Knoxville (865) 558-3033 • Nashville (615) 812-6096 •

Case Auctions
Live Auction

2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 6, 2024 09:00AM EDT
Lot 173

Bill Sawyer Modernist Oil, Man at Table

Estimate: $800 - $900

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

Bill Sawyer (American/Tennessee, 1936-2020) oil on canvasboard modernist painting depicting a young man seated alone at a table, his face half-shadowed. A bud vase holding a flower with a broken stem sits before him, with two dropped petals on the table, and the painting is rendered in melancholy shades of blue. Signed "Bill Sawyer" lower right. Whitewashed molded frame. Sight: 19 1/2" H x 15 1/2" W. Frame: 23 1/2" H x 19 1/2" W. 

Biography: Bill Sawyer was a self-taught artist from Nashville. He is said to have taken up painting while stationed in France in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s. His first exhibition was in Nashville in May of 1959 and he went on to have one-man shows at Daniel Orr's Gallery in San Diego, the Little Gallery in Memphis, TN, and the Parthenon in Nashville. Joseph Patterson, then the president of the American Association of Museums, arranged for a show of Sawyer's work at the Durlacher Brothers Gallery in New York in 1964. Sawyer was the first untrained artist to have a one-man show at the gallery, and his second show there, in 1966, sold out. Shortly after this time, Sawyer traveled overseas. After his trip, for unknown reasons, Sawyer seems to have never painted again. He sought privacy, living quietly in Nashville, where he passed away in 2020. After 1966, his work went on to be exhibited at the Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood, and in the Art of Tennessee exhibit at the Frist Museum (2006).

PROVENANCE: Private Nashville Collection. 


Overall very good condition. A couple of tiny flakes at lower left edge, and a couple of trapped brush hairs at center. Some wear and shrinkage to frame.

Available payment options

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Amex
  • Diners
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Union Pay

Payment must be received no later than five (5) days after the sale.

If paying with a credit card, a 3% credit card processing fee will be applied to the final sales price (i.e. hammer price + buyer's premium + applicable taxes). If you have a credit card on file with Case, any winning bids will be automatically charged (up to $3000) along with applicable fees 72 hours after you receive your invoice unless other arrangements have been made.

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
Routing, Transit, ABA: 064008637
Beneficiary: Case Antiques, Inc.
4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
Account #: NOT DISCLOSED (please refer to your invoice email for the Deposit Account Number or contact us )

The UPS Store of Bearden 865-584-0081 (press 5), fax 865-584-0094 

The UPS Store of Northshore Knoxville Contact – Eve 865-951-2499

John & Max Express LLC NOTE: large items & white glove delivery services only (driving range limitations may apply) Contact – Dina 865-230-1568

Private Nashville Collection.