Berry Collection Sweetens Shannon’s Fall Art Sale

Topping the Berry collection and sale was Adolph Gottlieb’s “Untitled # 30” from 1970, an acrylic on paper piece measuring 23¾ by 18¾ inches for which several telephone bidders competed, ultimately reaching a price of 162,500. $ ($ 80/120,000).

Reviewed by Madelia Hickman Ring, catalog photos courtesy of Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers

MILFORD, CONN. – Despite the lack of live attendees, Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers September 17 sale was “the best sale we’ve had in years,” said Managing Partner Sandra Germain. Antiques and Arts Weekly. The sale of 229 lots totaled over $ 3.3 million, with over 82% of lots sold. Many customers enjoyed ten days of appointment previews or Facetime calls with specialists, and the auction house welcomed many customers who had never bid – or bought – from them before. . Twenty phone lines, manned by socially distant staff members on the day of the sale, answered more than 500 calls that competed with active online auctions to generate strong results and took the sale to nearly four hours.

Germain was enthusiastic and commented: “We are delighted with the results of the sale – the long awaited offer of the Berry collection has finally come to fruition along with many other works that we have held since April. We have had good results in all areas and have many happy shippers. “

She was referring to the sale of abstract expressionist art from the Jeanne and Carroll Berry collection. Jeanne Berry took an active part in the consignment process, telling stories about the works that she and her late husband had collected. “The collection included works from 16 of the original ‘Irascible Eighteen’. The Berries knew about “advanced art” when they saw it and collected the works of this leading group of abstract expressionist artists ahead of the trend. It was a real pleasure to be able to work with someone who had such an interest in the collection, and to see it doing so well, ”said Germain.

Germain described George Bellows'

Germain described George Bellows’ “Farmers and Chickens” from his time in Woodstock as “wonderful”. It was descended from the artist’s family before being acquired by HV Allinson & Co., of New York. An American buyer acquired it for $ 106,250 ($ 50/75,000).

Estimates for the Berry collection were $ 440 / 640,000 and with the buyer’s premium the collection reached $ 662,000. Of the 22 lots on offer, 11 exceeded their high estimates, which, according to Germain, was “a testament to the quality of the works on offer”.

The results did not disappoint and listeners could feel the competition as auctioneer Peter Coccoluto presented bids over the phone. At the head of the group, Adolph Gottlieb, “Untitled # 30”, 1970, sold for $ 162,500 to one bidder by telephone against several other bidders by phone, exceeding his estimate. The work was from the Andre Emmerich Gallery, M. Knoedler & Co. and Sotheby’s, and had been exhibited at the Georgia Museum of Art in 2017.

Two lots later, Jackson Pollock’s “Untitled” from 1952-56 was sold to a private collector for $ 112,500. It came from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and appears in the artist’s catalog raisonné. The history of the exhibition included an exhibition in 2000 at the Joan T. Washburn Gallery in New York, an exhibition in 2007 at the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as the Georgia Museum of Art in 2017.

Other notable sales of the Berry collection include Mark Rothko’s 1968 “Untitled”, which sold for $ 78,000 to an American buyer. An assistant in Rothko’s studio had owned the work prior to its processing at the Gertrude Kasle Gallery in Detroit, Michigan, which preceded its sale to Christie’s in 2000. Like many works in the Berry Collection, it had also been on display. at the Ackland Art Museum and Georgia Museum of Art.

Leading the prints was

Leading the prints was “Le Repas Frugal” by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), a 1904 drypoint etching from his series “La Suite des Saltimbanques”, which was sold to a private collector in the United States for $ 100,000. Germain noted that the work was “very rare and fresh in the market with excellent provenance” for a private collection in Greenwich, Connecticut ($ 80 / 120,000).

A pair of Hedda Sterne designs set a new record at $ 13,750. Sterne is the Irascibles’ only female painter, and Germain said the competition for her work was “aggressive”. Harry Weldon Kees, whose work has never been auctioned before, sold for $ 8,750. And, on the cover, a work on paper by Richard Poussette-Dart sold for $ 37,500.

