“With names like Cassatt, Rockwell, Wiggins, Rivera, and more, Garth’s Auctions is pleased to offer a very good selection of contemporary and modern art in the August 4th auction,” exclaimed CEO Jeff Jeffers. The auction is one of two hosted annually by Garth’s featuring American & European Paintings, Fine & Decorative Arts. This event includes 615 lots of fine art, fine and vintage jewelry, Asian decorative arts, bronzes, textiles, furniture and more.
A true gem of the sale is the lovely winter scene, Looking Down 5th Ave., by American artist Guy Carleton Wiggins. Billowing American flags, colorful umbrellas, buses, and delicate snowflakes: these are the elements which combine to make the oil on canvas board, which depicts a 1940s-50s New York City street scene with five American flags, come alive. The work is signed lower right and verso and measures 12"h. 9"w. Ex Questroyal Fine Art (New York), this example of Wiggins work adorns the front cover of the catalog and it is expected to hit the street for $35,000-45,000.
Works of many other fine American artists are represented including a lot of two sketches by Norman Rockwell. With one ink and pencil on paper, and the other pencil on paper, both sketches depict a man pecking a lady on the cheek under a sprig of mistletoe. They are a rough study sketch, 7"d. (image), and a more polished version in ink, 7.75"d. (image), identically matted and framed, 19" square. Ex Don Walton, the former Fine Arts Division director at the Franklin Mint, these two sketches, and the accompanying archive, provide a glimpse into the process by which Rockwell's iconic images became collector plates. The two sketches offered here were, apparently, a first and a second attempt at the final image. Rockwell notes on the ink sketch, rather humorously, "Dear Don, This was my first attempt. Grandpa looks like a lecher in this one. Norman." Another sketch was created and ultimately used in the creation of the plate. That sketch sold at Sotheby's (New York), October 2007, lot 269. An example of the sterling silver plate that was created from Rockwell's illustration is also included along with three photographs of Rockwell sketching this image, a well as two letters from Rockwell to Don Walton, both dated in late 1970, and both discussing this specific commission (estimate $18,000-22,000). A pencil on paper sketch of a woman by Mary Cassatt bears an oval stamp in lower right, "Collection Mary Cassatt Mathilde X" and also is stamped on remnant of earlier backing. Measuring 17"h. and 14.25"w., it is conservatively estimated at $5,000-7,000.
An oil on canvas titled Les Sylphides by Marian Williams Steele (New Jersey) depicts ballerinas on stage. At 30"h. 36"w., the canvas has a presence as big as the dancers’ (estimate $ 2,500-3,500). Another oil on board takes the viewer on A Summer Day on the Big Miami. The painting by William McCord, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and active in the area from the 1880s until his death in 1918, shows a riverbank with a rowboat (estimate $3,000-5,000). Titled Sketch at Sienna, an oil on canvas study of the city with a cathedral at the top of a hill, by Colin Campbell Cooper (California/Pennsylvania) is signed and dated 1912 lower right. The reverse bears two exhibition labels on the back: "Architectural League of New York, 1915" and a detached label for the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 103rd exhibition which was in 1914. The 14.5” x 18” is expected to reach $4,000-6,000. A bayou scene by Louisiana artist Alexander John Dysdale transports the viewer to a moonlit swamp. The oil wash on board is signed and dated 1923 lower right and will likely sell for $2,000-3,000.
Dynamic and colorful in its own way is Campesino con Machete by Diego Rivera (Mexico, 1886-1957). A watercolor on paper, the work shows a standing profile of man brandishing a machete. The 11.5"h. 11.75"w. work is accompanied by a 1995 certificate of registration from Rafael Cruz Arvea. Arvea was in charge of a committee of the Programa de Documentacion e Informacion de Artes Plasticas del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, and editor of Diego Rivera Catalogo General de OBRA Murial y Fotografia Personal, the catalogue raisonne of Rivera's mural paintings, from 1922-1957. It is expected to fetch $10,000-16,000. Another work of Hispanic origin to sell is a landscape by Cuban artist Armando Menocal. The oil on canvas depicts a farmstead in the hills, measures 23"h. by 39"w., and is estimated at $4,000-8,000.
