On Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26, 2012, at 11 a.m., the Rago Arts and Auction Center will hold its first auction of 20th C. Design for the year, with over 1350 lots of exceptional property from private collections, museums and directly from the artists and their families. Previews begin February 18th.
The auction kicks off on Saturday with Early 20th C. Design. Featured is the collection of Mr. Peter Renzetti, master blacksmith, which includes some of the finest Philadelphia Arts and Crafts ironwork to come to market in recent years.
Also featured are forty-four lots of property from a private Delaware collector. The last 100 lots of Saturday’s sale is a collection of 20th century art pottery. The sale continues on Sunday with more Modern Design, including a large and impressive collection of rare pieces of sculpture and art glass, fine studio and designer furniture, lighting and contemporary art.
"Each auction has its own personality based on the consignments that happen to come in,” said David Rago. “At some level it’s really beyond your control. This next sale, for some reason, includes the best selection of Philadelphia Arts and Crafts wrought-iron we’ve ever seen on the market. There are, of course, works by Samuel Yellin and his workshop, but also many pieces from the nearby Arden Community, and pieces by some more esoteric local craftsmen such as Finnegan and Janson, Parke Edwards, and J. Barton Benson. There is also an unusually strong presence of Utopian Community material besides Arden’s, including a rare table and chair from Rose Valley, and furniture, artwork and ceramics from Byrdcliffe. The post war session is similarly outfitted, with a great selection of contemporary glass and ceramics as well as a broad selection from Organic Furniture masters such as Nakashima, Powell, and Evans. There are 800 lots of Modern material spread over two sessions.”
· Saturday, February 25, 11 a.m.
o Early 20th Century / Arts & Crafts / Art glass, Lalique and Tiffany / European Secession / Wiener Werkstatte / 20th C. Studio Pottery
· Sunday, February 26, 11 a.m.
o Mid 20th-21st C. / Modern Design
· Telephone, absentee, online bidding available for those unable to attend
· Saturday, February 18 through Wednesday, February 22, from 12-5 p.m. or by appointment. Thursday, Feb 23 and Friday, Feb 24, 12-7 p.m. Doors open on days of sale at 9 a.m.
· Open House at the Apthorp, 2211 Broadway, NYC, Feb 11/12, 12-5 p.m., RSVP to Robin: 609-397-9374 ext. 119
· American Art Pottery discussion by Newark Museum Curator Ulysses Grant Dietz, Thursday, February 23, 6:00 p.m.
· Rago’s is located midway between New York City and Philadelphia. Directions online at ragoarts.com/more/visit
· Printed catalogues are available for $25 by calling 609.397.9374 or e-mailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
· View a complete online catalogue with color images at ragoarts.com as of February 9, 2012
Overview of Early 20th Century / Arts & Crafts / Art glass / European Secession / Wiener Werkstatte / 20th C. Studio Pottery, Saturday, February 25, 2012, 11 a.m.
Saturday’s sale begins with almost 400 lots of Arts & Crafts; immediately followed by 30 lots of European Secession and Wiener Werkstatte; 40 lots of Tiffany, Lalique and art glass; finishing the day with over 100 lots of 20th C. studio pottery. There is a fine and extensive collection of over 40 lots, property of a private Delaware collector, which starts with an exceptional trestle table and armchair designed by William Price and executed at the Rose Valley Utopian community in Delaware, circa 1901. The collection continues with a dozen lots from Byrdcliffe, a different Utopian community near Woodstock, New York. The materials relate to its founders, Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead and Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, and include a grouping of rare wares made at their White Pines Pottery. The collection concludes with fine and esoteric forged iron items from the Philadelphia area and abroad.
