Cleveland, Ohio – (May 23, 2017) The 19th century German figure and landscape painter, Paul Herman Wagner (1852-1937), is best known for his poignant portraits of children. Wagner’s paintings seldom come up at auction, lot 56 is entitled Siblings. This oil on canvas by Wagner, showcases the cherubic features of two siblings playfully enjoying each other’s company. The upper right of the portrait is signed ‘Paul Wagner Munchen’. There are several other paintings of interest including: lot 54, oil on canvas by Marian T. MacIntosh titled Morning On The Killary; lot 55, oil on canvas by Carl Kahler, (1855-1906) titled Lady with a Borzoi Russian Wolfhound; and lot 58, watercolor on laid paper by Jan Brandes titled Jinesche Begraafplats in Batvia (Chinese Pavilion in Batvia).
The serene totems of Gary Spinosa fill lots 1 through 16. This rare, large collection of mixed media ceramic figures are sculpted using human and animal forms and have been described as having sacred, ceremonial qualities. Spinosa created these works taking inspiration from religious rituals of ancient and diverse cultures, and an intuitive response to the natural world.
Contemporary street artist and activist, Shepard Fairey, take over lots 34, 35 and 36. These signed and dated silk screens are Fairey’s take on social commentary and political satire through iconic imagery. Though largely known for his ‘OBEY’ stickers and the 2008 Barack Obama ‘HOPE” poster, many of his works are included in collections at The Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
A Cowan Pottery Chinese bird vase, lot 126, with an Egyptian blue glaze is just one of many pieces up for auction. Founded in 1912, in Lakewood, Ohio, Cowan Pottery produced artistic and commercial decorative work influenced by a variety of styles including the Arts and Crafts movement, art deco, Chinese ceramics, and modern sculpture. The silhouettes of the vases in lot 134, show the unique artisan work with an October glaze, numbered and impressed Cowan Pottery mark on the base.
Light up any room with a striking pair of Italian table lamps in lot 179. These tall lamps feature crowned female heads all in white porcelain on black bases. Lot 180 is a set of three George Nelson hanging bubble lamps for the Howard Miller Clock Company. And lot 162 is a Muller Fress Luneville art deco glass table lamp with a hammered and wrought metal base and a mottled color glass cone form shade, with signature.
Accompanying the lamps is a variety of decorative furniture. Lot 178 is a vintage Ficks & Reed Co. rattan five piece upholstered sectional sofa, along with a circular table and a trio of triangular nesting tables. A pair of regency painted plaster pedestals by Humphrey Hopper (1767-1844), dated 1812 are lot 72. A Wonder portable pump organ, lot 94 is manufactured by C.G. Conn, with a quarter saw oak veneer fold out case with working foot pump bellows and synthetic faux ivory keys.
Rounding out this eclectic auction is a collection of stamps, philatelic covers and USPS postage. Some of the more notable stamps are a three margin copy Great Britain Penny Black stamp, lot 261. A full set of Federal Duck Stamps in lot 227. A set of extra fine, never hinged Graf Zeppelin airmail stamps are lot 249. And lot 240 is a horizontal set of one cent Benjamin Franklin stamps that are well centered and never hinged.
Gray’s is open for in-person preview May 25 - 30; Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 12noon – 4pm and Monday Memorial Day 9am – 12noon. The auction starts at 11am EST on Wednesday, May 31 with live bidding provided by GraysAuctioneers.com. The fully illustrated catalog is now online at GraysAuctioneers.com.
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