• OAK PARK, Illinois
  • /
  • November 27, 2019

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American Arts & Crafts Material, lots 151, 157, 152, 150, 123
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers

Nearly 600 lots of important artwork, furniture, pottery, metalwork, and lighting will be up for bid

Oak Park, IL — On Sunday, December 8, Toomey & Co. Auctioneers will conclude its 2019 schedule by presenting Art & Design with Tradition & Innovation. The auction includes close to 600 lots representing a variety of artistic movements and media by top painters, sculptors, ceramicists, furniture makers, designers, and architects who have helped define the world of art and design for more than a century. This combined sale will build upon the success of last year’s inaugural Tradition & Innovation auction, a carefully curated offering of quintessential works from the 19th century through the present. On December 2, 2018, Art & Design and Tradition & Innovation together realized $2.2 million.

The auction on December 8 is open to the public and will take place beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST, onsite (Toomey & Co. Auctioneers, 818 North Boulevard, Oak Park, Illinois), by phone (708-383-5234), and via two live digital bidding platforms (LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable). Early registration is strongly recommended.

Auction preview will start December 2 and continue through December 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST daily, with extended hours on December 5 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) for an evening reception. The full catalog for Art & Design with Tradition & Innovation is available online at


Historic Public Art

Leading the Fine Art session is a highly anticipated mixed media map collage by Christo and Jeanne-Claude entitled, Packed Coast (Project for Little Bay, at Prince Henry Hospital, Sydney, Australia), 1969 (estimate $60,000-80,000). This detailed rendering was used to plan one of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s groundbreaking public art installations, which involved wrapping a 1.5-mile portion of Sydney’s coastline with synthetic fabric.

LOT 44: Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Packed Coast (Project for Little Bay, at Prince Henry Hospital, Sydney, Australia), 1969. Estimate $60,000-80,000
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers

Contemporary Sculpture

Various signature works by contemporary sculptors will be available during the auction: British artist Lynn Chadwick’s female bronze maquette ($10,000-20,000); California Funk artist Robert Arneson’s towering terra-cotta brick self-portrait ($20,000-30,000); a suspended jute composition by textile master Claire Zeisler ($6,000-8,000); and a large-form, kinetic steel sculpture by Chicago’s Joseph Burlini ($4,000-6,000).

Contemporary Chicago & Midwestern Art

Lots from other prominent artists with local ties include Miyoko Ito’s abstract oil on canvas, Act One in the Desert, 1978 ($15,000-25,000), John Wilde’s surrealist landscape from his Work Reconsidered series ($8,000-12,000), and three Aaron Siskind gelatin silver prints (highest $2,000-3,000) from The Collection of Richard Nickel, famous Chicago architectural preservationist.

Modern American & European Art

Some of the earlier works by American and European artists on offer are John La Farge’s vibrant, Samoan watercolor, A Chief’s Tomb, 1890 ($30,000-50,000), a Parisian street scene by Édouard Cortès ($15,000-25,000), Belgian painter Constant Montald’s portrait of his wife ($6,000-8,000), William Aiken Walker’s rustic oil on board ($5,000-7,000), and Imogen Cunningham’s gelatin silver print of Frida Kahlo ($2,000-3,000).


Vintage Photography & Color Woodcuts

The Early 20th Century Design session will commence with four vintage photographs by Native American chronicler Edward Sheriff Curtis; particularly striking is a Navajo-themed orotone ($10,000-15,000). A wide range of color woodcuts will follow by Margaret Jordan Patterson, William Seltzer Rice, Bertha Lum, and others.

Arts & Crafts Furniture & Lighting

Drawing on The Collection of Rich and Patty Thumann (Tacoma, Washington), the auction will feature an impressive selection of important Gustav Stickley furniture. Notable examples include a rare, early chest of drawers ($40,000-60,000), perhaps the finest grandfather clock that Stickley ever produced ($30,000-50,000), a set of seven dining chairs with original leather ($25,000-35,000), an early buffet ($15,000-25,000), and a five-light electrolier hanging fixture ($10,000-15,000). Lots will also be offered by L. & J.G. Stickley, The Roycrofters, and Charles P. Limbert Co.

LOT 18: Miyoko Ito, Act One in the Desert, 1978. $15,000-25,000
Toomey & Co. Auctioneers

Arts & Crafts Metalwork & Pottery

Several distinctive Arts & Crafts metalwork and pottery items are part of the sale, such as an Elizabeth Eaton Burton jewelry casket ($10,000-20,000), a copper jardiniere by Robert Riddle Jarvie with scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ($9,000-12,000), and an important copper desk box with repoussé lid by Chicago’s highly regarded Kalo Shop ($6,000-8,000). Rare pottery examples include a Mary Chase Perry Stratton for Pewabic Pottery vase with dandelion decoration ($20,000-30,000), a Teco vase by Harald Hals ($15,000-25,000), and a vase by Ellen R. Farrington for Grueby Faience Company ($8,000-12,000).

