Armenian Art Top Lots At Trinity International Auction

AVON, CONN.: “It was a really good auction,” stated auctioneer Steve Gass in regard to Trinity International Auctions’ sale of more than 200 paintings on February 2. “We had participation from people all over the world,” reported the auctioneer in the days following the sale. The auction house saw buyers from Russia, France, England and all across the United States bid enthusiastically from the start of the auction until the finish.

Located in the arts community of Old Avon Farms, the auction gallery is fittingly housed in a brownstone building in the middle of the Craftsman-style campus, seemingly a perfect spot to sell highly desirable works of art. Not only was the clientele international, so was the selection of art offered, with Gass commenting that many of the works were repatriated.

The auction got off to a good start with a Helen Frankenthaler silkscreen, “The Cleveland Orchestra 60th Anniversary,” that was hand signed and published by Tyler Graphics. From 1978/79, the rare work sold above estimates at $5,185.

Leading the auction was a vibrant and colorful painting by Armenian artist Martiros Saryan depicting a field filled with flowers. Executed in 1958, the oil on canvas was titled “Poppies” and measured 28 by 43 inches. The lot was accompanied by letter from the director of the Saryan Museum confirming it as authentic. Estimated at $120/140,000, the painting saw spirited bidding, finishing at the high end of the estimate at $140,300, selling to a collector of Armenian art in California.

Another Armenian artist represented in the auction was Minas Avetisyan, whose oil from 1960 titled “A Village in the Mountains” went to a California bidder for $24,400.

Another lot that attracted a great deal of attention was a group of four bronzes by Bernard Meadow. When first consigned, the auction gallery thought they might be the work of another artist. “Initially we thought they were the work of Mario Marini, but we quickly discovered them to be from Meadow’s ‘Frightened Bird’ series,” stated Gass. The auctioneer reported substantial interest in the lot, with calls pouring in from all over the world. The auctioneer also related that Meadows had been the executor of sculptor Henry Moore’s estate.

“We had bidders from the Netherlands, France, several from London and some American clients,” he said. Ultimately it came down to four phone bidders and the auctioneer related that it got “crazy at the end,” with the lot selling well above estimate at $12,500 and going to a London buyer.

An abstract painting by Aaron Levy, appropriately titled “Abstraction,” doubled presale estimate, bringing $4,270. A realism work by South African artist Tinus de Jongh did well at $4,575, and a Harley Manilius Perkins oil titled “Enchanted Forest” brought $4,900.

A charcoal on paper by Willem de Kooning depicting a woman was actively bid, with a professor from the University of Alabama winning the lot at $3,950.

“Still Life,” an oil on canvas by French artist Claude Venard, depicted a table setting in a Modernist style. It sold at $5,500, while “Chic Pour la Grande Parasol” by Frenchman Phillipe Auge realized $3,400.

Russian works of art are hotly contested these days, with solid prices paid for two mixed media on paper works by Leon Samoilovitch Bakst. “Cleopatre,” a colorful piece that was signed and dedicated “A Mon Ami Andre Saglio, 1909 Paris” led the way, selling at the high end of estimate, $9,150. “Princess Enchantee,” another mixed media by Bakst, also finished at the high end of estimate, bringing $5,800. Another Russian work by Georgy Bashinzhagyan, an oil on cardboard landscape, sold at $5,800.

A small collection of bronze sculpture crossed the block, with “Leda and the Swan” by Armenian artist Reuben Nakian selling at $3,050, while “The Sherriff” by Gib Singleton went out at $2,560.

An acrylic on canvas by American artist Mark Kostabi, “Joy Ride,” was purchased by a bidder from Hong Kong at $2,825, a William McGregor Paxton charcoal of a young girl brought $1,700, and a Walter Rindel oil on wood panel landscape realized $1,800.

Prices include the buyer’s premium.

The next auction at Trinity International will take place April 20 and consignments are still being accepted. For additional information, 860-677-9996 or

One of a group of four bronzes by Bernard Meadow from the “Frightened Bird” series. The lot sold well above estimate, realizing $12,500.

The Minas Avetisyan oil on canvas, “A Village in the Mountains,” finished at $24,400.

The mixed media on paper work by Leon Samoilovitch Bakst, “Cleopatre,” realized $9,150.

More stories like this: Trinity Auction, Armenian art, Steve Gass
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