Eclectic Selections Delight Collectors at John Moran’s July 30th Studio Auction


MONROVIA, CA - Moran’s New Studio Auction format has proven a decided success with buyers; the second Studio Auction of 2016, held on Saturday, July 30th, fared well for works estimated across all price points.

No one genre was the clear favorite among buyers, with bidders paying equal attention to early California, Western, Modern and Contemporary abstract and figural works. Overall, buyers responded to quality, with wonderful examples by higher tier as well as lesser-known artists performing quite well throughout the evening,

The top lot for the evening was truly a dark horse highlight; an indistinctly signed 19th century Russian School nocturnal depicting a beach scene in a coastal fishing village was assigned a very conservative $500 to $700 estimate. Thanks to multiple online bidders and a number of buyers vying for the painting via telephone, the painting flew to an astounding $33,600 selling price (including Moran’s 20% house buyer’s premium).

Works by listed 20th century California artists did particularly well; “Colorful Expanse”, a blooming desert landscape by Palm Springs, CA artist Paul Grimm (1891-1974) earned a price squarely within estimate, bringing $2700 (estimate: $2000 to $3000). Shortly thereafter, “4th Lake and Mt. Temple Crag” by Robert Clunie (1895-1984 Bishop, CA) (expected to bring $1500 to $2500) was brought to the block and earned $5400, thanks to multiple telephone bidders. Arthur Hill Gilbert’s (1894-1970 Stockton, CA) aptly titled painting, “Oaks”, was certainly a crowd favorite. While small in size, the work appealed to those with an affinity for quintessential Southern California landscapes, bringing $2700 at the block (estimate: $800 to $1200).

Other American art highlights included Peter Hayward’s (1905-1993) sunny oil on canvas depiction of a Mountainous Hawaiian beachscape with figures. The charming work was expected to bring $400 to $600, but surprised everyone in attendance when it sold for an astounding $3900 thanks to competing online bidders. A trio of works by Los Angeles-based contemporary figural painter Wade Reynolds (1929-2011) all performed quite well at Moran’s Studio Auction. One of Reynolds’s most highly anticipated works depicts a young man in a Los Angeles apartment interior before an open window. The untitled piece was brought to the block with a $1000 to $1500 estimate, which was handily outstripped after competition between two auction attendees; the successful buyer took the painting home for $6000. Attendee buyers were also excited by another contemporary work by Santa Barbara artist Jon Francis (b. 1940) – “Last Bus Out”, depicting a Greyhound bus stop awash with golden late afternoon light, realized $1560 at the block (estimate: $600 to $900).

Western and Native American-genre works found sound footing with Moran’s buyers. Westport, CT Western genre artist John Marchand (1875-1921)was represented in the Studio Auction catalogue by a diminutive scene of a cowboy shooting wolves over a ridge in order to protect his herd of cattle. Marchand’s painting brought $3300, well over the $700 to $900 estimate. Later in the sale, an untitled Southwestern Impressionist landscape by Taos, NM artist Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953) was offered with a $2500 to $3500 estimate, and brought $6000. “Indian Woman Making Yai-Yayi Indian Bread”, a charming scene of a Cochiti Pueblo woman baking by Harold Betts (1881-1951 Chicago, IL), earned a very respectable $1440 (estimate: $1000 to $2000).

On the more traditional end of the spectrum, British artist Samuel Prout (1783-1852) was represented in the July Studio Sale by a diminutive watercolor scene of a vaulted chapel interior with figures praying; estimated to earn $600 to $800, the work flew to an exceptional $2040 selling price moments after opening . Shortly after the auction opened, Constant Artz’s (1870-1951 Dutch) verdant painting of ducks in the grass near a pond easily charmed collectors. After competition between attendee and online buyers, the online party proved successful, paying $1080 for the work (estimate: $600 to $800).

John Moran’s next Studio Auction is scheduled for September 24th, 2016. The Studio session will directly follow the Decorative Art Auction, and is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Bidding is available in person, via telephone, absentee and online through www.liveauctioneers.com and www.invaluable.com. For upcoming sale highlights and more information, please contact John Moran Auctioneers directly.

John Moran’s September 10th Decorative Art Auction catalogue, featuring Native American and Western objects, art and jewelry alongside Mid-century modern design and California paintings is now live online – visit www.johnmoran.com to view this catalogue.

For more information on upcoming auctions or to inquire about consignment, contact John Moran Auctioneers directly via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone: (626) 793-1833.

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