Jean Royere 'Ours Polaire' sofa, circa 1950. Estimate $180,000-$220,000. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Phillips de Pury & Co.

Design masters showcased in June 3 sale at Phillips de Pury

Jean Royere 'Ours Polaire' sofa, circa 1950. Estimate $180,000-$220,000. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Phillips de Pury & Co.

Jean Royere ‘Ours Polaire’ sofa, circa 1950. Estimate $180,000-$220,000. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Phillips de Pury & Co.

NEW YORK – Building on the success of the recent April London Design sale, Phillips de Pury & Co. has announced highlights from its New York Design sale to be held on June 3, 2009. The auction includes 128 lots with a total presale estimate of $2.7M-$3.7M. Live Internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.

This sale offers an array of highly select works with a focus on rare and important examples from eminent 20th and 21st century designers. The Design department has broadened its collecting categories to integrate key areas such as contemporary ceramics, Italian glass and artists’ jewelry.

Alexander Payne, Worldwide Director of Design for Phillips de Pury, commented: “In this market on both sides of the Atlantic, the demand is for exceptional, hard-to-find works. This sale meets the criteria.”

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This 15-inch Scenic Vellum vase with panoramic view of the Canadian Rockies is considered rare. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Cincinnati Art Galleries aglow with art pottery for auction June 6-7

This 15-inch Scenic Vellum vase with panoramic view of the Canadian Rockies is considered rare. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

This 15-inch Scenic Vellum vase with panoramic view of the Canadian Rockies is considered rare. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

CINCINNATI – For the 19th year Cincinnati Art Galleries will host its popular auction of American and European ceramics, art glass and Cincinnati’s own Rookwood Pottery, June 6-7. The Rookwood XIX-Keramics 2009-Art Glass 2009 jubilee will be held at their downtown Cincinnati facility. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The Keramics portion begins Saturday, June 6 at 10 a.m., the Art Glass on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. and the Rookwood will begin selling Sunday at 10 a.m.

Saturday morning commences with American Art Pottery. Some of the interesting and diverse works include a Weller Second Line Dickensware 11 5/8-inch vase depicting a shepherd guiding his flock, the co-effort of Anthony Dunlavy and Helen Smith, which is estimated at $1000-$1500.

Striking and rare is a 7-inch Weller Minerva vase with oak leaves and acorns in orange on a brown mat ground. It has a $2,000-$2,500 estimate.

There is a good group of Weller Hudson items present, including some scenics and some large examples. A particular favorite is an 8 1/2-inch Hudson that was decorated by Mae Timberlake, who festooned several trees with colorful Chinese lanterns hanging from the branches ($4,000-$5,000).

A large Cambridge Art Pottery vase dating from about 1901 features the portrait of a Native American, skillfully presented by Arthur Williams. Standing 23 1/2 inches tall, it is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

Among the Newcomb College representatives is a Southern landscape by Anna Frances Simpson, 1914, estimated to sell between $3,000 and $4,000.

A Van Briggle 12 7/8-inch vase with modeled and incised stylized roses in mat green will be offered. Dated 1902, it is a very early example with a fine glaze ($8,000-$12,000).

Also seldom seen is a Walley Pottery vase with tooled leaves, covered in a green and brown gloss glaze ($3,000-$3,500). Two Merrimac Pottery vases will be sold, including one with modeled plants and covered with a rich, green glaze ($800-$1,000) and a 5-inch vase with a purple and gray crackle luster glaze, which is estimated at $1,500-$2,000. A petite Robineau vase covered with a green crystalline high glaze is estimated at $400-$600. A rare Tiffany Pottery vase with copper cladding is expected to bring between $10,000 and $13,000.

An appealing selection of European ceramics has been assembled, including two Wedgwood Fairyland Luster bowls. The larger, in octagonal form, depicts castle scenes with creatures on each of the eight panels with the interior done with an odd landscape with butterflies, birds, a large bug and fairies ($2,000-$3,000). The smaller version features a lot of fairies cavorting beneath a starry sky on the exterior and a floral border encompassing bats, birds and fairies while a couple of pixies visit ($700-$900). A large Royal Doulton Flambé vase, in rich red and black with nice veining and standing 16 5/8 inches tall, seems reasonable with a $500-$700 estimate.

A 21 1/4-inch vase by Delphin Massier shows a winged fairy wrapped around a flaring vase enhanced with irises and cattails. The intricate design is covered in lovely pastel mat glazes and it is in remarkably fine condition ($3,000-$4,000).

In the art glass arena, a good Tiffany bronze floor lamp, the base with a lotus design and the 10-inch ribbed shade combed with gold over the opal surface carries a $6,000-$8,000 estimate. A Rene’ Lalique Hirondelles clock, illustrated in their 1932 catalog, is also beguiling and is estimated at $1,500-$2,000.

In the popular contemporary glass realm, Dale Chihuly contributed a Macchia free-form vase comprised of bright Chinese Red glass with a multitude of colorful inclusions ($4,000-$6,000).

On Sunday morning the gallery will begin to fill for the Rookwood Pottery portion of the auction, which always evinces a lot of interest due to its Cincinnati origin. In fact, the old Rookwood Pottery facility can be seen from the auction site, perched on top of Mount Adams.

Sara Sax, one of the more proficient artisans created a Dark Iris Glaze vase with shaded tan maple leaves against a brown background which is expected to fetch $2,500-$3,500.

