Published: August 12, 2008
Rose Hill’s “last but not least” major sale of the season, the mid-Twentieth Century Modern, took place June 23 to a full and enthusiastic house. A record breaking 90 percent of the works were successfully sold, going equally to the floor, phone and online bidders.
Among such classical furniture designers as Coggin, Eames, Gibbings, Miller, Nelson, Risom, Saarinen, et al, the standout was Paul Evans, whose popularity continues unabated. His Argenta side table, even with its slate top missing, soared past its $2,5/3,500 estimate to hit $9,360, while his Cityscape polished patchwork dining table brought $3,800, and a matching Cityscape rosewood veneered console and mirror did $2,575.
Just as in the March modern sale, an Aldo Tura bar sparked much interest, this one being rosewood with goatskin side doors, centered drawers and a lighted mirrored interior. It fetched $4,680. A fine array of glass and chrome coffee tables, earthenware and acrylic lamps, Scandinavian and American carpets, sleek sofas and chairs rounded out the furniture section of the sale.
A pair of walnut and saddle leather lounges by Tobia Scarpa reached $2,460, and a rosewood Baughman sofa, upholstered by the heralded textile designer Jack Larsen, sold for $2,340.
In the short time since its last modern sale, Rose Hill was able to accumulate some art by important Twentieth Century artists. A 4-by-6-inch iconic acrylic Keith Haring kneeling figure was hotly contested and went overseas for $5,550. The painting with the most Internet “hits” was a Paul Jenkins acrylic from the late 1970s, a colorful 24-by-30-inch painting, “Phenomenon Prism Yield,” yielded $8,068.
Among lithographs by such iconic American and European artists as Dine, Rosenquist, Trova and Rice-Pereira was an etching by the minimalist Donald Judd, whose 1974 “Styria” brought $3,800; an unusually shaped litho (12 inches high by 30 inches wide) of a woman in profile by the Pop artist Alex Katz at $2,575; a brightly colored “Personnage” by the acclaimed Dutch Abstract Expressionist Karel Appel, a buy at $650; and the powerful “Man With Tools” by the Francesco Clemente at $2,225, well above its $300/400 estimate.
For fans of pottery, there were many examples, highlighted by the Claude Conover “Ehelac” striated stoneware vessel that was hammered down at $5,550 and a Hu Ka Kwong abstract gold faience pottery/sculpture that brought $2,000.
A varied collection of sculpture included a rare optically patterned Vasarely acrylic cube, a rare freestanding Lichtenstein cardboard yellow and black bengay-dotted pyramid, a few brass Curtis Jeres works and a popular Saul Baizerman hammered copper female torso from 1941 that hammered down at $6,430, significantly above its $800․1,200 estimate.
A group of avant-garde works that had been purchased from OK Harris, one of New York City’s premier art galleries, included a large erector-set-style wood and ceramic diorama of a “Gold Mine” by Raymon Elozua, a massive wall construction of wood, rope and metal by Joseph Amar, ominously titled “Cargo to Berlin” and two obsessively detailed “faux” tapestry acrylics by Francke.
All prices reported include the 17 percent buyers premium.
Rose Hill Gallery is at 250 South Van Brunt. Its next mid- to late Twentieth Century sale will take place in October. For more information, contact James Fink at 201-816-1940.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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