Cottone’s $660,000 sale led by Frederick Stuart Church Painting


Sales were led by Frederick Stuart Church (American, 1842-1924), depiction of a young girl perched in a tree in her Sunday best with a menagerie of her beloved dolls and a coterie of whimsical wild animals. ‘The Dolls’ Matinee’, oil on Masonite, 18 by 26 inches and signed ‘FS Church NY 91. Copyright’ lower right, exceeded its estimate by $5/8,000 and sold for $16,800.

Review by WA Demers, Photos courtesy of Cottone Auctions

GENESEO, NY – Two days of antiquing and fine art across the block at Cottone Auctions, May 5-6, saw more than 300 lots find new homes, including paintings and prints , decorative arts, 20th century design, estate jewelry, Asian art, furniture, Americana, stoneware and more. Sales were dominated by a charming painting by Frederick Stuart Church (American, 1842-1924), well chosen for Mother’s Day, of a young girl perched in a tree in her best clothes with a menagerie of her beloved dolls and a coterie of fanciful wildlife. ‘The Dolls’ Matinee’, oil on Masonite, 18 by 26 inches and signed ‘FS Church NY 91. Copyright’ lower right, exceeded its estimate by $5/8,000 and sold for $16,800. Working primarily as an illustrator and best known for his often allegorical depictions of animals, Church portrays them with tenderness, blending a deep understanding of animal anatomy, as well as animal facial expressions and the moods and feelings they convey.

Day two was animated by a number of paintings by Magda Cordell McHale (Hungarian-British, 1921-2008), all from the estate of Harold L. Cohen of Buffalo, NY. His paintings are both monumental and somewhat sinister, evoking monsters. , idols and anatomical entrails. Born in 1921 to a Hungarian Jewish family before the outbreak of World War II, Cordell fled Hungary to escape Nazism and eventually emigrated to Britain with her husband, English composer Frank Cordell. Together, they participated in the creation of the Independent Group (IG), an unofficial movement of artists, architects, designers, musicians and critics who met at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London from 1952 to 1955 with the common ambition to introduce mass culture into what they saw as the conservative establishment of fine art galleries.

His 1960 oil on canvas, an embryonic abstract entitled “41”, tripled its high estimate to sell for $15,000. The 60 by 40 inch canvas has been signed, titled and dated “Magda Cordell, #41, 1960” on the stretcher. Curiously, two additional pieces, one in mixed media on paper, the other in oil on paper, were of similar composition, delineating a female body as a swelling aggregate of pictorial masses. They had modest estimates of $300/500, perhaps due to their small size, but did much better, making $15,000 and $12,480 respectively. The first measured 21½ by 18½ inches and the second 22 by 17½ inches.

A 19th-century Serapi, 15 feet by 13 feet 1 inch, fetched $10,500.

In 1961 Cordell moved to the United States with her second husband, artist IG John McHale, to pursue an academic career in futurology, an interdisciplinary field of research concerned with postulating future global trends based on models of continuity. and change. From the same Buffalo estate, John McHale’s “#4 Torso” collage (British, 1922-1978) slipped its estimate by $2/4,000 and ended at $9,300. The 36-by-22½-inch work had an exhibition history that included Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

There were a few notable oriental rugs on the first day of the sale. A 19th-century Serapi, 15 feet by 13 feet 1 inch, fetched $10,500; an Oushak, circa 1900, 15 feet by 12 feet 5 inches fetched $9,900; and a 19th/20th century Chinese silk carpet with metal threads, 7 feet 3 inches by 4 feet 1 inch, sold for $8,438.

A humorous painting by John (Tim Bobbin) Collier (British, 1708-1786) ridiculing dental practices in 18th century England eclipsed his expectation of $1/1,500 to find a buyer at $9,300. The oil on canvas of a man pulling his teeth was unsigned and housed in a 25 inch by 37¼ inch bird’s eye maple frame. It came from a private collection in Rochester, NY, and was purchased in 1967 from Dunning’s Antiques in Hertfordshire, England.

Magda Cordell McHale’s (Hungarian-British, 1921-2008) most expensive painting was this 60 by 40 inch oil on canvas signed, titled and dated “Magda Cordell, #41, 1960” on the stretcher. It sold for $15,000.

Leaded glass lamps are a staple of Cottone, and in this sale they were led by an early 20th century JA Whaley Grape trellis leaded table lamp. With a bronze peacock feather base and a height of 27½ inches, it left the gallery at $7,813.

The prices shown include the buyer’s commission as quoted by the auction house. For more information, www.cottoneauctions.com or 585-243-1000.

Slide
Previous 2022 EBRD Literature Prize: Finalists Announced
Next NMIMS Balwant Sheth School of Architecture & Center of Interior-Environment and Design invites applicants for B. Arch, M. Arch and BA (Hons) Interior-Environment Design