Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Copake Auction
COPAKE, N.Y. – More often than not, estate auctions featuring items across multiple categories will see strengths in just a few categories. That was not the case at Copake Auction’s March 19 unreserved estate auction, in which top lots in folk art, dolls, pewter, contemporary art, quilts, Asian antiques, fine art, maps and furniture all figured in the auction’s top dozen lots. The sale, which offered 782 lots, included 81 from the Myron & Carolyn Neugeboren Collection. It was the third sale in which Copake has sold works from the Lakeville, Conn., collectors. Mike Fallon said the Neugeboren Collection had been “very well received” and would be offered in two additional auctions.
With more than 3,000 absentee bids and more than 1,500 watching and bidding online during the sale, nearly 97 percent of the lots were offered successfully from the podium.
Achieving the sale’s top price of $3,375 was an 87-inch-tall Native American cigar store figure, made by contemporary folk artist Gil Russell. Russell’s works have been included in both previous sessions of the Neugeboren’s collection, including this figure, which had realized $2,040 when it was offered in the first session. Reoffered with the same $800-$1,200 estimate, its result this time around belies the theory that reoffered lots bring less. There were an even dozen lots by Russell in the sale, achieving prices from $108 to $870.
A surprise result came in a doll lot, featuring stuffed folk art dolls, a miniature cradle, wool mittens and child’s gloves, that had been estimated at $50/100 but attracted enough interest from bidders that it sold for $2,640. It was the second highest price in the sale. It was one of only about 30 lots of dolls, toys and bears in the auction.
Less than a dozen lots of pewter crossed the block but a desk set that measured about 8 by 8 by 8½ inches, and carried an estimate of $50/75, stunned with a final price of $2,520.
A notably strong category was quilts, with nearly two dozen on offer, 12 of which were from the Neugeboren collection. All of the quilts from the Neugeboren’s were Nineteenth Century examples, with an 88-by-88-inch appliqued example featuring patriotic flags and stars in the corners and stitched “The Flag Of Our Union 1852″ bringing the category’s highest price of $1,560. A Pennsylvania salmon pink and green geometric sawtooth example brought $1,440, just ahead of a similar example in red and white, at $1,320.
Despite a relatively small category – just 29 lots – Asian Art & Antiques was led by a ten-piece group of Asian ceramics, estimated at just $50/100, that attracted enough interest to finish at $1,200. The lot was diverse in content and included a tall baluster vase with floral and bird decoration, a pair of foo dogs and two pairs of small vases, one pair in oxblood red, the other in a yellow-green, and a charger with blue and white decoration.
For fine art, the top price of $2,040 was realized by an untitled abstract work in oil on canvas by California and Chinese painter, George Chann (1913-1995), just over the low estimate. An unattributed oil on wood panel circus scene, 15½ by 19½ inches, flew above expectations to land on its feet at $1,200.
Furniture highlights included a two-piece set of circa 1940s rattan seating furniture, appropriate for Spring, at $1,140.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
Copake Auctions’ next estate auction is scheduled for May 7, and the firm’s Bicycle & Transportation auction on October 15.
For additional information, www.copakeauction.com or 518-329-1142.