Images of women and landscapes appeal to Helmuth Stone


Auction in Sarasota, Florida.

SARASOTA, FLA. – An allegorical painting by Austrian-Italian artist Hans Zatzka (1859-1945) topped the Helmuth Stone Gallery’s Spring Art and Antiques auction on April 10, bringing in 27 $090 to the online buyer and exceeding his estimate of $18/25,000. In its idealized depiction of a young girl with cupids, the painting characterizes the work of the artist, who attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna between 1877 and 1892 before studying with Professor Blaas. He was awarded the Fugermedal gold medal in 1880 and made several study trips to Italy. Classical style allegories are among what he is best known for and sparked interest in painting.

“The interesting thing about the Zatzka is that we sold it to the seller in 2019, who paid around $15,000 for it at the time,” Austin Helmuth said. “He called us recently to tell us he wanted to sell it; he is very happy with the way it went.

Helmuth said he was very pleased with the sale, which totaled around $325,000. He was particularly pleased that the sale saw prices set new auction records for four artists.

One of the new records was for Boscoe (Arthur Aldwyn) Holder (Trinidad, Tobago and England, 1921-2007) whose oil-on-panel painting of a reclining woman fetched the day’s second-highest price at $12,100. Like the flagship lot of the sale, the painting also depicted the female form, but the similarities end there. Where the Zatzka was rendered in pastel shades and idealized forms, Holder’s painting used vibrant primary colors and rapid, impressionistic brushstrokes.

Landscapes, especially works by the group known as the “Florida Highwaymen”, continue to be popular with buyers. A total of 18 works by the group were offered for sale; all sold out with most exceeding expectations. Topping the $9,680 bunch was a seascape painting by Alfred Hair (1941-1971), which was done in oil on Upson board and measured 23 inches by 46 inches. It was followed, at $8,773, by Livingston Roberts’ painting of a royal poinciana; “Florida Sunset” by Mary Ann Carroll (1940-2019) was released for $8,470. The same buyer – a private collector from Delaware – purchased Roberts and Carroll’s landscapes and paid prices that set new records for artists.

“[The Florida Highwayman paintings] are really starting to take off. We’re really pleased with the results we’ve seen for these. said Helmuth. He noted that many of those Helmuth Stone has sold in recent years have come from a local estate.

Although not technically a Florida highwayman, the southern riverscape painting by Hermann Herzog (1832-1932) which may have shown a scene near the Saint Johns River likely has benefited from the Florida Paintings sale. Previously part of what the catalog described as “an important Florida private collection,” an Orlando, Florida buyer brought it to $8,773, slightly below estimate.

The next Helmuth Stone sale will take place in June, the date is yet to be determined.

Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as quoted by the auction house. For more information, www.helmuthstone.com or 941-260-9703.

An online bidder paid $27,090 for the top lot in the sale, this allegorical oil on canvas painting of a young girl with two cherubs by Hans Zatzka (Austria-Italy, 1859-1945) in a gilt frame 45 x 32 inches ($18/$25,000).

1 boscoe holder

The first batch of the day set what could be a record for the artist. This painting of a reclining woman by Boscoe (Arthur Aldwyn) Holder fetched $12,100 for a New York collector, well over its estimate of $300/600 and more than double the previous record for the artist.

28 Hair Highwayman Ptg

The highest realized price for a Florida Highwayman painting – of which there were a total of 18 in the sale – was $9,680 for this seascape painting, done in oil on Upson board, by Alfred Hair (1941 -1971) ($4/6,000).

41 Livingston Roberts Highwayman

This landscape by Florida Highwayman Livingston “Castro” Roberts centers on a royal poinciana, a common feature of the local landscape. It measured 24 by 36 inches and went for $8,773 from a Delaware collector; the price set a new record for the artist (2/$4,000).

25 Hermann Herzog

A buyer from Orlando, Florida got this Southern river landscape painting by Hermann Ottomar Herzog for $8,773. It was from a private Florida collection ($10/15,000).

27 MA Carroll Florida Sunset

Mary Ann Carroll’s “Florida Sunset,” with its vibrant colors, set a new record for the artist, releasing to a Delaware collector for $8,470 (3/6,000).

3 Atwill Garden Jekylls V

“Jekyll’s Garden V” by Douglas E. Atwill, 1994, acrylic on linen, was from the Munson Gallery, Santa Fe. Bidders brought it to $6,655, just beyond expectations. It sold to the same New York collector who bought the Boscoe Holder and also set a new record for Atwill ($3/6,000).

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Prints by Pablo Picasso are favorites among bidders, and the sale featured three. “Ball Players,” an etching and aquatint on laid paper, had been exhibited in several museum exhibitions, including those in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Glen Falls, NY. It found a new house for $3,630 ($3/5,000).

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