Paintings, Jewelry, Decorations and more at Gray's Spring Auction

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  • March 16, 2021

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Lot 1, Hermann Corrodi: Hermann David Salomon Corrodi, (Italian, 1844 - 1905) - Evening on the Banks of the Nile, Estimate $30,000 – 50,000
Gray's Auctioneers


The auction will be held online at Gray’s showroom located at 10717 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Gray’s Auctioneers Spring auction is a diverse Fine Art, Furniture and Decorative Art auction being held virtually on Wednesday, March 24, online and with telephone bidding available by reservation at the Cleveland auction showrooms located at 10717 Detroit Avenue, starting promptly at 10 am Eastern time.

The auction begins with several fine art lots. Lot 1 Evening on the Banks of the Nile by Hermann Corrodi, is a sublime yet exotic scene of 19th century life reflecting Corrodi’s extensive travels throughout Egypt, Syria and the Near East. Corrodi was renowned during his lifetime for landscapes and royal history painting, but it is these glowing scenes of life painted towards the end of his life, that have long been the most sought after of his works. This painting has some areas of poor restoration in the sky to the upper left and right of the canvas but nonetheless should reach its estimate of $30,000 – 50,000.

Lot 2 is a 17th century Neapolitan School Painting of St. Peter. The mystery is that it is unsigned. Long thought to be the work of the master Jusepe de Ribera by collectors, Deba Gray sought the opinion of the leading de Ribera expert, Nicola Spinosa. He examined high resolution images and images under UV and did not think the painting was by de Ribera, but by the lesser known Flemish painter Hendrick van Somer who was active in Naples at the time and who for a time studied under Ribera in his studio. The painting has had campaigns of restoration and has been relined. The frame has a remnant of a wax seal indicating that it once was in a notable collection but who’s?  and that just adds to the mystery.  The estimate is a modest $3,000 – 5,000.

Lot 3, Portrait Miniature: 17th century miniature portrait of a young noble boy, painted with oil on copper and set in a silvered frame with scroll surmount and glass, Estimate $3,000 – 5,000.
Gray's Auctioneers

Lot 3 is a charming 17th century miniature portrait of a young noble boy, painted with oil on copper and set in a silvered frame with scroll surmount and glass. The painting is unsigned but is strikingly reminiscent of Cornelius Johnson’s (1593- 1661) exceptionally elegant and detailed miniature portraits of nobility. It is estimated at $3,000 – 5,000.

Henry Joseph Breuer, the early 20th century American artist known for his paintings of the majestic California, Oregon and Arizona landscape is represented at Lot 7 with a striking oil of Yosemite’s El Capitan. Greatly influenced by the French Impressionist Barbizon school of rural landscapes. This study deftly captures the magnificence of the iconic, almost vertical, white granite rock face.

Buckminster ‘Bucky’ Fuller, the American futurist inventor and thinker coined the term ‘tensegrity’ in the 1960’s to describe structures of tensional integrity. To illustrate the principle, he handmade structures of differing sizes and shapes. At lot 12 we have a 24inch Geodesic Tensegrity Sphere from an edition of 50, together with a letter of authenticity from Fuller. It was given by the artist to the current owner in 1982. Lot 13, also by Fuller is a rare study for his triangular based tensegrity structure titled Twelve Degrees of Freedom. It was also given to the current owner, after the artist passed in 1983 with the words, “Bucky wanted you to have it”.

The auction features a fine collection of jewelry and silver lots. Lot 142 is an intricate Vietnamese Four Seasons pierced gold bracelet made from a beautifully toned 18kt gold presented in its original presentation box.  Lot 143 is a Chinese Export Silver Five Piece Tea Set ca. 1910 from the makers Wang Hing & Co.  Lot 121 is a rare Tiffany and Co, Paris Silver Five Function Travel Clock with its original leather travel box. It has a clock, a compass, a calendar, barometer and Fahrenheit/Centigrade thermometer. The silver is marked with Paris Boar’s head hallmark and L(A?) R maker’s mark.

There are several collections in the auction: from a whimsical collection of mid-century Beatrix Potter animal figures (Lots 185 – 202), to enameled porcelain Battersea Boxes (Lots 181 -184), and a fine collection of Cleveland Print Club limited edition prints (lots 25 – 46).

Lot 7, Henry Joseph Breuer: Henry Joseph Breuer, (American, 1860-1932) - A Study of Yosemite's El Capitan, Estimate $800 – 1,200
Gray's Auctioneers

Asian lots also include a delicate Japanese Satsuma Thousand Butterflies bowl, (Lot 152). The detail is so finely executed with the bowl itself telling a story in each of its pictorial panels. Another is lot 149 a Japanese carved boxwood Netsuke depicting a rooster on a drum. It is signed but the signature is illegible.

There is an abundance of fine rugs and textiles in this diverse Spring auction including lot 137 a rare and very fine, 19th century, long Kashmir shawl also known as a Dochalla, from North India. Woven and hand stitched from Pashmina wool, silk and cotton it has a dense foliate design with an ornate central motif and a merchant’s mark hand stitched just off center.

European decorative arts feature Lot 229 a Black Forest carved Swiss mountain dog grouping of a mother and her puppies in the manner of Walter Mäder and his son Heinrich, master carvers from Brienz, who specialized in detailed renditions of Swiss mountain dogs.

There are over 350 lots in this delightful Spring sale.  The full catalog is online now and pre-bidding is open at Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. The auction house is open by appointment only for preview until March 23.

Gray’s Auctioneers is Northern Ohio’s leading licensed auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, jewelry, antiques, decorative arts, rare books, and antique rugs. A boutique auction house with three decades of experience in the art business, the experts at Gray’s now offer traditional real estate services. 

The specialists at Gray’s have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the maximum value of their collections at auction. Gray’s Auctioneers are licensed and insured.

Gray’s Auctioneers are accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about selling a single piece, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them at (216) 226-3300.

To learn more about Gray’s Auctioneers and auction planned for Wednesday, March 24, at 10am Eastern, visit Updates are posted often.

Serena Harragin
Gray's Auctioneers, LLC

Gray's Auctioneers
10717 Detroit Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio

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