Regional art sells well at Cowan’s fall auction

Cowan’s kicked off the Fall Fine and Decorative Art Auction on Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, with an offering of Cincinnati and other regional art in a 60-minute session. The showroom was filled with hungry collectors ready to bid on exceptional regional art. Kentucky Landscape, a splendid example of Midwestern art by well-known Kentucky artist Paul Sawyier, sold for $8,225. The three-day sale total prices realized amounted to $901,440. Prices include 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

“We were thrilled with the local turnout for our sale on Friday night that featured so many great Cincinnati and regional works of art,” commented Graydon Sikes, the head of the paintings and prints department at Cowan’s. “Despite current financial uncertainties, the strong works by well known artists continue to sell.”

American artists also fared well on the auction block. An oil painting called Patriotic Civil War Memorial by Howard Chandler Christy more than tripled its pre-auction estimate to sell for $38,775. The painting showcases both Union and Confederate troops along with Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

Five charming paintings by American artist Charles Wysocki garnered considerable interest that led to very competitive bidding. The top two paintings, I’ll Be Counting the Days Captain Sweetheart and Country Race, each sold for $9,400.

Regional folk art did especially well during the three- day sale. A pair of folk art portraits attributed to Zedekiah Belknap sold for $11,750 and a Kentucky portrait of Iredell Davie by J.T. Poindexter went for $12,925. Amongst the success of folk art, it was a pair of yellowleg shorebird decoys from the early 20th century that really nabbed the attention of bidders. Estimated to sell for $500-$700, their final price quickly shot up to garner $5,581. An unusual scrimshaw violin with its original case saw $3,818; an 18th century crewel work pocket, found in Mason County, Ky., brought $1,997; and a pair of 1849 Pennsylvania samplers by sisters garnered $7,050.

Period American furniture proved to be a great value. A mahogany bow front chest of drawers most likely from Rhode Island fetched $1,527 and a classical carved three-part dining table brought in $7,050. An Ohio Luman Watson tall case clock brought $11,162, and a Federal curly maple Testor bed sold for $3,760.

“Buyers are recognizing the great value in antique furniture,” noted Diane Wachs, director of the fine and decorative art at Cowan’s Auctions. “What we are seeing are new, young buyers and budding collectors, picking up great antique pieces at affordable prices. They are buying their heirlooms of tomorrow.”

The next fine and decorative art sale is slotted for Febuary 2009. For information, call 513-871-1670 or e-mail