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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0234

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[photo] North Heads on the Pacific Coast, California

Medium: oil on canvas, back covered with foam board
Size: 30 x 50 in (76.2 x 126.7 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F. Schäfer", in the artist's characteristic block-letter hand
Verso: l/r "North Heads on the Pacific Coast / California", in black brush in the artist's characteristic block-letter hand (visible through a transparent window in the foam board)
Provenance: Sold 14 August 1984 for $650 by Sotheby Arcade, New York, as lot 240 in an unidentified sale. Offered 23 June 1987 by Sotheby's, New York, as lot 155 in sale 1205 (not sold); Sold 7 October 1987 for $825 by Christie's, New York, as lot 113 in sale 6413. Sold 17 March 1988 for $1320 by Sotheby Arcade, New York, as lot 146 in sale 1234. Offered in 1989 by Frank S. Schwartz and Son, Philadelphia; sold 5 May 1990 to collection of Davis Advertising Agency, Philadelphia. "A Main Line consigner" (see Note); sold 6 September 2012 for $5000 (hammer) by Stephenson's Auctioneers and Appraisers, Southhampton, Bucks County, Pennsylvania as lot 410.
Reproductions: 23 June 1987 sale catalog. 7 October 1987 sale catalog. 17 March 1988 sale catalog. American Painting (Schwartz), November 1989, item 28 (color). The Philadelphia Inquirer of 31 August 2012, page B4, columns 1–6 (not seen, assumed to be monochrome). 6 September 2012 sale catalog (color).
Citations: Inventory of American Paintings… record 63008466
Site: The North side of the Golden Gate, near San Francisco, California.
Description: Surf from the dark, greyish-green ocean on the left breaks against a massive, dark brown rock head on the right and a bright beach situated below light beige rocks in the right foreground. A dead branch angles out from atop the nearby rocks; another dead branch lies on the beach just above the signature. A triple-masted ship with its sails stowed steams toward the left with its stack blowing smoke to the right. Beyond, on the horizon, are the sails of three or four schooners. Seagulls flock around the head and in the distance just off the shore. The sky is bright with the high fog typical of a summer day in that area. (From a color photograph.)
Note: The "Main Line consigner" of the provenance (mentioned in the The Philadelphia Inquirer article) may be connected with the collection of Davis Advertising Agency.
Identification: The 7 October 1987 sale describes the painting with the title The North Heads of the Pacific coast, size 29.5 x 30 in, and signature l/l. However, the photograph is of a rectangular painting with the signature l/r, and which appears to be the same painting as in the 17 March 1988 sale. Leonard's Annual Price Index of Art Auctions reports that Sotheby Arcade, in the 14 August 1984 sale, gives the height of this picture as 29.75 in. The Inventory listing spells the artist's name "Schaefer, Frederick Ferdinand", perhaps in an attempt to represent the umlauted "a" in the signature. It is possible that another Inventory of American Paintings report (in 1968) by Metcalf of [North Heads], described as a coast scene near Stinson Beach, north of San Francisco, is also of the same painting.
In index(es): Title list, coastal and marine scenes

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May 19, 2024, 10:22 MDT Accessibility