LITCHFIELD, Conn. – A pair of oil on canvas paintings by the prolific and gifted Korean artist Kim Heung Sou (b. 1919) sold for a combined $52,500 in an Internet and catalog auction held April 14-28 by Litchfield County Auctions (www.LitchfieldCountyAuctions.com). One work was the top lot of the sale: Head of a Young Girl Amid Triangular Shapes ($43,200).
The other was titled Abstract Head. Both paintings were executed with heavy impasto and, as their titles imply, each was a depiction of a head. Both were signed by the artist. The paintings were two of the 744 lots that changed hands out of 944 offered. The successful lots carried a presale estimate of about $350,000 to $550,000 and ended up bringing around $600,000.
A $50,000 tag sale lifted the sale’s total gross to $650,000. Internet bidding was facilitated by iGavelauctions.com.
The merchandise came from a variety of prominent estates and collections in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Categories included modern paintings and prints, modern design (furniture and decorations), antiquities and Asian art and antiques. The sale was preceded by a 5-day gallery exhibition and accompanying tag sale, a preview party and two-week online preview.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
The sale’s second top achiever was a pair of 18th- or 19th-century carved stone outdoor planters that rose to $16,800. The smaller planter depicted a sarcophagus on the front with raised serpents and featured Latin text, claw feet and a mysterious date of 1559. The other was rectangular with a Medusa form head in the center flanked by centaur figures on the front.
Otherwise, fine art dominated the list of top earners. A group of four oil on canvas board or Masonite portraits of children by Raymond Kanelba (Pol., 1897-1960) topped out at $14,647. Most were signed by the artist. Another work by Kanelba, Portrait of Lisa Hoffman, an oil on canvas, made $7,800. Also, Spring Blossoms by Eric Sloane (Am., 1905-1988) realized $7,800.
An oil on board work by John Geoffrey Caruthers Little (Can., b. 1928), titled Hotel De Ville St. Montreal, signed and dated (1959), went for $7,200; a watercolor, pastel and gouache and collage painting by John Piper (Eng., 1903-1992), titled Foliate Head, garnered $5,653; and an ink, watercolor and pastel on paper by Reginald Marsh (Am., 1898-1954) breezed to $5,460.
An Egyptian mummy shroud from Dynasty 26 (circa 600 B.C.), made of cartonnage and linen, with the winged sky goddess Nut and the Four Sons of Horus, with inscriptions from the Book of the Dead, framed, fetched $6,420. Also, a large group of 60 Roman intaglio gemstones from the 2nd century A.D., mainly carnelian, plus four from later periods, commanded $6,120.
An amorphous figural sliding coffee table in the form of two lovers by Philip and Kevin Lavern (circa mid-20th century), wood with bronze metal facing and signed on the top (1962), demanded $6,300; and a Modernist rosewood marble-top credenza from the mid-20th century by Florence Knoll, with a white marble top that lifts off and four stacks of drawers, rose to $4,980.
A Spratling Mexican sterling silver water pitcher, probably made in the 20th century and of a bulbous form, with applied 10-lobed floral decoration and ribbon handle with ruffled accents, realized $4,357.
A lot of two large cameo glass vases, both signed Galle (French, circa early 20th century), one with grapevine decoration in purple and amber and the other with leafy vine in purple over yellow ground, both signed “Galle” near the bottom, sold for $4,920; and a Tiffany Studios patinated bronze table lamp base (New York, circa early 20th century), stamped, made $4,794.
Returning to artwork, a set of 12 signed posters and lithographs by the noted African-American artist Romare Beardon (1911-1988), each showing four figures in profile, went to a determined bidder for $5,160. The set comprised two color lithographs (numbered 11/150 and 63/150), two metallic posters for the International Play Group and 8 unsigned color lithographs.
Rounding out the auction’s top lots, a mid-20th century walnut double dresser by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, featuring four large drawers plus four smaller ones and brass and rosewood pulls, brought $4,320; and two Art Deco-style carved wood figural wall ornaments of two women wearing pleated robes (circa 20th century), made from light-toned wood, hit $3,854.
Litchfield County Auctions is now collecting property for their summer sale (which goes online from June 30-July 14). In particular, the firm is actively seeking American and European furnishings and decorations; Old Master and Impressionist works of art; paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures; books, maps, ephemera and historical documents; and folk art works.
For more information on Litchfield County Auctions, visit www.LitchfieldCountyAuctions.com.
Photos courtesy Litchfield County Auctions.
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