Published: November 6, 2012
Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on New Jersey, but the wind was at the back of a Frederick Hurten Rhead University City Peacock tile, which sold for a record $637,500 at Rago Arts and Auction Center’s Twentieth/Twenty-First Century design sale October 26′8.
The large four-part tile panel with a peacock, circa 1910, is a unique piece, a personal gift from Rhead to friend and Weller Pottery colleague Levi Burgess, for his Zanesville, Ohio, residence. Measuring 10¾ inches square, the panel had been estimated at $35/45,000.
“The sale grossed $6.6 million and the market, especially for high-end Arts and Crafts, was very, very solid,” said David Rago. “The Rhead tile gets the headlines, but many records were broken for a number of American potteries.”
The Rhead tile toppled the record price paid at auction for any item from the American Arts and Crafts movement, surpassing the record established in November 1999 with the sale of Barbara Streisand’s Gustav Stickley sideboard at Christie’s for $596,500. The buyer is the Two Red Roses Foundation of Palm Harbor, Fla., a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to the acquisition, restoration and public exhibition of important examples of decorative and fine art from the American Arts and Crafts movement.
A complete review of the sale will appear in an upcoming issue.
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