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The American artist most in demand in a June 23 picture sale held by Freemans of Philadelphia was Fern Isabel Coppedge (1888-1951), an Illinois-born painter who, when working outdoors, would tie her canvases to a tree rather than use an easel. The picture seen above right, a 2ft 6in (76cm) square oil on canvas catalogued as A Town along the Delaware, but, according to the auctioneers, possibly a view of the town of Stockton in New Jersey, was a work that came to auction through the artist’s family and it sold for $90,000 (£60,810).

Below right: signed and dated 1948 and inscribed with the title The Carversville Brook, this is one of the many snow scenes that Coppedge produced and shows the more fanciful use of colours, the post-Impressionist or Fauvist style that she adopted in her later years.

This oil was bid to $60,000 (£40,540). Chosen to illustrate the catalogue cover, Edward Henry Potthast’s At the Seashore was without doubt the most important canvas in an American picture sale held by Swanns on May 22.

Potthast made seaside holidays something of a speciality in his work and this canvas duly made the day’s top price of $63,000 (£42,565). The painting was accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Mary Ran Gallery of Cincinnati, who are to include it in their forthcoming catalogue raisonné. Attributed to Paul Seifert (1840-1921), a simple watercolour view of a farmstead was valued at just a few thousand dollars in a May 25 sale held in Hudson, New York State, by the recently formed auction house of Stair Galleries. Absentee bidders – one of whom, say the auctioneers, was a well known Manhattan dealer – were left behind at $35,000 when five telephone bidders took over and pushed the price to $58,000 before the picture was knocked down to David Westcroft, a dealer from Westborough, Massachusetts, who, when he came to the auctioneers’ Claverack (NY) offices to collect his purchase, declared it the best Seifert that he had ever seen.

Born in Dresden, Seifert emigrated to to the USA in 1867 and settled in south west Wisconsin, where he made a living by growing fruit and vegetables, but as a sideline he would travel around the region painting portraits of farms that he then sold to their owners for $2.50 each.