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2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 6, 2024 09:00AM EDT
Lot 168

Beauford Delaney Pastel Portrait of a Man Smoking a Pipe

Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Beauford Delaney (American/Tennessee, 1901-1979) pastel on wove paper bust-length portrait of a man with a pipe in his mouth, 1930s. The man, with dark hair and goatee, wears a brown suit with a bright blue tie and stares intensely at the viewer with furrowed brow. He sits or stands before a bookcase filled with colorful bindings that create a geometrically patterned background. With Beauford Delaney estate stamp en verso. Unsigned. Unframed. Sheet: 25" H x 19 3/4" W. 

Note: Modernist artist Beauford Delaney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. An apprentice to artist Lloyd Branson, Delaney was encouraged by his mentor to study art in Boston. In 1929 he traveled to New York and established himself as a prominent artist of the Harlem Renaissance. There he gained the attention and admiration of well-known writers and artists such as James Baldwin, Georgia O’Keefe, Alfred Stieglitz, and many others. Delaney experimented throughout his career with a wide variety of styles, including his personal brands of realism, fauvism, post-impressionism, and abstract expressionism. His departure from New York to Paris in 1953 also marked his transition from figurative compositions to abstractions with a focus on color and light. Numerous portraits by Delaney demonstrate the artist’s fauvist tendencies in regard to his use of vibrant, non-local color for expressive effect. Additionally, the penetrating stare and psychological intensity of this pastel suggest the influence of modernist portraiture by luminaries like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse.

PROVENANCE: Estate of Beauford Delaney, Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, court-appointed administrator.


Central image (apart from edges) in very good condition with bright colors. Upper left and center left with spots of liquid staining, largest to center left edge, 4" x 1". All corners with pinpoint punctures and loss to tips. Edges with handling wear including creasing and minor tears and losses. Largest crease to upper left edge, 8 1/2" L. Upper left corner with 1" x 3/16" loss to left edge, below corner. Lower right corner with 2 1/2" x 1/2” loss along right edge of sheet. Upper right corner with 1" x 3/4” tear without loss reattached with archival adhesive. Two 1/2" tears without loss to center right edge. With additional pinholes to upper center edge plus two pinholes 2" and 2 1/2" above lower edge, respectivley, to sitter's right arm. 

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If paying with wire transfer, please use the following information:
Bank: Pinnacle Bank
150 Third Avenue South, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone # (865) 766-3000
Swift Code: PNFPUS44
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4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
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Estate of Beauford Delaney, Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, court-appointed administrator.