Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sold Out

or: Cornwell's(?) for sale as Brangwyn's(!)

This post neither states or implies, nor should any party infer or otherwise construe, that willful fraud was attempted by any participants of the auctions featured. As per usual I chalk it all up to some degree of honest incompetence.

'Bought In' euphuism for UNSOLD. Why did these 2  lots not sell? One can only suppose the prospective buyers where hep to their jive.

Lot 1 - Arab market scene, 1922. aka The City of the Great King, ca1926

Listed as the work of Sir Frank Brangwyn, it is decidedly not. Brangwyn's brushwork is more fluid. They say its signed, where …thats not his signature, does it say Tangiers? Once the composition is properly identified you might be tempted to state the work is a study by Dean Cornwell. That I feel would be a fallacy. The modelling attempts to mimic the original yet the drawing persistently fails. The proportion of each group of figures is off, as is the scale of individual figures within the groupings. Now you might say, "but its a study!", well …a color study at that size would be based on the final design (see Lot 2) …the negative shape of the street and the subsequent tangent at its apex is just inexcusable.

Dean Cornwell - The City of the Great King - January 1926 Good Housekeeping

At this point 'after Dean Cornwell' seems proper. As in a previous post, lets run the numbers (all estimates in U.S. dollars, USD);

Brangwyn, estimate~  theirs $15,000 - 20,000 …mine $12,000 - 16,000
color study/partial composition/unsigned, Cornwell, estimate~  $1,200 - 3,000
after Cornwell by Inconnu ca1920's, estimate~  $450 - 900  (take it and run)

Lot 2 - Village procession, aka The Road to Damascus, ca1925-26

Listed as by Sir Frank Brangwyn, one would expect better of Christie's (future post there). Though not a Brangwyn, this one fares better as a probable original Cornwell study. Well drawn, well painted, study based on final design so thought can be devoted to pertinent decisions regarding colour-values.

Dean Cornwell - The Road to Damascus - November 1926 Good Housekeeping

We'll go with 'attributed', hell let's go crazy …by Dean Cornwell. The numbers;

1989 numbers
Sir Frank Brangwyn~  $5,141 - 8,568
Dean Cornwell (not signed)~  $500 - 1,800

Lesson learned~ You can ask for more money if you list it as by Brangwyn rather than by Cornwell.

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