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News Article
Two paintings drive bidding at Cordier auction
By Carole Deutsch

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Two oil paintings from the same private collection streaked past their high estimates to bring top lot status during Cordier’s Spring Fine & Decorative Arts Auction on May 11.

The paintings had been in the same collection for generations. Their fresh-to -the-market status likely helped drive final bids.

“The wide range selection brought top lots in every category across the board,” said Melanie Hartman, Cordier’s appraiser and Specialty Auctions Director. “We had a good crowd with 180 registered room bidders. The auction was presented on LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable and we were very busy with phone bids all day. It was a pleasure to present an eclectic selection of items to our buyers. We hope that the rest of 2019 offers us as many interesting opportunities as has the first quarter.”

An oil on canvas that depicted a canal scene, believed to be in the city of Pskov, was signed in Cyrillic by Russian artist Arnold Borisovich Lakhovsky (1880-1937). The colossal painting, dated 1910, stood over 5 feet tall and nearly 4 feet wide and was mounted in a white painted gesso frame decorated with rose buds. The work commanded $55,200, far surpassing the high estimate of $5,000.

The second painting, an oil on board by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (British/American 1819-1905), was titled Pointer and Quails and realized $33,600, overreaching the estimate of $8,000 to $10,000. It was signed “A.F. Tait N.Y. 1863” and, as the title suggests, portrayed a brown pointer with a white blazed face and chest confronting three quails in a tall grass field. The overall framed measurements were 14 ½ inches high by 18 ½ inches wide.

Native American artifacts collectors had much to appreciate at this auction. Aggressive bidding for a Crow Indian lazy stitch fully beaded blanket strip drove the realized price past an estimate of $200 to $400 to a staggering $21,600. The strip, circa 1880 to 1910, measured 5 feet long and had a blue beaded ground with white, red, yellow, pink, and green geometric designs and cross rosettes. The catalog noted, “Good example of Reservation Era blanket strip,” and had a consignor’s statement that the piece had been obtained by her great-grandfather while vacationing in Wolf, Wyo., at Eaton’s Ranch in the late 19th century.

A Plains Indian bag, possibly from the Oto tribe, circa 1890-1910, had a free-hand floral motif on the tasseled bag that had two finely beaded drawstring ties. The piece had been collected by Theodore Kepner Long and then gifted to the Carson Long Military Academy. The bag measured 20 inches long by 7 ½ inches wide and achieved $19,200. Long (1856-1947) was the publisher of the Mandan Pioneer who went on to become a States Attorney for lands west of the Missouri River in 1885 and Attorney for N.P.R.R. Bismark North Dakota in 1887. He returned to his homeland of Pennsylvania and founded Carson Long Military Academy in 1914.

A Lakota Sioux knife sheath and Strike-A-Lite bag, which also hailed from Long’s collection brought $14,400. The knife sheath had a blue ground with typical red and yellow geometrics and tin cones. The beaded bag, also with tin cones, was used to hold flint and steel for making fire.

For those looking for jewelry a platinum 2.46 carat diamond solitaire ring with an Old European cut diamond (Clarity VS-2, Color I) sold for $14,400.

Among the impressive items that sold in the $1,000 price range was an Art Deco three-panel room screen. This highly presentational piece was made in the Erte style and portrayed three women on the front panels with a solid black backing. The women were elegantly dressed in full length gowns of gold, black, and off white. The screen measured 80 inches wide by 60 inches tall and sold for $1,080.

A bronze sculpture depicting a jockey mounted on a racehorse was an outstanding rendition done in precision and accurate detail. The work, measuring 26 inches long by 22 ½ inches high and mounted on a marble base, was inscribed R.A. De Luca. It more than doubled the high estimate of $400, selling for $960.

The furniture section also offered interesting and unusual pieces. A large 19th century French Napoleon III style two-door cabinet had a rich ebony finish that was accented with patinated metal mounts, band inlay, and silveroid cherub mounts. Each door was centered by an oval shaped silver disc decoration. The 53 inch wide by 43 inch high cabinet had been purchased by the consignor’s parents at an auction near Versailles, France in the 1950s. This standout piece also sold for $1,680.

Prices reflect a 20 percent buyer’s premium

For more information call (717) 731-8662 or visit

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