American Arts and Crafts from Christopher Forbes’ Colorado Retreat Among Treasures to Auction at Rago’s Three Day 20th C. Design Sale, October 26-28

  • LAMBERTVILLE, New Jersey
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  • October 12, 2012

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Dard Hunter Unique Hall Chair, $20,000-30,000
Rago Arts and Auction Center

Over 1,650 lots of property from the 20th-21st century, including rare Roycroft from the home of Christopher Forbes; a full day dedicated to pottery and glass; important Modern design. Previews begin October 20th.

Lambertville, NJOn October 26-28 the Rago Arts and Auction Center will auction a significant collection of 20th-21st century furnishings and decorative arts. Among the more than 1,650 lots are Roycroft furnishings, lighting and metal ware, pottery, Navajo rugs and more from the Colorado home of Christopher Forbes.  On Friday, October 26 at noon, a full afternoon of 356 lots is dedicated to Arts & Crafts pottery, glass and 20th century ceramics. Saturday, October 27 at 11 a.m. will be 589 lots of Arts and Crafts furnishings and decorative arts.  Day three, Sunday, October 28 at 11 a.m., will offer 766 lots of Modern design.

“This is the greatest collection of property we’ve offered in the last four years,” says David Rago.  “The contents from the Forbes family Colorado ranch; Michael and Marilyn Gould’s collection of Arts & Crafts furniture, ceramics and silver (over thirty years in the making and offered here in its entirety) and a large portion of Ken Forster’s encyclopedic selection of mostly American art pottery are just the beginning. There are gems in all categories, from enamels to silver to lighting.  Add to that fine arrays of Nakashima, Paul Evans, Phil Powell, and many more great 20th-21st century makers.”

Frederick H. Rhead / U.C. Peacock Tile, $35,000-45,000
Rago Arts and Auction Center



·          20th C. Ceramics / Glass (lots 150-497): Friday, October 26, noon

·          The Forbes Collection (lots 1-132): Saturday, October 27, 11 a.m.

·          Early 20th C. / Arts & Crafts (lots 500-952): Saturday, October 27, 11 a.m.

·          Mid 20th-21st C. / Modern Design (lots 1000-1753): Sunday, October 28, 11 a.m.

·          Telephone, absentee, online bidding available for those unable to attend


Auction Exhibition/Preview

·          Saturday, October 20 through Wednesday, October 24, from 12-5 p.m. or by appointment. Thursday, October 25, 12-7 p.m. Doors open on days of sale at 9 a.m.

·          Thursday, October 25: Open House featuring a lecture by George H. Marcus “What’s ‘Modern’ about Modern Design?” Reception at 5pm, lecture at 6 pm. Kindly RSVP to 609.397.9374 ext. 119 or

·          The Rago Arts and Auction Center is located midway between New York City and Philadelphia. Directions online at



·          Printed catalogs are available for $25 by calling 609.397.9374 or e-mailing a request to

·          View a complete online catalogue with color images at as of October 12


Notes for the Editor

·          High-resolution images available.

·          About the Rago Arts and Auction Center: Since 1994, Rago's has served thousands of sellers and buyers with a singular blend of global reach and personal service. Originally specialists in 20th century design, today Rago's expertise covers centuries of fine art, decorative arts, furnishings, jewelry, silver, coins, books, textiles, and ethnographic property.  It is a world-class venue through which to buy and sell. It is also a destination for those who seek to learn and share knowledge about art, antiques and collecting, offering free valuations for personal property (from a single piece to collections and estates), appraisals and auction exhibitions in house and online. Rago's, the largest and leading auction house in New Jersey, is located midway between Philadelphia and New York.

Wharton Esherick Double Pedestal Desk, $60,000-80,000
Rago Arts and Auction Center

·          Consignments are now being accepted for the 20th-21st C. Design Auction on Saturday/Sunday, March 2/3, 2013: 609.397.9374 or



20th Century Pottery and Glass: Friday, October 26, 2012, Noon

Lots 150-497


Friday’s sale is a day dedicated to a selection of American, European and modern art pottery and art glass from the 20th century.  There are significant collections of better lines by Roseville, Owens and Weller, such as Decorated Matt, Matt Green, Futura, Henry Deux, Ferella, Sunflower, Greora and Coppertone.  There is a large group of fine Clewell pots in patinated copper jackets. 


