Published: June 2, 2020
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Copake Auctions
COPAKE, N.Y. – Bidders were bullish at Copake’s May 23 cataloged estate sale, witnessing a Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) Madoura bowl with a bullfighting theme finish with a flourish at $25,370.
The firm presented 741 lots to bidders around the world, following directives from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in response to the pandemic, by conducting the sale via online, absentee and phone bidding.
Crossing the virtual block in the unreserved sale was a varied selection of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century furniture, artwork, folk art, period accessories, china, glass, stoneware, primitives and more.
Seth Fallon said, “The auction was a success. We had the catalog online for three weeks, which helped increase the amount of bids. We offered curbside postsale pickup, which is working well. There was no in-house preview. That was strange, but we have been selling for so many years online that doing online-only is a very natural progression for us so there were really no hiccups.
“We have been talking about the transition for a long time and knew eventually it would come to this as our crowds have slowly been dissipating. We did miss seeing our regular previewers and catching up like we usually do, but we are adjusting well!”
The Picasso bowl sold to a dealer on behalf of a collector, according to Fallon. The website for the collectible pottery recounts how the artist became involved. In 1946, Picasso visited the pottery exhibition in Vallauris. He took a particular interest in the Madoura stand and asked to be introduced to the owners – Suzanne and Georges Ramié. They invited him to their workshop where he made three pieces, which he left to dry and bake. A year later Picasso returned to see how the pieces had turned out. He was delighted with the quality of the work and asked if he could make more. And thus began a long and productive partnership between Picasso and Madoura.
Other notable results included an Eighteenth Century Chippendale mahogany butler’s secretary that beat its $1,200 high estimate, settling at $3,068. The case piece had Charleston, S.C., origin, was from circa 1785 and was in the style of Robert Walker. It stood 98 inches high, 53 inches wide and 21½ inches deep.
Folky weathervanes, a Copake staple, were represented among the sale’s top lots by a Buffalo weathervane in gold patina, stand included, 26 by 18½ inches, that shouldered its way to a selling price of $2,596.
Bidders were also sanguine about a “Bull under the Tree” Madoura ceramic plate by Picasso, its $2,124 result throwing shade on a $500/700 estimate. Made in 1952, the 8-inch-diameter plate was stamped on the back: “Edition Picasso/ Madoura Plein Feu and inscribed Edition Picasso.”
A square woven rug, 57 by 57 inches and labeled on the reverse “Kilauea / …1983 / Weaver Francois Alacoque,” surprised by eclipsing a $50/70 estimate and selling for $2,006.
International fine art also found strength in the sale when an Old Master print by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), titled “Il cavaliere vicino al suo cavallo,” probably Eighteenth Century, sight 6 by 7½ inches, found favor with a bidder willing to pay $1,770 for the diminutive work.
Additional highlights among the sale’s top lots – each also selling for $1,770 – included a three-piece aluminum patio set; another Eighteenth Century Charleston piece in the form of a mahogany sideboard with bellflower inlay; and a Nineteenth Century inlaid French demilune cabinet.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house.
The firm’s next estate auction is set for June 27. For information, www.copakeauction.com.
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