The sale begins with the featured collection of Mr. Peter Renzetti, which includes some of the finest Philadelphia ironwork from the early 20th century to come to market in recent years. This master blacksmith had a close association with Clare Yellin and the Samuel Yellin Metalworkers (SYM), extending the ideals of the America’s Arts and Crafts movement and the legacy of Samuel Yellin into the 21st century. The sale begins with an important and massive Samuel Yellin wrought-iron floor candelabrum from the 1920s. Possibly made for the Washington National Cathedral, this candelabrum was photographed in Yellin’s Arch Street, Philadelphia shop, and was published in Jack Andrews’ “Samuel Yellin: Metalworker,” 1992. Other metal items in the sale include andirons, fire screens, wall sconces and a lectern by the Arden community, Parke Edwards, Jarvie, E.T. Hurley, Dirk Van Erp, the Roycrofters, Finnegan & Janson, and the most esoteric Gideon from the tiny hamlet of Upper Black Eddy, PA. There are sterling silver pieces by Mary Catherine Knight, Arthur Stone, Joseph Mayer, Liberty and Tiffany & Co.
Featured metalwork lots in the sale include: lot 17, a rare wrought-iron fire screen by Parke Edwards, “East West Homes Best,” estimated at $5,000-7,000. The screen was completed by Edwards while he was studying at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art under the tutelage of Samuel Yellin. It is documented in Edwards’ scrapbook in the Parke Edwards Collection at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Also of note is lot 121, a large wrought-iron lantern by Samuel Yellin, which was published in Elyse Karlin’s “Jewelry & Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition”, 1993, p. 229. The lantern is estimated at $10,000-15,000. Lot 139 is a great weathervane with panther done at Byrdcliffe by W. Hunt Diederich, estimated at $10,000-15,000; lot 208 is a Joseph Heinrichs mixed metal ink set in hammered copper and ram’s horns, estimated at $4,000-5,000; lot 372 is a rare and massive Gustav Stickley custom-designed copper humidor, estimated at $12,500-17,500; lot 282 is a fine and rare sterling and enamel tea caddy, with each panel showing a different plant, by Omar Ramsden and Alwyn Carr, estimated at $4,000-6,000; lots 445 and 446 are patinated bronze Alhambra vases by Tiffany & Co.
Early 20th C. Furniture:
Outstanding early 20th century furniture in the sale includes an exceptional and large trestle table and armchair designed by William Price of the Rose Valley Utopian Community, circa 1901. The pieces were published in “On the Brink of the 20th Century: The architecture of William L. Price”, Arthur Ross Gallery, Univ. of Penn., 2000 as well as in “William L. Price: Arts and Crafts to Modern Design” by George E. Thomas, Princeton Arch. Press, 2000. Lot 97, the trestle table, is estimated at $30,000-40,000 and the chair, lot 98, is estimated at $15,000-20,000. Another notable lot is a rare, historically significant Manxman upright piano, lot 20, by the celebrated architect/designer M.H. Baillie Scott for English piano maker John Broadwood & Sons, estimated at $10,000-15,000. Also noteworthy: lot 99, a rare magazine stand by Byrdcliffe Community, Woodstock, NY, 1904, estimated at $10,000-15,000; lots 131 and 132, rare hall chairs by Charles Rohlfs, published in Coy L. Ludwig’s, “The Arts and Crafts Movement in New York State 1890's - 1920's,” estimated at $7,000-10,000 each; lot 133, an Oscar Bach coffee table made from wrought-iron, bronze and marble, $4,000-6,000; lot 377, a mantle clock by Gustav Stickley and Seth Thomas, estimated at $4,000-6,000.
Other furniture makers include: Thonet at J. J. Kohn, Herter Brothers, Roycroft, L. & J.G. Stickley, Louis Majorelle, Limbert, Charles Stickley, Daniel Pabst, F.A. Rawlence, Kimbel & Cabus, Shop of the Crafters and Stickley Bros.
American Art Pottery:
The American art pottery in the sale includes a collection of Grueby tiles and pottery; George Ohr pots (lots 60-76); other makers such as Newcomb College, Rookwood, Saturday Evening Girls, Avon, Charles F. Binns, Fulper, Dedham, Isaac Broome at Ott & Brewer, Weller, John Bennett, Marblehead, North Dakota School of Mines, Pewabic, Merrimac, Moravian Tile Works, Mosaic Tile Co., Roseville, Teco, Tiffany Studios, Van Briggle and Walrath. Rare examples of White Pines pottery (lots 105-113) descended through the Whitehead family to the collection of Mark Willcox, and ultimately to a private Delaware collector. All but lot 113 were exhibited at “The Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony: Life by Design,” Delaware Art Museum, 1984.
