CLEVELAND, Ohio – Gray’s Modern Ceramics and Art Glass Auction on Wednesday, May 22nd, will feature the work of the admired Ohio potter, sculptor and teacher George Roby (including works from the artist’s personal collection), plus a single-owner art glass collection from an Ohio collector, at 11 am Eastern. The sale will be held online and in Gray’s gallery at 10717 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland.
In all, 267 lots totaling over 1,000 pieces will cross the auction block. The full catalog is up now and pre-bidding is open at www.GraysAuctioneers.com. Bidding is also available on LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Telephone and absentee bids will be accepted. Previews will be held Monday through Friday, May 13-17, from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday, May 18, from 12 noon to 4 pm. All lots will be available for in-person examination during the previews. All times quoted are Eastern.
The first six lots of the auction are dedicated to the noted Cleveland School ceramist Claude Conover (American, 1907-1994), an artist whose works rarely come up at auction in a such a large grouping. Conover specialized in creating architectural pieces of large proportion, and his work is highly sought after by collectors. He was a commercial designer before devoting himself full-time to his pots.
Works by Conover to be sold include a stoneware vessel titled MAAC, 24 ½ inches tall by 11 ¼ inches wide (est. $6,000-$8,000); a stoneware vessel titled Baach, 20 ¼ inches tall by 14 ¼ inches wide (est. $4,000-$6,000); and a stoneware vessel titled Aclix, 21 inches tall by 15 inches wide. All three pieces have been artist signed and titled on the bottom and are accompanied by the original clear plastic insert.
Conover’s works are followed in the sale by four lots from Helen Beling (American, 1914-2001), a non-objective sculptor who worked in a variety of media in her career, including bronze, ceramic and wood. The New York City native studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League of New York. Her work has been exhibited at the Met and Whitney museums in New York.
Sculptures by Beling set to cross the auction block will include a Belplast sculpture titled Crenellated and Arched, 48 inches tall by 35 ½ inches wide (est. $4,000-$6,000); a fiberglass, polyester resin, aluminum mesh and wood sculpture titled Man at Conference Table, unsigned (est. $4,000-$6,000); and a Belplast sculpture titled Red Warrior (est. $2,000-$4,000). Belpast is an amalgam of fiberglass, reinforced resin and bronze powder that was created and used exclusively by Beling.
Lots 11-26 are all pieces by the Ohio potter and sculptor George Roby (American, 1936-2017). Roby’s work included large, expressive slab and coil-built sculptures that were suitable for indoor or outdoor exhibit. He also produced functional stoneware using both hand-built and wheel-thrown techniques. Roby used special oxides and glazing techniques that augment the characteristics of electric firing.
This process resulted in striking surfaces and colors that coincided with Roby’s well-conceived forms. He became well known through juried exhibitions such as the Cleveland May Show, Butler Sculpture and Ceramics exhibit and Ohio Designer Craftsmen. His works can be found in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Butler Institute of American Art and the Columbus Museum of Art.
Work by Roby in the auction – which include plaster busts, stoneware and raku abstract sculptures, and large stoneware sculptural vessels – will feature an abstract stoneware sculpture and base, unsigned (est. $150-$250); a raku ceramic in two parts titled Bird Bath, signed on the base and 32 ¼ inches in height (est. $100-$200); and a group of six raku ceramic bowls and cups, all unsigned (est. 150-$250).
Most of the ceramics in the auction come from Roby’s personal collection. They’re followed by a collection of Ephraim pottery, then the art glass portion of the catalog starts with a Val St. Lambert art glass vase (lot 154), followed by 100 lots of glass by Murano, Orient and Flume, Lundberg Studios, Vandermark & Merritt and others. The sale closes with Chinese cloisonné and Japanese Tokoname.
A hand-blown, 20th century Cleveland School art glass center bowl, unsigned, 14 ½ inches in diameter, has an estimate of $600-$800; a 20th century Chinese cloisonné teapot and bowl set is expected to bring $200-$400; and an unsigned 20th century Japanese Tokoname redware vase with dragon form handles and decoration, unsigned, 18 ¼ inches tall and 9 ½ inches in diameter, should command $80-$120.
Also sold will be an untitled ceramic by George Somogyi (American, 1923-2009), unsigned (est. $150-$250); a 20th century Ephraim pottery vase by Laura Klein, signed and 14 ¼ inches tall, one of 35 lots that feature the work of Ms. Klein in the auction (est. $80-$120); a Lundberg Studios art glass vase from 2002, signed and dated, 12 ½ inches tall (est. 80-$120); a 20th century Orient & Flume art glass vase, signed and numbered on the bottom (est. $80-$120); and a pair of 20th century Vandermark art glass jack-in-the-pulpit vases both signed on the bottom (est. $80-$120).
Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is Northern Ohio’s leading licensed auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, jewelry, antiques, decorative arts, rare books, and antique rugs. A boutique auction house with three decades of experience in the art business, the experts at Gray’s now offer traditional real estate services.
The specialists at Gray’s have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the maximum value of their collections at auction. Gray’s auctioneers are licensed, insured and bonded in favor of the State of Ohio. To learn more please visit www.graysauctioneers.com
Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about selling a single piece, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them at (216) 226-3300; or, you can send an e-mail to their appraisals department, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers and the live and internet auction planned for Wednesday, May 22nd at 11 am Eastern, visit www.graysauctioneers.com. Updates are posted often.
# # # #
10717 Detroit Avenue
About Gray's Auctioneers, LLC
Gray’s Auctioneers are northern Ohio’s leading licensed auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, antiques, decorative arts, rare books, fine jewelry and antique rugs. The boutique auction house has over two decades of experience in the art business. Experts at Gray’s offer traditional real estate services and specialists there have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the full value of collections at auction. Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about selling a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (216) 226-3300; or, you can e-mail their appraisals department at email@example.com. To learn more about Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, visit www.graysauctioneers.com. Updates are posted often.