Boat at Sea Bright (1888) by Louis C Tiffany, $90,000 (£75,000) at Ahlers & Ogletree.

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However, he was also a formally trained artist of some merit.

His oils and watercolours are of particular interest for their choice of subject matter. As well as typical Hudson River School style landscapes of upstate New York, Tiffany applied the lessons of French realism to paint scenes of industry along the Hudson River and the slums of New York City.

His apparently tranquil scenes of Seabright, New Jersey, also depict its mixed-race fishing community and the economic strife faced by African Americans who moved north after the civil war.

It was one of these Seabright scenes that topped Ahlers & Ogletree’s (25% buyer’s premium) two-day sale held at the auction house’s new gallery on Atlanta’s Upper West Side on August 25-26.

Carrying the Boat at Sea Bright, N.J depicts four men (probably African Americans) on the sand with buildings in the background.

Measuring 3 x 2ft (91.5 x 61cm), it is signed and dated 1888 and has labels verso for the Chicago Interstate Industrial Exposition of that year and the Ohio Society of New York. It had much in common with the better-known painting Pushing Off the Boat at Sea Bright, painted by Tiffany while staying in New Jersey in 1887.

The painting topped its pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$75,000 to bring $90,000 (£75,000).

Chinese successes

The surprise performers among the 484 lots were Chinese works of art.


Chinese imperial-style sword or jian, $55,000 ($45,800) at Ahlers & Ogletree.

These included an imperial-style sabre or jian with finely tooled pierced gilt bronze mounts decorated with writhing dragons and tendrils and a coral bead to the pommel.

It had some condition issues (it was missing the shagreen hilt and the scabbard with chilong mount had a split and some losses) but this is a well-known model used by the elite of the Qing court during the reign of the Qianlong emperor (1736-96).

Catalogued as 19th century, but possibly earlier, it was estimated at $400-$900 but changed hands for $55,000 (£45,800).


A Yellow Lion (1972) by Henri Hecht Maik, $17,000 (£14,200) at Ahlers & Ogletree.

Five paintings by the French naïve artist Henri Hecht Maïk (1922-93) were offered. All came with labels from the Wally Findlay Galleries which hosted the first US exhibition of Maïk’s paintings in New York in 1964 and continued to hold many successful shows in New York, Chicago, Palm Beach, Beverly Hills, and Paris.

A large format oil on canvas measuring 4ft 3in x 3ft 2in led the offering at $17,000 (£14,200). The Yellow Lion depicting a lion and a cub in a technicolour jungle landscape was boldly signed and dated [19]72 and titled in French to verso.