On May 20 & 21, 2017, Clars Auction Gallery hosted an important sale that featured exceptional works in fine art from prominent artists around the world. The art world took note of this sale and competed vigorously for several of these works driving prices well over high estimates. The sale offered important property from several major museums, collections and estates. Overall, this two-day sale realized $2.5 million. After the sale, Redge Martin, President of Clars commented, “ The staff worked hard to obtain an exceptional group of items for our major May auction, particularly fine art. Many of the important pieces came from clients who’d been pleased with results we’d gotten for them previously.”
The most anticipated work offered on May 21st was Untitled (Arto Lindsay), by Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988). While Basquiat created this portrait of fellow New Yorker and musician Arthur Morgan Lindsay (Arto) in1982, it has been in private hands since 2001. The response to this work was tremendous, and within minutes, furious bidding from the floor, nine phone bidders and Internet drove the piece to an astounding price of $497,750.
The impressive prices didn’t end with Basquiat as bidders kept up a furious pace amongst many genres. An oil on canvas by the daughter-in-law of Claude Monet, the famous French Impressionist painter, Blanche Hoschede Monet (French 1865-1947) created the next work to sell for a notable amount. Blanche’s painting of the small Japanese bridge on the pond, which Claude Monet built in homage to Japanese woodblock prints, titled, Le Petit Pont Japonais a Giverny, was estimated to achieve $90,000 but landed nicely above estimate at $97,000. (Provenance: Private Collection of Jean Michel Lopez, Paris, France)
The untitled oil on canvas by Sohrab Sepehri (Iranian, 1928-1980) continued this trend coming to the sale with high estimate of $70,000 but achieving well past that going out at $94,500. Performing similarly was Sonache, 1957, an oil on paper by Indian artist Syed Haider Raza (Indian, 1922-2016) which flew past its estimate selling for $84,700.
One of the most important global collections of 19th century China Trade paintings from the Estate of Thomas Williamson (Orinda, California) was also offered. Many of these works were originally purchased from Berry-Hill Galleries (New York, NY) and Martyn Gregory (London, UK). This exceptional collection performed very well. Doubling high estimate was The Hongs at Canton (China, Canton Factories), a circa 1835 oil on canvas attributed to Sunqua (Chinese, fl. 1830-1870) which earned $30,250. Also surpassing high estimate was China, Shanghai Bund, School of George Chinnery (British, 1774-1852). This work sold for $18,900. In total, this collection achieved an impressive $119,500.
Rounding out the top sellers in fine art was Blue, 1984, a color woodcut (50/100) by Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993), that sold nicely over high estimate selling for $54,450. And as always, Andy Warhol did not disappoint with results on the two prints offered. Both titled Sunset, 1972these color silk screens sold for $36,300 and $33,275 respectively.
Decorative Arts & Furnishings
Property from the Thomas J. Perkins Estate (San Francisco and Belvedere, CA) topped this category’s exciting offerings. A Pleyel “Eaton” harpsichord, circa 1930 was used by legendary harpsichordist Wanda Landowska. This work of music history sold very well to the son of a former owner for $24,200.
In whimsical yet important historic offerings was a large and exceptional Dentzel (carving by Muller) outer row stander lead carousel horse, circa 1912. Completely restored by W. Huges/Hesse, this fabulous steed earned his keep at $19,360. And bringing $9,680 was a Muller (carving for Dentzel) outer row prancing deer.
Furniture featured prominently in this sale with a Continental marquetry decorated collectors cabinet realizing over twice high estimate selling for $10,285. Wooten desks are always in demand and an 1889 American Wooten Queen Anne designed by Zue Jackson sold very well for $7,260.
Rounding out the top furniture sellers was a Victorian Neo Grec sideboard, circa 1800, which achieved $7,865 and a fabulous rosewood and bronze mounted parlor suite, circa 1876, by John Jeliff, New Jersey, that sold for $6,050.
Jewelry & Timepieces
Bulgari and jadeite topped this category’s offerings. A Bulgari Tubogas 18k yellow gold necklace will be adorning someone’s neck for a smooth $7,260 and adding to the perfect bangle accessory, a fashionista will be wearing a jadeite bangle bracelet for the same money.