Published: November 27, 2012
On November 11, Clars Auction Gallery featured a fine art sale that drew highly competitive offers from collectors and galleries around the world. Impressive works from American and European artists, contemporary to Old Masters, drove record bidding, resulting in three new world records.
Rick Unruh, vice president and director of fine art at Clars, said after the event, “We were very pleased with numerous lots far exceeding their estimates in Sunday’s sale. In particular, the painting, ‘A Moment of Prayer’ by Rudolf Johann Weisse (Swiss, 1846‱933), sold to a winning phone bidder in Europe for $82,950. This was a new world record for the artist and just one example of our ever increasing global presence.” This striking Orientalist painting came to the sale with a presale estimate of $40/60,000.
The second new record was set for American abstract sculptor James Rosati (1911‱988). Rosati is best known for his large stone and stainless steel sculptures. The record-setting work here was a painted steel sculpture he titled “Big Red,” 1963. Expected to fetch $20,000 on the high side, this work earned a record $24,885.
The most surprising offering of the sale was another sculpture that soared past its $4/6,000 estimate to also set a new record †after Jean de (Giovanni da) Bologna (Italian, 1529‱608). This Nineteenth Century Italian School bronze sculpture titled “The Rape of the Sabine Women,” was a rare and early casting of this work, measuring 22 inches high on a 5-inch marble base. An international bidding war ensued on this piece, driving the winning price to $82,950.
Furthering the strong performance of sculptures at this sale was the bronze by Henri Godet (French, 1863‱937) titled, “Le Ravissement de Psyche (after Bouguereau),” which performed well at $13,035 followed by another successful sale of an Elizabeth Catlett (American, 1915′012) bronze, this one titled “Mother and Child,” which fetched just under $8,300.
A new edition record was earned for Wayne Thiebaud (Californian, b 1920) on his color etching “Freeway Curve,” which sold for $7,110. The solid price of $11,850 was realized for “Vagaries of War,” the framed oil on board by Henri Bernard Goetz (French, 1909‱989) and earning almost double over high estimate was “Garden by the Sea,” an oil on canvas by Guiseppe D’Angelico Pino (American, 1939′010) for $8,888.
This auction was one of Clars’ most impressive to date, fueling the overall sale gross of $1.2 million. Clars’ next fine art sale will be Sunday, December 9, in conjunction with an auction of fine furnishings, decoratives, jewelry and Asian antiques.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.clars.com or 510-428-0100.
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