This very rare Tiffany “Aztec” Presentation designed by G. Paulding Farnham, will be the highlight of Clars February 19th, 2012 Antiques and Fine Art Sale. (Estimate: $10,000 to $20,000)
Andy Warhol’s screen print, “Apple” (PHOTO 2) from “Ads” Suite (FS II-359) (Estimate- $20,000-$40,000) comes up to the block in the wake of the company’s CEO, Steve Jobs untimely passing as a remembrance of the innovation he inspired within both the technological and artistic sectors.
Clars Auction Gallery’s February Antiques and Fine Art Sale will be a very significant event for collectors and investors. The two-day event will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 18th and 19th, 2012 at their gallery in Oakland, CA. Investment quality items across the categories will see competitive bidding from across the continents.
Turning first to the very exciting fine art category, both American and European offerings are both impressive and diverse including rare Charles Marion Russell drawings and Andy Warhol’s screenprint homage to the age of advertising, “Apple.”
Clars Auction Gallery is very honored to announce that they will be offering three rare pencil drawings by Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926). Being offered as one lot, this series of three drawings is entitled “The Camping Trip” (PHOTO 1) and were done by Russell in 1899 as a personal remembrance of the camping trip he took with his life long friend, Dr. John Louis Weitman, in the mountains of Montana. The sketches were given to Weitman as a gift from Russell and have descended through the Weitman family to his granddaughters who have consigned them to Clars.
These sketches were on exhibit in 1957 and 1985/87 at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana through the generosity of the Weitman family. Now, for the first time, they will be offered publicly along with many of Dr. Weitman’s personal items including a letter dated 1905 which mentions Russell. This important offering has been assigned a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
Andy Warhol’s screenprint, “Apple” (PHOTO 2) from “Ads” Suite (FS II-359) (Estimate- $20,000-$40,000) comes up to the block in the wake of the company’s CEO, Steve Jobs untimely passing as a remembrance of the innovation he inspired within both the technological and artistic sectors.
Furthering the fine art category, both American and European offerings are impressive. Important 19th and 20th century American works include: Bessie Potter Vonnoh’s (American, 1872-1955) 1908 bronze sculpture, "The Dance," (Estimate $10,000-$15,000) visualized in Julie Aronson’s 2008 monograph (publisher: Cincinnati Art Museum) of the sculptress. The graceful depiction of dancer Isadora Duncan embodies both the artist’s and sitter’s passion for creative movement.
The 1814 oil on canvas, “Portrait of Mrs. Saunders Lewis (Hannah Saunders Lewis)” by Thomas Sully (American, 1783-1872) (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000) exemplifies the artist’s position as the leading 19th century commissioned portrait artist. Supported with brilliant east coast provenance, the work is accompanied by the original notarized letter detailing a $1 transaction for the painting.
Modern and contemporary American paintings highlight Bay Area figurative and non-objective genius with Mel Ramos’ (b. 1935) 1960 “Portrait of Philip Guston” (Estimate- $20,000-$40,000) and Lee Mullican’s (1919-1998) 1971 “Dance of the Elders” (Estimate- $8,000-$12,000).
“Interieur d’une Ecurie,” 1962 by Andre Brasilier (French, 1929-2004) headlines the modern European division with a composition perfectly balancing the artist’s enthusiasm for equine subject matter and compartmentalized abstraction. This oil has been exhibited in galleries worldwide as well as at the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Additional European works by Theodule Ribot, Antonio Zucchi, Jaroslav Setelik, and Jan Stanislawski are included amongst February’s fine paintings. Moving into French Modernism, Henri Matisse’s lithograph, "Odalisque au Magnolia," 1923, (estimate: $15,000-$25,000) is a stunning example of the artist’s post-Fauve Nice period, representing a return to traditional figuration.
Important American and European prints and photographs round out the fine art for sale February 19th. Pablo Picasso’s color lithograph “Columbe Volant” and etching “Femme nue Assiste et Trois Tetes Barbues” (both estimated at $6,000-$8,000) are also highly collectible prints to be offered.
A gelatin silver print "Aspens, Northern New Mexico," 1958, by Ansel Adams (Californian, 1902-1984) (Estimate- $25,000-$35,000) acquired directly from the artist in 1959, reigns supreme in a photography collection also including works by Julia Margaret Cameron, Aaron Siskind, Paul Caponigro, Christopher Burkett and Leroy Grannis.
In addition, a number of fine art pieces from San Francisco MOMA will be offered.
Decoratives Category —
The decoratives category will be equally impressive. A rare “Aztec” Tiffany dagger (PHOTO 3) will be one of the highlights of this category and sale. Designed by G. Paulding Farnham in the early 1900s, this powerful piece is executed is sterling, ivory and faceted obsidian. His use of obsidian was in direct homage to the Aztec culture where they used obsidian to create the sharpest daggers possible, even sharper than diamonds.
Farnham’s creations are scarce and highly sought after worldwide. In 2009, his Tiffany “Aztec” bowl, executed in sterling and copper, sold to the Dallas Museum of Art for $305,000. “It is a pleasure to be handling such an important piece of American Decorative Art,” said Deric Torres, specialist at Clars. “The beauty of this piece is testament to his creative genius and will be one of the highlights of our February sale.”
Farnham was Tiffany’s chief jewelry designer from 1891 to 1908 and is regarded as the best designer Tiffany ever employed. Inspired and trained by his predecessor Edward C. Moore, Farnham became an unequaled colorist in design and his creations reflected international sources including Asian, Egyptian, Russian, Celtic and Native American. Charged with creating significant presentation pieces for Tiffany to be judged at world expositions, Farnham’s work received a gold medal for jewelry at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889, the grand prize for his Native American-style silverware at the Paris Exposition of 1900, and a gold medal for silverware at the Pan-American Exposition for his jeweled and enameled “Viking” and “Saracenic” silver.