Notable lots in the sale include: lot 60, an exceptional, oversized George Ohr pitcher in red glaze, estimated at $20,000-30,000; lot 140, an early vase with dogwood blossoms by Marie de Hoa LeBlanc for Newcomb College, estimated at $8,000-12,000; lot 164, a large John Bennett covered jar decorated with lilies, estimated at $7,000-10,000; lot 36, a rare advertising tile by Grueby on brown ground, estimated at $3,000-4,000; and lot 430, a “Jazz” plate by Viktor Schreckengost for Cowan, estimated at $15,000-20,000.
European ceramicists include: Auguste Delaherche, Charles Noke for Royal Doulton, Emile Galle, Max Laeuger, Pieter-Joseph Laigneil, Ruskin, Zsolnay and more. Notable lots include: lot 289, a good Martin Brothers carved stoneware bird tobacco jar, estimated at $10,000-15,000; lot 293, an exceptional and very large ”Daphne” Amphora bust by Ernst Wahliss, $4,500-6,500; and lot 290, a tall red flambé vase with chrysanthemums by Moorcroft, estimated at $2,000-3,000.
Fine art in the sale comes to Rago’s from private collectors and museums, including oils on canvas, works on paper, photographs, prints, and drawings. A notable lot is 270, Gustave Baumann’s color woodblock print, “A Lilac Year,” estimated at $6,000-8,000. Lots 93 through 96 are unique silver emulsion prints by Arthur Wesley Dow from the Pedersen Gallery, Lambertville, NJ, estimated at $2,500-3,500 ea. Botanical study prints by Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead are part of the aforementioned private Delaware Collection (lots 101-104), estimated at $2,500-3,500 each. Lot 114 is a good gouache on paper by Margaret J. Patterson entitled “Alvah's House", estimated at $2,500-3,500.
Other notable artists in the sale include: Bertha B. Lum, Carl Eric Lindin, Edna Boies Hopkins, Edna Walker, Edward Curtis, Ethel Mars, Eva Watson-Schutze, Henry J. Albright, Madeleine Fleury, Maynard Dixon, and Zulma Steele.
Lighting makers in the sale include: Tiffany & Co., Handel, Gustav Stickley, Quezal, Steuben, Unique, Oscar Bach, and more. Noteworthy is lot 213, a rare table lamp by Handel, with obverse-painted shade on tree-trunk base, estimated at $8,000-12,000; lot 202, an early red warty table lamp by Dirk Van Erp in hammered copper and mica, estimated at $7,000-10,000; lot 118, a pair of wrought-iron wall scones by Samuel Yellin, $4,500-6,500; lot 126, a pair of Tiffany Studios sconce shields, estimated at $4,000-5,000; lot 429, an enameled wrought-iron chandelier by W. Hunt Diederich, estimated at $10,000-15,000; and lot 470, a table lamp by Tiffany Studios with Swirling Leaf shade, estimated at $17,500-22,500.
Glassmakers in the sale include: Daum, Lalique, Tiffany Studios, Loetz, Emile Galle, and Legras. Notable lots include: lot 448, a Tiffany Studios blue Favrile glass vase, estimated at $3,000-5,000; lot 437, a Lalique “Martin Pêcheurs” vase with green and black patina, $3,000-4,000; and lot 417, a large and fine Loetz silver-overlaid Titania vase, $3,500-4,500. There are also several leaded glass panels, such as lot 130, a pair of leaded glass windows, attributed to George Washington Maher, ca. 1910, estimated at $4,000-6,000, and a fine large window possibly made of Tiffany glass, at $4,000-6,000 (lot 275).
