ST. LOUIS – An oil painting by Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) sold for $2.5 million at the Sept. 15-17 sale conducted by Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers. The price includes a buyer’s premium of 18 percent up to $100,000 and 10 percent thereafter.
The Old Mill was commissioned in 1852 for $150, and was sold at auction in 1877 for $700. The painting measures 17-1/2 inches by 25-1/2 inches.
It was painted shortly after Church left the side of his mentor, Thomas Cole, when he was 26 years old. Two important elements of this painting, the mill house and the broken Gum tree in the foreground, can be directly traced to field sketches from 1847-48. The mill house depicted in the landscape was located in the Catskills, yet the surrounding scene is New England, making this a composed landscape, the sort of arrangement seen repeatedly in Church’s work. The property of a St. Louis collector, it had been in the same family and had not been publicly exhibited since the 1930s.
An oil painting depicting American Indians seated by a campfire by Eanger Irving Couse brought $173,000. The Sugaring, Vermont, by Emile Gruppe, sold for $16,520. Gruppe’s Morning Light, Gloucester Harbor fetched $18,880.
An Italian 19th-century micro mosaic of the Coliseum, measuring 18-1/4 inches by 28-1/2 inches, sold to a floor bidder for $71,980. A micro mosaic of St. Peters Square sold for $21,240.
A “Grand Tour” micro mosaic plaque depicting the Coliseum sold for $71,980.
A mid- to late-17th-century signed Aubusson tapestry, depicting Moses and his brother Aaron, exceeded its pre-sale estimate to sell for $31,860.
A diamond and platinum ring centering an oval diamond weighing 6.82 carats sold for $101,480 to a West Coast telephone bidder. A diamond Art Deco bracelet weighing 4.45 carats sold to an East Coast phone bidder for $24,780.
Ivey-Selkirk is now accepting consignments for its Modernism Auction and Winter Gallery Auction. Call 314-726-5515 or 800-728-8002 for further information, or visit www.iveyselkirk.com.