Paintings and Prints for Copley Fine Art Auction

. June 27, 2010

Copley Fine Art Auctions will conduct an auction of sporting art, decoys, fishing collectibles and other related folk art on July 22nd and 23rd in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Last year’s auction grossed over $4.1 million in sales, and the 2010 sale aims to build on Copley’s fine tradition of achievement. Headlining the sale is a remarkable collection of five oil paintings by Carl Rungius put together by New England sportsman and business magnate H. Wendell Endicott. These paintings, including Humpback Grizzly ($300/500,000) and “Near Summit Lake, British Columbia” ($200/400,000), hung on the walls of his Gun Room Library at the Endicott House, now part of MIT, in Dedham, Mass. for over sixty years.

The sale will also feature the sporting art collection of the late Thomas W. Sheppard, which is one of the most important compilations of sporting art to come to the market in recent years. It is headlined by an outstanding Ogden M. Pleissner watercolor, “Early Morning” ($50/70,000), and a signature A. Lassell Ripley salmon fishing watercolor of the Miramichi River titled “The Rock in the River” ($40/60,000). The Sheppard Collection is rounded out by an excellent selection of works by contemporary sporting artists such as Brett J. Smith, including his oil painting “Duck Storm” ($8/12,000) and top-notch works from Thomas Aquinas Daly, Luke Frazier, Chet Reneson, Arthur Shilstone, and John Swan.

The July sale includes a notable collection of bird art by a number of leading British artists. Nineteen original watercolors by Archibald Thorburn will be offered, a number of which were created as illustrations for Lord Lilford’s 1897 publication “Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Islands” will be offered ($3/6,000; $10/20,000). Other British artists are well represented, with three works by Sir Peter Scott available, in addition to a watercolor of godwits by C.F. Tunnicliffe ($8/12,000), and signature works by George E. Lodge, William Hollywood, and Colin W. Burns.

Important works from the Bowman Gray collection include an oil painting by N.C. Wyeth of the artist’s barn ($20/40,000) as well as four original works by Roland Clark, including “Dawn” ($10/20,000), a vibrant original oil that was made into a print by The Derrydale Press in 1939.

Also showcased is a fine selection of paintings by American Impressionist Frank W. Benson, including a rare watercolor of Wood Ducks ($60/90,000), which was chosen as the frontispiece for William Brewster’s book “Concord River.” On offer will be the 1923 watercolor “Flying Eddy” ($60/90,000) which formerly belonged to Edward C. Storrow, a Boston cotton merchant who lent a number of his Benson watercolors to Harvard’s Fogg Museum in 1926 and exhibited “Flying Eddy” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1938. Also set to cross the block is Two Duck Hunters ($60/90,000), comparable to the original watercolor of the famous “Old Tom.” Additionally, the frontispiece for Faith Andrews Bedford’s book “The Sporting Art of Frank Benson,” titled “The Punter” ($60/90,000), will be up for sale. A number of etchings round out the offering of Benson works, including each of the “Big Four” oversized hunting works, “Old Tom” ($8/12,000), “Marsh Gunner” ($8/12,000), “Winter Wildfowling” ($5/10,000), and “The Gunner” ($10/15,000). It is believed to be the first time these four pieces have been offered in the same public auction.

There will be four first-rate gouaches by A.B. Frost, led by the upland game scene “Taking Toll of the Covey – Prairie Chicken” ($30/50,000). Also included is Ogden M. Pleissner’s 1938 oil on canvas, “The Rapids” ($60/90,000), one of the most significant works by the artist to come to market. This magnificent oil painting was featured in a 2008 exhibition of the artist’s works at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, and a photograph of the artist completing the work in his New York City studio is in the collection of the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont.

Other “gold standard” sporting artists well represented in this year’s sale include Richard Bishop, Robert Bateman, George Browne, Jack Cowan, Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, Lynn Bogue Hunt, Frank B. Hoffman, Francis Lee Jaques, Bob Kuhn, Henry McDaniel, Lanford Monroe, Edmund Osthaus, Percival Rosseau, Howard Terpning, John Whorf, and Eustace Ziegler, among others. Works on paper include charcoal and ink drawings, such as Lynx ($3/600), by Charles Livingston Bull, who was America’s preeminent wildlife illustrator during the early 20th century. Other works on paper are by Frank W. Benson, Roland Clark, A.L. Ripley, Carl Rungius, and Stow Wengenroth. Rounding out the sporting sale is an impressive offering of important decoys as well as fishing reels by Edward vom Hofe and Bogdan, among others.

The two day auction will be held on July 22nd and 23rd in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It will feature over 800 lots, with paintings and prints on offer the first day and decoys following on the second day. In addition to the sale there will be a cocktail reception and a dealer exhibition. Contact Copley Fine Art Auctions at 617.536.0030

Category: Auction News

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