Rugs and Textiles:
The sale also includes rugs, many in the style of William Morris; textiles and ladies accessories by the Wiener Werkstatte. Notable lots include: lot 405, a figural lacework panel by Dagobert Peche, estimated at $2,000-3,000; and lot 414, a purse with geometric pattern by Josef Hoffman, $1,500-2,000. Lots 407 and 408 are pillboxes attributed to Kolo Moser and executed by Georg Anton Scheidt in chased silver, guilloche and painted enamel panels, estimated at $2,500-3,500 each.
20th C. Art Pottery (Saturday, February 25th):
Approximately 100 lots of studio ceramics are the last grouping in Saturday’s sale. Ceramicists include: Toshiko Takaezu, Aaron Bohrod and Carlton Ball, Hans Coper, Lucie Rie, Bernard Leach, Henry Takemoto, Kenneth Price, Frans Wildenhain, Claude Conover, Erik Gronborg, David Gilhooly, Betty Davenport Ford, Myrton Purkiss, Harrison MacIntosh, Beatrice Wood, Ken Ferguson, Robert Turner, Paul Soldner, Betty Woodman, Richard Devore, Paula and Robert Winokur, Don Reitz, Chris Gustin, David Shaner, Steven Kemenyffy, Rudolf Staffel, Karen Karnes, Ralph Bacerra, Phillip Maberry and Scott Walker, Christine Federighi, Jack Earl, Andrea Gill John Gill, Yasuhide Kobashi, Lucian Pompili, Victor Spinski, Bill Stewart, Martha Holt, Mary Roehm, James Lawton, Thomas Hoadley, and Steven Montgomery.
The run of modern ceramics begins with 18 lots of Scheier, notably lot 500, a large vessel estimated at $3,000-4,000. Other noteworthy lots include: lot 535, a tall Peter Voulkos stack pot from the collection of sculptor Steven Urry, estimated at $10,000-15,000; lot 580, one of several Jack Earl sculptures, “Bark Doggy Food,” $1,300-1,700; and lot 552, a footed ceramic vessel by Robert Arneson, “Alice Pot Sitting on Four Shrubs”, estimated at $15,000-20,000.
Overview of Mid 20th-21st Century / Modern: Sunday, February 26, 11 a.m.
Sunday’s Modern Design auction features approximately 630 lots of furniture, lighting and decorative arts. Prominent Modern pieces by George Nakashima, Paul Evans, Vladimir Kagan, Richard Ford, Phil Powell, Hans Wegner, Ed Wormley, Charles and Ray Eames, Tommi Parzinger, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Harry Bertoia, Wharton Esherick, Klaus Ihlenfeld, Dale Chihuly, Jon Kuhn, Mary Ann “Toots” Zynsky, Richard Ritter, Donald Deskey and many more.
Modern furniture designers include: André Sornay, Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Fritz Hansen, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Bertha Schafer, Borge Morgensen, Bruno Mathsson, Carlo di Carli, Charles and Ray Eames, Christian Liaigre, Dominique, Donald Deskey, Edmund Spence, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Ettore Sottsass, Finn Juhl, Florence Knoll, Franco Albini, Frank Lloyd Wright, George Nakashima, Mira Nakashima, George Nelson, Guglielmo Ulrich, Isamu Noguchi, J.B. Blunk, Jacques Adnet, James Mont, Jay Stanger, Jean Royère, Jindrich Halabala, John Cederquist, Karl Springer, Khouri Guzman Bunce, Maison Jansen, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Michael Coffey, Michael Taylor, Milo Baughman, Paul Evans, Phil Powell, Paul Frankl, Paul McCobb, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Pierre Guariche, Poul Kjaerholm, Ralph Rapson, Richard Ford, Richard Meier, Robert Whitley, Sergio Rodrigues, Silas Seandel, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Tommi Parzinger, Verner Panton, Vladimir Karan, Warren McArthur, Warren Platner, Wharton Esherick, Yuko Shimizu and many more.