From the Washington, DC area is a lifetime collection of Zuid-Holland Gouda; also a large group of Amphora by Ernst Wahliss, and Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel; many examples of Clement Massier.


There are fine American tiles and china-painted items, including a vase by Dorothy Warren O’Hara; many birds by Stangl, vases by Fulper, Grueby, Marblehead, S.E.G., Walrath and Walley; lots of Van Briggle, North Dakota School of Mines, and many rare student vessels.


The second portion of the sale will offer lots of glass by Tiffany Studios, Steuben, Durand, Galle, Legras, Lalique, Schneider, Loetz and others.



Early 20th C. Design / Arts and Crafts: Saturday, October 27, 2012, 11:00 a.m. 

The Early 20th C. Design Auction begins on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with 580 lots of early 20th century furnishings, lighting and metalware, pottery, art glass, woodblock prints, textiles and more, many from notable prominent private collections. Rago’s is privileged to represent the collection of American Arts and Crafts from Christopher Forbes' Colorado retreat, with much rare Roycroft.  Other collections in the sale include that of Marilyn and Michael Gould, connoisseurs of American art and antiques; and Ken Forster, noted scholar, collector, gallery owner, speaker and curator.


The Forbes Collection

Saturday’s sale kicks-off with the distinguished collection of American Arts and Crafts from Christopher Forbes’ two houses in Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains (lots 1-132), one of the strongest groupings of Roycroft furniture, metalwork, and lighting to come to market in recent years.  Christopher “Kip” Forbes, son of publishing magnate Malcolm Forbes, has been accruing this collection for over three decades, buying furniture, lighting, and accessories made by the Roycroft Community, ca. 1900–1915, to furnish a pair of 1915 houses on the Forbes family ranch.


Among the Roycroft property for sale is a one-of-a-kind chair made by Dard Hunter. Illustrated in the 1994 "Head, Heart and Hand: Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters," it bears the legend "Sit Down And Rest Thy Weary Bones."  Several pieces come from the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, New York:  Among those are two window seats, the carved door sign from the "Victor Hugo" room, a leaded-glass window from the peristyle and an original drawing of the Inn, both by Dard Hunter. Lot 47 is a candlestick telephone purportedly used by Elbert Hubbard.  There are two exceptional bookcases, double- and triple-door, the first being especially rare with two drawers below, in untouched original condition.  There is an extremely rare, possibly unique Roycroft Double Morris Chair, in addition to three Morris chairs of customary size; a tall magazine pedestal; a mouse-hole tabouret; a dining room set with table, chairs, sideboard and server; several chests; a ten-foot-long harvest table; numerous pieces of Roycroft copper work including two American Beauty vases, a fernery, and a jardinière, along with other decorative arts including pottery and Navajo rugs.


The Gould Collection

Lots 556 to 618 are from the collection of Marilyn and Michael Gould, devotees and connoisseurs of American art and antiques and longtime friends. The Goulds collected American Modernist art, folk art, Civil War ephemera, American Arts and Crafts furniture, pottery and silver. In 1976, upon moving to Wilton, CT, Marilyn became involved with the local historical society. In 1985 she took its faltering antiques show in hand. Over the years, Marilyn managed the DAR Wilton Antiques Show, the Wilton Outdoors Antiques Show, the Berkshire Gardens Show in Stockbridge, Mass., the Hancock Shaker Village Antiques Show and many others. The New Britain Museum of American Art exhibited Michael’s collection of American Modernism in 2007. He died in May, 2012 after a long illness. Rago’s is grateful for the opportunity to present their collection the American Arts and Crafts in its entirety.


The Gould’s collection includes furnishings by Limbert, Stickley Brothers, L. & J. G. Stickley, Gustav Stickley; lighting by Dirk Van Erp, Duffner & Kimberly, Handel, Grueby/Gorham; pottery by Grueby, Teco, George Ohr, Saturday Evening Girls; and metalwork by Kalo, Falick Novick, LeBolt, Roycroft, Gustav Stickley, Dirk Van Erp, and Tiffany Studios.


