Pre-Holiday Auctions Become Essential for Retail Market

  • December 01, 2015 13:48

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Francois Linke Secretarie
Clarke Auction

As the country saw a downturn in storefront traffic on Black Friday, retailers now turn to auction as the best way to buy before the holidays. Clarke Auction's upcoming December 6th sale provides a quality selection on a carefully selected date to bolster retail holiday stockings (no pun intended) and collection building alike. 

The wide variety of fine art, modern design, Asian antiques and decorative arts present important works across a number of markets, including several extensive collections of fine jewelry and watches that will be featured in the sale. 

Fine art selections will begin the sale and provide a continuing example of fine artisanship for both collections and art market outlets. Many original works will be featured in the sale, including a circa 1874 portrait of the granddaughter of Ulysses S. Grant with dog in a marvelous antique frame ($5,000/$7,000) and a Richard Linder watercolor titled “Offenbach” ($8,000/$12,000).

The fine art scope will span both time and style and will appeal to a wide variety of buyers. Perhaps the most important is a charcoal on paper work depicting a woman with a coffee cup by Richard Diebenkorn. The $20,000/$25,000 estimate mirrors the rise in popularity in medium as well as work by the specific artist in the current market. With multiple provenance sources, namely Sotheby’s in 1990, and later Christies in 2007, this particular work is well documented and maintins good investment value.

The fine art selection goes beyond the page and features some of the hottest holiday art items in sculpture. African American and Modern sculptures are some of the most followed items in the current auction season and will be offered by Clarke on December 6th.

The rare Marion Perkins “Figure at Rest” marble sculpture ($800/$1,200) is as culturally valuable as anything in the sale for the African American art collector. Also highly recognized for sculptural artistry in the modern era is the father son duo of Harry and Val Bertoia. A Harry Bertoia small scale spray sculpture ($2,000/$3,000) and a double circle sound sculpture by Val Bertoia ($3,000/$5,000) are modern artworks that are highly desirable in the holiday auction offering.

Marion Perkins Sculpture
Clarke Auction

An especially modern, and collectible, item in the sale is the 1964 cherry red Chevy Impala Super Sport automobile. The vehicle is the epitome of cool and has the color to bring the attitude of a low-riding Santa Claus from California to New York and back again.

As the finest in antique furniture finds its level in the market, Clarke will offer several pieces that recall the height of quality furniture craftsmanship in Continental Europe, while still keeping with forms that may genuinely compliment modern design. These pieces include a Francois Linke parquetry inlaid and bronze mounted secretarie abatant ($3,000/$5,000), an Ormolu Mounted rounded vitrine ($2,000/$3,000), a glass door front and mirrored back bronze mounted satinwood cabinet ($3,000/$5,000) and more.

The decorative art selection contains items that also span many styles but culminate in the highest quality of aesthetic. A most finely decorated Detler signed dore bronze figural center piece ($4,000/$6,000) exemplifies the featured items in its rarity, but the offerings also include a fine marble figural grouping of satyr and nymph ($3,000/$5,000), a large and ornate gilt and wrought iron stair railing ($1,000/$1,500), as well as many lots of porcelain, furniture, chandeliers, rugs and more.

The consistent trend of 20th Century Design will also be a factor in the pre-holiday sale successes for retail buyers and collectors. A number of Brutalist pieces including a marvelous set of brutalist sconces will be at the forefront of unique design selection on December 6th. The pieces are highly architectural and were displayed previously in a well-known NYC institution under private collection. The central brutalist sconce ($800/$1,200) will feature a pair of wall mounted candleholders and a central sculpturally decorated round candle holder with brass cage form lighting display.

Seaman Schepps Jade Earrings
Clarke Auction

Additional lighting lots are featured as holiday favorites and include items like a pair of block form Tiger’s Eye tessellated table lamps ($800/$1,000), a 10 light Erik Hoglund amber glass electrified chandelier ($600/$900), and more. The selection will also feature two George Nelson for Herman Miller CSS wall units ($1,000/$1,500 each), a number of original Danish vintage case pieces and dining sets with conservative estimates, a gorgeous rosewood Kai Kristiansen desk ($1,000/$1,500) and others.

The featured modern design lot may be the magnificent queen size Tommi Parzinger four poster bed ($3,000/$5,000). The bed is estate fresh from Manhattan, NY with a dark vintage finish and the signature finials. Other furniture design pieces include a Jack Lenor Larsen upholstered sofa ($600/$900), possibly manufactured by Dunbar but unmarked, which has the original Jack Lenor Larsen fabric swatch included. A Jens Risom dining set with 8 chairs and a Niels O. Moller dining set with 6 chairs are also offered and surely needed for the upcoming family meals during the holidays.

Jewelry and watches are a central part of the holidays in terms of gifts, and the December 6th sale at Clarke will certain present the lion’s share of vintage pieces to market. While there are nearly 150 lots of jewelry in the sale, several deserve special attention, especially being as a large grouping of jewelry was made especially for a personal friend of the famed designer, David Yurman.

Several David Yurman groupings and single lots will be featured including two 18kt gold necklaces by the designer ($2,500/$3,500 and $1,000/$1,200 respectively). Other estate fresh jewelry lots include an 18kt gold Sputnik jewelry suite ($1,500/$2,500), a Chopard “Happy Diamonds” necklace ($3,000/$4,000), a pair of Seaman Shepps jade and amethyst earrings ($4,000/$6,000), and more.

Antique and vintage jewelry items are also great gifts and will be offered with a diamond brooch ($3,000/$4,000) and a Cartier diamond ring ($4,000/$6,000).

Compliments of jewelry are not just reserved for the women as two Rolex men’s watches ($3,000/$5,000 each) will be offered alongside a pair of Cartier cufflinks ($3,000/$4,000) and several lots of men’s wrist watches in groupings as well as some Omega watches in single features.

While all of these categories make for the perfect holiday window displays and holiday presents, there are many extraordinary pieces in the sale that have to be seen to be truly appreciated. The online catalog is now available and will be updated daily leading up to the December 6th auction which will begin at 12pm EST.

In-house previews will be held on Friday and Saturday, December 4th and 5th from 12pm to 6pm EST and will continue on the day of the sale from 10am to 12pm.

To register for online bidding please visit or For phone bidding, absentee bids, and condition reports please call or email the gallery at 914-833-8336 and

Clarke is always accepting items for purchase and consignment. Please email photos to or call 914-833-8336 to set up an appointment for an appraiser to view.

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Clarke Auction

  • Joseph Ronan Clarke
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Highlights of upcoming and past auctions at Westchester's Premier Auction.

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