Lambertville, NJ: Rago Auction’s January 19-20 Design Sales brought in a total of $4,826,775 across five sessions. The two-day auction series saw impressive results for a wide range of property, with particularly noteworthy results from the 223-lot segment of Modern Ceramics and Glass, which achieved $721,406 in sales.
Modern Ceramics & Glass Highlights
Two works by Betty Woodman stole the show in Rago’s Modern Ceramics and Glass auction, achieving the highest prices of the session. Lot 2113, an early pillow pitcher with Tang-style glaze, defied expectations and shattered the pre-sale estimate of $2,000 - $3,000 to sell for $31,250, setting a record for the highest price achieved at auction for a Betty Woodman work since 2008; and lot 2112, a two-handled vase with polka-dots, which shot past the high estimate of $2,750 to sell for $20,000. For years, Rago has proudly presented works by Betty Woodman, the first living female artist to earn a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2006), and these exceptional results not only give the artist the recognition she deserves, but also demonstrate how strong the market has become for Woodman's works since her death just over a year ago.
Also of note from the Modern Ceramics session was a collection of 20 lots by American studio ceramicist Harrison McIntosh, who is celebrated for his unique ability to blend a Japanese aesthetic with the best of Scandinavian technique. Presenting several works by the same artist together in this way allows collectors to study the pieces and experience the variances in size, decoration, and production time. Comprised of exceptional examples of the artist’s work, this collection represented one of the greatest offerings of McIntosh ever brought to auction. Lot 2008, a fine, large, footed bowl, was the highest achieving work in the collection and sold for $9,375.
Notable art glass results were achieved by blue chip makers such as Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey and Yoichi Ohira and include: lot 2150, a nineteen-piece Oxblood Seaform by studio glass master Dale Chihuly which sold for twice the high estimate to achieve $30,000; lot 2176, a large circus vase by contemporary glass maker Dan Dailey, which doubled its high estimate to sell for $30,000; lot 2162, a Yoichi Ohira Bolla vase, complete with the original drawing, which soared past the high estimate of $7,000 to sell for $20,000; lot 2178, a blown and sand-carved glass sculpture entitled Raven Wing by Preston Singletary, which sold for $11,250; lot 2180, a cast glass sculpture entitled Head with a Square Eye (Head V) by husband and wife glass-making duo Libenský and Brychtová, which sold for $23,750; and lot 2195, a large petroglyph vase by William Morris, which sold for $13,750.
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