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California and Western Paintings Auction

Alice kaufman | August 7th, 2013


Wind-swept Pines (15" x 18") by Guy Rose brought the auction’s highest price, $374,500 (est. $150,000/250,000). Prior to this auction, it had been bought “long ago, and has been in a private collection on the East Coast,” said Bastian. “It has been essentially untouched, and Rose continues to be the most important California Impressionist, and this price reflected that. We had all our ducks in a row for this: good condition, a nonaggressive estimate, and rarity.”

Bonhams, San Francisco, California

Photos courtesy Bonhams

Bonhams American paintings specialist Aaron Bastian, who is Scot Levitt’s San Francisco counterpart, said that he and Levitt were “quite pleased, actually” with the results of their August 7 auction of California and Western paintings and sculpture simulcast in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

 “This was a smaller sale than we usually have, but it was nicely curated, and we had a better sell-through rate, about eighty percent. For this auction, we focused on the same things as always—condition and conservative estimates, with rarity trumping all of that,” said Bastian.

All listed sales prices include buyers’ premiums. For more information, contact Aaron Bastian at (415) 503-3241 or check the Web site (www.bonhams.com).

A Center Club painting with “dramatic composition,” Moonrise Beyond the Bay, 1903, 26" x 48", by Granville Redmond sold to a southern California collector for $80,500 (est. $40,000/60,000).

This picture of southern California, Portal, Mission San Gabriel, 1919, 12" x 16", by Alson Skinner Clark sold for $32,500 (est. $12,000/16,000) to a northern California collector.

Edgar Payne’s Canyon Mission Viejo, Capistrano (24" x 28") sold to a California dealer for $68,500 (est. $35,000/55,000).

“A dramatic picture for this artist,” View along the San Gabriel Valley (29" x 45") by Elmer Wachtel sold for $40,000 (est. $20,000/30,000). The buyer was a “very happy” southern California collector. Bastian thought the painting would have done better had it been smaller, but the buyer “has plenty of room on the wall.”

Granville Redmond’s Rocky Point, Laguna (22" x 30") sold to a private collector from a western state for $96,100 (est. $70,000/90,000). Bastian said, “With Guy Rose and E. Charlton Fortune, Redmond is one of our top three California Impressionists. And Edgar Payne and William Wendt would have to be in that conversation. This painting had quite an impact at the preview, and it has an extensive exhibition history.”

Maynard Dixon’s Desert Hills, Nevada, 1935, 9¾" x 13½", sold to a northern California collector for $37,500 (est. $15,000/25,000). Bastian calls Dixon “Mr. Recession-proof” because his works attract “both Western and California collectors, giving us a bigger pool of collectors to draw on.”

Portrait of a Young Girl in Blue (16¾" x 13¾") by Joseph Raphael sold to a northern California collector for $32,500 (est. $15,000/20,000). Bastian said, “Raphael’s market has been soft, but still strong for good things. The painting is from a collection in the Netherlands. There was a lot of interest from many bidders, which surprised us.”


Originally published in the December 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest

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