Gloucester Gill Netters, a traditional oil on canvas by Frederick John Mulhaupt (1817-1938), depicting a tranquil dockside scene, auctioned in the US on January 30.
The piece, which was offered from the collection of John F Gale and estimated to be worth between $50,000 and $80,000, brought $50,000 on the day, leading the auction.
The sale was the first of a three day event comprising two further sessions that will conclude on February 1.
Jim Julia, president of the auction house overseeing the event, commented: "The Gale Collection is without question the finest and largest offering of Cape Ann School paintings to come to auction in many years."
Cape Ann in Massachusetts is home to one of America's oldest and most established artist colonies.
Julia comments: "Any collection that includes a Frederick Mulhaupt is fortunate, and Mr Gale's includes five."
Second top lot was Aldro Thompson Hibbard's West River Valley, which brought $29,500, with Hibbard's Village with Bridge in Winter claiming third place at $22,000.
These are exciting times for art collectors, with both Christie's and Sotheby's staging major art sessions as part of old masters week, which commenced on January 29 at Sotheby's with the sale of art from the estate of Giancarlo Baroni.
For more information on the buoyancy of the market, visit Paul Fraser Collectibles free guide to investing in art and photography, and view the art and photography collectibles we currently have in stock here.