Weschler’s Auctioneers September 19th Capital Collections Estate Auction begins its 2014-2015 season by featuring an important selection of 20th century African American works of art cultivated from prominent Washington, D.C. collections. Notable artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Alma Woodsey Thomas, and Sam Gilliam make this a particularly important sale for the D.C. area.
Two notable sculptures by artist and activist, Elizabeth Catlett, come to auction from the esteemed collection of her personal friend and Civil Rights pioneer, the Reverend Douglas Moore and his wife, Dr. Doris Hughes-Moore. Torso, an elegant work in black marble ($30,000-$40,000), and a stately bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ($50,000-$70,000), of which a second version can be found at the King Arts Complex, exemplify Catlett’s legacy of strong molded forms. Displaying the skill and artistic development of Lois Mailou Jones are Village Street, reminiscent of her early work in Paris, and Grossesse ($10,000-$15,000), which typifies her later, abstract and Haitian-influenced work. Color Field works by Washington Color School artists Alma Woodsey Thomas and Sam Gilliam will round out this section. The untitled abstract watercolor by Alma Woodsey features a recently discovered study for a double portrait on the back, which sheds new light on the artist’s painting method.
The fine art selection continues with the large scale painting, SU 31, by Wojciech Fangor and the tessellating pattern woodcut by Maurits Cornelis Escher, Circle Limit IV (Heaven and Hell) ($20,000-$30,000). A 17th century map of Virginia engraved after the famed explorer John Smith offers the chance to own a piece of history ($10,000-$15,000) and a large selection of books and prints after the ever-popular, John James Audubon, such as a seven volume set of The Birds of America, From Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories ($20,000-$30,000), offer beautiful representations of the natural world.
Russian Imperial porcelain from the Golden Service, designed by Stepan Pimenov and Andrei Voronikhin circa 1828 and manufactured by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, is the stand-out amongst the decorative arts portion. The Golden Service was commissioned by Czar Nicholas I for his mother, the Empress Maria Fedorovna, and is currently housed in the Throne Room of the Pavlovsk Palace. Lots include a Tazza with Nicholas II’s monogram dated 1907 ($5,000-$7,000), a set of eleven plates with gilt initial M for Empress Maria Fedorovna ($8,000-$12,000), and a set of nine plates decorated with bands of cobalt blue and light-green with gilt decoration ($8,000-$12,000).
Love is in the air with a selection of nearly twenty diamond engagement rings, sure to please any bride-to-be. The standout is a Tiffany & Co. ‘Lucida’ platinum and diamond solitaire ring, set with an internally flawless, E-color, diamond weighing 1.63 carats. This beauty holds a $25,000-$35,000 estimate.
Weschler’s will also have a fine assortment of American, European and Asian art, silver, furniture, porcelain and rugs on the block. Exhibition for the sale will be held September 13-18 at Weschler’s second floor gallery, located at 909 E Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Exhibition hours, a complete illustrated catalogue, and online bidding options are available online at www.weschlers.com.