Dixie Selden's A Pottery Vendor is Top Seller in October American Scene Auction
Cowan’s Auctions continued to hone its Americana market by presenting the American Scene Auction on October 9, 2010. Keeping Continental and Asian items to a separate, focused sale, the American Scene featured all things American - furniture, paintings, textiles and folk art, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. The 686-lot sale had total proceeds surpassing $520,000 and attracted over 400 bidders from 32 states and bidders from nine countries.
The highest selling lot of the auction was an oil painting by Dixie Selden titled The Pottery Vendor. The painting was estimated at $30,000 /50,000 and realized $36,250. Cincinnati, Ohio, native Selden, at the age of twenty-six, dedicated her life to working as a professional artist and stayed committed to her art, exhibiting at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Pennsylvania Academy. Cowan’s previously sold a Selden painting for the artist’s record of $62,100.
The sale's second-highest selling lot was an Andrew Clemens Sand Bottle inscribed to “Ella." The bottle more than doubled its $3,000/5,000 estimate, selling for $12,925. Clemens, a deaf mute who was dubbed “the portrait painter without a brush or paint," died in 1894. Cowan's has sold several of Clemens' bottles for outstanding prices.
Paintings prevailed as a North Carolina logging scene by Glen Tracy, oil on canvas, fetched $11,162.50, bringing twice as much as its estimate of $3,000/5,000. A Harbor Scene by William M. Halsey realized $3,525, surpassing its pre-auction estimate of $2,000/3,000., and 19th century portrait of A Pony and Terrier by German artist Emil Volkers realized $4,700.
An E.& D. Kinsey (Cincinnati, Ohio) Coin Silver Presentation pitcher brought more than its pre-auction estimate of $3,000/4,000, selling for $4,406. The pitcher’s presentation engraving, dedicated to a Cincinnati educator, was surmounted by an engraved eagle flanked by two American flags.
A Thomas Revere Coin Silver Spoon surpassed its estimate of $600/800, selling for $1,410. Thomas, the younger brother of Paul Revere, apprenticed under his later famous brother until 1752 when he moved to Boston to practice independently as a silversmith.
A Shaker Clothes Press sold just above its pre-auction estimate of $2,000, hammering down at $2,468. A graduated stack of Shaker boxes realized $3,900, quadrupling its pre-auction estimate of $500/1,000.
Additional items that greatly surpassed their estimates include a Gothic Mahogany Revival Tester Bed that sold for $5,581, over its $2,500/3,500 estimate; and a Late Classical Cherry Bed, which sold for $4,993.75 over its $1,200/2,000 estimate.
Consignments are currently being accepted for Cowan's upcoming Fine and Decorative Art sales, including the next American Scene Auction to be held in May 2011.