Published: February 23, 2016
Review By Victoria Winslow, Photos Courtesy Clarke Auction Gallery
LARCHMONT, N.Y. — Clarke’s January 31 auction featured fine art, sculpture, midcentury furnishings, silver and other interesting estate items. The 300-lot sale began with works by Raymond Wendell, Leslie Eisenberg, Kazuya Sakai, Jacques Hnizdovsky, Oscar Schmidt and numerous others.
An oil on canvas painting depicting rabbis in a synagogue by Oscar Schmidt, purchased by the consignor from Sotheby’s in 1999, realized $11,250. Nearly quadrupling its low estimate, the painting was accompanied by the Sotheby’s receipt and catalog listing. Another standout in the traditional fine arts category was a portrait of George Washington, after Rembrandt Peale, which flew to $8,750 amid heavy bidding.
Multiples offerings fared well with woodcuts by Jacques Hnizdovsky of amusing, stylized animals, including zebras, flamingos, geese and cats, sold well above estimate. Three lots comprising four, four and five woodcuts sold for $2,875, $2,625 and $4,500, respectively. Marc Chagall’s lithograph “Printemps au Pre,” 1961, made $6,250; Joan Miro’s 1966 lithograph “International Rescue,” 26/250, from a Harrison, N.Y., estate took $2,125; and Robert Indiana’s silkscreen “No.1” from the “Numbers” series went to $2,375.
Several Native American subject bronzes achieved excellent results. Carl Kauba’s “A Friend In Need” depicting an American Indian on horseback rescuing another Indian whose horse was down realized $11,250. The same amount was bid for another Kauba bronze, “How-Kola!” Kauba was born on August 13, 1865 and was the son of an Austrian shoemaker. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and spent two years in Paris. It is debatable that he ever visited America, as many of his sculptures appear to be based on period photographs. Discrepancies such as shod horses being ridden by American Indians are one indicator. Kauba also worked under the names Karl Thenn and T. Curts, possibly for copyright reasons.
An antique carved African bench from a New York City estate proved to be one of the sale’s surprises when it achieved $9,375. Ron Clarke, owner of Clarke Auction Gallery, shared, “This stool turned out to be a rare African Dahomey piece, a nice surprise.” Another exotic offering was the set of six exceptional silver samurai Shokal Yokohama floral decorated chargers, selling for $8,125. These were purchased by the consignor’s great-great-grandfather in Japan and were from the same estate as the beautiful Japanese tea service that sold at Clarke in June 2015 for $20,000.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.clarkeny.com.
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