Design of the Century; Property from the Estate of Renowned L.A. Philanthropist Nancy M. Daly to Highlight Bonhams & Butterfields' Spring Offering

  • LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • March 18, 2010

  • Email
A large Rookwood iris glazed earthenware Poppy vase decorator Carl Schmidt, 1903. Estimate: $20,000 - 30,000
Bonhams & Butterfields

Bonhams & Butterfields will hold its spring auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts on April 20, 2010.  The Los Angeles sale will feature a diverse group of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern, with a focus on Contemporary Studio artists and early California design.  Auction highlights will include property from the Estate of renowned Los Angeles Philanthropist, Nancy M. Daly. 

Once married to entertainment executive Robert A. Daly and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan, Daly established herself as one of Southern California's most energetic - and prominent - activists on behalf of abused and neglected children.  Not long after she and Robert Daly moved to California in the late 1970s, Daly accompanied some of her industry acquaintances to a party for the MacLaren Children's Center, an emergency foster facility in Los Angeles County.  The dismal setting she saw on her first visit to the Center galvanized her determination to harness the power, influence and monetary support of the entertainment industry to raise funds for some of the county's neediest children.

Daly's early work at MacLaren led to a much broader involvement in children's issues, which culminated in the creation of what is now the county Department of Children and Family Services in 1984.  She served on its advisory commission from the department's founding until 1999.

A well-respected children's advocate and arts leader in Los Angeles, Daly also had a passion for collecting.  She had a distinctly California "collecting eye" and filled her home with the finest examples of American and European craftsmanship with a focus on early 20th century design.  Her Estate features a strong offering of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre, silver and works by Tiffany as well as one of the largest collections of the first truly American pottery, Rookwood, to be featured at auction in recent years. 

George Nakashima (American, 1905-1990) Coffee Table. Estimate: $10,000 - 15,000

The Estate offers a full range of Rookwood's artistic output.  From their important early years under the direction of founder and artist Maria Longworth Nichols, through the modern period, this important collection includes a robust selection of trademark glazes created by the firm, such as Cameo, Dull Finish, Standard, Aerial blue, Sea Green,"Mat," Iris, Tiger's Eye and translucent Vellum.  Award-winning designs by noted decorators Arthur Conant, William P. McDonald, Carl
Schmidt, Kataro Shirayamadani and Albert Valentien, are also present within the offering. 

Rookwood highlights from the Estate of Nancy M. Daly include a large award-winning Tiger's Eye Glaze Swimming Fish Vase, decorated by Albert Valentien in stunning dark red tones (est. $30,000-50,000); an important Vellum Glaze Peacock by noted Japanese artist Kataro Shirayamadani famous for his use of the romantic essence in pottery (est. $8,000-12,000); an unusual Sea Green Glaze Fish and Seagull Vase by William P. McDonald exhibited in the famed Paris 1900 exhibition and depicted in the publication Rookwood Pottery: The Glorious Gamble (est. $18,000-25,000); a monumental Iris Glaze Orchid Vase by decorator Carl Schmidt (est. $18,000-25,000); an oversize Iris Glaze Storks in Flight Vase by Albert Valentien, reputedly from Art Nouveau dealer S. Bing, Paris, France (est. $15,000-20,000) and an important Jewel Glazed porcelain Oriental Landscape Vase by decorator Arthur Conant (est. $12,000-18,000)

A Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and bronze Lotus lamp 1899-1918. Estimate: $40,000 - 60,000

Additional furniture and decorative arts on offer from the Estate of Nancy M. Daly will include a highly sought after Tiffany Studios Favrile Glass and Bronze Lotus Lamp (est. $40,000-60,000); and a Douglas Donaldson Silver and carnelian Bowl (est. $10,000-15,000) as well as a selection of rare to market Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre highlighted by a stunning covered vase titled Ghostly Woods in Moonlight (est. $9,000-12,000);

Other design lots on offer in the April 20th Century sale will include a Jack Rogers Hopkins single chair (est. $25,000-35,000); a Paul Evans sculpted steel credenza (est. $18,000-25,000); a monumental glazed ceramic bowl by Glen Lukens (est. $9,000-12,000) and a collection of George Nakashima including a walnut settee (est. $8,000-12,000) as well as a strong selection of Italian and Dutch modernism, among others.

Preview: April 16-18, 12pm-5pm, Los Angeles

Auction: April 20, 10am, Los Angeles


Press Contact: Jannelle Grigsby,, (310)


  • Email

Related Press Releases