Published: February 25, 2020
NEW YORK CITY — Alphonse Mucha’s (1860-1939) Art Nouveau masterwork, “Precious Stones,” 1902, one of his best sets — and one of the rarest — sold for $192,000, inclusive of premium, to a private collector in the United States at the 80th auction by Poster Auctions International (PAI) on February 23.
Only three or four examples of this set are known to have survived among collectors. Each gem — Topaz, Ruby, Amethyst and Emerald — is represented by an ethereal yet seductive lady and its characteristic color is worked into the entire pattern, including the woman’s dress and the flowers at her feet.
“One of the finest specimens of this rare and famous decorative set ever seen — in the impressive larger format,” states the firm’s catalog notes. Each panel measures 17¼ by 40-7/8 inches. While Mucha continues to reign supreme with 30 Art Nouveau designs in this sale that totaled $1.8 million at press time, among the 522 lots in PAI’s sale were an array of designs: black images, circus and Wild West, San Francisco rock, World War I, early Israeli designs and iconic works from other masters like Jules Chéret, Leonetto Cappiello, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and more. We will present a full recap of the sale in a forthcoming issue.
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