Though Rodin is best known for his sculptural masterpieces, he also experimented with other art forms. A watercolor of his goes up for sale at Bruneau & Co. on August 17th.
A Fine Art & Antiques Auction featuring 380 lots pulled from several fine estates around New England and beyond – to include a great selection of French furniture and accessories, marvelous paintings, bronzes, jewelry, clocks, Chinese arts, modern arts and more – will be conducted on Saturday, August 17th, at 12 noon Eastern, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers.
“This auction is sure to have something for every collector,” promised Bruneau & Co. president Kevin Bruneau. “The selection ranges from Chinese jade and jadeite carvings to French arts and quarter-midget go-karts. It’s going to be interesting to see were the final hammer falls on the Chinese censer.” Doors will open promptly at 8 am Eastern time on auction day, Bruneau added.
The Chinese censer he mentioned is an 18th century Chinese Qing dynasty bronze tripod censer, originally used to burn incense to honor ancestors, purify the air or cure ailments. The front and underside of the 1 ½ inch tall censer are both impressed with the Xuande character seal mark. In overall good condition, with original untouched patina, the lot has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.
“My personal favorite of the auction is the Heinrich Kley mythical dragon painting,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “He’s an artist we’re very familiar with, having set his world auction record in 2017. Plus, I’m sure the Auguste Rodin study and Stanley Woodward paintings are sure to stir art collector interest. All in all, it should be a great sale.”
The painting by Heinrich Kley (German, 1863-1945), is a mythical illustrative work titled Der Patient. It depicts an ill dragon resting on a pillow stuffed with gold, as a wizard inspects his wound and a bare-breasted woman with a worried look stands beside him. The piece, signed “Kley” and titled, is 8 ½ inches by 13 inches, with a 12 inch by 16 inch mat (est. $3,000-$5,000).
Art aficionados are familiar with the name Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), best known for his iconic statue The Thinker. His watercolor nude study of a woman standing on one foot and leaning forward with her other leg in the air is signed “A. Rodin” in the lower right corner and carries an estimate of $10,000-$15,000. The work is nicely housed in a 26 inch by 22 inch frame.
The plein air impressionist landscape painting by Rockport community artist Stanley Woodward (Mass., 1890-1970) is expected to command $1,500-$2,500. The signed and framed work depicts a rocky trail through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, along with a craggy tree in the foreground. A blue-purple monetesque color is used throughout the mountainous background.
A strong candidate for top lot of the sale is the remarkable pair of 19th century French Empire neoclassical bronze torchieres, impressive at 84 inches tall each (est. $12,000-$18,000). The fine cast gilt and patinated bronze torchieres feature female winged goddesses surmounting a five-light sphere, with figural lion heads over opposing ormolu eagles, each on dolphin tripod bases.
Also from France, a finely cast sculpture of the Greek poet Sappho by Emmanuel Villanis (French, 1858-1914), on a base and with an overall height of 28 ½ inches, should bring $2,500-$4,000. The model, signed and titled on the base, depicts Sappho standing with her lyre in flowing diaphanous drapery. Sappho, through her poems, has become a symbol of female homosexuality.
Returning to Asia, a fine pair of Chinese Qing dynasty carved jadeite table screens, decorated with Hsi Wang Mu, the Royal Lady of the West, shown seated on a phoenix on one and a crane on the other, with a poem about spring on both, has an estimate of $6,000-$9,000. The screens, each 14 ½ inches by 16 ¾ inches, are variegated apple green, lavender and spinach green jadeite.
Rounding out just a few of the auction’s highlights is a bronze sculpture of a pixie (or nymph child) with a flower hat, lunging forward on a bed of wild grass, by Edward Henry Berge (Md., 1876-1924). Originally cast in 1909 as a life-size model, this was the second casting, issued in 1916, before the smallest in 1923. Overall 20 ½ inches on a base, it should bring $2,000-$3,000.