A notable lot is lot 974, an Arthur Espenet Carpenter Wishbone chair, estimated at $7,000–9,000. Arthur Espenet Carpenter is a foundational figure, along with Sam Maloof and Jack Rodger Hopkins, in the studio furniture movement, which developed on the West Coast in the 1960s. His work is currently held by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and has been exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Arts and Design, the Oakland Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others.
Other featured furnishings in the sale include: Lots 698 and 699, a pair of crescent sofas by Vladimir Kagan for Kagan-Dreyfuss, estimated at $10,000-15,000 each; lot 802, an exceptional burled walnut coffee table by George Nakashima, $45,000-65,000; lot 780, a set of bi-fold doors made by Phil Powell, $35,000-45,000; lot 766, an exceptional Paul Evans Argente vitrine, estimated at $25,000-35,000; lot 712, a Tommi Parzinger four-door cabinet for Charak Modern, $10,000-15,000; lot 717, a fine and large James Mont cabinet, $4,000-6,000; lot 730, a rare Philip and Kelvin LaVerne Viola coffee table, $12,000-16,000; lot 600, a Hans Wegner/Johannes Hansen swivel chair, $10,000-15,000; lot 923, a great room divider by Donald Deskey, from the estate of his son, Michael Deskey, $10,000-15,000; lot 953, a Michael Coffey “Swahili” wall-hanging cabinet, $10,000-15,000; lots 990-991, two John Cederquist cabinets from the Wave series, $4,000-6,000 ea.; lot 1152, a rocking chaise by Richard Meier for Knoll, $12,000-18,000; lot 1158, a set of four Chippendale chairs in laminated plywood with leather upholstery by Robert Venturi for Knoll, $8,000-10,000; lot 1201, a Janus coffee table with Tiffany tiles by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, $4,000-5,000; several furnishings by Paolo Buffa from the Hotel Bristol, Merano, Italy, notably lot 660, a set of eight dining chairs estimated at $14,000-18,000.
Modern Fine Art:
Featured modern fine art prints, paintings and drawings are by artists such as: Wharton Esherick, Tommi Parzinger, Donald Deskey and Dale Chihuly. Featured pieces include: lot 924, an oil on canvas by Donald Deskey, $1,500-2,000; lot 710, an oil on burlap by Tommi Parzinger, “Frog and Gnome”, $1,500-2,000. There are several woodblock prints by Wharton Esherick, including lot 788, “April Ploughing”, $2,500-3,500.
Featured modern lighting designers include: Alfredo Barbini, Tobia Scarpa, Angelo Lelli, Joe Columbo, André Sornay, Willy Daro, Pierre Guariche, Georges Jouve, Cedric Hartman, James Mont, Marc Newson, Oscar Torlasco, Phil Powell, George Nakashima, Robert Sonneman, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Tommi Parzinger, Verner Panton, Warren McArthur, and more.
Notable lighting in the sale includes: lot 676, a three-arm floor lamp by Angelo Lelli for Arredoluce, estimated at $7,000-9,000; lot 825, a George Nakashima table lamp, estimated at $3,000–5,000; Italian lighting features lot 675, ten pendant lamps, estimated at $3,500-4,500; lot 908, an adjustable diffusion lamp by Maison Desny, estimated at $4,000–6,000; lot 1037, a Super Guppy floor lamp by Marc Newson for Idée, $6,000–8,000; and lot 1042, a rare pair of table lamps by John Dickinson, estimated at $18,000–24,000.
Ceramicists in Sunday’s sale include: Henri Simmen and Eugene O’Kin, Bodil Manz, Berndt Friberg, Gunnar Nylund, Axel Salto. Also works from designs by Gio Ponti, Pablo Picasso, Russel Wright, and more.
A featured piece in the sale is lot 913, a rare pear-shaped covered vessel by Henri Simmen and Eugene O’Kin, estimated at $20,000-30,000. A student of the ceramicist Raoul Lachenal, works by Henri Simmen (1880-1969) are extremely rare, this being a particularly large example. Simmen worked in conjunction with his Japanese wife Eugenie O'Kin, who carved the delicate ivory stoppers and lids. Other featured pieces include a group of stoneware vases by Berndt Friberg for Gustavsberg, such as lot 653, estimated at $2,000-3,000; and lot 914, a Picasso-designed plate executed at Madoura, estimated at $2,000-3,000. The plate was published in Alain Ramie, ''Picasso: Catalogue of the edited ceramic works 1947- 1971,'' 1988, p. 249.