Additional sterling offerings will be rich with two sets of Georg Jensen flatware, a seven- piece Gorham coffee and tea suite as well as American, Gorham and Wallace sterling offerings.
The decoratives category will also feature a very nice selection of 19th century Native American basket collection including a large Pomo burden basket estimated at $1,500-$2,500, and a large Mission cooking bowl estimated at $2,500-$3,500.
Special Collections —
Clars September sale will also offer several special collections on investment note. On Saturday, the major stamp collection from a life-long collector and dealer will be offered including US and world stamps, both mint and used plus a nine album Global Stamp collection, British Empire lots, albums of World and UN stamps plus boxes of US cut corners by cities and town. This collection is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
On Sunday, an impressive collection of over 200 lots of US and world gold and silver coins take the block including $20 gold, Liberty and St. Gaudens examples, 450 British Sovereigns, Modern US and world gold plus two albums of better grade US silver dollars. The bullion value of this collection is estimated at $500,000.
California Gold Quartz is an area of investment of great interest to both collectors and historians and this sale will feature a California Gold Quartz presentation walking stick which was presented by the Engrossing Clerks of the California State Assembly to Hugh B. Newell, a member of the assembly from 1867-1870 from El Dorado county. He was very prolific and had ownership interests in mines in Gold Hill. This very important piece is estimated at $7,000 to $9,000. In addition, a large selection of Gold Rush era gold quartz jewelry will be offered.
The historic journals and photographs (PHOTO 4) of Albert Chandler Brown (1855-1920) will be offered including his Civil War diaries with accounts as the official paymaster in the War Department Telegraph Office and his conversations and interactions with President Lincoln and Edwin McMasters Stanton the Secretary of War. (Estimate: $20,000-$40,000)
A bit of recent history will be of interest, particularly to those who remember the difficulties associated with the 2000 Presidential Election and the “chad” issues. Indeed, a Palm Beach voting machine from this notorious election will be offered (PHOTO 3). The election, between then Republican candidate George W. Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore was hotly contested as many undervotes were potentially cause by the machine resulting in hanging, dimpled or pregnant chads. This lot also includes a typed and signed cover letter from Theresa LePore, Supervisor of Elections, Palm Beach County, the county that became pivotal in the U.S Supreme Court’s decision. This legendary voting machine is estimated to sell for $2,000 to $4,000.
A marvelous contemporary special collection will be offered on Sunday. Handwritten letters by Mick Jagger to Jerry Hall, Elizabeth Scarlett Jagger and more will interest rock ‘n roll memorabilia collectors (estimate $2,000 to $4,000).
A collection of memorabilia from Brigadier General Robert Lee Scott, Jr. (12 April 1908 - 27 February 2006) will also be offered. Scott is best known for his autobiography God is My Co-Pilot about his exploits in World War II with the Flying Tigers and the United States Army Air Forces in China and Burma. The book was eventually made into a film of the same name. The collection will include his Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters displayed on the medal and ribbon, in the original presentation box, together with a "Past Commander" cloth badge and lapel pin; an Asiatic Pacific Medal, American Defence Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and an autographed black and white photograph of Colonel Robert L. Scott Jr. in his P-40 Warhawk in 1943. Scott flew 388 combat missions in 925 hours from July 1942 to October 1943, shooting down 13 Japanese aircraft to become one of America's earliest fighter aces of the war. This collection is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.
Estate Jewelry —
And now for the exceptional jewelry offerings. An exquisite Bulgari ruby rondelle bead and opal two-strand choker necklace is set with sapphire and emerald cabochons (PHOTO 5). This stunning designer piece is estimated to sell for $125,000 to $175,000. In addition, both works from Buccelatti and David Yurman will complement the Bulgari nicely. Overall, this sale will feature a particularly extensive collection of quality jewelry. Clars is known for this category but this sale will be over the top.
Asian Category —
The Asian category will feature a wide assortment of Asian items from the collection of the USC Fisher Museum of Art in Los Angeles. These will include a collection of Chinese bronze mirrors and snuff bottles, two Chinese reticulated jade plaques set as Edward Farmer sterling silver dishes and a selection of Chinese enameled porcelains from the Qing dynasty and Republic period. A small lacquered wood fu-lion of the Qing dynasty consigned from a Bay Area estate will be offered together with a wide selection of works from China and Japan from various personal collections. Offerings will include Chinese and Japanese ceramics, ivory carvings, metalwork, and jade and hardstone carvings. A Qing dynasty polychrome enameled porcelain screen depicting the Eight Daoist Immortals will be offered as well. In addition, Japanese glass ware by Kyohei Fujita (1921-2004), including a red mottled translucent glass box with gold leaf accents, a red glass shell-form plate and a red and white glass vase of frosted translucent glass mottled with bands of opaque white and red flecks will be among the highlights.
Clars very important February 18th and 19th, 2012 Antiques and Fine Art sale brings to auction investment level opportunities in all categories. The Saturday session will begin @ 9:30am and the Sunday session start promptly at @ 10am. Previews for this sale will be Friday, February 17th from 1pm to 6pm and 9am Saturday and Sunday or by special appointment. A full catalog will be available online at www.clars.com prior to the sale.
For more information on this sale, please call (510) 428-0100, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.clars.com Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.