Cowan’s Auctions will offer a strong and varied selection of American and European paintings, works on paper, furniture, decorative art, silver, rugs and more during its Fine and Decorative Art auction on Saturday, March 11. The event will be held live at Cowan’s salesroom in Cincinnati.
Artwork is expected to highlight the day, led by a George Inness (American, 1825-1894) rural landscape with cows and a figure. Entitled Spring, the oil on canvas is signed and dated 1856. It is expected to sell for $100,000 to $150,000.
Inness painted the scene following his second visit to Europe. “After that trip he developed a more original manner,” said Pauline Archambault, fine art specialist at Cowan’s. “He let go of the influence of the Old Masters he followed until the 1850s. This painting is a reflection of that. It has a more personal touch.”
Influenced by and appealing to the artists of the Hudson River School, Inness excelled at rendering the atmosphere of a given locale, conveying depth through a deft use of light and shadow. The technique is especially prevalent in Spring, which depicts a herdsman and cattle scattered across a meadow bordered by trees. The painting is also an important example of how Inness mixed multiple styles. The impressionist representation of the figure and cows blends perfectly with his rich depiction of a large tree dominating the view, the various shades of green emphasizing the tree’s physicality and texture. Similarly, Spring displays a careful study of clouds, capturing their volume and varied forms.
Other significant art in the auction includes an untitled Charleston, South Carolina, street scene by Alfred Hutty (American, 1877-1954), oil on canvas, that is expected to sell for $30,000 to $50,000. The signed work depicts two African-Americans — a man pushing a cart down the street and an aproned woman walking under a line of trees.
The auction also features nine prints by John James Audubon, including a double-elephant folio of Great American Hen & Young, depicting a female turkey and her chicks. Engraved by W.H. Lizars and hand-colored, the work has an 1827 watermark and is expected to bring $10,000 to $20,000.
The decorative arts side of the sale is led by a Ford 1930 Model A deluxe roadster in Washington blue with black fenders. Held by the same owner since 1987, the car is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.
“It’s in remarkable condition,” said Sam Cowan, Cowan’s director of decorative art. “Definitely one of the nicest Fords we’ve ever seen and it runs like a top.”
A selection of Oriental rugs includes a room-size Serapi, Turkish, circa 1880s, that served as the cover image for the auction’s printed catalog. It is expected to garner $15,000 to $20,000.
From the American market, a rare New York stoneware crock with an incised and cobalt-filled decoration of a large sailing ship, 19th century, ovoid form, is estimated at $6,000 to $8,000.