CRANSTON, RI – Vibrant paintings by prominent Indian artists sparked the interest of bidders at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ fine art and antiques auction held March 14, as a an equestrian watercolor on paper by Maqbool Hussain (1915-2011) sold for $16,250 and a figurative oil on canvas by B. Prabha (1933-2001) fetched $11,875.
The auction took place online and in the Bruneau & Co. gallery. “It was a phenomenal sale,” said company president Kevin Bruneau. “While the internal crowd was limited due to the virus pandemic, online and telephone participation was more active than ever. It was great to see contemporary art perform as strong as it did.
Maqbool Hussain’s watercolor titled “Raging Horse” depicted a leaping white horse with its mouth open, draped in a green saddle blanket and carrying a flag with the image of a sun. The work was signed in Hindi in the lower right corner and had a sheet size of 22 by 30 inches, minus the frame. Hussain is often called the “Picasso of India”.
The oil painting by B. Prabha, titled “Woman with Basket of Pear”, showed an Indian woman with her hair tied back and long limbs supporting a basket of fruit. The canvas was 22 by 16 inches. Prabha entered the art world when few Indian women were involved professionally and has worked on over 50 exhibitions, both inside and outside India.
The list of top auction winners was not limited to India. An impressionistic harbor print by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), depicting sailing ships at sea, signed by the artist with a monogram in picture and in pencil in the lower right margin, just 5 by 6¾ inches, rose at $8,750.
An impressionistic coastal seascape by 19th century American artist Chas. Turner, depicting large waves crashing on a rocky shore with sailboats and seagulls in the background, changed hands for $8,125. The oil on canvas, measuring 14 by 20 inches, less the frame, was signed by the artist and is from a Pawtucket, RI collection.
A realistic 19th century English school rendition of a prize-winning bull and heifer standing in a pasture, dated 1862, knocked down for $6,875. The animals were identified as ‘Ayrshire Lad’ and ‘Miss Morton’ in the image, which measured 20 by 30 inches. The work is signed with a monogram “MW” and dated “July/62” in the lower left corner.
“What a thrill it was to auction Turner’s bull and seascape painting,” said Bruneau & Co. auctioneer and scholar Travis Landry. surprises. The market has proven to be strong during tough times. It was really a great day. »
A large Macchia art glass vase by American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly (b. 1941), organically folded shape with splashes of brown and green earth tone on a cream background with a yellow rim, 12¾ inches tall, cost $6,250. The vase has been signed and dated “Chihuly 1982” on the bottom. Chihuly is well known for his extravagant glass sculptures exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle.
A contemporary watercolor on painted paper by Akbar Padamsee (Indian, 1928-2020), depicting a somber gentleman’s face in soft sepia tones, cost $6,250. The 22 by 15 inch (sheet) work has been signed and dated “Padamsee 06” in the upper right corner. Padamsee was known for painting, filmmaking, sculpture, photography and printmaking and is today considered one of the pioneers of modern Indian painting.
The prices shown include the buyer’s commission as quoted by the auction house.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is organizing two auctions in the wake of this one. The first is an online-only camera sale scheduled for Saturday, March 28, featuring cross-platform auctions with over 600 lots of vintage cameras sold to the highest bidder with no reserve. An originally scheduled live presale event will be rescheduled later as a standalone auction.
Then, on Saturday, April 4, a Spring Comic Book and Toy Auction will be presented by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, Altered Reality Entertainment and Bruneau & Co. Pop Culture Director Travis Landry, starting at 11 a.m. , Eastern time, live in the gallery and online. Featured are comic books and a collection of Japanese wind, friction and battery-powered robots and tin toys.
For information, 401-533-9980 or www.bruneauandco.com.