European Paintings on Offer at Bonhams & Butterfields in May

Works by Sir Henry Raeburn, Alexandre Hyacinthe Dunouy, Fernand Cormon, Bernard Pothast, Sir William Russell Flint featured…

Bonhams & Butterfields, California’s oldest and largest fine arts auctioneers, brings European Paintings to auction in San Francisco on Wednesday, May 16, 2007. Featured within the 19th century oils, Old Masters and drawings is an exciting array of subject matter — from the classic 19th century still life to elegant portraiture, all offered to the highest bidders.

Old Master paintings continue to attract strong interest and a lovely circa 1800 portrait by Sir Henry Raeburn of Mrs Duff of Fetteresso is estimated to bring $15,000 to $20,000 in May. A tranquil landscape with figures by Alexandre Hyacinthe Dunouy is estimated to fetch $30,000 to $50,000, while from a private collection comes a warm Dutch work depicting a mother and her small children seated around a table, Bernard Pothast’s oil Maternal Love (est. $40/60,000).

Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to present for Spring a collection of works to be sold to support the Bouverie Preserve of Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR), a Northern California non-profit institution dedicated to nature preservation, environmental education and conservation-based research. The works of art are part of a 535-acre estate which was donated to ACR in 1979 by David Pleydell-Bouverie, a Sonoma County resident, environmentalist and art and antiques collector. David Pleydell-Bouverie donated his property to ACR with the intent that his legacy be used to inspire a deep appreciation of nature among future generations of children.

“As a collector, Mr. Bouverie had a keen trained eye, his artworks were tastefully selected,” said Malcolm Walker, Bonhams & Butterfields’ European Painting Specialist in its San Francisco gallery.

Multiple works from the gentleman’s collection have been exhibited and accepted into the permanent collections at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, as well as the Legion of Honor. At auction from the Bouverie Preserve of Audubon Canyon Ranch are 19th century English works as well as Italian and Dutch paintings. Expected to bring $8,000 to $12,000 is a Dutch oil on canvas depicting sailing ships at sea. Sea Monster Hunt Off an Imaginary Mediterranean Coast, Circle of Lucas Janszen de Wael, could interest collectors as well as institutions. Rarely seen at auction is a work by the British artist Thomas Peploe Wood. His View of Edinburgh Castle, an oil on canvas dated 1839, depicts the magnificent ancient fortress high atop Castle Rock with figures and horses in the foreground (est. $4/6,000). A Florentine School 17th century oil on canvas portrait presents a noblewoman with a lace collar, the work expected to bring as much as $5,000.

Highlights from the 19th century section from other collections include a scene into the seductive world of the harem by one of the leading historical painters of modern France, Fernand Cormon (est. $30/50,000). The sale’s catalog cover lot is by Ettore Forti, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. It looks back to antiquity with two young Roman maidens enjoying a quiet moment watching doves in a courtyard. Another work on offer is by Antonio Maria Aspettati – a delightful glimpse into the great Renaissance treasure house that is the Pitti Palace in Florence. This work will be offered at $20,000 to $25,000.

A fine selection of works on paper include watercolors by artists such as Sir William Russell Flint and Louis Wain, a much-appreciated illustrator of cats.

Mark Fisher, Director of European Paintings, continues to see interest from new buyers and returning clients within this collecting area in recent years. Previous auctions have garnered world record prices, including the sale of a Venetian capriccio by Giovanni Migliara which brought $100,000 and a painting of Bathsheba at her bath attributed to the 17th century artist Felice Ficherelli which sold for $94,250. Sold in the November 15, 2006 auction was an exceptional painting by Frederik Marinus Kruseman of a tranquil summer landscape (brought $82,750) and a lovely portrait of a young girl by Filadelfo Simi achieved a new world record auction price for this artist when it sold for $59,750.

The illustrated auction catalog will be online at in the weeks preceding the sale and previews. Previews are free and open to the public: May 12-14 in San Francisco or by appointment.