An eclectic Mid-Century Modern auction featuring quality items pulled from estates across New England – including art glass, lighting, figures, bronzes, furniture by several designers and much more – is planned for Saturday, September 14th, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, online and in the firm’s Cranston gallery at 63 Fourth Avenue, at 12 noon Eastern.
The event is officially being called an MCM (Mid-Century Modern), Art & Decor Auction. In all, 361 lots will come up for bid. Online bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, Bidsquare.com, bidLIVE.Bruneauandco.com, or by downloading the mobile app “Bruneau & Co.” on iTunes or GooglePlay. Telephone and absentee bids will also be taken.
“There is always a special flare when it comes to putting together a specialty auction,” said Bruneau & Co. president Kevin Bruneau. “Modern and contemporary design is a hot category that brings a bunch of funky stuff to the market. It will be great to see what the Wendel Castle box hammers for.”
The Wendell Castle box in question is a carved wood jewelry or storage box with a curvaceous biomorphic lid. The box is incised ‘WC’ and dated “72” on the right side. It measures 9 ¾ inches by 14 ¼ inches and has a pre-sale estimate of $2,500-$4,000. Wendell Castle (Kan./N.Y., 1932-2018) is considered the father of the art furniture movement. His pieces are highly collectible.
Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer, predicted the auction “is sure to bring Modern collectors out of the woodwork, not just in Rhode Island but beyond,” adding, “From being able to offer a Walter Dorwin Teague sled radio and a two-piece Vladimir Kagan sofa and ottoman is an exciting opportunity. It makes auctioneering the sale that much more enjoyable.”
The sofa and ottoman set by Vladimir Kagan (German-American, 1927-2016) is a candidate for top lot of the auction, with an estimate of $6,000-$9,000. The orange biomorphic serpentine sofa rests on aluminum feet, while the round, tapered ottoman rests on a round aluminum base. The sofa, 110 ¼ inches in width, is signed on the bottom. The ottoman is 36 inches in diameter.
The Walter Dornin Teague (American, 1883-1960) for Sparton model 557 sled radio, made in a streamlined Art Deco style, is expected to change hands for $2,000-$3,000. The radio features cobalt blue mirrors on the front, top and left side, with contrasting black lacquer finish and chrome speed lines. The case is in overall good condition, but the radio needs some repairing.
A B and B Italia Maxalto white tufted bed by Patricia Urquiola (Italy, 2008) is expected to finish at $3,000-$5,000. The bed features a tufted rectangular headrest over matching tufted side rails and a foot board encasing a slatted wood bed frame. The bed, 96 inches deep by 80 inches wide, is upholstered in white leather and has a marked tag inside the bed frame, below the headrest.
A large and rare Gj Neville canister drum coffee table, made in the United States from steel, wood and glass in the 20th century, has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The squat, cylindrical metal table, 40 inches in diameter and 14 ½ inches tall, has a removable top to reveal storage space. Its only flaws are minor scuffs and light dents to the metal, and scratches on the mirror.
A Ralph Lauren (U.S., 20th century) lacquer high style duke bar made from rosewood and stainless steel, is estimated at $2,500-$3,500. The bar features a removable stainless-steel tray on a rectangular top over three drawers, over two doors opening to reveal one adjustable shelf. Flanking doors open to reveal four storage shelves on each side. The piece is 57 ½ inches wide.
A large semi-abstract Modernist sensual nude painting by Diane Desmarais (Canadian, b. 1946) should reach $1,500-$2,500. The 84 ½ inch by 64 ¼ inch work is signed lower left and annotated “And I Say to Myself What a Wonderful World” on verso. Diane Desmarais is a highly regarded Canadian contemporary artist who graduated from the Montreal Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1969.
A two-piece, Mid-Century Modern Surreal glass sculpture by Edward Leibovitz (Belgian, b. 1946), has an estimate of $800-$1,200. The lot includes an etched glass stand with the image of a three-headed, six-eyed person decorating the top and base; and a decorative, multi-colored plate with cameo carved figural depictions of people and animals along the rim and face in the center.
Previews will be held Thursday and Friday, September 12th-13th, from 9 am-5 pm Eastern time.
After the September 14th auction, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has an exciting slate of auctions lined up for early fall. They include the following:
- Sept. 21 – Comic Books & Toys (10 am pre-auction; 12 noon catalog auction)
- Sept. 27 – DiscoverIt Art, Antiques, Comics & Toys (6 pm; doors open at 3 pm)
- Sept. 28-29 – Video Game Auction (at Retro World Expo in Hartford, Conn.)
- Oct. 5 – Estates Fine Art & Antiques (10 am pre-auction; 12 noon catalog auction)
63 Fourth Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island
About Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is a full-service auction company based in Cranston, R.I. The firm specializes in fine art, antiques and collectibles in the liquidation of estates and collections.