European Ceramics and Decorative Arts

Following the Forbes collection on Saturday, the sale continues with lot 500, an exceptional enameled triptych "In Praise of Womanhood," England, 1901, by Alexander Fisher, estimated at $14,000-19,000. The triptych was purchased by its original owner, Mrs. Easton of La Crosse, Wisconsin for the sum of £100. The lot is accompanied by a reprint of Fisher’s The Art of Enameling upon Metal, in which the triptych is featured, and by four letters of correspondence between Mr. Fisher and Mrs. Easton. Alexander Fisher was a preeminent force in the early 20th century enamelwork revival and among the very best of its proponents, known for his mastery of design in objects of vertu. Some of his finest pieces are in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.


European ceramicists and potteries in Saturday’s sale include: Moorcroft; Liberty & Co.; Zsolnay; Rozenburg; Royal Copenhagen; Clement Massier; Clarice Cliff; Rorstrand; Paul Dachsel; Eduard Stellmacher; Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel; and Zuid-Holland Gouda.


American Ceramics and Decorative Arts

American Potters in the sale include: Saturday Evening Girls, George Ohr, Fulper, Tiffany Studios, Overbeck, University City, Frederick Rhead, William Jervis, Marblehead, Walrath, Mosaic Tile Co., Dedham, Ott & Brewer, Clifton, Grueby, Teco, Van Briggle, Rookwood, Newcomb College, Shearwater, and Clewell.


The Ken Forster Pottery Collection

The noted scholar, collector, gallery owner, speaker and curator Ken Forster has written about and dealt in decorative ceramics for 40 years. His books, which include Alternative American Ceramics and University of North Dakota Pottery: A History and Comparative Study, focus on the best of America’s esoteric potteries, both known and obscure. We are privileged to present a selection of extraordinary wares from his personal collection, lots 749–804.  These include: Mary Yancey, Iowa State; Marblehead, Saturday Evening Girls, North Dakota School of Mines, Charles F. Binns,  William Jervis, Frederick Rhead, Adelaide Robineau, Mary Louise McLaughlin, University City, Newcomb College, Rookwood, Clarice Cliff, and Rorstrand.



Lighting in the sale by famous makers: Fulper, Dirk Van Erp, Duffner & Kimberly, Handel, Grueby, Tiffany Studios, Roycroft, Jefferson, Pairpoint, Miller, Riviere, and Quezal.


Notable lighting lots include: lot 535, a Fulper Mushroom-shaped table lamp, estimated at $7,000-10,000; lot 619, a rare table lamp with a Tiffany Studios acorn shade and Grueby base, estimated at $10,000-15,000; lot 683, a Duffner & Kimberly rare and large floor lamp with water lily shade, estimated at $20,000-25,000. Notable Dirk Van Erp lamps include: lot 809, an early table lamp in an extremely rare form in which the straps meet a the top of the shade, with four panels and converted oil font in hammered copper and mica, estimated at $12,000-18,000; and lot 583, a hammered copper and mica early table lamp, estimated at $10,000-15,000.



Metalwork in the sale includes Liberty, Christopher Dresser, Kalo, Lebolt, Roycroft, Stickley, Dirk Van Erp, Samuel Yellin, Albert Berry, Rebecca Cauman, Shreve & Co., Gebelein, Jarvie, and Tiffany Studios.


Early 20th C. Furniture

Early 20th century furnishings in the sale is by makers such as: Limbert, Stickley Brothers, Brooks, L. & J. G. Stickley, Gustav Stickley, Roycroft, Charles Rohlfs, Shop of the Crafters, Old Hickory. Among these is a large collection of Shop of the Crafters inlaid furniture; a rare Gustav Stickley stand with Grueby tile; two rare pieces by Charles Rohlfs, a hall chair and a log holder; and several rare Limbert cut-out pieces.


Prints, Photographs

Notable woodblock prints by Gustave Baumann, Frances H. Gearhart, William Rice; and Native American photographs by Frank A. Rinehart.


