Bronze buffalo sets artist’s record at $276K

Elk Buffalo bronze

Henry Merwin Shrady, “Elk Buffalo,” cast bronze, $276,000. (All photos courtesy Eldred’s)

EAST DENNIS, Mass. – A bronze by early 20th century American artist Henry Merwin Shrady sold for $276,000, the highest price ever realized for the artist, providing an exciting climax to Eldred’s two-day Americana, Paintings & Sporting Art Auction, conducted April 3-4, 2015.

Shrady’s “Elk Buffalo” was consigned to Eldred’s from a private collection in southeastern Massachusetts, having descended in the family of the consignor since the 1950s. The sculpture far exceed its presale estimate of $30,000-$50,000 and besting Shrady’s former world record by nearly $33,000.

An A.E. Crowell early yellowlegs carving, descended in the family of the original owner, who hunted with Crowell on Cape Cod, was the first big seller of the day, bringing in $21,600. Other highlights from Friday’s session include a Henry rifle, which more than doubled its presale estimate of $12,000-$15,000, selling for $39,000, and an expansive fox hunting scene, “Green Spring Hounds,” by Trafford Partridge Klots, which sold for $10,800 on a $1,000-$2,000 estimate.

A private Massachusetts collection of works by illustration artist Charles W. Hargens Jr., mostly Western cowboy scenes, sold above estimate, earning a total of $33,647 for the 13 lots.

Saturday’s auction session started with a spirited bidding war on the first lot of the day: a circa 1886 sand art bottle by Iowa’s Andrew Clemens, finally selling for $32,400. The bottle, which featured a bald eagle clutching an American flag, was created with naturally colored grains of sand, painstakingly arranged with rudimentary wire and wood tools. Although Clemens was prolific within his lifetime and produced hundreds of these bottles, it’s estimated only about 50 remain intact.

A mid-19th century sea chest with a painted inscription from presumably its original owner, William Swain of Orleans, Massachusetts, surrounded by charming heart, moon and star decoration, sold for $8,400. A gold-plated cane marked “Daniel Webster Amesbury Mass.” sold for $1,680, and a New England Chippendale bureau with corner fan inlay sold for $2,375.

Other notable prices realized on furniture lots include $7,800 for a Chippendale birdcage tea table, $7,200 for New England Queen Anne highboy, and $5,100 for an

sand art bottle

Andrew Clemens sand art bottle, $32,400.

Early 19th century Southeastern Massachusetts blanket chest with an exceptional grain-painted finish.

Paintings continued to be a strong sales category for the firm. Works by E.E. Finch, Charles Francois Daubigny, Guy Carleton Wiggins, Antonio Maria Blanco and John Whorf all sold within or above estimates. “Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,” a commissioned Ralph E. Cahoon, Jr. painting, sold within estimate for $51,000.

Other highlights from the sale include an Audubon elephant folio “Pileated Woodpecker,” which sold for $18,000; a circa 1800 Connecticut tall-case clock, which sold for $9,000; and a Gershom Jones pewter tankard, which sold for $5,700.

The auction took place at the company’s main facility, located at 1483 Route 6A, in East Dennis, Massachusetts. Call 508-385-3116, email cheryl@eldreds.com or visit www.eldreds.com for more information.

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