Records were also set for artists outside of the Berry collection. Antonio Cirino’s “For Sale” set a Shannon record in 2005 and when offered in that sale it sold for $ 23,750, a new record for the artist. Other records were set for Carl Schmitt, whose “Peace” grossed $ 5,940; Priscilla Roberts’ “Home to Thanksgiving” reached $ 7,150; and Robert J. Wolff’s abstract “Bayside, Wellfleet” reached $ 10,630.

A painting painted by George Bellows (American, 1882–1925) while in Woodstock, NY, sold for $ 106,250 after enthusiastic auctions from five bidders by telephone. Dated October 1922, the oil on panel belonged to the artist’s family before it was acquired by HV Allinson and Co.; the work is recorded in the artist’s book of paintings as well as in the online version of the catalog raisonné being prepared by Glenn C. Peck.

“We had a lot of museum activity nationwide,” Germain told us. An example of this was Charles Burchfield’s “Steel Mill Homes”, which sold to the Muskegon Museum of Art in Muskegon, Michigan, for $ 75,000. It came from both the Harry Spiro and Kennedy Galleries, both in New York, and exhibits at the Kevorkian Gallery in New York, the University of Arizona in Tucson, and the Munson Williams Proctor Institute Museum of Art in Utica. , Ny

A private buyer in the United States won out over competition to take

A private buyer in the United States won out over competition to take “Wind on the Cliff” by Charles Courtney Curran (American, 1861-1942) which exceeded his estimate of selling $ 100,000 ($ 70 / $ 90,000 ).

“Peonies” by Charles Ethan Porter was, according to Germain, the most popular pre-sale of works, with great interest from institutions and private collectors. Ten telephone bidders were lined up to compete for the work, which went on to dominate the 19th Century American Art category when it was sold to a California institution for $ 55,000.

Notable sales in European art include the Montague Dawson yachting scene, “The needles, ”Which sold for $ 93,750 and“ Young Woman in Blue ”by Hugues Merle made $ 50,000. Modern European art fared well with a collage from Kurt Schwitter’s Merz series sold for $ 50,000 to a buyer in Germany; a view of the Champs-Elysées by Jean Dufy closed at $ 57,500 and that of Marie Laurencin, “Jeune Femme”, tripled the low estimate and brought in $ 45,000 with the participation of international bidders. A painting by contemporary British artist, Patrick Hughes, has found a new home on the West Coast for $ 45,000.

American Impressionism was led by Charles Courtney Curran’s “Wind on the Cliff”, a panoramic summer view from a cliff with two young women, probably the artist’s daughter and a family friend, which sold for 100 $ 000 to a private collector. The 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas was owned by the artist’s daughter, the Kaycee Benton Thompson Collection, and the Ronald Berg Collection, and on display at the New York Society of Painters in 1931, the Lotos Club Summer Exposition in 1939 and Association of Allied Artists in 1940.

Other highlights in this category include “Woman in a Silk Robe” by Frederick Carl Frieseke, which characterized her work and sold for $ 57,500, the same price as “Winter at the Library” by Guy Carleton Wiggins.

A UK buyer acquired “The Needles (Passing the Lighthouse)” from Montague Dawson for $ 93,750, exceeding his estimate of $ 60 / 80,000.

A British buyer acquired “from Montague DawsonThe needles (Passing the Lighthouse) ”for $ 93,750, exceeding his estimate of $ 60 / 80,000.

A regionalist work from the Louisiana rice fields by Thomas Hart Benton, “Rice Threshing” sold for $ 87,500. “Winter Stream” by southwestern artist Victor Higgins quadrupled the low estimate by selling for $ 40,000 to a buyer in New Mexico. The sale included three paintings by New England artist Eric Sloane, directed by “Last Hay of the Season,” a large 24 x 36 inch painting that sold for $ 47,500.

The prints were edited by Picasso’s “Le Repas Frugal”, one of the artist’s earliest printed compositions, sold for $ 100,000. “Signs,” a Robert Rauschenberg silkscreen with iconic figures from the 1960s, peaked at $ 27,500, and a group of prints commissioned for the Jimmy Carter Groundbreaking Fund was sold to a museum collection for 30,000 $.

Prices shown include buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.

Shannon’s next sale is scheduled for November 19.

Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers is at 49 Research Drive. For more information, 203-877-1711 or


Laura J. Boyer