American and European Glass

American and European glass comprises lots 895–952, concluding Saturday’s sale.  Emile Galle, Daum, Lalique, Loetz, Durand, Steuben, and glass and lamps by Tiffany Studios will be offered.  We single out a fine Art Deco lamp by Daum; a single-owner collection of Durand glass in the King Tut pattern; and several fine Tiffany lamps.


Modern Design: Sunday, October 28, 2012, 11:00 a.m. 

Sunday’s Modern Design auction features over 750 lots of furniture, lighting, decorative arts, art glass, and fine art.

Famous makers include George Nakashima, Dan Johnson, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Paul Evans, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Vladimir Kagan, Claude Conover, Beatrice Wood, Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Pablo Picasso, Peter Voulkos, and Dale Chihuly. 



Furniture makers and designers in the sale include: George and Mira Nakashima, Paul Evans, Phil Powell, Wharton Esherick, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Sol LeWitt, Wendell Castle, Sam Maloof, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, John Dickinson, C. Jere for Artisan House, Jay Stanger, Federico Armijo, S. Siegel, Smokey Tunis, Arthur Court, Hans Wegner, Preben Fabricius, Poul Kjaerholm, Verner Panton, Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto, Edmund Spence, Dominique, Edgar Brandt, Jules Leleu, Jacques Adnet, Pierre Jeanneret, Jean Prouve, Maison Jansen, Gio Ponti, Osvaldo Borsani, Warren McCarthur, Oscar Bach, Gilbert Rohde, Paul Frankl, Donald Deskey, KEM Weber, James Mont, Tommi Parzinger, Jeremy Singley, Robert Whitley,  Paul Moser, Albert Paley, Judy Kensley McKie, Dan Johnson, Silas Seandel, Vladimir Kagan, Michael Graves, Marc Newson, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Peter Hvidt, Arne Vodder,  Fernand Dresse, Karl Springer, Edward Wormley, Juan Montoya, T .H. Robsjohn Gibbings, Milo Baughman, Harvey Probber, Charles and Ray Eames, and more.


Amid this important group, we single out a fine carved cabinet by Phil Powell of New Hope, PA; a carved and unique desk by Wharton Esherick of Paoli, PA; a rare soldered metal table by artist Sol LeWitt; and a fine small lamp table by Judy McKie.


Fine Art

Sculpture by Harry Bertoia, David C. Savage, Aaron Kellner, Feliciano Bejar, David Hostetler, Leonardo Nierman, John Risley, Roy Adzak, Ted Ludwiczak, Greg Nangle, Miles Van Rensselaer, Silas Seandel, Bernard Brenner, Angelo Brotto, Klaus Ihlenfeld. There are prints by Harry Bertoia, Ludwig R. Sander and Ruth Asawa.


Notable lots of sculpture by Harry Bertoia include: lot 1451, a tall Sonambient sculpture, estimated at $35,000-45,000; lot 1452, a bronze bush sculpture, estimated at $19,000-24,000; and lot 1453, an untitled (Bush) sculpture, estimated at $37,500-47,500.


There are lots of Feliciano Bejar glass Magiscope sculptures; and Miles Van Rensselaer sculptures of glass and cast bronze; and a run of Oxidized bronze sculptures by Klaus Ihlenfeld.



Well-known studio potters include: Robert Arneson, Toshiko Takaezu, Peter Voulkos, Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Harrison McIntosh, Beatrice Wood, Edwin and Mary Scheier, Pablo Picasso for Madoura, Lucie Rie, Maija Grotell, Glen Lukens, Charles Harder, Carl Walters, F. Carlton Ball, Don Reitz, Wayne Higby, Jack Earl, Daniel Rhodes, Richard Shaw, Robert Turner, Peter Shire, Claude Conover, Richard Devore, Betty Woodman, Jun Kaneko, Rudolf Staffel, Berndt Friberg and Axel Salto.


A nice selection including the major players, offers an iconic bust by Robert Arneson, a large selection of Takaesu, from small to very large, a group of strong teapots by Peter Shire, a couple of interesting vases by Dame Lucie Rie, and many more.