Other works from European countries will include a portrait of a lady by Pierre de Coninck(France, 1828-1910) of a dark haired, sweet faced woman, wearing a pietra dura brooch and earring set, gold watch and chain and white lace collar and undersleeves ($3,000-7,000). An idyllic garden scene of a woman looking over a river valley with town is possibly by Eugene Boudin (France, 1824-1898). Although unsigned but still expected to reach $3,000-5,000. An incredible market scene by Johannes Rosierse (Netherlands, 1818-1901) depicts fruit sellers on a street at night. The artist used a wonderful Chiaroscuro effect with a lit candle in the oil on wooden board, signed lower left ($1,500-2,500).
A beautiful assortment of decorative accessories spanning several centuries will be sold. A fine English tortoise shell jewelry box / writing box dates to the mid 19th century. With tortoise shell over mahogany, ivory, silk and mother-of-pearl inlay, the lid is adorned with inlaid design of birds and flowers and opens to a ruched pink silk interior with divided compartments, two with lids, all above a single drawer pulls out to reveal a folding velvet covered writing surface and a shallow pen tray with two silver capped ink bottles. The secret compartment in lid, under the inlaid panel is a special aspect. Measuring a petite 7.5"h. 12.75"w. 9.25"d., the box is estimated at $6,000-9,000. Among the contemporary objects to sell are four glass creations by renowned American artist, Dale Chihuly. Two vibrant pieces are from the Seaforms series including a vessel with horizontal stripes and red lip wrap which is signed and dated "PP 98" and is 9.75"h. (Estimate $3,000-5,000) and a two piece sculpture comprising a vessel and ball in orange and red with turquoise lip wrap, which is signed and dated "PP 02" on the ball (Estimate $2,500-3,500). The other two sculptures include a Persian series piece titled “Persian Paradise” in red to amber with black lip wrap, signed and dated "01"., and measuring 11"h. 17"w. ($2,500-3,500) and a piece titled "Navaho Blanket Cylinder” signed and dated "PP00" with yellow lip wrap ($2,000-3,000).
The decorative arts category is also distinguished by the silver which will cross the podium. A pair of silver candelabra marked "800" flanked by diamonds is definitely of European origin dating to the late 19th-early 20th century. The six-arm candelabra with foliate accents, scroll decorated stems and stepped bases with shell motifs would be quite a statement on a table or sideboard at 24.5"high and weighing a hefty 299 ozt. (estimate $6,000-9,000). A silver tea and coffee service is marked for Gebruder Deyhle and 835 (Germany, early 20th century). The rococo-style set consisting of an 8" teapot; 11.5" coffee pot; 6.5"h. covered sugar bowl, and a 5.5" cream pitcher, together with a 12" hot water urn marked for E.D. Wollenweber, Germany, late 19th century, and 3 other pieces. In total, the lot represents 3.8 ozt of sterling; 101 ozt of 835 silver; and 45.3 ozt of 800 silver (estimate $ 2,000-4,000).
Transitioning from European silver to Chinese examples is a simple jump thanks to a beautiful Chinese export silver cake dish. Identified with hallmarks for Hung Chong (Canton and Shanghai, 1860-1930), the delicate dish has a scalloped rim with intricate openwork of prunus, dragons and pearls (estimate $ 1,000-1,500). Another piece of interest is the Chinese wine vessel (Qing dynasty, 1644-1911). Decorated with scenes of Immortals, a band of bats on the body, and a dragon from handle with three tripod dragon legs, the diminutive 5.25" high pitcher is expected to reach $1,000-1,500.
Other Asian items to sell include a group of snuff bottles with a finely carved "hair crystal" snuff bottle (2.75” h.) with lion mask handles and a clear stopper with black band, which carries the highest estimate of $400-600. Dozens of lots of Asian porcelains will be sold as well. A late Qing dynasty, yellow and green porcelain bowl has detailed exterior decoration of birds and flowers on a mustard ground and incised details throughout. A six charter seal "Da Qing Dao Guang Nian Zhi" on the base of the 5"diameter bowl (estimate $700-800), while a 6” diameter, late 19th century yellow glazed example with incised dragon and a six character black seal "Da Qing Qian Long Nian Zuhi" on its base is expected to command a price of $800-1,200. A fine blue and white porcelain water pot with a a six character seal "Da Qing Dao Guang Nian Zhi" on base might have some interior hairlines, but it is still expected to fetch $1,000-1,800.
