Quinn’s to auction folk art from prestigious Sellen-Burt collection, April 20

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Featured: works by Clementine Hunter, Roy Ferdinand, Ivy Billiot, several other noted Louisiana artists

Clementine Hunter (Louisiana,1886-1988), ‘Falling angels.’ Two painted diamond-shape panels. Initialed on each. Framed size: 20½ x 20½ inches. Collection of Betty-Carol Sellen and Martha Burt. Estimate $800-$1,200
Clementine Hunter (Louisiana,1886-1988), ‘Falling angels.’ Two painted diamond-shape panels. Initialed on each. Framed size: 20½ x 20½ inches. Collection of Betty-Carol Sellen and Martha Burt. Estimate $800-$1,200

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – On Tuesday, April 20, Quinn’s Auction Galleries will present a 155-lot Folk Art Auction that encompasses a variety of media, including pottery, wood carvings, metal sculptures, mixed-media paintings, and works by such renowned artists as Clementine Hunter, Roy Ferdinand, and Dr Bob. Creations by Louisiana and New Orleans artists including Prophet Royal Robertson, Reginald Mitchell, and Cyril and Ivy Billiot will also be offered. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers

Many items in the sale are from the collection of Betty-Carol Sellen and Martha Burt. Sellen, a librarian and long-time collector of folk and outsider art, has authored or co-authored numerous books on those subjects. One of her best-known titles is Self-Taught, Outsider and Folk Art: A Guide to American Artists. Burt served on the board of directors for Art Enables in Washington DC, and as a member of the National Advisory Board for the Folk Art Society of America. She received the Folk Art Society’s Award of Distinction in 2002 for her work in the field.

The auction will set sail with a mixed-media assemblage boat model by Ronald J. Scott (Lafitte, La., 1922-2003) titled the Sea Wing. Its jaunty color palette includes marine blue, yellow and orange, with black and white accents, and atop its mast is a cloth American Flag. The colorful vessel measures 32 by 56 by 14 inches and is initialed on the captain’s quarters. Its auction estimate is $2,000-$4,000.

Ivy Billiot’s (Houma, La., b. 1948-) 65-inch-long carved and painted tiger casts a mesmerizing gaze with its round yellow eyes but seems to be casual about his stalking. His half-smile is punctuated by applied “whiskers,” and his long tail curls nonchalantly in the air. The folky feline comes to auction with an $800-$1,200 estimate. A fantasy animal with gaping jaws and puzzling appendages, titled Creature, was crafted from cut tin, then painted, by David Butler (American, 1898-1997). It is signed “DB” on each side and is expected to make $600-$900 at auction.

The revered Clementine Hunter (Louisiana,1886-1988) is represented by a work comprised of painted diamond-shape panels titled ‘Falling angels,’ estimated at $800-$1,200. Similarly estimated, Roy Ferdinand’s (New Orleans, 1959-2004) Portrait of Jimmy Lee Sudduth is a mixed media on paper that was created in 1990.  

Also worthy of note, “Prophet” Royal Robertson’s (Baldwin, La., 1930-1997) mixed media on paper artwork titled Spaceship adds an unexpectedly futuristic spin to the folk-art genre. It is signed at lower right and estimated at $600-$900.

Quinn’s Tuesday, April 20, 2021 auction will start at 2 p.m. ET. There will be no in-person floor bidding; all bidding will be remote, either by phone, absentee through Quinn’s website (www.quinnsauction.com), or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers or Invaluable. For additional information about any item in the auction or to discuss a future consignment, call Charlotte Taylor at Quinn’s, 703-532-5632 ext. 526, or email [email protected]. Visit Quinn’s online at www.quinnsauction.com.