Auction Preview | California & Western Auction

Los Angeles, CA
Bonhams, November 21

Joseph de Yong, Encampment at Twilight, oil, 14 x 21. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.

Joseph de Yong, Encampment at Twilight, oil, 14 x 21. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.

This story was featured in the November 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  November 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Eight or nine years ago, a small painting of a pier in Monterey, CA, estimated to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000, was purchased for an astonishing $1.8 million. On Monday, November 21, another piece by the same painter, E. Charlton Fortune, is scheduled for auction at the very same place. Titled MONTEREY VISTA, the 26-by-34-inch oil is estimated to sell for between $500,000 and $700,000, and bidding is likely to be lively, according to Scot Levitt, vice president and director of fine arts at Bonhams.

The Fortune work is just one of 125 pieces of American western art—each valued at $4,000 or more, and spanning the 19th century through the present—that go to the block at 6 p.m. at Bonhams’ Los Angeles location. The auction is simulcast at its San Francisco location as well.

The collection features works by the California Impressionists as well as contemporary western artists, such as Ed Mell. Important works include RIDERS PASSING THROUGH THE CANYON, a 28-by-34-inch oil that’s one of six works in the auction by Edgar Payne, which is estimated to sell for $150,000 to $250,000. There are also five works by William Wendt, two each by Roy Andersen and Frank McCarthy, a European scene by Guy Rose, and two substantial works by Jessie Arms Botke, which feature her signature gold-leaf backgrounds and avian and waterfowl subject matter.

“We also have a small selection of Hawaiian paintings. Those have become a niche market, and they sell really well,” Levitt says. “They are relatively rare, coming from a small state, and because of the humidity, fewer have held up over time.”

The lots can be previewed in both locations: in San Francisco November 11-13 and in Los Angeles beginning on the 18th until the sale. Interested collectors can choose from absentee, online, or telephone bidding, or, of course “the old-fashioned way,” Levitt says, meaning, just show up.

“We try very hard to keep the quality high and the estimates reasonable,” Levitt says. “We prefer to let the buyers decide what things are worth. We just work hard to find the best quality we can get.” —Laura Rintala

contact information
323.436.5425
www.bonhams.com

This story was featured in the November 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  November 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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