Freeman’s launched their Spring auction season with a single-owner sale, 1000 Years of Collecting: The Jeffrey M. Kaplan Collection. The 465 lot sale in two sessions was 99% sold by dollar and 96% by lot, totaling over $1.2 million in sales. The property from a private Washington, D.C. collection spanned a wide variety of collecting categories, spurred high prices, and attracted new buyers. Neal and Lee Kaplan, the brothers of the noted collector, remarked: “Today's successful auction was the result of an ideal partnership-our brother Jeffrey M. Kaplan's refined and elegant taste and Freeman's gracious and dedicated professionalism.”
"Freeman’s has long held that keeping a collection together and offering it as a whole adds a premium to its value. Recent private collections we have sold such as Safford, Horst, Forbes, Brewster, and now Kaplan continue to prove that a collector’s eye is as valuable as their property. People were captivated by Mr. Kaplan’s taste, and bid accordingly,” says Nicholas B.A. Nicholson, Division Head of Decorative Arts and Private Collections at Freeman’s.
Jeffrey M. Kaplan formed an exceptional “collection of collections.” His passion for collecting allowed him to assemble an astonishing body of works in many media that spanned 1000 years. 1000 Years of Collecting: The Jeffrey M. Kaplan Collection featured significant works on paper, Asian works of art, 20th century Design, and 19th century European Furniture & Decorative Arts. The collection included works by noted artists including Cyril Power, Edward Alexander Wadsworth, Joseph Stella, Edward Hopper, and Paul Signac.
“Rather paradoxically, Jeffrey Kaplan's taste was both eclectic and focused. His collection of fine art was clearly that of a connoisseur, not a dilettante. It revealed an inquisitive eye and an inquiring mind,” said Freeman’s Vice-Chairman Alasdair Nichol, who served as auctioneer for the marathon sale. “It is always a bittersweet moment to break up a collection so lovingly assembled, but we are glad to know that many of these works are going to be enjoyed by other collectors who shared Mr. Kaplan's distinctive aesthetic and intellectual curiosity. Seven hours is a long stretch on the rostrum but the palpable enthusiasm of the buyers and energy in the room made me enjoy every moment,” he said.
The Fine Art section of the sale saw numerous high notes, including “March Pools at Twilight” by Charles Burchfield, which set the highest price of the sale, achieving $131,250 against an estimate of $20,000-$30,000, as well as the dynamic Cyril Power work, “The Concerto” which sold for $18,750. With strong results throughout, this section ultimately exceeded the pre-sale high estimate by over 40%. Within the Furniture & Decorative Arts section, Chinese property performed well, with a Han Dynasty style bronze vessel selling for $33,750, well above the estimate of $4,000-$6,000, and the painting “Three Cats” after Huang Quan bringing $20,000 against an estimate of $1,500-$2,000. Sales of Decorative Arts were solid with notable prices across 19th century Decorative Arts and 20th century Design. Freeman’s was honored to present this exceptional collection to the public, and to have worked closely with the Kaplan family to present a fine sale, a beautiful double catalogue, and a handsome exhibition with educational programs for the public.
Images featured: CHARLES EPHRAIM BURCHFIELD (American, 1893-1967) "MARCH POOLS AT TWILIGHT," Sold For $131,250
A Chinese inlaid and patinated archaistic bronze vessel, Hu Sold for $33,750
AFTER HUANG QUAN, THREE CATS, Sold for $20,000