When it comes to auction houses evaluating the contents of an estate, it is usually the case that the majority of an estate’s items will not make the cut. On January 5th, Clarke Auction will hold a sale representing a Connecticut estate that is the exception to the rule.
The many items from the 12,000 square foot Northern Connecticut collector’s estate not only represent the collector’s distinguished eye, but also decades of acquisition. The quality objects also span a significant range of categories. Whether for the massive assortment of antique Asian objects and furniture, the large selection of Victorian, antique and vintage furniture and design, the classic fine art, or the various degrees of stained glass, bronzes, and other miscellany, the January 5th sale at Clarke will be the highlight and projection of the year to come.
The estate’s walls were adorned with numerous oil paintings of the 19th and early 20th century artists including Wesley Webber, Marshall Johnson, Lemuel Eldred, Eugene Berthelon, J. Alexander, and others.
While the art from the Connecticut estate was complimentary to the quality of other items in the house, the most important pieces of fine art in the January 5th sale come from a Manhattan estate and include a large and impressive Walasse Ting abstract entitled “Floating Flowers” and estimated at $40,000/60,000, as well as an Emil Schumacher abstract gouache from the Minneapolis Suite, entitled “Minneapolis Suite #10.” The Schumacher will be presented at a responsible estimate of $15,000/25,000. Both were purchased at LeFebre Gallery in New York City in the 70s and stayed with the original owner until offered for auction by Clarke on January 5th.
A big part of the excitement generated from the estate relates to the incredibly detailed and extensive assortment of Asian objects, art, and furniture of the estate. There are over 100 lots of Asian items, a majority of which are antique and vintage Chinese porcelain. Some of the most important items include a pair of 19th century square vases mounted as lamps estimated at $1,500/2,500, a pair of jardinières to be auction at $2,000/3,000, a set of 3 porcelain plaques with a $2,000/3,000 estimate, a pair of beautiful Rose Mandarin garden seats estimated at $2,500/3,500, over 20 magnificently carved Chinese hardwood stands with marble tops, several vases estimated at $1,000/1,500, and more.
The selected items barely scratch the surface of the many lots of Asian which also include several lots of blue and white porcelain, many lots of Chinese and Asian lamps, various styles of antique Chinese porcelain services, blanc de chine, celadon, sang de boeuf, famille verte, enamel fish bowls, and dozens of others.
Outside of the unbelievable Asian collection, there are several continental and international sculptures. Most notably, a magnificent Oscar Bach patinated bronze Bacchus chandelier with art glass shades estimated at a conservative $8,000/12,000, and a fantastic Mauthin Moreau bronze entitled “Danseuse a la Lyre” estimated at $3,000/5,000.
Also in the bronze groupings from the Connecticut estate is a patinated life size bronze putti at $1,500/2,500, an Emmanuel Villanis bronze bust entitled “Miarka” with signature and foundry mark that will be sold at an estimate of $2,500/3,500, a pair of impressive Art Nouveau andirons with globe and flame applications, and an exceptional Japanese large bronze crane and reed lamp. The items were found both on the interior of the estate and in the surrounding gardens which account for some of the spectacular patina. There are also a number of wrought iron and cast iron furniture lots including seven lots of painted cast iron furniture and seven lots of assorted oversized garden urns.
While many of the Asian items and decorative art items are receiving consistent attention in the market, many are beginning to see the effects of the declining antique furniture market. From this Connecticut estate, there are several examples that show that high-end antique and Victorian furniture are still able to perform. For example, Clarke will present a regally carved Henry Belter parlor sofa at a $3,000/5,000 estimate, a Victorian carved and upholstered sofa with a humble $1,000/1,500 estimate and a masterfully carved swag and rams head motif oak dining table at $2,000/$3,000. The furniture selection also includes several Belter upholstered chairs, a finely made Art Nuevo partner’s desk, multiple examples of exquisite inlaid furniture, and more.
There are also many lots of miscellaneous, yet important, items including a Schneider French art glass lamp, a lot of Cobalt Meissen candlesticks and urn, many examples of fine quality mirrors, high quality stained glass windows, several lots of room-sized carpets, clocks, sterling silver and others too numerous to list.
Of the many estates that Clarke represents during the course of a given year, few can boast such impressive magnitude as the one to be presented on January 5th. In order to experience the full scope of the estate, it is necessary to visit the online catalog at www.ClarkeNY.com or visit the gallery for the in-house previews on Friday, January 3rd and Saturday, January 4th from 12pm to 6pm. The auction will be held on Sunday, January 5th at 12pm EST.