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Three oil paintings by Ukrainian artist Mychajlo Moroz sell big at Bruneau & Co. auction
Oil on canvas landscape showing the Esopus Creek along the east side of the Catskills by Mychajlo Moroz (Ukrainian, 1904-1992), one of three Moroz paintings in the auction ($2,000).


CRANSTON, RI.- A men’s Patek Philippe platinum perpetual calendar chronograph watch soared to $88,750, a ladies’ platinum 5.99-carat diamond engagement ring slipped onto a new finger for $33,750, and three oil on canvas paintings by the Ukrainian expressionist Mychajlo (“Mihal/Michal”) Moroz (1904-1992) sold for a combined $5,062 at an auction held July 22nd.

They were just a few of the top lots at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ 352-lot Fine Art & Jewelry Auction, held online and in the firm’s Cranston gallery. Around 125 people attended the auction in person, while 2,934 others registered to bid online, via Bidsquare.com, Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com, in addition to the Bruneau & Co. website, at Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com.

The Patek Philippe wristwatch was the top lot of the auction, and bidders weren’t deterred at all by the watch’s condition report that indicated it was in need of a good cleaning. The watch, made in Switzerland around 2000, featured registers and 24-hour and leap year indication with moon phases crafted by Patek Philippe. It was powered by a 24-jewel mechanical movement and came with the original presentation box, a platinum case back, a black leather band and its setting tool.

The runner-up top lot was the diamond engagement ring, boasting a four-prong set, 4.92-carat emerald cut diamond with a bright polish, flanked by two bar-set baguette cut diamond shoulders for a total of 5.99 carats. The size 7 ½ ring was in overall very good condition and came with an appraisal report from a GIA-certified jeweler. The large diamond had SI-I clarity and E-F color.

Mychajlo Moroz was born in Ukraine, studied in Paris as a young man and emigrated to the US in 1949. The period 1970-1988 is considered to be the most productive of his career. He enjoyed widespread acceptance of his work, with numerous exhibitions in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Munich and Paris. Moroz painted in excess of 3,000 works, including portraits, landscapes and genre paintings, in a style that evolved over time from a calm impressionism to expressionism.

His oil paintings in the auction included a landscape depiction of Schoharie County, N.Y., in the Catskill Mountains during the fall, artist signed, dated 1977 and housed in its original French carved frame ($2,000); a landscape showing the Esopus Creek along the east side of the Catskills during spring, signed, dated 1969, also in the original French frame ($2,000); and a similar work, also depicting the Esopus Creek (only during the fall) and unsigned, in an ‘as-is’ frame ($1,062).

A total of 68 bids and 28 absentee bids were recorded in an auction that grossed $423,667. Categories included fine artwork, decorative art, Asian art, sterling silver, cars and motorcycles.

“Overall it was a great sale from start to finish, with some nice surprises in between,” said Travis Landry, Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “It was great to see such strong results for the Moroz paintings and a thrill to hammer down a beautiful platinum Patek Philippe wristwatch.”

Kevin Bruneau, the company president and auctioneer, added, “You can see where the market is changing. Just a brief time ago an average French bronze of a classical woman would have sold for $1,200 and now brings $300, while an unsigned Synthetic Cubist sculpture easily brought over $1,000 in the sale. Collectors today are looking for modern and fun, not classical and stark.”

The Synthetic Cubist sculpture he’s referring to was lot #120 – a European bronze depiction of a face by an unknown artist (but signed “Tonny” on the reverse). The artist effectively modeled the sculpture so that when viewed, the large center protuberance created the bridge of a nose forming a full figure face with hammered details emulating a philtrum and lips surrounding a groove form mouth. The bronze, perched on a marble plinth and 13 ½ inches in height, realized $1,187.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

A large neoclassical bronze sundial by the noted American female sculptor Anna Coleman Ladd (Mass./Calif., 1878-1939), on a marble base and overall 52 ½ inches tall, hammered for $11,875. The sculpture depicted three male figures holding laurel garland encircling a Corinthian-style column, with an acanthus leaf base and capital. The three figures symbolized the three stages of a man’s life (showing a youthful but blinded boy, a strong-willed soldier and an aged philosopher).

A large abstract oil on canvas painting by contemporary artist Gam Klutier (Dutch/Peruvian, b. 1946), changed hands for $2,500. The work, in overall good condition, depicted two abstracted Peruvian lilies in shades of red and yellow, displaying Klutier’s influence from Peru’s wildlife.

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has two major auctions planned for the fall, both with live bidding (in the Cranston gallery) and online bidding. The first will be an Antiques, Fine Art & Asian Estate Auction on Saturday, September 16th. The second is a Toy, Comic & Comic Art Auction planned for Saturday, October 28th. Both auctions will begin promptly at 12 noon Eastern time.






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