Eldred’s, East Dennis, Massachusetts
Photos courtesy Eldred’s
Eldred’s July 28-30 three-day sale was just what a summer sale should be. Replete with Provincetown art, the sale included a group of white-line woodblock prints by artists of the Provincetown Printers, formed in 1915. Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt (1878-1955), who spent summers in Provincetown, developed the white-line print, which came to be known as the Provincetown print, but it was Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956) who was its master.
Many of the white-line woodblock prints came from the estate of Hilary Bamford (d. 2021), who arrived in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in the 1950s and became active in various civic organizations there. She was also an antiques dealer specializing in ephemera and postcards, made block print Christmas cards, and illustrated the Methodist church cookbook. For three decades, she hosted The Friday Folk Show on WOMR-FM in Provincetown.
This 1945 white-line color woodblock print, Provincetown Water Front, by Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956) is signed, dated, and inscribed “513 Number from all blocks / 4 Number from this block.” Lazzell was known to have pulled only three or four prints from each woodblock. Estimated at $35,000/45,000, the 12½" x 14½" (sight size) print realized $150,000. It came from the estate of Hilary Bamford of Provincetown, an artist and antiques dealer.
In the summer of 1918 Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956) moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts, converting an old fish house on the harbor into a studio, while spending winters in New York City and Morgantown, West Virginia. My Wharf Studio, this 1945 white-line color woodblock print, 14½" x 12½" (sight size), is inscribed “Provincetown, Mass Oct. 1945” and “511 Number from all blocks / 9 Number from this block.” Estimated at $35,000/45,000, the print realized $150,000. It came from the estate of artist and antiques dealer Hilary Bamford of Provincetown.
The peripatetic artist Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt (1878-1955), born in Sweden, arrived with his family in 1891 in Chicago, where he studied at the Art Institute. He relocated to New York in 1907 and in 1914 began spending summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he experimented with white-line printmaking. He is further associated with Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Lambertville, New Jersey. This 12" x 13" (sight size) print, The Shoregoing Sailor, was estimated at $3000/5000 and realized $87,500. It is illustrated in The Woodblock Prints of B.J.O. Nordfeldt: A Catalogue Raisonné (1991) by Fiona I. Donovan, and it came from the estate of Hilary Bamford, a Provincetown artist and antiques dealer.
Three white-line block prints achieved record prices. Two prints by Blanche Lazzell at $150,000 each (includes buyer’s premium) brought the top prices for prints. Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt’s print The Shoregoing Sailor brought an auction record price of $87,500.
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Moonlit Seascape is by Edward Henry Potthast (1857-1927), a Cincinnati-born artist who at age 12 was a charter student at the McMicken School of Drawing and Design. He later studied in Europe and settled in New York. Eldred’s staff described the consignor as “a very nice person.” Estimated at $20,000/30,000, the 20" x 23½" (sight size) oil on canvas brought $162,500.
Romanian-born French artist Demétre Haralamb Chiparus (1886-1947) created this patinated bronze figure, Egyptian Dancer, on a marble base with a bronze plaque. The figure and base are both signed, and the base is also marked “Etling Paris” for the company that sold high-quality sculpture, glass, and ceramics, including works by Chiparus. Estimated at $4000/6000 and 29¼" high overall, it realized $17,500.
Profile Portrait of an African Tribal Chief by Alexandre Evgenievich Yakovlev (1887-1938), unsigned and unframed, is dated 1925, and it sold for $100,000 (est. $10,000/15,000). In 1917 the young Russian artist was given a scholarship to study in the Far East, visiting Mongolia, China, and Japan, and between 1924 and 1925 he traveled to Africa. He was well traveled, and his art refers to those experiences. He was also the director of the painting department at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1934 to 1937. The 29" x 21½" charcoal and pastel work had been acquired from the artist’s sister Alexandra Yakovleva (1889-1979) in Paris in 1978 and came most recently from a Boston-area collection.
Kitchen Interior with Dishes Filling a Shelf by California and Massachusetts artist Peter Plamondon (1944-2020) is an evocative view of make-do shelving in old-fashioned summer houses where the dishes don’t always match. The 33" x 25" oil on canvas is signed “P.P. 78,” and it sold for $7500 (est. $500/700).
This 14¾" long earthenware platter by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Hibou Mat, is impressed on the underside “Madoura Plein Feu / Edition Picasso” and “72/100.” The platter is described as “Conceived in 1955” in the catalog, and it is number 284 in Alain Ramie’s Picasso: Catalogue of the Edited Ceramic Works, 1947-1971. The use of “72/100” is inexplicable. Estimated at $12,000/18,000 and from a Boston-area collection, the platter sold for $18,750.
