Deputy Director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts. “We’re very excited that it is now in the hands of such a venerable institution in its city of origin. Of course we’re also delighted that it will eventually be put on public view - it deserves to be seen by all.”
The Collection of Gregory Rubin Reynolds
The Collection of Gregory Rubin Reynolds, highlighted in a single-owner catalogue, also saw strong results. Buyers were attracted to the furniture Reynolds collected for its color and form, and to his folk paintings and decorative objects for their beauty, whimsy and sense of humor. Highlights include a chimney cupboard in early green paint which sold for $23,700, and a black-painted Queen Anne high chest attributed to Peter Bartlett of Salisbury, New Hampshire, which sold for $35,550. A pair of very “folky” portraits, of Henry and Anna Ehle of Chittenango Village, New York, sold for $27,255; and a Meredith, New Hampshire work by Edmund C. Coates depicting a May Day celebration on Lake Winnipesaukee exceeded its high estimate to sell for $21,330. The Reynolds collection brought over a half a million dollars and, per Reynolds’ wishes, the proceeds will be donated to the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital.
American furniture also brought high prices. A rare, beautiful, and well-preserved Queen Anne scroll-top fan-carved walnut and maple high chest of drawers from the North Shore of Massachusetts exceeded its high estimate of $15,000, to sell for $53,325. This chest was part of a group of furniture that was consigned by the Smith College Museum of Art. Other notable furniture items include a Federal mahogany inlaid breakfast table probably from Charlston, South Carolina which sold for $20,145; and a Queen Anne Massachusetts mahogany drop-leaf