Rare decoys offered in wildlife art auction Feb. 15-16 - Antique Trader

Rare decoys offered in wildlife art auction Feb. 15-16

On Feb. 15-16, 2019, Copley Fine Art Auctions will make its annual sojourn to the Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) in Charleston, South Carolina, with their Winter Sale 2019
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Copley Fine Art Auctions heads to S.C.

Percival Leonard Rosseau (1859-1937), Perfection: Ned and Bob, oil on canvas, 18 by 14 in., Estimate: $30,000-$50,000

Percival Leonard Rosseau (1859-1937), Perfection: Ned and Bob, oil on canvas, 18 by 14 in., Estimate: $30,000-$50,000

HINGHAM, Mass. - On Friday, February 15 and Saturday, February 16, Copley Fine Art Auctions will make its annual sojourn to the Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) in Charleston, South Carolina, with their Winter Sale 2019. The sale will offer the opportunity to see and take home world-class paintings and fine bird carvings.

The auction will be held at the Charleston Marriott, located at SEWE’s bustling riverfront.

Items will be available to preview Friday, February 15 from 3-5 p.m. and Saturday, February 16 from 8–10 a.m. The live auction will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 16.

Copley's decoy specialist Colin McNair is "very excited to return to Charleston and SEWE with the Winter Sale for the 5th year. This will be the greatest decoy offering ever presented in the South.”

Lemuel T. (1896-1983) and Stephen W. (1895-1976) Ward. Estimate $125,000-$175,000

Lemuel T. (1896-1983) and Stephen W. (1895-1976) Ward. Estimate $125,000-$175,000

Rare decoys on offer

The Guennol Heron decoy

The Guennol Heron, Massachusetts, c. 1900. $30,000-$40,000

Two of the decoys are illustrated in the One Hundred Greatest book: an early Massachusetts hollow reaching curlew, circa 1850 (estimate $70,000-$80,000) and the Bishops Head wigeon drake, part of a pair ($125,000-$175,000), by celebrated bird carvers Lemuel T. and Stephen Ward, carved circa 1928. Additionally other early and important Ward Brothers decoys will grace this auction. The decoy session has an impressive line-up of Southern decoys, from Virginia to the Carolinas.

Since their introduction to the marketplace in 2007, the seven pintails from Kankakee Marsh are regarded as one of the most important decoy discoveries of the century. This year’s Winter Sale will feature one of the masterworks from the rig ($75,000-$95,000).

The Humbracht standing goose by Charles S. Schoenheider, Sr. of Peoria, Illinois, is another exciting offering ($100,000-$125,000). 

High-Head Kankakee Pintail Hen Herman R. Trinosky (1874-1956) Rig $75,000-$95,000

High-Head Kankakee Pintail HenHerman R. Trinosky (1874-1956) Rig$75,000-$95,000

The Holly family is best known as the originators of the Havre de Grace Style of decoy carving. This year’s auction will feature The Gifford Holly swan ($65,000-$85,000). Most consider the form of these early swans to be the finest from any region. There are only five documented examples of these birds, with two in museums, carved by either John “Daddy” Holly or, his son, James T. Holly. This gunning decoy captures the nuances of the species with highly refined bill carving and a graceful neck that flows to a pronounced breast, creating an “S” curve.

A life-size wading heron ($30,000-$40,000) hails from the Guennol Collection, built by Alastair B. Martin (1915–2010). The Guennol Collection was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969.

A dropped-wing sandpiper by famed Massachusetts carver A. Elmer Crowell, also from the Guennol Collection, is sure to turn some heads ($50,000-$70,000).

Significant American wildlife paintings

The paintings are led by a significant work by noted wildlife artist Bob F. Kuhn, Running Wild, a tranquil scene of white-tail deer bounding through a vibrant landscape with contrasting darks and lights. Running Wild relates closely to Firestorm, the record-setting piece by Kuhn which sold for $657,000. Running Wild is similar in size, shape, and scope to this record work ($100,000-$200,000).

