Published: March 20, 2007
The hammer fell and shattered a record at the Rago Arts and Auction Center on March 10, as a rare vase by Frederick H. Rhead, the English “father of Fiesta ware,” sold for $516,000.
Made in Santa Barbara, Calif., around 1915 and decorated with a stylized landscape, the 11-inch vase sold to the Two Red Roses Foundation, Tarpon Springs, Fla., a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to the acquisition, restoration and public exhibition of important examples of furniture, pottery and tiles, lighting, textiles and fine arts from the American Arts and Crafts movement.
The foundation’s founder and president, Florida businessman Rudy Ciccarello, was in the gallery and ultimately prevailed after dueling with a phone bidder over the vase, according to David Rago. The auctioneer said he was sure the Rhead vase will be shown in an upcoming museum exhibition at some point.
A complete review of the $4 million Craftsman sale will appear in a future issue.
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