Pair of Drawings by Chagall Realize $25,000+ at Auction

RANKLIN, Mass. - A pair of drawings on white paper by the renowned Russian-born French artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985) combined for over $25,000 in an online-only fine art auction held February 22nd by The Woodshed Gallery, based in Franklin. The sale featured nearly 200 prints and drawings by Old and Modern Masters representing four centuries of artwork on paper.

The Chagalls were the top two selling lots of the auction. Village Berger Descending (aka Dream of the Dance), a sanguine figural drawing on white Arches paper, sold for $16,250, while another drawing, titled Violinist and Family, unframed and on white paper, finished at $9,600. Both were done in the poetic and figurative style that made Chagall one of the most popular modern artists.

Both drawings were previously owned by the Ashkenazy Gallery in Los Angeles. A flood in 1990 resulted in a large portion of the gallery’s inventory to be compensated by its insurer and subsequently sold on the secondary market. The drawings were never appraised by a third party but the gallery was paid for the damaged inventory. Neither Chagall suffered any flood damage.

Nearly 700 registered bidders participated in the auction via the platforms LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Bidding traffic was also driven through The Woodshed Gallery website, at www.woodshedgallery.com. “The Chagalls marked an increase in the quality of our offerings and in our ability to attract better consignments,” said Bruce Wood of The Woodshed Gallery. 

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

An ink drawing on toned paper by Man Ray (Am., 1890-1976, born Emmanuel Radnitzky), titled Female Nude on a Bridge, signed and dated 1917, gaveled for $1,800; while a much later Man Ray work, an ink drawing on tan paper with abstract watercolor underpainting titled Female Figure, signed and dated 1951, brought $9,375. Both had identical estimates of $8,000-$12,000.

A blue ink drawing with water wash on heavy art paper, signed by Jean Cocteau (Fr., 1889-1963), and titled Mermaids, with just a few light handling marks its only flaw, went for $720. Also, an ink drawing on heavy-weight tan art paper by Fernand Leger (Fr., 1881-1955), titled Group of Women, signed (“F.L.”) and dated (1951), went to a determined bidder for $1,875.

A pair of male nude sculptures, unsigned but by a follower of Auguste Rodin, each one 11 ¼ inches tall, sold as one lot for $1,750. They might not have brought nearly as much without the connection to Rodin (Fr., 1840-1917), widely regarded as the progenitor of modern sculpture. His iconic work The Thinker remains one of the most recognizable works of art ever produced.

An ink on white bond paper drawing by the one and only Dr.Seuss (Am., born Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991), depicting a scene from his classic children’s book Green Eggs and Ham, signed by the artist, realized $480. The same amount was the winning bid for a drawing by Dr. Seuss of the classic book character The Cat in the Hat, signed, with “Best wishes, Dr. Seuss.”

A signed drawing by Hans Erni (Swiss, 1909-2015), titled Minotaur, newly matted and housed in a 33 inch by 23 inch frame, in good condition, rose to $500; while a mixed media work by Cy Twombly (1928-2011), titled Abstract Floral, signed, hit $2,250. Also, a personal note of thanks written in blue ink on buff paper by President John F. Kennedy, unframed, topped out at $375.

The Woodshed’s next big online-only auction is scheduled for Wednesday, March 29th. Already consigned are an original drawing by Vincent Van Gogh, with a minimum bid of $20,000; several interesting pieces by South American artists; two circa 1930s French posters from Noveltex; a Rodolfo Morales collage; and three portraits by Chicago’s very own Lee Godie.

The Woodshed Gallery is a family-owned art gallery specializing in oil painting restoration, art auctions and custom picture framing. The firm holds online and live auctions and is always accepting quality artworks for future auctions. To inquire about consigning a single piece or a collection, call Bruce Wood at (508) 533-6277; or, e-mail him at bruce@woodshedgallery.com

To learn more about The Woodshed Gallery and the online-only auction on March 29th, please visit www.woodshedgallery.com. Updates are posted often.

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