Artwork Sales Total $846,150 with 12 Paintings Sold
NEW YORK – Three more paintings from the James Prendegast Library Art Collection sold at auction on Tuesday, Nov. 21, but six others that were also up for sale didn’t receive a single bid.
According to the Sotheby’s website, the three paintings that sold (listed at the end of this report) as part of the European artists auction had a combined hammer price of $507,750. The three had an estimated value between $480,000 to $715,000.
The top selling painting was Giovanni Boldini’s In the Garden, which had a hammer price of $399,000. It was estimated to be worth between $400,000 and $600,000.
The art sale is part of the Library’s effort to auction off its $1.17 million classic art collection.
In addition the three paintings that sold on Tuesday, six others didn’t sell. They were:
- Charles Victor Thirion’s Paysanne de la Creause, estimated value of $50,000 to $70,000;
- Jules Joseph Lefebvre’s Fatima, estimated value of $60,000 to $80,000;
- Jehan Georges Vibert’s Le Nouveau Commis, estimated value of $30,000 to $40,000;
- Emilio Sánchez Perrier’s Environs de Tanger, estimated value of $80,000 to $120,000;
- Martín Rico y Ortega’s Ponte Dell’Angelo, estimated value of $80,000 to $120,000;
- Johann Mari Henri ten Kate’s Behind the Ramparts, estimated value of $50,000 to $70,000.
Following the auction on Tuesday, library board president Tom Rankin told WRFA that it was disappointing the six paintings didn’t sell at auction. He said that the library went with a reserve price for each of the paintings that was recommended by Sotheby’s, and the high reserve may have been what prevented the pieces from being sold.
Rankin said that the board will discuss what to do with the paintings that didn’t sell at auction during a special board meeting, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m. That meeting is open to the public. He adds that when the board acted on selling the artwork earlier this year, the approved resolution stated that the sale must be done through auction.
The library has been faced with financial challenges in recent years due to a decline in donations from the community, as well as a reduction in aid from the city of Jamestown. In response, the library board made the decision to auction the vast majority of pieces in its art collection. That decision was meant with opposition by some members of the community, who felt the classic artwork should remain in Jamestown for the community to appreciate, as was the intent when the collection was first put together more than a century ago.
This past summer, the New York State Attorney General’s office granted permission to the library to deaccession and sell the collection, but only if done through auction.
In October, six other pieces sold at a Sotheby’s auction for a combined hammer price of $328,500. Before auction, the total estimated value of those six paintings was $55,200-$85,800. Three other paintings also sold in October at Stair Galleries with a final total hammer price of $9,900.
So far, 12 paintings have been sold since the library board voted earlier this year to auction off the art collection. The total hammer price for the nine paintings is $846,150, although a large portion of that total comes from the sale of two paintings – Boldini’s In the Garden (which, as listed above, sold for $399,000) and Jasper Cropsey’s Lake George, which sold for $275,000 on Oct. 6. Combined, the two paintings brought in $674,000.
Library officials have said that any funding from the artwork auctions will be applied to the library’s endowment fund, rather than it’s general operating budget, despite there being a budget gap for 2018 due to a proposal by the city to reduce library aid by $50,000. That reduction has yet to be finalized by city council and library officials are hoping the council will restore the cut before approving a final spending plan for the city, which is due by Dec. 1.
More than a dozen other paintings from the collection will also go to auction early next year. That will feature “Old Master and 19th Century European Art”pieces and is slated to take place on Feb. 1, 2018.
PRENDERGAST PAINTINGS SOLD AT AUCTION
Nov. 21, 2017 Sotheby’s Auction
Giovanni Boldini – IN THE GARDEN
Estimate $400,000 — 600,000
Sold for 399,000
Alfred Stevens – LA NEIGE
Estimate $70,000 — 100,000
Sold for 68,750
Anton Mauve – CARTING THE LOG
Estimate $10,000 — 15,000
Sold for $40,000
Oct. 28, 2017 Stair Galleries Auction
Otton Von Thoren – THE RELAY
Sold for $5,000
Walter Gay – AFTER THE HUNT
Estimate $ 5,000-10,000
Sold for $4,000
Douglas Duder – EAST RIVER
Estimate $ 800-1,200
Sold for $900
October 6, 2017 Sotheby’s Auction
Jasper Francis Cropsey – LAKE GEORGE
Estimate: $30,000 — 50,000
Hammer Price: $275,000
Chauncey Foster Ryder – CAMEL’S HUMP
Estimate $3,000 – 5,000
Hammer Price: $16,250
William Trost Richards –EBBING TIDE
Estimate $15,000 — 20,000
Hammer Price: $15,000
Chauncey Foster Ryder – SNOW IN NOVEMBER
Estimate $3,000 — 5,000
Hammer Price: $11,875
John Francis Murphy – THE DAY IS DONE
Estimate $1,200 — 1,800
Hammer Price: $5,625
Charles Warren Eaton – AN OCTOBER SUNSET
Estimate $3,000 — 4,000
Hammer Price: $4,750