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Industrial style sideboard sculpted in relief, in the manner of Paul Evans, was first among the two-day auctions at $7,800 ($1/2,000).

Review by Z.G. Burnett; Images Courtesy of Old Kinderhook Auction Company

VALATIE, N.Y. — Old Kinderhook Auction Company conducted its two-day Trust In August 2023 auction; this trust was returned with top lots of fine and decorative arts that all multiplied their estimates on August 8 and 9. The results were an interesting mix of hard and soft, pastoral and political, comfortable and sharp-edged. Old Kinderhook reported just under 7,000 bidders, many of whom bid online through LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable. About 1,300 lots were up for sale and 96 percent of these sold, totaling $304,992.

The highest result came from a sculptural sideboard in the style of Paul Evans (American, 1931-1987) that closed at $7,800. Made with mixed steels and iron, the black-painted piece was adorned with deep relief and applied pieces of metal. The interior was painted sky blue, a stark contrast to its dark industrial exterior.

The first day’s top lot carried a somber subject to match its palette. The lithograph “A Dawn” by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson (British, 1889-1946) shows a seemingly endless procession of an army marching through a city street, bayonets drawn, seemingly on its way to battle. Nevinson is known for his stark, sharp and unglorified images of World War I and is widely considered the definitive British artist of this era. After the painting “A Dawn, 1914,” this lithograph was signed in pencil and in overall good condition, selling for $6,000.

C.R.W. Levinson’s signed lithograph showed the greatest increase from its estimate, achieving $6,000 against $100/200; another copy belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Another spiky specimen was an untitled abstract steel sculpture by David Hayes (American, 1931-2013). At 17½ inches high, this tabletop work is on the smaller end of Hayes’ work. His monumental sculptures, and those of other sizes, belong to a lengthy list of prominent institutions across the globe. The example at Kinderhook was painted with matte red and black paint, signed and was bid to $4,920 ($800-$1,200).

Two works of art tied at $3,600 but otherwise had little in common. First in the catalog was an oil on panel anti-slavery illustration captioned “Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Freesoiler.” This image was widely distributed as an 1856 cartoon by John L. Magee in protest of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act. It shows Democrats Stephen Douglas, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Lewis Cass holding down a Free Soiler, in the form of giant, and shoving an enslaved man down his throat. Freesoilers opposed the extension of slavery into the extended US territories and were also against admitting slave states into the Union before the Civil War.

The second painting to achieve $3,600 was a street scene, signed by Arthur Clifton Goodwin (American, 1864-1929), from an elevated angle as though looking down from a window. Goodwin’s Impressionistic manner communicates the bustle of the street and perhaps the day’s rainy weather. Goodwin is known for landscapes, seascapes and urban scenes in New York City, Boston and Gloucester, Mass., and this scene resembles Tremont Street, looking out over the Boston Common. One of Goodwin’s distinctive paintings, “Park Street” in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, shows that location but from a street-level perspective.

Bustling street scene from Arthur Clifton Goodwin that hurried along at $3,600 ($400/600).

Next in price was a pastoral gathering of finely dressed ladies by Frederick Ballard Williams (American, 1871-1956). Reminiscent of earlier, semi-fantastical paintings by Jean-Antoine Watteau (French, 1864-1721), the women in Williams’ painting are dressed with updated silhouettes. They are also rendered as though in sketch, partially blending in with the forested garden surrounding them. Williams was known for his landscapes, especially those of New England’s countryside. Although repaired, relined and showing signs of inpainting, this painting was bid to $3,000.

Prices are quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, or 518-912-4747.



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