Paintings Dominate Bidding Action At Clarke Auction Gallery

  • LARCHMONT, New York
  • /
  • May 11, 2019

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The top lot of the auction at $30,000 was this Shiy De-Jinn watercolor of a temple and busy street scene, is noted for its bold use of color.

Paintings took four out of the top five spots in Clarke Auction Gallery’s May 5 sale that was filled with strong and surprising results with many items defying their estimates.

Leading the top paintings were two watercolors on paper made in 1969 by Shiy De-Jinn (Xi Dejin, China, 1923-1981). The top lot of the auction was a vibrant street scene of a market and crowds outside a temple and bright storefronts that attained $30,000. The other was a river landscape depicting the rolling mountains of Taiwan and misty waterways splashed in blues and greens $18,750. Both works measure 18 ¾ by 24 ¾ inches.

“Both paintings were notable for their bold use of color and resonated with buyers,” said Senko Imamura, Clarke’s Asian art and antiquities specialist.

Japanese artists were also represented in the auction, including a pair of abstract paintings by 106-year old Shinoda Toko, who has primarily worked with Japanese sumi ink and lithography. A 1983 interview in Time magazine asserted “her trail-blazing accomplishments are analogous to Picasso’s.” Achieving $9,375 were Toko’s “Nexus” and “After the Rain” ($8/12,000), typical of her works from the 1960s, that sold together as one lot.

Going nearly four times over high estimate was a William Herbert Dunton (1878-1936) oil on canvas depicting a Western chase scene that made $22,500.

Also performing well in the Asian arts category were a porcelain plaque signed Wang Qi from the Republic Period, China, 15.175 by 9 ¾ inches, that defied its $1/1,500 estimate to bring $11,250 amid a flurry of bids, and a small turquoise bowl with a Yonzheng mark ($500-700), 1.375 by 2.875 inches, that went out at $4,500.

“We were quite pleased with the success of the Chinese and Japanese artworks — both paintings and sculptural objects — in this auction but also with fine art overall,” said owner and auctioneer Ronan Clarke. “Many lots significantly outperformed expectations and there were surprises all across the board.”

Among the surprises in fine art were a William Herbert Dunton (1878-1936) oil on canvas depicting a Western chase scene ($4/6,000) that made $22,500 and an oil on canvas, “Trouville,” signed Boudin, that had not gone through the authentication process and was sold “as is” as an estate find with a conservative estimate of $1/1,500. Buyers evidently thought there was something there and sparked a bidding war, pushing the painting to $13,750.

“The Dunton was a particularly exciting painting,” said William Schweller, Clarke’s fine art specialist. “This scene is trademark Dunton, displaying the artist’s mastery in capturing the mythology and landscape of the American West dramatically.”

Buyers can always count on finding interesting baubles and statement jewelry pieces at Clarke auctions and this month’s headliner was a 28.07-carat GIA certified Colombian emerald cabochon ring with diamond accents that made $9,375. “This was a most unusual — and gorgeous — piece and buyers responded accordingly,” said jewelry and sterling silver specialist Whitney Bria. Also going above estimate was a Hammerman Bros. 14K gold necklace ($800-1,200) that brought $6,875 and a Van Cleef & Arpels 18K yellow gold rope twist bangle that more than doubled its high estimate to fetch $5,000.

A GIA-certified Colombian 28.07-carat emerald cabochon and platinum cocktail ring with diamonds led jewelry offerings at $9,375.

Leading the silver category were a contemporary 117-piece Christofle Malmaison silverplate flatware service for $3,375 and a piece of artfully-decorated Persian silver Judaica in the form of a pedestal bowl in .875 silver with figural Judaic scenes to the bowl and a Hebrew inscription to the border, with a 10-inch diameter, $2,500.

The midcentury modern category featured an original Parzinger lacquered and signed two-door cabinet, 33¼ by 17 by 32 inches, that quadrupled its high estimate to earn $6,000 and a rare pair of Adrian Pearsall high back hooded lounge chairs ($600-900) that earned $4,250.

Rounding out the auction were a Cartier 18K gold, enamel and diamond cigarette case, Art Deco, having black geometric enamel work and an applied diamond inlaid “Jean” inscription on the lid that made $6,250 and two large and heavy busts on stands in a great patina, 35 by 11 ½ by 35 and 34 by 17 ½ by 11 inches, that also did well above estimate at $5,250.

All prices reported include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Clarke Auction Gallery is at 2372 Boston Post Road. For more information, or 914-833-8336.

Andrea Valluzzo
AV Communications

Clarke Auction Gallery
2372 Boston Post Road
Larchmont, New York
About Clarke Auction Gallery

Clarke Auction Gallery was started in Westchester, N.Y., in 1998. It is owned and operated by Ronan Clarke, an Irishman who started his career in Ireland and came to New York in 1988 via London. Since his arrival, Clarke has moved from being a picker to owning two retail Antique Stores and All Boro Estate Liquidators (As featured in NY Times, NewYorker, Cranes and Fox 5 News) to opening his own Clarke Auction Gallery which fast became Westchester's Premier Auction. Clarke Auction Gallery runs monthly to a packed house and is situated in the center of Larchmont, N.Y., just five minutes from the Metro North Station (30 mins from N.Y.C, 20 mins from Connecticut) and also on I-95 @ exit 17. Clarke Auction Gallery also serves a worldwide audience with its online gallery. For any information or personal help don’t hesitate to call us at (914) 833-8336 or you can email

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