Lambertville, NJ: Rago Auction’s June 18-19 Design sales brought in a total of $3,386,219 over the weekend. The two-day, 713-lot auction series achieved impressive results for a wide range of property across three segments: Early 20th Century Design, Modern Design, and Modern Ceramics + Glass.
Early 20th Century Design Highlights
Works of Early 20th Century Design performed well in this 333-lot sale. The top lot of the session was number 1131, an important and rare cobra console table by French artist Albert Cheuret, which sold for $193,750, also making it the highest selling lot of the weekend.
Works by Tiffany Studios performed admirably in this session, including lot 1107, a fine and rare Old English Heraldic Table Lamp, which sold for $36,250, and lot 1100, a twelve-light Lily table lamp with Favrile shades, which achieved $26,250 against a high estimate of $20,000.
Other highlights from the sale include: lot 1284, a fine and rare Vasekraft lamp by Fulper which sold for $25,000; lot 1124, an exceptional enameled, sterling silver dessert dish with pierced decoration by Charles R. Ashbee for Guild of Handicraft which sold for $21,250; lot 1143, a fine Zsolnay “Campfire” vase with eosin glaze which achieved a sale price of $18,750; lot 1319, an exceptional Painted Mat vase with poppies by Harriet Wilcox for Rookwood which soared past the high estimate of $3,000 to sell for $18,750; and lot 1243, a fine bulbous vase by George Ohr, the self-proclaimed Mad Potter of Biloxi, which sold for $10,000.
Also of note in the Early 20th Century Design auction was a selection of 56 lots of work by René Buthaud from the collection of Stephen & Joan Engel, who purchased the property directly from Buthaud’s personal gallerist, Michel Fortin, in 1989. The comprehensive collection contained representations of every medium Buthaud mastered throughout his long, illustrious career, including drawings, paintings, verre églomisé panels and ceramics. Notable results from the collection include lot 1040, a fine verre églomisé panel depicting a nude woman which shot past its $3,500 high estimate to achieve $9,375; lot 1038, a massive cartoon of Venus and Neptune which sold for $9,375; and lot 1008, a large untitled preparatory drawing of a nude athlete which realized a sale price of $7,500.
Modern Design Highlights
The star of the Modern Design sale was lot 1632, a unique “Tell The Trees” chair by American studio furniture maker, Wendell Castle, which sold for $175,000. Other notable lots include: lot 1550, a fine and rare 278-piece sterling flatware set by Jean Puiforcat which sold for $53,125 against a high estimate of $35,000; lot 1557, eight V-leg arm chairs designed by Pierre Jeanneret which sold for $40,625, more than twice the high estimate; lot 1551, a set of six Committee armchairs, also by Jeanneret, which achieved $30,000; lot 1664, a unique “Vine” chandelier by American designer Jeff Zimmerman which sold for $35,000; lot 1660, an important sculptural Florentine door by Oscar Bach which sold for $25,000; and lot 1560, Bed no. 120, designed by Jean Prouvé for the Lycée Fabert School in Lorraine, France, which realized $23,750.
Works by notable Delaware Valley Modernists performed admirably in the Modern Design sale, including: lot 1680, a fine Triple Sliding Door cabinet by master woodworker George Nakashima which sold for $53,125 against a high estimate of $35,000; lot 1501, a special wall case, also by George Nakashima which shot past its high estimate of $35,000 to sell for $46,875; lot 1520, an early Loop cabinet by Paul Evans which achieved $43,750; lot 1500, an exceptional, massive “Deans Desk” by George Nakashima which sold for $40,625; lot 1620, a large untitled Sonambient sounding sculpture by Harry Bertoia which realized $32,500; and lot 1529, a sculpted bronze cabinet by Paul Evans, which sold for $30,000.
Modern Ceramics + Glass Highlights
Seven of the top 14 lots from the Modern Ceramics + Glass session came from Italian maestro Lino Tagliapietra, including lot 1898, an exceptional Mandara vessel which achieved $46,875 against a high estimate of $30,000. Other top Tagliapietra lots include: lot 1900, a Makah vessel which shot past the high estimate of $20,000 to sell for $38,750; lot 1899, a Fuji vessel which sold for $21,250; and lot 1904, an exceptional Angel Tear which realized $18,750.
Other notable studio glass and ceramic works from the session include: lot 1910, a large illuminated sculpture by Dan Dailey titled “Nude with Fence of Jewels" which sold for $31,250, more than twice the high estimate; lot 1922, a massive Jerusalem Cylinder #35 by Dale Chihuly which achieved $20,000; lot 1912, a Petroglyph vessel by William Morris which sold for $16,250; lot 1875, an exceptional large ceramic sculpture by Betty Woodman titled "Shadowy Napkin Holder” which realized $11,875; and lot 1877, "Observing a Frog Column 24 High," a ceramic sculpture by David Gilhooly from the Frog series, which shot past the high estimate of $2,500 to sell for $9,375.
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