Millea Bros’ Spring “Select” Auction Arrives May 16, 17, and 18

  • BOONTON, New Jersey
  • /
  • May 01, 2019

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Lot 2179: Jim Dine, “9 Little Flesh Paintings", 1959-1960
Millea Bros Ltd

Boonton, NJ—Millea Bros’ Spring “Select” auction arrives May 16, 17, and 18, featuring five decades of Modern and Contemporary Art from the estate of legendary gallerist Ileana Sonnabend; a spotlight on the arts of Mexico, ranging from 16th c. Spanish Colonial objects to Mexican Modern Masters, including five works by Diego Rivero; and a Pablo Picasso drawing from 1935; and over 1200 lots of fine antiques and decorative arts.

Day 1, featuring Asian Arts, and British and American art and antiques, includes a selection of jades, porcelain, and lacquerware from the estate of Florence and Herbert Irving. Co-founder of Sysco Corporation and renowned philanthropist, Herbert Irving amassed a collection of Chinese and Japanese decorative objects of such significance that the Metropolitan Museum of Art named their entire Asian arts wing after the couple in recognition of the singular importance of their donations to the collection. Highlights at auction include an early Qing Dynasty archaic jade censer, a group of Imperial Japanese silver, and fine 17th c. scroll paintings. The Irving collection was particularly known for the depth and quality of its Japanese lacquerware holdings, and Day 1 features multiple lacquer pieces ranging from a 15th c. Negoro spouted bowl to contemporary works by Suzuki Mutsumi. Additional Asian highlights include over 30 Ming-era porcelain objects.  Also at sale is a rare-to-market single-owner collection of early Mexican Spanish Colonial art, featuring mostly 16th and 17th religious paintings, retablos, nichos, and wood carved Santos, many deaccessioned from museum collections.  Other single owner collections include a group of 18th and 19th c. architectural models loaned by Clara and Eugene Thaw to the Cooper Hewitt Museum; an extensive grouping of 18th and early 19th c. English pearlware Toby mugs; and an archive of Revolutionary-era correspondence, including a letter from George Washington, from an old Connecticut family collection. A selection of fine American and British antique furniture comes from a Bunny Williams appointed Westchester estate.

Lot 3137: Diego Rivera drawing, "Las Banistas de Tehuantepec"
Millea Bros Ltd

Day 2, devoted to Modern and Contemporary art and design, features artwork from the collection of legendary gallerist Ileana Sonnabend. Following Millea Bros. record breaking 2018 sale of the Ileana Sonnaband photography collection, over 80 unique works of painting, sculpture and drawings anchor the May 17 sale.  Top lots include Jim Dine’s “9 Little Flesh Paintings”, an early nine-panel Pop masterwork not seen for over 50 years, two Jean Tinguely metamechanic sculptures, an early John Latham “skoob” assemblage, paintings and conceptual works by Carlo Alfano, Brassai photographs of the Parisian underworld, and other exceptional works of American and European Pop Art, Minimalism, Arte Povera, Neo Geo and Art Photography from the 1960s-2000s showcasing a broad survey of Sonnabend’s evolving stable of artists. Day 2 also features Mexican contemporary art from the Leon Constantiner Collection, including two Francisco Toledo paintings, and works by Juan Soriano, and Jose Luis Cuevas. A c. 1914 Italian Futurist abstract by Giacomo Balla comes from the estate of couturier  Arnold Scassi. Design highlights include 18 pieces of custom Tommi Parzinger furniture and lighting from a private Manhattan commission, and a single owner collection of American Studio art pottery including works by Betty Woodman, Karen Karnes, and Rick Dillingham. A selection of French modernist and custom furniture from a Peter Marino interior includes a rare c. 1970 gilt bronze Fred Brouard coffee table.

Lot 3137: John Latham, skoob painting "Unaddressed Letters", 1961
Millea Bros Ltd

Day 3 features French and Continental decorative arts including arts of Russia, and Old Masters to Post Impressionist fine art. Top art lots include an important 1935 Pablo Picasso watercolor drawing “Femme et Tete Antique”, and Massimo Campigli’s “Bella Donna”, an oil on canvas from 1950.  Additional works from the Leon Constantiner Collection feature Diego Rivera’s 1925 pastel “Las Banistas de Tehuantepec" as well as four other Rivera sketch drawings. Other art highlights include a Luca Giordano Old Masters painting from the T. Edward and Tullah Hanley collection, and 11 Russian and Byzantine Icon paintings, dating from the 14th-17th c., from the Estate of Elizabeth Stafford.  An especially fine selection of Continental porcelains includes a Catherine the Great era Russian Imperial tea service, and multiple monumental sized and elaborately decorated Meissen and Dresden centerpieces. Rounding out the sale is a large selection of Louis XV and XVI furniture, Continental Academic paintings, and French decorative arts from a Brooklyn, New York brownstone.

Auctions and previews will be held at the Millea Bros. gallery located at 607 Myrtle Avenue, Boonton, New Jersey.  All property will be available for preview on Tuesday, May 14 from 11am to 7pm, Wednesday, May 15 from 11am to 5pm, Thursday, May 16 from 9am to 5pm, Friday, May 17 from 9am to 5pm, and Saturday, May 18 from 9am to 10am.  In addition to live gallery bidding, online and telephone bidding will be available. For further information, directions and the illustrated catalog please visit or call 973.377.1500.

Millea Bros. Ltd.
607 Myrtle Avenue
Boonton, New Jersey
About Millea Bros. Ltd.

Millea Bros. is a boutique auction company focused on fresh-to-market property from distinguished New York Metro Area estates, institutions and private collections. Founded in 2003, Millea Bros. is the culmination of Michael and Mark Millea’s twenty-five years of experience in the auction business. After conducting countless appraisals and curating the auction sale of thousands of objects, the brothers have gained a hands-on knowledge of the art and antiques market. The company is grounded in their mutual love of art and the desire to provide their clients with quality merchandise and personalized customer service.

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