Auctioneer Press Release Millea Bros. Ltd.

Millea Bros’ Spring “Select” Auction Arrives

May 02,2019 | 10:00 EDT By Millea Bros.

Boonton, NJ - Millea Bros’ Spring “Select” auction arrives May 16, 17, and 18, featuring five decades of Modern and Contemporary Art from the estate of legendary gallerist Ileana Sonnabend; a spotlight on the arts of Mexico, ranging from 16th c. Spanish Colonial objects to Mexican Modern Masters, including five works by Diego Rivera; and a Pablo Picasso drawing from 1935; and over 1200 lots of fine antiques and decorative arts.

Lot 3137, Diego Rivera, Las Banistas de Tehuantepec, Charcoal and pastel on cardboard, 1925; Estimate $8,000-$12,000

Day 1, featuring Asian Arts, and British and American art and antiques, includes a selection of jades, porcelain, and lacquerware from the estate of Florence and Herbert Irving. Co-founder of Sysco Corporation and renowned philanthropist, Herbert Irving amassed a collection of Chinese and Japanese decorative objects of such significance that the Metropolitan Museum of Art named their entire Asian arts wing after the couple in recognition of the singular importance of their donations to the collection. Highlights at auction include an early Qing Dynasty archaic jade censer, a group of Imperial Japanese silver, and fine 17th c. scroll paintings. The Irving collection was particularly known for the depth and quality of its Japanese lacquerware holdings, and Day 1 features multiple lacquer pieces ranging from a 15th c. Negoro spouted bowl to contemporary works by Suzuki Mutsumi. Additional Asian highlights include over 30 Ming-era porcelain objects.  Also at sale is a rare-to-market single-owner collection of early Mexican Spanish Colonial art, featuring mostly 16th and 17th religious paintings, retablos, nichos, and wood carved Santos, many deaccessioned from museum collections.  Other single owner collections include a group of 18th and 19th c. architectural models loaned by Clara and Eugene Thaw to the Cooper Hewitt Museum; an extensive grouping of 18th and early 19th c. English pearlware Toby mugs; and an archive of Revolutionary-era correspondence, including a letter from George Washington, from an old Connecticut family collection. A selection of fine American and British antique furniture comes from a Bunny Williams appointed Westchester estate.

Lot 2179, Jim Dine, 9 Little Flesh Paintings, 1959-1960; Estimate $30,000-$50,000

Day 2, devoted to Modern and Contemporary art and design, features artwork from the collection of legendary gallerist Ileana Sonnabend. Following Millea Bros. record breaking 2018 sale of the Ileana Sonnaband photography collection, over 80 unique works of painting, sculpture and drawings anchor the May 17 sale. Top lots include Jim Dine’s “9 Little Flesh Paintings”, an early nine-panel Pop masterwork not seen for over 50 years, two Jean Tinguely metamechanic sculptures, an early John Latham “skoob” assemblage, paintings and conceptual works by Carlo Alfano, Brassai photographs of the Parisian underworld, and other exceptional works of American and European Pop Art, Minimalism, Arte Povera, Neo Geo and Art Photography from the 1960s-2000s showcasing a broad survey of Sonnabend’s evolving stable of artists. Day 2 also features Mexican contemporary art from the Leon Constantiner Collection, including two Francisco Toledo paintings, and works by Juan Soriano, and Jose Luis Cuevas. A c. 1914 Italian Futurist abstract by Giacomo Balla comes from the estate of couturier Arnold Scassi.

Lot 2127, Karen Karnes, Lidded Jar, Wood-fired stoneware; Estimate $500-$700

Design highlights include 18 pieces of custom Tommi Parzinger furniture and lighting from a private Manhattan commission, and a single owner collection of American Studio art pottery including works by Betty Woodman, Karen Karnes, and Rick Dillingham. A selection of French modernist and custom furniture from a Peter Marino interior includes a rare c. 1970 gilt bronze Fred Brouard coffee table.

Lot 3118, Pablo Picasso,  Femme et Tete Antique, charcoal, ink and watercolor on paper; Estimate $20,000-$30,000

Day 3 features French and Continental decorative arts including arts of Russia, and Old Masters to Post Impressionist fine art. Top art lots include an important 1935 Pablo Picasso watercolor drawing “Femme et Tete Antique”, and Massimo Campigli’s “Bella Donna”, an oil on canvas from 1950.  Additional works from the Leon Constantiner Collection feature Diego Rivera’s 1925 pastel “Las Banistas de Tehuantepec" as well as four other Rivera sketch drawings. Other art highlights include a Luca Giordano Old Masters painting from the T. Edward and Tullah Hanley collection, and 11 Russian and Byzantine Icon paintings, dating from the 14th-17th c., from the Estate of Elizabeth Stafford.  An especially fine selection of Continental porcelains includes a Catherine the Great era Russian Imperial tea service, and multiple monumental sized and elaborately decorated Meissen and Dresden centerpieces. Rounding out the sale is a large selection of Louis XV and XVI furniture, Continental Academic paintings, and French decorative arts from a Brooklyn, New York brownstone.

By Millea Bros. Ltd.