Furniture may not be the ultimate focal point of this particular auction but there are some great, decorative pieces to be had. A Georgian mahogany secretary bookcase with a broken arch pediment, raised panel doors opening to a fitted interior, and a slant lid opening to fitted interior with mirrored prospect door above five drawers on bracket feet dates to the second half of the 18th century and has a rich color with mellow finish. At 91.5" high, it is a stately piece well worth $3,000-6,000. A rococo style, arched back leather sofa from the Ralph Lauren collection by Henredon will be a great buy at $1,000-2,000. Kittinger made many great pieces but the mid-20th century “George Washington” mahogany desk with matching side stand is versatile and utilitarian addition to any modern interior (estimate $1,000-2,000). A Georgian-style mahogany and pine breakfront of typical form with a dentilated cornice over three geometrically glazed doors, and a lower section with three drawers over three doors should reach $2,000-4,000.
Approximately two dozen lots of fine jewelry will excite bidders during the course of the auction. A Van Cleef & Arpels yellow diamond brooch is among the most anticipated pieces. The gold and diamond floral design is pave' set with prong set fancy yellow center diamond approx. 0.35 ct. The two petals are pave' set with yellow diamonds and baguette cut diamonds. Signed, "NY 63153", the brooch is estimated at $10,000-15,000 and a pair of matching dress clips with prong set fancy yellow center diamonds (approx. 0.20 ct. each) are each signed and bear the maker's mark Van Cleef & Arpels, NY. 63277-1 and -2 are also estimated $10,000-15,000. Another Van Cleef & Arpels lot is a pair of 18K yellow gold ear clips in floral design, pave' set with yellow sapphires with center of seven round brilliant cut prong set diamonds. Marked Van Cleef & Arpels, 750, BL6519, they measure 7/8" dia. and should bring $6,000-8,000. A vintage Tiffany & Company diamond starburst brooch dates to 1860-1910 and is comprised of a central old European cut diamond measures 6.0 x 6.2 mm. surrounded by sixty graduated old European cut diamonds set in silver topped gold mounting. At 1 5/8" dia., it will be a graphically stunning addition to any collection (estimate $5,000-6,000). An impressive mid 20th century suite comprising a necklace, earrings and ring are unmarked 14K white gold, set with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, fresh water pearls and cat's eye chrysoberyl in a lacy floral design. The total gram weight of all pieces is 136.5g and the suite carries an estimate of $10,000-15,000. A 19th century gold-filled bracelet with five different miniature classical-style sepia paintings on ivory, all bezel set with a hidden box clasp and safety chain is a work of art for the wrist and should bring $3,000-4,000.
Of the bronzes to be sold, a pheasant after Alfred Dubucand(France, 1828-1894) is particularly fine. The 27” high figure is signed on the base and depicts a lizard on the rocks at the feet of the pheasant (estimate $1,000-2,000). A figure of a boy holding a chicken stands 26” high, is signed “L. Serrano”, and dates to the late 19th century (estimate $1,000-2,000). A classical figure of Pandora holding a box after Eugene-Antoine Aizelin(France) is unsigned, but bears a French foundry mark and measures 23.5"high (estimate $ 800-1,200).
For further information about this auction or the August 3rd Eclectic auction, contact Garth’s at 740-362-4771 or visit www.garths.com. Garth’s Auctions has many more auctions in place this fall/winter and is currently accepting quality consignments in the categories of fine & vintage jewelry, Asian art, furniture & accessories, toys and circus material, firearms & accoutrement, fine art, furniture & decorative arts. The next Americana Auction scheduled for Labor Day weekend of August 31-September 1 followed by the October 4 Eclectic auction featuring toys.