Published: September 21, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Clarke Auctions
LARCHMONT, N.Y. – More than 600 lots of estate merchandise crossed the block at Clarke Auction Gallery on September 12, a diverse selection that presented bidders with fine art, Continental decorative arts and furniture, Midcentury Modern and designer fare, lighting, sculpture, estate jewelry and more. The sale grossed a little more than $1 million, according to auctioneer Ron Clarke with a sell-through rate north of 90 percent. Approximately 4,000 approved bidders lined up on online platforms, phones and left bids.
Leading the sale was Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s (Aboriginal-Australian, circa 1910-1996) grouping of five acrylics on canvas, collectively titled “Yam Dreaming,” 1996, which exceeded the $20/30,000 estimate to finish at $112,500. From a Westchester County, N.Y., collection, the artwork had Dreaming Art Center of Utopia (DACOU) inventory numbers: 5FT-EK69a-e verso. Dimensions of each panel were 48 inches high by 35½ inches wide. One of the most prominent and successful artists in the history of Australian art, Kngwarreye was from the Utopia community in the Northern Territory. A foundational member of a group of women in a communal project focused on batik, Kngwarreye transitioned to acrylic in 1988. William Schweller, Clarke’s fine art specialist, said the work is heading back to Australia, the primary market for this artist’s paintings. A private collector paid the top price. “It’s interesting to see how well her paintings stand up as abstract pieces even though she was not schooled in non-representational western art,” said Schweller.
A White Plains, N.Y., estate contributed an extraordinary pair of French Noble .950 silver seven-light candelabras that lit up to $35,000 against a $7/9,000 estimate. On footed stepped circular bases decorated with floral swags and bearing the coat of arms of Baron Bertrand de Lassus, they came with family provenance stating that they were given to their grandfather, the president of Turkey, from the Eastern Orthodox patriarch Athenagoras. One candelabra base was engraved with “My prayers are presented to the Honorable President Celal Bayar, Patriarch Atinagoras 1952.” The firm’s jewelry and silver specialist Whitney Brea said that the historical provenance coupled with all the “bells and whistles” one could ask for in terms of craftsmanship and form propelled the 15-by-27½-inch candelabras to their lofty result.
More than doubling its high estimate at $27,500 was a Philip LaVerne (American, 1908-1988) and Kelvin LaVerne (American, b 1936) “Eternal Forest” coffee table, circa 1969, with an acid-etched, enameled, patinated brass and pewter-clad surface over a wooden superstructure. The circular top bore the etched signature “Philip & Kelvin LaVerne” and dimensions were 42 by 17 inches. Fetching $10,625 was a pair of bronze gueridon tables.
Key lighting in the sale included a Tiffany Studios signed 18-inch table lamp on a bronze lily pad base at $23,750, as well as two large and rare chandeliers, one a Rene Lalique Coquelicots chandelier from a Sutton Place South New York City apartment that was bid to $15,000, and a skeleton-form rock crystal, amethyst and clear glass example from a Mamaroneck, N.Y., estate that brought $11,250. Also, a pair of antique gilt-bronze figural lamps executed with angels and winged figures and tole shades from an East 87th Street New York City estate took $8,125.
There was more fine art on offer, notably a Modernist harbor scene by Wilhelm Egon Wiedemann (German, 1905-1969), a watercolor on canvas from 1946, 23¼ by 32 inches, signed and dated lower right, that left the gallery at $15,000. Another Modernist painting, this one an abstract composition, oil on board, by Nicolas Carone (American, 1917-2010), was signed lower right and bore a Staempfli Gallery label affixed verso. Measuring 20½ by 28¼ inches, it also commanded $15,000. It was one of two Carone paintings offered in the sale, and Schweller said their results were pleasing for the Abstract Expressionist artist of the New York school often overshadowed by Jackson Pollack and other heavyweights.
Itshak Jack Holtz (Polish-Israeli, 1925-2018), also known as Itzhak Holtz and Isaac Holtz, was an Orthodox Jewish painter who is best known for his paintings and drawings that depict traditional scenes of Jewish life. Such was the case with a colored pencil work, “Two Chassidim,” 1968, that realized $9,375. From a Pennsylvania collection, it was signed lower right, signed, dated and titled verso and measured 11¼ by 17¼ inches.
From a Scarsdale, N.Y., collection, an oil on canvas, “Woman with Fan,” 1911, by Harry Schwabe (1843-1916) sold for $8,750. It was signed and dated lower left, bore a Hammer Galleries label affixed verso and measured 42¼ by 24 inches.
A sculpture highlight was an Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) bronze achieving $8,125. Depicting a resting nude figure morphed with a rock-like base, it was stamped on its base A. Rudier Foundry, Paris, and also signed A. Rodin. From a Greenwich, Conn., estate, its measured 8 by 15 by 9½ inches.
The jewelry and timepieces category was led by a pair of Cartier turquoise, diamond, 18K gold and platinum earrings earning $15,000, which Brea observed was not only a nice example of Cartier but also versatile, perfect for the summer months and beyond. Among 20 choice timepieces from various estate collections, a Rolex Submariner two-tone watch went out at $11,250.
After the sale, Clarke said, “What was interesting to me was that there was some antique furniture doing well and that was nice to see. We smashed the record on the LaVerne table, that was a big number for that. Usually we have a situation where the art and the jewelry blow everything else away, but it’s nice to see strength all the way through.”
The next sale is October 10. Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For more information, www.clarkeny.com or 914-833-8336.
October 20, 2021
October 20, 2021
October 20, 2021
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