Only a few times has an item ever sold for over $1 million at a Connecticut auction, but this very rare feat was accomplished on January 1st when an oil on board painting by Wayne Thiebaud (American, b. 1920), titled Lollipop Tree, soared to $1.08 million at Nadeau’s Auction Gallery’s annual New Year’s Day auction. The sale price includes the buyer’s premium.
With a pre-sale estimate of $400,000-$800,000, the painting was easily the auction’s expected top lot, but what wasn’t expected was the fact that it finished at more than $200,000 beyond even the high figure. The colorful and whimsical painting, 13 inches by 10 ¼ inches, was artist signed and dated 1969 in pencil and still had the Allan Stone Galleries (N.Y.) label on verso, from 1970.
Wayne Thiebaud is a pop artist widely known for his colorful works depicting everyday objects, such as pies, lipstick, paint cans, ice cream cones, pastries and hot dogs. But he’s also renowned for his landscapes and figural paintings. He uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are usually evident.
In all, nearly 700 quality lots came up for bid, online and in Nadeau’s gallery at 25 Meadow Road in Windsor. Online bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Bidsquare.com and Invaluable.com, as well as via the company website, www.NadeausAuction.com. Phone and absentee bids were also taken. Overall the sale grossed $3.1 million, a new record for Nadeau.
“This was by far and away the largest and the strongest sale in our company’s history,” said Ed Nadeau, owner of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery. “Breaking the $3 million barrier was a first for us, and we saw strong results across all categories, even to include furniture, which has been quite soft for the past few years. We look forward to continued success throughout 2018 and beyond.”