Published: April 14, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Helmuth Stone Galleries
SARASOTA, FLA. – Helmuth Stone Gallery’s April 5 online-only sale of nearly 500 lots of Chinese works of art, jewelry and fine art from local and New York estates also included works by Chinese artists from the collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), the founder of Unicover Corp. Commenting by email after the sale, co-owner Brandon Stone said, “We have been having some amazing interest in Helzer’s collection and have had bidders ask when more of it will be offered in the future, as we are only offering a handful of works by each artist each sale. So far, we have offered about 350 pieces of the 700 pieces of artwork we have from his collection.”
Stone said that the sale “was one of our best ones to date. We found that since most people are at home these days and have free time, we had some of the most views and online bidders we have ever had. With the capabilities of cameras these days, we found that our online preview worked out very well; interested bidders are able to email us directly so we can have original high-resolution images emailed over to them for preview.”
The top price of the sale, with a sizeable lead, was a contemporary landscape by Zhan Jianjun (Chinese, b 1931), that received 81 bids and finished at $48,400, more than ten times its high estimate. The original unsigned oil on canvas had been commissioned by Helzer for the Unicover Corporation and appeared on the Fleetwood First Day Cover for the China 8fen “Fog in the Stone Forest” stamp issue of September 18, 1981. Other Chinese artists whose work were in demand with buyers were Han Meilin (b 1936) and Cheng Shifa (1921-2007).
The lot with the highest estimate in the sale – a monumental abstract work by Thomas Koether (New York, Florida, Europe, Australia, b 1940) titled “Great Behemoth Rock” brought $8,470, while there was competition for other works by contemporary artists such as Jesus Rafael Soto, Dennis Lyall and Arthur Singer.
Helmuth Stone Gallery’s next sale is scheduled for May 17 and will feature fine art, jewelry, antiques, sculpture, glass and original illustrations. More works from the James A. Helzer collection will be featured.
All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.helmuthstone.com or 941-260-9703.
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