Published: October 23, 2015
LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — A Greene & Greene table lamp with inlay and cutouts trounced a presale estimate of $40/60,000 to bring $502,000, including buyer’s premium, at Rago Arts and Auction Center’s Twentieth Century decorative arts and design sale October 16-18. Top lot of the day on October 17, the 1912 four-socket example was made of mahogany, ebony, brass, silk and copper and measured 24½ by 23 inches.
Once a fixture in the Robert R. Blacker house in Pasadena, Calif., built in 1907 by Robert Roe and Nellie Canfield Blacker and designed by Henry and Charles Greene, the lamp now enters the collection of the Modernism Museum in Mount Dora, Fla., the successful bidder. Another decorative arts institution was the underbidder.
The Blacker house was purchased in 1994 by Harvey and Ellen Knell, who have worked with Greene and Greene restoration specialists to restore it inside and out. Rago confirmed that Harvey Knell was at the sale in an effort to win the lamp. The price was believed to be a record by Rago’s, besting Sotheby’s $470,500 sale of a Greene & Greene lotus lantern (also from the Blacker House) in December 2010. The three-day auction at Rago brought $7,259,000 and set two additional record prices — $162,500 for a Robsjohn Gibbings for Widdicomb Mesa coffee table and $75,000 for a Paul Evans deep relief cabinet.
A complete report on this sale will appear in an upcoming edition.
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