Copley Fine Art Auctions returns to Charleston on Friday, February 17 for the staging of their much-anticipated Winter Sale. Held in conjunction with the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, the sale contains over 450 lots covering a wide range of American, sporting, wildlife, and western art. In Charleston, bidders will get a rare opportunity to take home world-class paintings, bird carvings, and antique hunting and fishing collectibles.
Decoys are always popular with collectors, and this year’s Copley’s Winter Sale boasts a lineup any catalog would be proud of. Highlights include a stellar selection of works by A.E. Crowell, such as a rare “dust jacket” plover in original paint and emerging plumage. Also set to cross the block is a rare Charles Birch swan (pictured above), one of only a handful of swan decoys by the artist known to exist.
The flying mallard pair (pictured above) round out perhaps the strongest offering of decorative carvings by Marylands Ward brothers to ever come to auction. Other examples include a standing blue-winged teal pair, a rare feeding curlew, a preening Canada goose, and a bluebill pair.
The Grant Nelson Collection of Shorebird Decoys, totaling well over one hundred birds, are a defining collection in the field. Highlights here include the McCleery Bunn/Bowman golden plover, one of the finest plover decoys in existence, and the Herrick-Ward yellowlegs (pictured above), also by Bunn/Bowman. The majority of the birds from this famous Herrick Collection reside at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook.
Paintings are led by Delaware artist Frank E. Schoonover’s canoe scene Trappers on the Lake, created by the artist for Canadian author Constance Lindsay Skinner’s 1933 story, My Canoe Is All My Good. With its bright colors and handsomely rendered figures, the painting depicts a tranquil, merry day and stands among Schoonovers finest paintings.
A wide selection of prints from the Ernest and Carolyn Kramer Collection will be on offer, including twenty-two rare and collectible etchings by Frank W. Benson. Multiple Aiden Lassell Ripley prints will be up for grabs, alongside works by noted American printmakers Anders Zorn, Raphael Soyer, and others.
Contemporary sporting and wildlife artists Thomas Aquinas Daly, Luke Frazier, Ewoud de Groot, Chet Reneson, Brett Smith, and John Swan will be represented. De Groot, a dynamic Dutch artist who combines abstraction with beautifully rendered birds in his paintings, marks his Copley debut with Oystercatchers and Tails (pictured above), an oil painting by John Swan, will be sold to benefit the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.
Fishing-related items are led by a notable group of paintings and carvings by Canadian artist and fisherman Tommy Brayshaw. On offer will be mixed media drawings of different types of trout and salmon, as well as painted carvings, including a steelhead trout trophy plaque (pictured above). Flies tied by Megan Boyd and Payne and Leonard fly rods round out the antique collectible fishing items in the sale.
Online bidding on all 450 lots will be available through Bidsquare. The auction takes place on Friday, February 17 at the American Theater in Charleston SC, with bidding commencing at 11 am. Look now at the full catalog.