More Midcentury and Fine Art Finds at Clarke

  • LARCHMONT, Alaska
  • /
  • August 15, 2014

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Emil Bisttram Abstract Gouache.
Clarke Auction

While many auction houses take their vacations in August, Clarke does the opposite. On the heels of a highly important and successful single artist sale in late July, which followed a record setting midcentury sale earlier in the month, the August 18th selections of each will be in good company.

The fine art category will feature works from a global pool and of all artistic traditions. The early works include 2 Old Master paintings. One Old Masters work is a depiction of the baptism of Christ and has an indistinct signature in the corner. The other may be of greater importance as the plaque on the painting’s frame attributes the work to  Francesco Zuccarelli, although no signature is visible. The attributed work is of a grand Italian landscape and will be offered at an estimate of $1,000/$1,500.

A fine late 19th century example of landscape will also be offered directly after the old master’s lots. The work is attributed to Willem Koekkoek via name plaque on the frame and WK monogram to the image. The plaque also titles the work, “Mother & Child on Kynance Cove Beach, Cornwall.”

There will be a number of other Italian works in the selection, though the works are more modern.  An important example in the modern Italian selection is a 1961 Naples street scene oil on canvas by famed artist, Nichola Simbari. The street scene employs excellent and distinctive use of varied linear impressionist techniques to deepen the center of the image by adding vibrancy to the otherwise neutral and cold outer edges. The work will be offered at a conservative $1,000/$1,500 estimate and would be a valuable addition to a collection of any scope.

Staying in close geographic proximity, a work by Ennio Calabria will also be featured. The work is dated 1959 and is entitled “Fumatore.” As the title suggests, the painting depicts a stylized man lighting a cigarette. The seamless blending of figure, background, and smoke in the image creates a unique depiction of an otherwise common scene. The limited use of colors in the painting also create a simple emotional invitation for the observer to enter into the state of the subject. The painting will be offered at a reasonable estimate of $800/$1,200. Several other modern Italian paintings will be featured ioncluding lots by Lazzarro Donati and an interesting oil on panel by Bruno Caruso.

Claude Conover "Mayac" Vase
Clarke Auction

In figural work, three Jacques Zucker paintings stand out on August 18th. The artist will be featured through 2 portrait paintings and one painting of nude model in interior. The portraits are both estimated $600/$900, and are indicative of the artistic lens often employed by Zucker. The nude model in interior is a slightly larger composition and depicts a model painting a still life. The work is offered in the slightly higher $800/$1,200 range and shows an appreciation not only for the human form, but the chosen trade of artistry.

Print selections are also abundant in the sale and include a Jacque Villon after Picasso, 3 Buffon series by Picasso, and other lithographs.

An important feature of the fine art selection to note is the multiple lots of significant and large photographs by Peter Lik. The photographs are of exceptional definition and vibrancy. Depicting a range of subjects from colorful landscapes to architectural interiors, Lik’s photographs are unlike anything else in the sale and will each bear an $800/$1,000 estimate.

A superior abstract work in the sale comes in the form of a gouache on paper by Emil Bisttram. The smaller piece has various colors naturally muted by the medium, and various geometric shapes overlapping and intersecting one another. The 1940 dated work, estimated at $600/$900, would be a great early compliment to the midcentury furniture offered later in the sale.

Frank Gehry for Knoll "Power Play" Chair.
Clarke Auction

The midcentury furniture and design selections hold their depth in August, and will feature a generous mix of furniture and decorative design.

Several design pieces to be offered on August 18th include a fantastic 12 inch high Gambone figural glazed ceramic jug, a lot of William Wyman vases, Lucite obelisks, pottery, midcentury services and more.

The most important design work in the sale is a large and rare Claude Conover spherical “Mayac” vase. The vase is 18 inches high and almost the same in diameter. The $2,000/$3,000 estimate on the piece should just be the beginning as this piece is highly collectible and fits a variety of design aesthetics.

Lighting also contributes to the design aspects of the modern aesthetic, and several lots will be featured including a Gaetano Sciolari signed Lucite and brushed aluminum chandelier,  a pair of carved James Mont style lamps, a lot of Murano table lamps, and two pairs of Cedric Hartman floor lamps in brass and chrome.

A pair of quality Phillip and Kelvin Laverne bronze side tables will be featured with a conservative $1,000/$1,500 estimate alongside a matching Laverne round “Chan” coffee table at an estimate of $1,500/$2,500. Also for Laverne, a set of 6 William Katavolos “T Chairs” will be offered at an estimate of $1,000/$1,500.

The unique designs of the midcentury furniture is especially exemplified in the “Power Play” chair made from woven and bentwood straps by Frank Gehry for Knoll. The 1992 signed and dated chair is a showpiece of functional art and will be sold with an estimated range of $800/$1,200. Also for Knoll by Tobia Scarpa is the chrome and smoke glass “Andre” coffee table.

Multiple lots from manufacturer John Stuart will be offered as well including a set of 3 chrome and rosewood veneer bookcase cabinets. The pieces are monumental size and can be a great wall unit structure for any home or office. A Peter Hvidt sofa / daybed for John Stuart will also be featured with an estimate of $400/$600, alongside an earlier example of John Stuart in the form of a bedroom set.

The minimalist midcentury aesthetic is also incorporated in several lots of the selection including a pair of illusionary front Edmund Spence blondewood chests or dressers, conservatively estimated at $1,500/$2,500. Also offered will be an unmarked Eileen Gray chrome and black leather daybed, a pair of George Nelson for Herman Miller standing chests, and a Dunbar game table.

A full dining set of possibly Warren Platner wire chairs and marbletop table will be a top lot in the sale as well. The set is estimated at $3,000/$5,000. An unidentified, but high quality and early example of marbletop, teak, and brass center table is also a great late addition to the sale.


In-house previews will be held Friday, August 15th from 12pm to 6pm and Sunday, August 17th from 12pm to 6pm. Previews will continue Monday, August 18th from 12pm to 4pm (start of sale). The online catalog is available 24/7 and will be updated daily at


For consignment inquiries or additions to the September 7th, 2014 sale at Clarke Auction please email or call the gallery directly at (914)833-8336.



Keane Ryan
Clarke Auction

Clarke Auction
2372 Boston Post Road
Larchmont, New York

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