Auctioneers and Appraisers

John La Farge (American, 1835-1910) Quince Blossoms with Tree Trunk






American & European Works of Art - 3203B
Date / Time :
January 25, 2019 10:00AM


John La Farge (American, 1835-1910)

Quince Blossoms with Tree Trunk
Unsigned, inscribed faintly "-D- 134/Mrs. HH Fuller-/will call" in pencil on the reverse.
Oil on panel, 10 7/8 x 5 7/8 in. (27.8 x 14.8 cm), in a period frame.
Condition: Good.

Provenance: William Vareika Fine Arts, Ltd., Newport, Rhode Island; through to the estate of Richard Mellon Scaife, Pennsylvania. The proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit a Pennsylvania art institution.

N.B. John La Farge's flower paintings have been described as the most beautiful and poetic ever produced by an American artist. The example at hand was reviewed in 1990 by Dr. James L. Yarnall, Director of La Farge Catalogue Raisonné, Inc. He noted that the unexpected perspective, unusual composition, and spindling floral form of a flowering Japanese quince branch were characteristic of "nature-in-nature" still lifes dating from 1871. The work was newly discovered at the time of his review, and no provenance or exhibition history was known. Dr. Yarnall noted that the still life is similar in feeling to La Farge's Flowers, Blue Iris with Trunk of Dead Apple Tree, also from the collection of Richard Mellon Scaife. A photocopy of Dr. Yarnall's typed notecard accompanies the lot. We would like to thank William Vareika, William Vareika Fine Arts, Ltd., Newport, Rhode Island, for his kind assistance cataloging this lot.
Estimate $50,000-70,000

Very minor frame abrasion. Very minor surface imperfections that are in keeping with the aesthetic of the work. Framed dimensions are 16 1/4 x 11 3/8 in.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Fine Arts, Ltd., James L. Yarnall, B. John La Farge, Richard Mellon Scaife, Artists, John La Farge, Mellon, Painters, Quince, Scaife, Visual arts