Charles Green Shaw (1892-1974) painted Sunset in 1943.The signed and dated oil on board, 20½" x 24", sold for $27,500 (est. $5000/7000). The New York artist was widely traveled and trained with Frank W. Benson and George Luks. He was also a journalist and published author. The painting went from Shaw’s estate to his friend Charles H. Carpenter Jr., coauthor of The Decorative Arts and Crafts of Nantucket, and had descended in the Carpenter family. Shaw spent many summers on Nantucket.
This late 18th-/early 19th-century oil on canvas chinoiserie painting, 29" x 44¼" (sight size), centers on the arrival of a noble lord amid guards on horses and minions bowing low, with a temple and a pagoda in the background. Catalog notes indicate that it may be French and is in the style of Watteau. Estimated at $1500/2500, it sold for $46,875.
War and Peace, gilt spread-wing eagle plaques carved by Ivah W. Spinney (1879-1963) of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, were highly desirable and brought $28,750 (est. $3500/5000). Each bird measures 58" across and is signed on the back of the head. Each bird has a green-painted olive branch and three arrows. The war eagle faces right; the peace bird faces left. Spinney worked across the river from John Haley Bellamy, who worked in Kittery, Maine. Mascolo photo.
Taughannock Falls, Trumansburg, New York by Frank Anderson (1844-1891), 27½" x 20½" (sight size), signed and dated 1886, depicts falls in the Finger Lakes region. Anderson was born in Ohio but moved east to Peekskill, New York, as a very young man. The painting realized $12,500 (est. $5000/7000).
This city scene, likely of St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida, by Arthur Vidal Diehl (1870-1929) is signed and dated 1921. The London-born artist began summering in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in 1912 and was active in the community. The 25" x 15" (sight size) oil on board sold for $15,000 (est. $4000/6000).
This 30" x 25" (sight size) oil on panel portrait, Nina, by Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872-1930) carried an estimate of $15,000/20,000 and sold for $28,750. The painting came from a Cape Cod collection. Hawthorne studied in New York and Paris and spent summers in Provincetown, where he founded the Cape Cod School of Art and was a founding member of the Provincetown Art Association.
This circa 1854 oil on canvas view of Astor House, New York City’s first luxury hotel, is attributed to John William Hill (1812-1879), a London-born artist who at seven years old arrived in the U.S. with his family. Astor House was the meeting place of merchants, sea captains, and celebrities of the day. The 36" x 48" (sight size) oil on canvas sold for $17,500 (est. $3000/5000). The painting came from India House in New York City, having been donated around 1920 by James A. Farrell, president of U.S. Steel. Mascolo photo.
Tod (Raphael Leroy) Lindenmuth (1885-1976) created Along the Shore, this 13½" x 14¾" (sight size) white-line woodblock print that sold for $9375 (est. $800/1000). It came from the estate of Hilary Bamford.
In 1954 Massachusetts artist Angèle E. Myrer (1896-1970) created Wharf House,this white-line color woodblock print that sold for $9375 (est. $2500/3500). Myrer, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, studied in Washington, D.C., with Karl Knaths between 1940 and 1944, after which she headed to Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she studied with Blanche Lazzell. The 8" x 10" (sight size) print retains an exhibition label from the second jury show of the Cape Cod Art Association.
Cape Cod Patchwork Co., Inc. by Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr. (1910-1982) was commissioned by the family of the consignor in 1975. The 16" x 22" (sight size) oil on masonite was accompanied by a signed note from Cahoon to the original owner confirming the size of the work. The patchwork painting was the highlight of a group of Cahoon works. Estimated at $15,000/20,000, it sold for $43,750. Mascolo photo.
This specimen cabinet includes 30 labeled drawers each containing specimens or samples. The brass plaque is engraved “Basic Commodities of Commerce / Prepared by / The Economic Laboratories Washington Chas. R. Toothaker, Curator Philadelphia. / Presented to / The India House / James A. Farrell.”The cabinet was presented to India House in 1922 by James A. Farrell, president of U.S. Steel. The cabinet brought $20,000 (est. $1500/2500). Mascolo photo.
This portrait of the gold rush steamer Wilson G. Hunt by the self-taught twin brothers John (1815-1856) and James Bard (1815-1897) is signed “Drawn and painted by J & J Bard, NY 1849.” The 28¾" x 49½" (sight size) oil on canvas came from the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, and was sold in 2001 at Northeast Auctions, from which it entered the Kelton collection of marine art and artifacts that was offered in July 2020 at Eldred’s. The Wilson G. Hunt was built in New York for the excursion trade to Coney Island but was soon sent to San Francisco to carry gold speculators to the gold fields, and it ended its days in 1890 on Puget Sound. Estimated at $40,000/60,000, the painting realized $40,625. It is one of the last two paintings signed by both brothers.
A sailor’s valentine by Cape Cod artist Sandy Moran (1944-2020) of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, in a 29½" x 29½" case with a central portrait of an American clipper ship signed “D.M.” brought $16,250 (est. $3000/5000). It came from the estate of the artist.
Originally published in the December 2021 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2021 Maine Antique Digest