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      Sale 2255 | Lot 30
      Price Realized: $108,000With Buyer's Premium
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      • Sale 2255 Lot 30

        JACOB LAWRENCE (1917 - 2000)
        Two gouache paintings.

        Untitled (Dealer) * Untitled (Two Card Players). Each on brown composition board, enclosed in a wooden frame, circa 1941-42. Each panel 1676x457 mm; 66x18 inches; upper register (figures), 480x420 mm; 19x16 1/2 inches; lower register (playing cards), 997x419 mm; 39 1/4x16 1/2 inches.

        Provenance: private collection.

        An extraordinary discovery, this folding screen shows Jacob Lawrence's early painting in a new light and in a format not seen before. While working on The Legend of John Brown series in New Orleans, Lawrence painted scenes of his new Southern environs--including other individual paintings of poker players and couples drinking. By 1941, the young artist had added brighter colors and an angular modernity to his flattened and simplified compositions of the late 1930s.

        These two panels are the only complete sides of what was realized as a four-panel folding screen. Two other paintings that were apparently separated upper registers were sold individually at Swann Galleries on February 23, 2010 (lot 32) and on October 7, 2010 (lot 23). At the time, Swann Galleries was unaware of the existence of these two additional paintings--until these surviving screens were recovered by the present owner. Together, the upper registers show four different sides of a poker game, each paired with a painting of an ace card on the lower register.

        We would like to thank Peter T. Nesbett, former director of the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project, and co-author of Jacob Lawrence: Paintings, Drawings and Murals (1835-1999), a Catalogue Raisonné, for examining these paintings. Nesbett writes of each panel: "In my opinion, the top painting is the American painter Jacob Lawrence (1971 - 2000), realized while the artist was on his honeymoon in New Orleans in late 1941/early 1942, or shortly after his return to New York. The bottom painting, the playing card, is likely by the artist, as well." Both panels in this lot will be sold accompanied by his signed letter of opinion, dated June 8, 2011, confirming the attribution.

        Estimate $50,000 - 75,000

        Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $108,000