California, American fine art results show no signs of slowing

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PASADENA, Calif. — John Moran Auctioneers realized $204,000 for a stunning landscape by California Impressionist John Frost (1890-1937) at their Oct. 19, 2010, California and American Fine Art Auction (all prices include 20 percent buyer’s premium). “San Gabriel Valley” painted at the height of Frost’s career in 1923, received high praise from critics when it was exhibited at several shows shortly after its completion. Offered at auction with an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000, its high quality was again recognized as several competing bidders drove the final sale price up to a new second-place record for the artist and made it the top lot of the sale.

Interest in the sale was generally high, with several hundred bidders registered from across the country, including many bidding online. Sale Director Katie Halligan was “delighted with the results. As usual, the works that buyers found most appealing were those with impeccable provenance arriving fresh from private collections.”

Among the other lots that sold well above the high estimates were works by other Los Angeles artists for whom Moran’s has held a large portion of market share for more than three decades: a hillside scene by Elmer Wachtel (1864-1929), “Ojai Valley,” that realized $31,250 (estimate $15,000-$20,000); a Paul de Longpre (1855-1911) watercolor of apple blossoms and violets with bumblebees that realized $27,500 (estimate $8,000-$12,000); and a Brittany boats scene by Edgar Payne (1883-1947) that earned $42,000 (estimate $20,000-$30,000). All three were classic, highly desirable examples of the artists’ work.

Also outperforming presale estimates were several smaller works. A graceful pair of bronze bookends depicting angels by Julia Bracken Wendt (1871-1942) realized $4,200 (estimate $1,500-$2,000) and a picturesque scene of a Chinese pewter shop with figures by Elizabeth Keith (1887-1956) brought $3,300 (estimate $1,500-$2,000). A Maurice Braun (1877-1941) eucalyptus landscape measuring 6 inches by 9 inches brought $7,800 (estimate $4,000-$6,000) and a serene Cornelis Botke (1887-1954) oil of cows in a hilly landscape, one of a collection of works by Cornelis and Jessie Arms Botke from the estate of a longtime friend of the artists, realized $5,400 (estimate $1,500-$2,000).

Western works were highlighted by a delightful and very technically accomplished Gustave Baumann (1881-1971) print, “Hopi Katzinas,” that sold to a phone bidder for $13,200 (estimate $8,000-$10,000).

John Moran Auctioneers’ next California and American Fine Art Auction is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2011. Consignments for that sale are now invited. Moran’s is pleased to announce that works already consigned to that sale include a scene of a village glimpsed through trees by Monterey, Calif., artist E. Charlton Fortune (1885-1969), which will be offered with an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000.

Moran’s next Antiques and Decorative Arts Auction is scheduled for Nov. 30, 2010 and will feature 250 lots of fine and costume jewelry. All sales are conducted at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif., and bidding is available from the floor, by telephone, absentee or online at

For more information, or to view catalogs and prices realized, visit, call 626-793-1833, or e-mail ?


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