Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October 2007 - The Market Place

Previous posts have included comment upon some record prices for miniature portraits.

However, I thought from time to time, it may also be of interest to record a few recent auction values for other artists or sitters which caught my eye as collectable and which seem interesting or unusual, and even where I was unsuccessful.

The first three here were all attributed to Erastus Deane who worked in Richmond VA, between 1799 and 1807. The estimates were each $1000/$1500, but the hammer prices for them were; $6500, $5000, and $4250 and so too high for me. Although the background is much lighter, the pose of the sitters does have some similarity with a signed miniature by Erastus Deane in this collection which is probably a little later, see Deane, Erastus - portrait of Daniel Stewart

The miniature of the man facing to the left was unattributed by the vendor and it had a low reserve. I felt I recognised the artist and thus there was the possibility of a good buy!

However, the experts recognised obviously also recognised the artist and so outbid me on this one at $1790, a little disappointing to miss out, but these things happen and there is always something new to watch out for.

I think the miniature is by Eliza Goodridge (1798-1882), or if not by her, is by her sister Sarah Goodridge (1788-1853) who both worked in Boston. Johnston comments with respect to Eliza; "With male subjects, characteristically, the back of the head is not fully rounded, showing instead a slight slant at the crown." That seems to be the case here.

The attractive miniature of two girls reading a book is signed and dated 1926 by Mira Edgerley Korzybska. It sold for a hammer price of $1500, compared to an estimate of $200/$300. It would have been an absolute gift at the estimate.

The sight size was about 120 mm x 110 mm and it had a very ornate frame, which seems to be characteristic of her miniatures, as another one by her, although cracked, has sold cheaply in the last few days. It also had an ornate frame.

Again I was outbid on the miniature shown here of two girls, but was not too disappointed as there is already a miniature of three sisters by Mira in the collection at Korzybska, Mira Edgerly - portrait of three sister...

The matching pair shown here were estimated at $1500/$3000 and the hammer fell at $3500.

I did not bid on them as they had a high estimate and they seemed a bit of a puzzle. The sitters were well identified, being Commodore Alexander Murray and Magnus Miller Murray, which was excellent, but I did not recognise the artist and the cases seemed to date from the late 19C/early 20C.

Although very well painted, it seems likely they are late 19C/early 20C copies of earlier miniatures and were possibly made for family members.

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