Published: February 15, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Nadeau’s Auction Gallery
WINDSOR, CONN. – “Obviously, the market for Midcentury Modern is hot but it was phenomenal across the board,” Eddie Nadeau enthused a couple of days after Nadeau’s Auction Gallery finished its Midcentury, Modern Art & Contemporary sale on February 5. The 651-lot sale was more than 95 percent sold, with a total realized of $717,960.
The top lot in the sale set a record for a work by Lazar Vozarevic (Serbian, 1925-1968) when it sold for $132,000 to an international gallery. Despite an estimate of $2/4,000, “Circulo” opened with an online bid of $65,000, then quickly escalated with competing interest online, on the phones and from absentee bids. The previous auction record for the artist was a hammer price of $14,000, a result that had stood for more than ten years.
The work came from a sizeable fine art collection of a private collector who wanted so much privacy that they asked the auction house to sign a non-disclosure agreement not to divulge any of their information to potential bidders. While Nadeau was not at liberty to tell Antiques and The Arts Weekly anything about the origin of the collection, he was able to say that a few of the other top lots were from the same collection.
Those included “Earth” by Emilio Rodriguez Larrain (1928-2015), an unsigned 1964 oil on paper mounted on board with its original paper label on the back. Measuring 56½ by 79½ inches, it had been estimated at $2/4,000 but went out for $11,400.
The market for Midcentury Modern furniture is so hot that even furniture that has been chewed by a dog outpaced expectations. Such was the case with a set of 12 armchairs signed Johannes Hangen for Hans Wegner that were found in a collection near Greenwich, Conn. Estimated at $3/5,000, the chairs finished at $12,000. Other noteworthy results for Twentieth Century furniture include a sideboard by Gio Ponti for M. Singer and Sons that brought $10,800, a French two-door Art Deco cabinet by Dominque of Paris at $10,200, and a sideboard/credenza designed by T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings for Widdicomb, which shot to $5,100, more than four times its high estimate.
Nadeau attributed the high prices across the board to disrupted supply chains caused by Covid-19. “People just can’t get things as quickly as they’d like, or as they used to, so they’re turning to auctions to acquire things.”
Zipping into a second place finish at $18,000 was a 1969 351 Ford Mustang with less than 40,000 original miles and its original pink paint job and black vinyl top. It had remained with the Connecticut family that had originally purchased it but sold to a buyer out of state. Nadeau said he’d heard that the color helped drive interest in the lot as apparently few cars were originally painted pink.
Nadeau said that the buyer of an assorted group of Chinese pieces who paid $7,200 for the lot was either in New York City or China but that the piece everyone wanted was a white Chinese crackle glaze bowl on a bronze base.
Nadeau’s Auction Gallery’s next sale is scheduled for February 26.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.nadeausauction.com or 860-246-2444.
January 31, 2023
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