A Summer Antiques & Fine Art Auction featuring over 400 lots of original artwork, vintage lamps, American and European bronze sculptures, and a broad selection of fine art glass will be held Saturday, June 3, 2017, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, online and in the firm’s gallery, located at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston, RI starting promptly at 12 PM ET.
Featured lots will include five paintings by the American abstract expressionist Fritz Bultman (1919-1985), a pair of hand-wrought copper vases by Ludwig Vierthaler (German, 1875-1967) for J. Winhart & Company, a collection of skeleton clocks (including examples from England and France), a fine Italian bronze equestrian group and a French gilt bronze sculptural clock.
Also sold will be a folk art automaton of a steamboat side wheeler crafted by prospector William “Billy” Briggs of Bristol, Rhode Island upon his return from the Klondike Gold Rush in Canada and completed around 1905. The vessel, titled the Klondike, is 7 inches tall by 21 inches long. It was masterfully constructed with intricate detail and has a presale estimate of $25,000-$35,000.
The Klondike is the expected headliner in Session 2 of the two-session auction. Internet bidding will be facilitated by Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com, Invaluable.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, and Bidsquare.com. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Session 1, starting at 10:30 AM, will have 150 individually numbered lots of antiques and collectibles, offered live in the gallery. Phone and absentee bidding will be permitted, but there will be no online bidding in Session 1.
The five oil paintings by Fritz Bultman are part of a larger collection owned by Ruth Latta of Provincetown, MA. One of the Bultmans is a large collage of painted papers titled Cape May II (1979), signed and dated (est. $6,000-$9,000). Another, signed and dated 1960, consists of blue paint with colorful striations, with a heavy impasto surface (est. $3,000-$5,000). Bultman was a student of the New York School and trained under Hans Hofmann (German/Am., 1880-1966).
The skeleton clock collection will feature a 19th century French gilt brass and glass plate great wheel skeleton clock having an open white enamel chapter ring with black Arabic numerals (est. $2,000-$3,000); and a 19th century English Victorian Gothic brass skeleton clock powered by a triple fusee 8-day chain movement with music played on the quarter hour (est. $2,500-$4,000).
The Vierthaler for Winhart & Co. (Munich) Art Nouveau hand-wrought copper vases are lovely and should attract keen bidder interest. One is decorated with a naturalistic repousse cicada with inset opal, 7-1/4 inches tall (est. $1,000-$2,000). The other has a top that is etched with stylized poppy flowers contrasted by a dark patinated background, 4-3/4 inches in height (est. $500-$800).
Rhode Island artists will be represented in the auction. An Impressionist oil on canvas painting of Gloucester, MA, done by Herbert Cyrus Farnum (1866-1925), a member of the Providence Art Club, should breeze to $1,000-$2,000; while a gouache on paper Impressionist landscape of Lake Thun in Switzerland by Hezekiah Anthony Dyer (RI, 1872-1943), should garner $1,000-$1,500.
An oil on canvas landscape of a herd of 12 cows resting on the bank of an oxbow river by British artist Charles Edward Johnson (1832-1913), signed and dated 1890, is expected to bring $3,000-$5,000. Also, an oil on canvas portrait painting of a young African-American girl by Vermont illustrator-realist George Timothy Tobin (1864-1956), titled Phyllis, should reach $2,000-$3,000.
Bronze creations will be led by a 19th century Italian equestrian group by Bartolomeo Colleoni after Andrea del Verrochio (It., 1435-1488), 19-1/2 inches tall including marble base (est. $3,000-$5,000); and a 19th century French patinated and gilt bronze sculptural clock of a putti, 23 inches tall and with movements bearing the Raingo Freres and Japy Freres marks (est. $2,000-$3,000).
Rounding out the day’s list of expected top lots is an original photograph of a rural small town restaurant in Alabama taken in 1971 by William Christenberry (1936-2016) (est. $1,500-$2,500). Previews will be held on Thursday, June 1, from 9 AM to 5 PM; Friday, June 2, from 12 PM to 9 PM; and on Saturday, June 3, the date of the auction, from 9 AM until the start of sale at 12 PM.