Bob F. Kuhn (1920-2007), Running Wild, oil on masonite, 20 by 42 in., Estimate: $100,000-$200,000

Bob F. Kuhn (1920-2007), Running Wild, oil on masonite, 20 by 42 in., Estimate: $100,000-$200,000

An 1879 oil painting of deer by A. F. Tait titled Wide Awake, Raquette Lake will be included in the sale ($60,000-$70,000). Leading the works on paper on offer is a Havell-edition print by John James Audubon from his Birds of America set depicting Ruffed Grouse ($50,000-$60,000).

Walter T. Matia (b. 1953), Setter Pair, bronze, 11 3/4 by 15 3/4 by 7 in., Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

Walter T. Matia (b. 1953), Setter Pair, bronze, 11 3/4 by 15 3/4 by 7 in., Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

Other important paintings and works on paper slated for the sale include several quintessential hunting dog oils, such as Perfection by Percival Rosseau ($30,000-$50,000). This stunning painting depicts two dogs, Ned and Bob, owned by industrialist and sportsman Samuel G. Allen. Ned, a black and white setter, is featured in a 1920 Country Life article about shooting bobwhite quail in North Carolina by James Boyd. Allen, who commissioned the painting, moved in the same Pinehurst and Overhills, North Carolina, hunting circles as Percy Rockefeller and was an important figure in dog show and field trial history.

Sporting dogs in art

Three works depicting sporting dogs by Edmund Osthaus will be included. On Point, a commanding work featuring two setters and a pointer, was once in the collection of Benjamin D. Phillips, an oil and gas industrialist from Pennsylvania ($30,000-$50,000). A Fine Pair, an oil depicting two setters in an autumnal landscape($20,000-$30,000), joins with an exceptional watercolor portrait of Uncle Sam, the 1904 U.S. Field Trials Club champion ($5,000-$7,000).

The Gifford Holly Swan John "Daddy" Holly (1818-1892) or James T. Holly (1855-1935) $65,000-$85,000

The Gifford Holly SwanJohn "Daddy" Holly (1818-1892) or James T. Holly (1855-1935)$65,000-$85,000

Other exemplary works by sporting art masters include Robert K. Abbett’s 1983 depiction of quail hunting, Shooting at Riverview ($20,000-$30,000), a fine salmon fishing watercolor by Ogden M. Pleissner ($14,000-$18,000), Mallards Lighting In, a duck hunting watercolor by Aiden Lassell Ripley ($30,000-$40,000), and the classic upland hunting scene Woodcock by the Stream, also by Ripley ($20,000-$30,000).

Paintings and works on paper will cross the block by Lynn Bogue Hunt, John Whorf, John Swan, Milton C. Weiler, Frank W. Benson, Carl Rungius, and ornithological painter Francis Lee Jaques, among others.

Additionally, a number of bronzes from noted contemporary artist Walter Matia will be available, as well as new works from Chet Reneson, Ewoud de Groot, Luke Frazier, and Nicholas Coleman, among several others. 

About Copley Fine Art Auctions

Early Hollow Reaching Curlew Massachusetts, c. 1850 $70,000-$80,000

Early Hollow Reaching CurlewMassachusetts, c. 1850$70,000-$80,000

For over a decade, Copley’s auctions have led the fields of sporting art and decoys with first-rate offerings and strong results. The firm’s successes in these fields are in large part due to its in-depth research, cataloging, and accurate reporting. Copley’s database, with over 10,000 objects, is the largest and most accurate resource of its kind available to the public. The ability to use this powerful tool gives buyers and sellers alike the confidence to participate in the market at the highest level.

Catalogs can be ordered at copleyart.com. Telephone and absentee bidding is available, and online bidding will be offered through Bidsquare and the sporting art industry’s first app, Copley Live. For more information, call 617-536-0030 or email info@copleyart.com.

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