Published: July 17, 2012
Rago Arts and Auction Center’s Twentieth⁔wenty-First Century Design sale June 16‱7 achieved a total of $4.74 million and attracted a strong contingent of absentee bidding with 451 bidders online vying with 265 phone bidders, 142 absentee bids and another 90 in-house bidders. The 1,096-lot auction was 82 percent sold.
“The five Modern auctions that preceded ours the week of our sale were mostly strong, but there were some soft spots in European furniture and Tiffany,” said David Rago. “Our sale had soft spots, too, but did pretty much as we had hoped, in spite of $20 million having been taken out of the market before our first hammer fell. And it was Father’s Day.”
Saturday’s session offered early Twentieth Century design and Arts and Crafts, which attained $1,749,438, indulging the buyer’s premium, well above the sale’s high estimate. Also notable is that 15 percent of the online bidders came from outside the United States, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.
The top lots of the session were an enamel-decorated Frederick Hurten Rhead vessel that attained $150,000, a Tiffany Studios floor lamp with tulip shade, selling for $137,500, and a Frances Rocchi Saturday Evening Girls center bowl for $96,875.
Also performing well were a Duffner & Kimberly table lamp in Louis XV pattern at $40,625, a pair of Samuel Yellin large doors for $37,500 and an L&JG Stickley paneled prairie settle at $20,000.
Rounding out the session were a rare pair of Charles Rohlfs tall back chairs, going out at $20,000; a large Zsol charger with maiden at $18,750 and a pair of Lalique “Longchamps” mascots for $18,750.
Highlights among contemporary pottery included a Viktor Schreckengost Cowan “Jazz” bowl at $100,000; a Pablo Picasso tile with portrait, “Tête De Garçon,” for $59,375; a Betty Woodman ceramic winged sculpture for $25,000; an Otto and Gertrud Natzler earthenware bowl at $12,500; and an Adrian Saxe Ampersand teapot with cactus lid for $11,875.
Sunday’s Modern category was led by three pieces that each attained $53,125 †an important Paul Evans sculpture, a custom Albert Paley dining table and a turned-leg dining table by George Nakashima, Nakashima Studios †and a George Nakashima coffee table for $46,875.
Also offered were an untitled Harry Bertoia (Bush) bronze and copper sculpture at $38,750, a pair of Jean Royere club chairs for $37,500 and a Paul Evans Directional set of seven sculptured metal dining chairs at $33,750.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
The next Twentieth Century design auction will be October 27′8. For more information, www.ragoarts.com or 609-397-9374.
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