The sale has a large collection of contemporary sculpture in wood, metal and mixed media by artists such as Harry Bertoia, Wharton Esherick, Gene Sherer, Jacques Adnet, Jonathan Bonner, James Prestini, Wendell Castle, Feliciano Bejar, Miguel Berrocal, Christopher Hiltey, Catherine Childs, Klaus Ihlenfeld, John McQueen, Claude de Muzac, and Paul Evans.
Featured in the sale is a group of Magiscope sculptures by Feliciano Bejar of Mexico, such as lot 981made from cut crystal, reclaimed steel and automotive parts, estimated at $3,500–5,500. Bejar’s Magiscopes were first introduced at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City in 1966. These works helped redefine the course of modern sculpture through their use of salvaged objects and experimental forms. Feliciano Bejar’s work has been widely exhibited and is currently held in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Bibliotheque Nationale.
Other featured sculptures include: lot 786, a unique pheasant carving by Wharton Esherick, estimated at $25,000-35,000; lot 750, an important wall-hanging sculpture by Paul Evans, estimated at $18,000-24,000; lot 736 is a copper and bronze Bush sculpture by Harry Bertoia, $25,000-35,000; lot 743, a Christopher Hiltey exterior mobile sculpture, “Conferring Moons”, $3,000-4,000.
Art Glass/Glass Sculpture:
William Morris, Mary Ann “Toots” Zynsky, Harvey Littleton, Dan Dailey, Dale Chihuly, Bertil Vallien, David Huchthausen, Jon Kuhn, Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, Kyohei Fujita, Klaus Moje, Sydney Cash, Richard Ritter, José Chardiet, Lino Tagliapietra, William Carlson, Christopher Ries, Steve Maslach, David Schwarz, John Nygren, Sonja Blomdahl, Robert Levin, Fritz Dreisbach, Sidney R. Hutter, Alessandro Pianon, Luciano Gaspari, Miles Van Rensselaer, Sergio Mazza and more.
Featured pieces in the sale include: lot 832, a Dale Chihuly six-piece Seaform group, estimated at $8,000–12,000; lot 837, a “Toots” Zynsky fillet de verre vessel, estimated at $8,000–12,000; lot 839, a Harvey Littleton sculpture “Truncated Form”, $10,000-14,000; lot 843, a tall sculptural vessel “Lily and Fish” by Dan Dailey from the Art Deco Building Detail Series, estimated at $8,000–12,000; Lot 918, a Pablo Picasso-designed glass centaur, estimated at $9,000–14,000; and lot 693, a Aspicchi glass vase by Fulvio Bianconi for Venini, estimated at $4,000-6,000.
Other items in the sale include a ring tray by Maria Pergay, a four-piece Ligne Inox fireplace tool set by Jacques Charles and Maison Charles; a silver-plated candelabrum by Gio Ponti for Christofle; radios by Charles and Ray Eames; a standing globe by Edward Wormley; and more.
There are two sterling silver flatware sets, and a serving set, notably: lot 642, a 56-piece sterling flatware set for eight by Georg Jensen, $3,500-4,500. Jewelry includes lot 955, an Albert Paley sculptural ring in 14k gold with a Madagascar Labradorite cabochon, $5,000-7,000; and lot 1079, a Hopeakuu sterling silver necklace and earring suite by Tapio Wirkkala/Nilo Westerback, $2,000-3,000. Lot 943 is a set of original blueprints for the Sidney Bazett residence by Frank Lloyd Wright, estimated at $2,000-3,000. There are rugs and textiles after designs by Alexander Calder (Bon Art), Henry Matisse (Edward Fields), and Joan Miro. Notably, lot 880, a fiber tapestry after Alexander Calder, “Circus”, $5,000-7,000.