Audubon’s Birds of America copy flies to $10,575 at Cowan’s auction
A seven volume copy of Audubon’s ‘most valuable auctioned published book’ starred in this US sale
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 11 October 2011
Cowan's October 8 Fall Fine and Decorative Art Auction was a strong sale with 929 bidders from fifteen countries competing for lots over the phone, on the floor, and online.
The 418-lot sale, held at Cowan's salesroom, offered fine and decorative art items from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
The sale featured American folk art, furniture, decorative arts, and paintings, as well as Asian and Continental works.
Highlights of the sale included a Regina Music Box, and a Painting by Elizabeth Nourse, titled French Cathedral.
The sell-through rate was 82%. Of the winning bidders, 39% were floor bidders, 27% phone bidders, 23% online bidders and 12% absentee bidders.
The highest selling lot in the sale was an 18th Century Wood Carved Relief of the Goddess Minerva, estimated at $300/500 and which realised $58,750.
This finely carved relief depicts Minerva standing on a plinth, surrounded by foliage, all housed in a glass frame with the inscription "J. Bozanico sculpteur die Roi/ex Turin" on its verso.
A Fine Exhibition Model Champion Workplow sold for $10,200. The workplow was made in Springfield, Ohio by the Champion Machine Company.
A three-quarter model of carved rosewood, the plow was intended to exonerate the machine advancements of the Champion Company's chilled plow.
Meanwhile, a Seven-Volume Set by John James Audubon titled, The Birds of America realised $10,575. This is a seven volume set of drawings made in the United States and its territories. It also includes 500 lithographic plates with tissue covers.
Audubon's eagle has again landed... A sketch from The Birds of America
A complete set of the original edition sold for $11.6m at auction in December, 2010 achieving a new World Record price for a printed book sold at auction - the highest price paid for a published book.
Bonhams is set to auction another of Audubon's great works on October 18 in New York, Quadrupeds of North America.
A Painting by Elizabeth Nourse sold within its estimate of $20,000/30,000 and realised $19,387. Titled French Cathedral, the painting is signed and dated with the artist's name and her title on verso.
Elizabeth Nourse was a portrait and a landscape painter born in Cincinnati in 1859. Some of her works can be seen at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
A Demetre Chiparus Amis de Toujours Bronze surpassed its estimate of $8,000/12,000 and realised $18,800. The bronze depicts a figure of an Art Moderne woman with an ivory face and hands, flanked by Irish wolfhounds and mounted on a marble base.
"Overall we were very pleased. Some pockets in the market are still soft, but we had some exceptional surprises, such as the Demetre Chiparus, the Wood Carved Relief of the Goddess Minerva and paintings by Kentucky artists," said Diane Wachs, Director of Fine and Decorative Art.
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