Lambertville, NJ: Rago Auction’s September 22-23 Design Sales brought in a total of $5,184,344 across four segments. The two-day auction series, consisting of segments of Early 20th Century Design, Mid-Mod, Modern Design, and Modern Ceramics and Glass, saw 1,106 lots cross the Rago auction block, including a 54-lot single-owner series of Lalique Glass from the Reese Collection which enjoyed a 100% sell-through rate.
Early 20th Century Design Highlights
Works of early 20th century design, particularly American Arts and Crafts, made a very strong showing across this 382 lot sale. The top lot of this segment was lot 327, a large Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar which sold for $112,500. Other lots of note included: lot 170, a Gustav Stickley lantern that sold for $68,750 against a high estimate of $35,000; lot 177, a pair of monumental andirons, also by Stickley, that sold for $30,000; a ribbon-handled vase by George Ohr which surpassed its $37,500 - 42,500 estimate to sell for $56,250; and lot 123, a Vasekraft table lamp by Fulper that sold for $23,750 against a $16,000 high estimate.
The Reese Collection of Lalique Glass enjoyed a 100% sell-through rate and saw 29 of 54 lots in the collection sell at or above their high estimates. Highlights from the Resse Collection include: lot 1, a rare Oiseau de Feu form surtout which sold for $31,250; lot 3, an amber Serpent vase which sold for $23,750; and lot 15, a butterscotch yellow Acanthes vase which sold for $23,750, more than double the high estimate of $9,000.
Modern Design Highlights
The Modern Design sale opened with over 50 lots by Delaware Valley Modernists George Nakashima, Paul Evans, Phil Powell and Wharton Esherick, including a Sculptured Metal disk bar by Evans (lot 1019) that sold for $53,125 against a high estimate of $25,000.
Also on offer in the Modern Design segment were 18 works by Harry Bertoia and Val Bertoia, including three large “Sonambient” sculptures by Harry, lots 1143, 1144 and 1148, which sold for $56,250, $62,250 and $46,875, respectively.
The highest priced lot of Modern Design was lot 1104, a Fantasia chandelier by Finnish designer Paavo Tynell, which vaulted past its $55,000 high estimate to sell for $81,250. Other highlights from Modern Design include: lot 1088, an Elisse coffee table by Gabriella Crespi which sold for $50,000; lot 1220, a fine Conoid desk by George Nakashima which sold for $37,500; lot 1180, an untitled garden gate by Albert Paley which sold for $36,250 against a $20,000 high estimate; and lot 1167, a sculpted walnut wall-hanging mirror by Wendell Castle that defied its $12,000-16,000 estimate to sell for $30,000.
Modern Ceramics & Glass Highlights
Works of contemporary art glass led the pack in the Modern Ceramics and Glass portion of the sale. The highest selling lot of the segment was lot 1597, a large lighting sculpture titled Nude with Fruit Tree by artist Dan Dailey which nearly doubled its high estimate of $15,000 to sell for $27,500. Other notable results include; lot 1632, a Caleidoscopio No. 1 vase by Yoichi Ohira which sold for $26,250; lot 1617, Blue Sliced Descending Form by Harvey Littleton which sold for $23,750 against a $14,000 high estimate; and lot 1638, Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova's Scream which sold for $22,500. Also of note were seven works by Frantisek Vizner (lots 1649, 1650, 1651, 1652, 1653, 1654 and 1655) on offer in the sale, all but one of which (lot 1649) sold at or above their high estimates.
Standout ceramic lots include: lots 1511 and 1512, two large vessels by Claude Conover, Sutup and Chac, which sold for $10,000 and $7,500, respectively; lot 1551, a large vessel by Howard Kottler titled Lemon Punch Pot which defied its $1,000 high estimate to sell for $7,500; and lot 1500, a large sculptural vessel by Rudy Autio titled Odysseum which sold for $6,875.
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