A media mogul obsessed with the art of the ancient work. A scholar who acquires precious Chinese artifacts during years of field research. A powerful art dealer who collects the artist she represents. There are as many different types of collectors as the objects they collect, and no city has perfected the art of collecting more than New York. On May 19, 20, 21 Millea Bros. Select 3-day auction features a veritable collection of collections, comprising ten individual New York single-owner collections. Each devoted to a particular area of interest, but all sharing a stunning level of scholarly expertise and that obsessive drive to assemble only the very best examples of their passion.
Lot 1227, Large Egyptian wooden figure, Middle Kingdom. Estimate $10,000-$15,000
Day 1 opens with the Chinese art collection of a New York scholar. A professor at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence who traveled to Mainland China during the years before it opened to the West, his massive collection spans the entire history of Chinese culture, from ancient Neolithic artifacts to Ming and Qing scroll paintings, and Modern Art of the Cultural Revolution. Highlights include a book of late Ming landscape paintings by the artist Kuncan, a 17th c. fan painting by Yun Shouping, considered one of the six Qing-era masters, a group of unusual 19th and 20th c. yixing pottery teapots with examples by masters Gu Jingzhou and Shao Jingnan. Important contemporary Chinese artworks include abstract scroll paintings by Lui Shou Kwan, a Huang Zhou donkey painting, and four “Great Wall” landscapes by contemporary artist Cao Jigang. Antiquities from the Near East and the Americas, part of a renowned collection assembled over decades by a powerful New York media mogul, include a tall Ancient Egyptian wood carved figure with museum provenance, a Boeotian terracotta goddess, Byzantine gold jewelry and faience, and pristine Pre-Columbian pottery including Nayarite figures and a pre-Aztec Teotihuacan offertory vessel. Modern art jewelry highlights include a signed Alexander Calder silver necklace, a rare Flemming Eskildsen for Georg Jensen jewelry suite, and art jewelry by Ed Wiener and Mary Kretsinger.
Lot 2203, Jim Dine, large mixed media on paper, 1984. Estimate $8,000-$12,000
Day 2 is devoted to modern art and design, and opens with works from the estate of legendary New York art dealer Hester Diamond. Along with Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend, Diamond was the most renowned and influential proponent of American Post War contemporary art. She amassed a singular collection of European and American Modernist art, only to sell it all in the 1980s and turn her focus to building perhaps the finest group of Great Masters works in private hands. The remaining works from her early Modern collection are offered, including pieces by Mark Tobey, Milton Avery, Larry Rivers, Ryan McGinness, Jeanne Reynal, Steve Gianakos and Charles Seliger, along with custom furniture commissioned from designer Nick Dine. Two oil paintings by Jim Dine, Nick Dine’s father, come from another important modern art collection. With named galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these works come from one of the largest and most coveted collections ever assembled and include a Louise Nevelson assemblage, a Giacomo Balla wall sculpture, Stephen Edlich collage, and works by David Hockney, Alan Davie, Camille Bombois, and Tony Rosenthal. Designs from the collection include Paavo Tynell lighting, Karl Springer , Diego Giacometti, and custom pieces by architect Ward Bennett. Works from the Collection of Litsa Tsitsera, scientist, political activist and art patron, feature Greek and Greek-American artists including museum quality examples by Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Jean Xceron, a large Chryssa painting and two neon light boxes, Theodoros Stamos, and major sculptures by Michael Lekakias and Dimitri Hadzi. Other artists in the collection include Joseph Stella, Anne Ryan, Robert Courtright, and Arnold Friedman. Designs include works by TH Robsjohn Gibbings for Saridis of Greece, Edgar Brandt, Line Vautrin, Dino Martens and Venini glass, including a monumental pair of urn vases. Other design highlights include a unique George Nakashima writing table, an early deco Jules Leleu tabouret, and a rare pair of Art Deco “Saturn” lamps by Charles Martin.
Lot 3092, Monumental antique giltwood Eagle, Parish-Hadley. Estimate $1,200-$1,800
Day 3 includes English Antiques and American Folk Art from the Connecticut home of socialite Barbara Allen de Kwiatkowski, all sourced and assembled by decorators Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. Featuring custom Parish-Hadley designs, fine Jacobian, William and Mary and George III English furniture, a John Thwaites column-form tall clock, and monumental carved wood eagle and carousel goat. An extensive Art Nouveau art glass and pottery collection features a pair of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows, a rare Tiffany Nasturtium vase, and a massive pair of leaded glass lanterns from Greene & Greene as well as an extensive group of French pate de verre glass by G Argy Rousseau, Daum, and Galle, and American art pottery by Rookwood, T. J. Wheatley, and Weller. Continental art and antiques from 510 Park Ave include ebeniste signed Louis XVI case pieces by Jacques-Laurent Cosson and Roussel, and an impressive group of Northern Italian Marquetry inlaid cabinets, including a rare signed piece by Giuseppe Maggiolini.
Due to ongoing Covid 19 safety procedures, preview is by appointment only. Our online catalog contains condition reports for each lot along with multiple images, If you require any further details our staff will be happy to answer condition questions and fulfill photo requests. We are also offering "live" preview via Zoom. For further information and the illustrated catalog please visit www.milleabros.com or call 973.377.1500.
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