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Rockwell's firefighter to highlight Grogan auction
The highlight of the auction is an oil study for The Fireman by venerated illustrator and American icon Norman Rockwell. The 14 x 11 inch oil on paper board, painted as a study for the May 27, 1944 cover of The Saturday Evening Post, is estimated at $50,000-100,000.

DEDHAM, MASS.- Grogan and Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers is pleased to announce their upcoming February 23rd auction includes over 800 lots of Jewelry and Silver, American and European Fine Art, 18th and 19th century Furniture and Decorations, Asian and Tribal Works of Art, and Oriental Rugs and Carpets from various New England Estates and Collections. The sale will appeal to a myriad of collecting tastes.

The highlight of the auction is an oil study for The Fireman by venerated illustrator and American icon Norman Rockwell. The 14 x 11 inch oil on paper board, painted as a study for the May 27, 1944 cover of The Saturday Evening Post, is estimated at $50,000-100,000. The study, which includes the original autographed photograph of the sitter, was a gift from the artist to the sitter, Howard Lewis of Dodd, Mead and Company, New York's pioneer publishing house. 

The work was inspired by Rockwell’s discovery of an antique gilt frame in a junk shop which was carved with axes, hoses, ladders, and other firefighting artifacts. Rockwell set out to find the perfect sitter, who turned out to be Howard Lewis, whom he met at a publisher’s party in New York City. Struck by Lewis's old-fashioned look, Rockwell invited Lewis to his studio where he dressed him in a turn-of-the-century fireman's uniform and took his photograph. The study lead to a larger oil on canvas painting, which is now in a private collection.

The sale will begin at 10 a.m. with Jewelry and Silver, followed by over 150 paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. American works on paper include Springtime, a 21 x 16 watercolor by well known Massachusetts painter Dennis Miller Bunker ($10,000-15,000) and Deer Isle Maine, a 1932 watercolor by John Marin ($20,000-30,000). American Landscapes are represented by Spring Snow, an oil on canvas by Rockport painter William Lester Stevens ($5,000-7,000; and Schouschis Rock, an oil on canvas by venerated Hudson River painter, Thomas Hill ($6,000-8,000). A rare to the market seven volume leather bound set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, first octavo edition includes 500 hand colored lithographs and is estimated to bring $25,000-35,000. Modern and Contemporary offerings include Suomi, a circa 1976 oil by German/American painter Friedel Dzubas ($15,000-25,000); and Quarry, a color lithograph by Robert Raushenberg ($1,000-2,000). Sculpture highlights include Silence and Repose, a pair of gilt painted plaster bookends by African American artist Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller ($3,000-5,000).

The exhibition will open to the public beginning Wednesday, February 19th. Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. The auction begins promptly at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 23rd. A fully illustrated catalogue can be found at For more information call 781-461-9500.

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February 11, 2014

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