Important lighting designers/makers include: Erik Hoglund/Axel Stromberg; Max Bill; Serge Mouille; Venini; Camer; Angelo Lelli; Oscar Bach; James Mont; Tommi Parzinger; Vladimir Kagan; Franz West For Meta Memphis; Juan Montoya; Warren Muller; Luxus; Alvar Aalto; Poul Henningsen For Louis Poulsen; Greta Magnusson Grossman/Ralph O. Smith; Jacques Adnet; Raymond Subes; Genet & Michon; Charles Et Fils; Felix Agostini; Elizabeth Garouste & Mattia Bonetti; Arredoluce; Marcello Fantoni; Archimede Seguso; Tommaso Barbi; Ercole Barovier; Gabriella Crespi; Arredoluce; Gaetano Sciolari; Napoleone Martinuzzi; Alessandro Pianon For Vistosi; Carole Stupell For  Ragga; Karl Springer; Paul Mayen For Habitat; Laurel Lamp Co.; Steward Ross For Hansen; Lightolier; Heifetz; Greta Von Nessen For Nessen; and Richard Kelly for Kelly And Thompson.


Notable lighting lots in the modern sale include: two lots, 1211 and 1212, of six arm chandelier by Angelo Lelli for Arredoluce, estimated at $15,000-20,000 each; lot 1601, Large eight-branch chandelier by Stilnovo, estimated at $8,000–12,000; and lot 1636, a pair of Sculpture table lamps by Karl Springer, estimated at $8,000–10,000.



Master glass artists/makers include Mid-Century Italian and Scandinavian, as well as contemporary studio artists from the United States and the Czech Republic, among others: Edvin Ohrstrom for Orrefors; Vicke Lindstrand for Kosta; Gunnel Nyman/Nuutajarvi Notsjo; Carlo Scarpa for Venini; Ercole Barovier; Ermanno Nason; Max Ernst for Fucina Degli Angeli; Dino Martens for Aureliano Toso; Fulvio Bianconi for Venini; Barovier & Toso; Lino Tagliapietra; William Morris; Dominick Labino; Joel Philip Myers; John Lewis; Bertil Vallien; David Hopper; Harvey Littleton; Marvin Lipofsky; Paul Stankard; Benjamin Moore; Stanislaw Borowski; A. Mickelsen; Charles Paul Savoie; Stephen Dee Edwards; Keke Cribbs; Owen Gabbert; Deborah Cocks; Mark Peiser; Vladimir Bachorik; Sidney Hutter; John Littleton/Kate Vogel; Frantisek Vizner; Pavel Satrapa; Bohumil Elias; and Petr Hora.


Notable Lina Tagliapietra lots include: lot 1224, a tall glass sculpture with internal swirl in red and yellow glass, estimated at $5,000-7,000; and lot 1225, a large glass vessel, estimated at $6,000-8,000. Also of note, lot 1226, a Dale Chihuly five-piece Sapphire Persian glass set with red lip wrap, estimated at $7,500–11,000; lot 1231, an untitled sculpture by William Morris of blown glass, estimated at $4,000–6,000; lot 1239, a John Lewis console table of cast glass, estimated at $7,000–9,000; and lot 1250, is a set of blown glass rocket jars by Richard Marquis, estimated at $6,500-8,500.


Jewelry and Silver

There is modern jewelry by Earl Pardon, William Harper; Richard Fishman; Ed Wiener; Paul Lobel; and Dorothy Feibleman.


Silver in the sale by Georg Jensen; Arne Jacobsen / A. Michelson; Gio Ponti for Reed & Barton; Sant Elia; and Roberto Ceccherini.


A notable jewelry lot is #1628, a mosaic bracelet by Earl Pardon of sterling silver, gold, enamel, gemstones, abalone, and onyx, estimated at $3,500–4,500.  Lot 1543 is a Georg Jensen 56-piece sterling flatware set for eight in the Continental-Antik pattern, Denmark, designed 1906, estimated at $4,000–6,000.


Rugs and Tapestries

The sale includes tapestries after the works of several great artists, such as Pablo Picasso,  Niki De Saint Phalle, Alexander Calder,  Salvador Dali, Jean Miotte and Andy Warhol. There is a fine grouping of rugs by David Shaw Nicholls.





Miriam Tucker
Rago Arts and Auction Center

Rago Arts and Auction Center
333 N. Main Street
Lambertville, New Jersey

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