Art Nouveau & Prairie School

Bridging Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts, the sale will feature a Tiffany Studios / Grueby Acorn table lamp ($20,000-30,000). Several other finely wrought Tiffany Studios lamps will also be up for bid, including a twelve-light Lily table lamp ($20,000-30,000), a Junior floor lamp with geometric shade ($20,000-30,000), and a Linen Fold table lamp ($15,000-25,000). An Art Nouveau side chair by German Jugendstil figure Richard Riemerschmid ($4,000-6,000) will be offered as will a barrel chair by sculptor-designer Alfonso Iannelli and architect Barry Byrne ($3,000-5,000). Two commissioned lots by Frank Lloyd Wright will be available: a leaded-glass window for the Cheney House in Oak Park ($6,000-8,000) and a pine lounge chair for the Winn House in Kalamazoo, Michigan ($2,000-3,000).


American Art Deco

The auction’s closing session will be Modern Design, led by a treasure trove of 60 Art Deco lots, many of which come from The Estate of Michael Rabkin (West Los Angeles, California). Some of the most distinctive items in the grouping are a pair of torchieres by Gilbert Rohde ($4,000-6,000), a set of three Rohde East India Laurel Group bookcases ($3,000-5,000), a Paldao Group Ectoplastic coffee table by Rohde ($1,500-2,500), a Paul Frankl Skyscraper coffee table ($2,000-3,000), and a Donald Deskey cabinet ($2,000-3,000). 

Early American Modern

Other early modern lots of note from American designers are an Airline armchair by K.E.M. Weber ($8,000-12,000), two prototype chests by Warren McArthur (each $7,000-9,000), a pair of table lamps from Pattyn Products ($5,000-7,000), a Ruba Rombic fishbowl / aquarium from Phoenix Glass and W.H. Howell ($5,000-7,000), and a fabric-panel folding screen by Dorothy Liebes and attributed to Edward Wormley for Dunbar ($3,000-5,000).

Mid-century & Contemporary American

Two coffee tables make a definite impression: Philip and Kelvin LaVerne’s etched and enameled Chin Ying example ($10,000-15,000) and Mira Nakashima’s studio craft, walnut Minguren table ($6,000-8,000). In studio ceramics, the auction will feature two stoneware vessels by Cleveland’s Claude Conover ($5,000-7,000 and $4,000-6,000) and a monumental ceramic planter by Californian David Cressey ($2,000-3,000). Additional lots will be on offer from design innovators such as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Paul Evans, Frank Gehry, and Robert Venturi.

Modern & Contemporary European

Cutting-edge Italian and Scandinavian designers will round out the Modern Design session. Some of the standout lots on offer will be Mario Minale’s limited-edition Red Blue LEGO chair ($10,000-15,000), Alessandro Mendini’s Attelabo cabinet ($7,000-9,000), Claudio Salocchi’s Riflessione floor lamp ($5,000-7,000), Archizoom Associati’s Mies chair and ottoman, Studio Tetrarch’s Tovaglia coffee table, a set of six dining chairs by Jørgen Høj ($4,000-6,000), a Kaare Klint Propeller stool ($2,000-3,000), and an Erik Höglund framed sculpture ($2,000-3,000).

Art & Design with Tradition & Innovation will be held on Sunday, December 8 starting at 10:00 a.m. CST. The location for the sale is Toomey & Co. Auctioneers, 818 North Boulevard, Oak Park, Illinois.

Consignments are currently invited for upcoming auctions. Photographs of items may be sent to For more information on past and upcoming auctions or to request an estimate, please visit

About Toomey & Co. Auctioneers 

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers holds several carefully curated auctions each year. Departments include: Fine Art, Early 20th Century Design, Modern Design, Fine Furniture & Decorative Arts, Silver & Objects of Vertu, and Fine Jewelry & Timepieces. 

The 2016 and 2017 schedules each included additional single-owner auctions dedicated to works from the Estate of Candice B. Groot and the Estate of Joan and Milton Baxt. The 2018 schedule included the inaugural Tradition & Innovation auction and 2019 has included a single-owner auction dedicated to The Paul & Terry Somerson Collection of 20th and 21st Century Metalwork and Jewelry.

Located on the western border of Chicago in Oak Park, Illinois, Toomey & Co. is surrounded by a vibrant arts community as well as Prairie School architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright, William Eugene Drummond, George Washington Maher, and Marion Mahony Griffin.

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