Published: February 18, 2020
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
SARASOTA FLA. – Andrew Ford spent two long days at the podium as auctioneer at his firm’s winter fine art, Asian and contemporary sale. Conducted by Sarasota Estate Auctions, January 18-19, the sale saw more than 1,000 lots of home décor and fine art sold. Headlining the weekend was the opening item of the Sunday session, an Alexander Calder gouache on paper that sold for $77,350. This piece by the popular New York artist was the subject of strong bidding by members of the gallery, phone and online bidding, coming in above the estimate.
The auction was divided so that the first day there were collections of home décor and accessories, including several sets of Knoll furniture from the middle of the Twentieth Century; silver, including sets and pieces from such famous makers as Tiffany and Gorham; sculpture and rugs.
Saturday morning began with many auction lots of designer furniture in the Art Deco and modern styles, including an assortment of pieces by the noted designers Knoll and Charles and Ray Eames. First, a pair of Knoll Barcelona leather lounge chairs, hand-welded and -tufted, went out at $5,490. Another pair, also Knoll Barcelona, reached $5,795. Next in the same Barcelona style by Knoll was a leather bench, which fetched $1,342.
Several pieces by Eames came up that morning. A lounge chair and matching ottoman in leather designed for Herman Miller pulled down $3,965. It was followed by another similar piece going for the same amount.
The morning moved through furniture quickly, with a J. Robert Scott sculptured dining table having a polished stainless steel pedestal base and holding an inch-thick glass top, commanding $4,270. It was designed by Sally Sirkin Lewis in the later part of the Twentieth Century.
Sculptural art was selling well that morning. A Samuel Ogden tall geometric cube design piece, about 23 by 27 inches overall, was sold for $3,965. “Amarya” a bronze and bluestone sculpture by Boaz Vaadia (b 1951), limited edition, #5 of 7, was bid to $5,490. From Dale Chihuly came “Persian Paradise,” a fairly small piece at 7 by 10 by 10 inches, selling for $4,880.
Manufactured by Knoll and designed by Mies Van der Rohe, an assortment of seven side tables sold as individual lots with prices varying between $588 and $610. An Eero Saarinen white pedestal dining table by Knoll had a good deal of attention, selling finally at $1,586.
Molteni and Company was represented with a number of pieces, including a set of eight dining chairs, wool covered, going for $1,342.
Jan Frydrych (b 1953), a contemporary Czech sculptor, created a piece from his optical glass work, titled “Half Ball,” which finished at $4,270.
Silver sold well that day. A pair of Chinese vases with multifloral decoration and 8 inches tall achieved $793, and another pair of animal decorated plates pulled down $1,220.
A Gorham sterling service, 113 pieces with a decorative box, yielded $2,440. An antique silver bowl, German, with blue glass decoration went out at $549. Also German was an Art Nouveau basket weighing 18.45 troy ounces at $366; a Boulenger sterling jewelry box, 15.43 troy ounces selling at $793; and several French sterling bowls selling individually from $274 to $335. More silver included a five-piece tea service, sterling, 45 troy ounces, for $732, a set of six spoons at $85 and a set of six forks at $427.
Jewelry that day was popular. A Cartier 18K bracelet with 177 brilliant cut diamonds totaling 0.95 carats set in 18K gold fetched $6,100; a Love ring, also from Cartier, 18K gold with three diamonds totaling 0.22 carats was $1,464.
Four antique opera glasses sold as individual lots from $36 to $48 each. A rare Swiss music box in working condition with eight tunes and dated on the maker’s label 1866 drew a buyer at $1,159.
A sculpture by David James, “Tranquility,” in gold and ruby glass went out at $2,135. Laszio Lukacsi’s “Bronze Wing” in laminated and polished glass was $8,235.
More Asian artifacts and antiques were sold from another collection, including a World War II Samurai sword for $732 and five lots of early Imari fetching from $122 to $600.
Later in the day, Ford set out the antique Oriental and Persian rugs. A 100-year-old Kazak runner sold for $2,196; and another realized $1,586. A Persian Kashan, 16 feet by 10 feet 6 inches, was $3,355.
Some fun things went out on Saturday as well. For example, a wooden airplane engine propeller, circa 1940, sold for $488. A motel sign, about 2 by 3 feet, paint on wood, reached $225. A ship weathervane with whale on stand sold for $122.
The Sunday portion of this sale was almost entirely art – fine art and some forms of three-dimensional art – more than 500 pieces, with the opening item being the above-mentioned Alexander Calder gouache on paper. Ford said he was very pleased with that as his opening item for the day for it totaled more than the previous high for the same piece at a New York sale about 15 years ago, “Quite a feat, since back then it was one of the highest times in the market,” he said.
Following the Calder, an oil on canvas by the popular Cuban artist Fidelio Ponce de Leon went up. This, too, had attracted good interest prior to the sale but the opening bid yielded $7,080 as the price and that turned out to be the final price.
An oil on panel in the manner of Tintoretto sold next for $5,950, followed by an oil on panel by David Vinckboons (1576-1632) reaching $7,437.
Much watched was the next item, a Tiffany tea caddy set in Georgian style selling for $2,499. Also drawing great interest was the Cartier quartz clock, which brought $833.
A Picasso litho sold on one bid of $1,190.
After several of these highly interesting pieces there were a number of small but attractive paintings by Twentieth Century American artists, which sold from about $70 to $360. Moving quickly through these, Ford came to a Max Silbert oil on canvas, which went quickly for $2,261. A Nineteenth Century wooden carousel horse, hand carved, sold for $1,130. Reaching $2,499 was an oil on panel by Eugene Lavielle (French, 1820-1889). Contemporary artist Don Claussen was represented by one of his abstract works going out at $1,547.
There were nine abstract gouache pieces by Eugene Brands, a Dutch painter who lived from 1913 to 2002. These were popular on the floor and online, selling for varied prices ranging from $413 to $1,900.
Early that afternoon, however, several bidders in the gallery said they were pleased with their successes. About a dozen paintings in a run of lots sold from $39 to about $150, allowing for great bargains for them.
There was also a selection from the artists known as the Florida Highwaymen, which proved to be popular that afternoon. The first piece offered was by Willie Daniels, selling for $2,380. This was followed by another of his works reaching $4,462. From that same school, a piece attributed to Mary Ann Carroll went for $1,785.
Ford concluded the sale late that day, saying this will be his traditional winter fine art and antiques sale as he was pleased with the response from bidders and consignors.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. Sarasota Estate Auctions will present its next sale, also a two-day affair, Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29. This sale will benefit Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota with previews in the week before the sale. The catalog should also be online about March 6.
The galley is at 6030 Lockwood Ridge Road. For information, www.sarasotaestateauction.com or 941-359-8700.
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