Rare Micro-Mosaic Panel by Cesare Roccheggiani Goes on the Block at Eldred's Spring Auction

  • EAST DENNIS, Massachusetts
  • /
  • March 24, 2016

  • Email
Rare micro-mosaic panel by Cesare Roccheggiani.

Though officially titled the Spring Americana and Paintings Auction, Eldred’s sale on April 8 and 9 will encompass a far more diverse range of material including maritime art, antique firearms, Oriental rugs, sporting art and a extensive array of European furniture and decorative arts, highlighted by a Cesare Roccheggiani panel.

The remarkable micro-mosaic, a luminous scene of Castel Sant’ Angelo, Ponte Sant’ Angelo, the Tiber River and a distant view of St. Peter’s Basilica, is composed from thousands of miniscule pieces of opaque glass. Roccheggiani was employed from 1856 to 1864 by the Vatican workshops, which had been creating mosaics since the 16th Century, and also had his own workshop where he produced commissioned works and smaller items for the tourist market. This piece, which retains two Roccheggiani labels on the reverse, measures 17” x 32.75” inclusive of the frame and weighs approximately 45 pounds. It is estimated at $20,000-$30,000 but works of similar size and scope have sold far above that in recent years. It comes to market from a private collection in Connecticut.

Ralph E. Cahoon, Jr.

“The Roccheggiani panel was a great discovery and honestly a bit of a surprise,” said Joshua Eldred, president of the firm. “It was discovered by John Schofield (the company’s president emeritus) as he examined property for one of our upcoming Asian sales. It is truly fresh to the market. We were able to put a conservative estimate on it and are excited to see what the final price will be when the hammer falls.”

The auction will be conducted at the company’s main facility in East Dennis, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod’s historic Route 6A. The first session, on Friday, April 8, will cover lots 1-411, including early American glass, folk art, militaria, decoys, and much more. The second session, on Saturday, April 9, begins at lot 501 with more than 50 lots of silver and jewelry, followed by decorative arts, furniture, maritime art and paintings.

In addition to the Rocchegiani panel, significant lots in the sale include a Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. 18kt gold and enamel bangle bracelet, which carries a pre-sale estimate of $10,000/$15,000, an historic circa 1865 Lemat revolver, estimated at $15,000/$18,000, a rare Canada goose weather vane by noted decoy carver A. Elmer Crowell of East Harwich, Massachusetts, estimated at $5,000/$8,000, and a 19th Century room-size Bakshiesh carpet, expected to bring $4,000/$6,000.    

Federal table, believed to be from the shop of Duncan Phyfe.

More than 250 paintings will cross the block over the auction’s two sessions. A Ralph E. Cahoon, Jr. scene of sailors and mermaids in a hot air balloon, from a private Philadelphia collection, is one of six works by Cahoon or his wife Martha Farham in the sale. It carries a $30,000/$50,000 pre-sale estimate. Other lots of note include a Guy Pène du Bois portrait of a girl in a red and white striped sweater, with a pre-sale estimate of $20,000/$30,000, and an Albert Fuller Graves work depicting a tender scene of a young girl and an older man mending a dress, also estimated at $20,000/$30,000. Works by Platt Powell Ryder, William Aiken Walker, Elisha Taylor Baker, Jonas Lie, Diego Rivera, John Fulton Folinsbee and Marion Huse are also being offered. As can be expected, artists with ties to Cape Cod and the Provincetown School will be well-represented, with works by Ross Moffett, Anne Packard, William R. Davis and Elizabeth Mumford included in the sale.

Important pieces of furniture include New York Chippendale tray-top tea table in walnut and butternut, estimated at $12,000/$15,000, a Queen Anne drop-leaf dining table attributed to the Townsend or Goddard family, estimated at $4,000/$6,000, and a Federal drop-leaf table with accompanying provenance that indicates the piece was purchased from the shop of Duncan Phyfe and descended in the Cady family of Schenectady, New York until the 1940s. It is estimated at $3,500/$5,000.

Other noteworthy furniture lots include several Chippendale and Queen Anne pieces from a private collection in Chatham, Massachusetts, one of three featured collections in the sale. The others are a 138-lot collection of early Sandwich and other American glass, which kicks off the sale Friday, and a group of marine paintings from a private Baltimore collection, which will be sold on Saturday.

Interested bidders can visit www.eldreds.com for a complete sale listing and to register to bid via phone, absentee bid or online. Online bidding will also be hosted by Invaluable.com. Those wishing to bid live in the audience may register the day of the auction. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. EDT on both Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, 2016. Preview hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, and the mornings of the sales starting at 8:45 a.m.

The Robert C. Eldred Co., located at 1483 Route 6A in East Dennis, Massachusetts, is New England's oldest established antiques and fine arts auction house, now in its third generation of ownership by the Eldred and Schofield families. The firm holds approximately 25 auctions per year encompassing Americana, paintings, Asian art, European decorative art, maritime antiques and collectibles. It was recently named one of the top worldwide auction houses by Art + Auction. For more information please call (508) 385-3116 or email info@eldreds.com.  

Robert C. Eldred Co., Inc.
1483 Route 6A
P.O. Box 796
East Dennis, Massachusetts

  • Email

ARTFIXdaily Artwire