Clars August 11th and 12th, 2012 sale of fine art and antiques saw several surprises in fine art, decorative arts and furnishings which fueled the impressive gross sales of just over $600,000.
Early into the auction, lot 2161, a framed oil on canvas entitled A Peaceful Hour (PHOTO 1) by California artist Caroline Rose Callahan (1867-1959) effortlessly slid past its estimate setting a new auction record for the artist. This work, which was unaccessed from the Honolulu Museum of Art, was expected to earn $2,000 on the high side but competitive bidding drove the final sale price on this work to $14,220. Callahan is known for her still lifes, landscapes and miniature paintings.
Coming in second place in the fine art offerings was the framed oil on board, View of the White Mountains, New Hampshire, (PHOTO 2) by Paul Ritter (German/American, 1829-1907) that sold for solidly within estimate at $4,740.
Asian art, a specialty of Clars, also had strong results. A Chinese hanging scroll, Gathering Water from the River, (PHOTO 3) after Xu Beihong, (Chinese, 1895-1953), was anticipated to fetch $1,000 to $1,500 but also slid effortlessly past its high estimate earning $10,073. A Himalayan painted thangka, ink and color on cloth, featuring Ushnishasitatapattra earned more than four times its high estimate selling for $5,036.
The Decorative Art category featured a very large and impressive ethnographic and tribal arts collection. The highlights of this offering was a Kifwebe Society, Songye, D.R. Congo dance mask (PHOTO 4) from the Hemphill Collection of San Francisco which sold for $1,422 followed by a Pre-Columbian (Mexico, 200BC – 250 AD) tomb guardian or warrior figure, Jalisco, West Coast cultures which sold for $1,303.
Among the other surprises at this sale was the unexpected strong price realized on a lot of two English carriage clocks. Expected to sell for $500 to $700, this set flew way past its expectation earning $3,555. Also expected to earn $500 to $700, was a circa 8175 Empire Revival upholstered sofa. Once again, what makes the world of auctions so exciting, saw this lot sell for three times its high estimate going for $2,133. The top seller in furniture however, was a Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller 670 lounge chair with ottoman (PHOTO 5) which surpassed its high estimate by over $1,000 selling for $4,740.
The jewelry category was very strong at this sale. Topping these offerings was a modified brilliant cut diamond ring in white gold which sold for $7,703. This was followed closely by a stunning Buccellati diamond and Tahitian cultured pearl necklace (PHOTO 6) that earned $6,518 and an endless strand necklace of rare freshwater “rosebud” pearls sold for $1,300.
Clars next two-day event will be one not to miss. The September 8th and 9th, 2012 sale may likely surpass any in the firm’s history with fine art from icons including Stanton Macdonald Wright, Joseph Rusling Meeker and Gustav Klimt; Photography from Irving Penn; Furniture by Vladimir Kagan; Decorative offerings including a Russian carved nephrite and a rare California Gold Quartz walking stick; Asian art and furnishings that will no doubt bring astonishing prices rounded out by some of the richest jewelry offerings to come to market recently.
Previews for Clars spectacular September sale will be held Friday, September 8th from 1pm to 6pm and 9am each auction day. A complete catalog will be available online one week prior to the sale.
Bidding for Clars auctions is available in person, by phone, absentee and live online @ www.clars.com, and through www.liveauctioneers.com. Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.