Kataro Shirayamadani’s career at Rookwood spanned 60 years and he is acknowledged by many as having no superior. He decorated a Standard Glaze scenic vase depicting an American Indian squaw in the foreground with teepees behind her and the plains on the horizon. The vase is amazing both for the rarity of this type of decoration and the skill with which the vignette was accomplished. The vase is estimated at $20,000-$25,000.

Albert Valentien fabricated a spectacular Standard Glaze 20 1/2-inch ewer showing a large firebird swooping through a flowering tree, the vessel benefiting from the presence of generous amounts of Goldstone effect ($5,000-$7,000). He also decorated a large Iris Glaze vase with lovely pink roses generously distributed ($8,000-$10,000).

Lorinda Epply surrounded a 17-inch vase with red hollyhocks, which was then covered with the Vellum Glaze. Estimated at $4000-$6000, it is without crazing and is very striking. Sallie Coyne graced an 8 1/2-inch Iris Glaze with the portrayal of two rooks in flight. A popular, if not often seen subject, it is estimated to bring between $4,000 and $5,000.

Rookwood created very little in the way of “site specific” works, but a couple of exceptions will be crossing the block. One is a large and impressive Vellum Glaze plaque with an expansive view of a California landscape, which shows tall mountains in the background and trees and flowers in the foreground, the work of Carl Schmidt in 1916. In its original frame, an old label from Rookwood reads “California Mountains, C. Schmidt.” Another Carl Schmidt work is a 15-inch-tall Scenic Vellum vase depicting a snow-covered terrain in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, in the Calgary area, and that location is impressed on the bottom. It is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

E.T. Hurley was another Rookwood artisan who was very skillful in several areas. One of his works is a Sea Green vase, which he decorated with a trio of catfish in 1904. Depictions of fish and animals were a particular forte of his, and the use of the Sea Green glaze is a pleasant, complementary addition ($3,000-$4,000).

For the growing number of Rookwood figural fans, there will be a nice complement of choices. A few of the highlights will be a pair of frog bookends glazed in a good mat green crystalline glaze ($1000-$1500) and a Locust wall pocket, designed by Shirayamadani ($700-$900). Very unusual is a pair of catfish candleholders, difficult to find in any case, but decorated and signed by Lorinda Epply and then covered with the Aventurine Glaze ($1,000-$1,500). Perhaps the penultimate figural is that of a 10 1/4-inch blue jay perched on a magnolia branch, designed by Arthur Conant and decorated by Lorinda Epply. This is part of 30 some pieces made during the depths of the depression for the family of one of Rookwood’s benefactors in 1934. This is the first time this shape has ever been offered for sale and it carries a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.

Previewing is available and encouraged at the galleries, 225 E. Sixth St. in downtown Cincinnati, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Previewing is also available prior to the auction, during the auction and following the auction on June 6 and the galleries will be open until 8 p.m. on Friday, June 5.

A handsome, full-color catalog, individually picturing every lot, will be available in May, priced at $45 plus $5 shipping (Ohio residents please add $2.93 sales tax). In addition to in-person bidding, absentee bidding services, telephone lines for lots with a low estimate of at least $500 will be available. To order the catalog or for details phone (513) 381-2128.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid live via the Internet by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Nearly 13 inches high, this mat green glaze vase crafted in 1902 represents an early work of Van Briggle Pottery. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Nearly 13 inches high, this mat green glaze vase crafted in 1902 represents an early work of Van Briggle Pottery. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Elaborate electroplated copper cladding covers the exterior of this Tiffany pottery vase, which has a 10,000-$13,000 estimate. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Elaborate electroplated copper cladding covers the exterior of this Tiffany pottery vase, which has a 10,000-$13,000 estimate. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Albert Valentien decorated this 14 3/4-inch Rookwood Iris Glaze vase with pink roses. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Albert Valentien decorated this 14 3/4-inch Rookwood Iris Glaze vase with pink roses. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Indians are often found on Rookwood Standard Glaze vases, but Kataro Shirayamadani's take on the subject, a squaw and teepees, is unusual. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Indians are often found on Rookwood Standard Glaze vases, but Kataro Shirayamadani’s take on the subject, a squaw and teepees, is unusual. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Roodwood artist Kataro Shirayamadani included columbine, phlox, zinnias and daisies on this 1925 porcelain vase. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Roodwood artist Kataro Shirayamadani included columbine, phlox, zinnias and daisies on this 1925 porcelain vase. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Sara Sax decorated this Rookwood French Red vase with Art Deco stylized flowers. Dated 1922, the 5 1/4-inch vase has a $7,000-$9,000 estimate. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Sara Sax decorated this Rookwood French Red vase with Art Deco stylized flowers. Dated 1922, the 5 1/4-inch vase has a $7,000-$9,000 estimate. Image courtesy Cincinnati Art Galleries.

Synagogue Hanukkah lamps of Eastern Europe are characterized by bold scrollwork and vines, birds and animals, such as herons, squirrels and dolphins. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Skinner Inc.

Rare Hanukkah lamp hits $314,000 at Skinner

Synagogue Hanukkah lamps of Eastern Europe are characterized by bold scrollwork and vines, birds and animals, such as herons, squirrels and dolphins. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Skinner Inc.

Synagogue Hanukkah lamps of Eastern Europe are characterized by bold scrollwork and vines, birds and animals, such as herons, squirrels and dolphins. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Skinner Inc.

BOSTON – Led by the sale of an important Hanukkah lamp, Skinner’s auction of antique and artisan Judaica on May 21 grossed more than $1.2 million, triple the presale estimate. LiveAuctioneers.com provided live Internet bidding.

The top object in the 200-lot sale was a rare silver and silver gilt synagogue ark-form Hanukkah lamp, originating in Brody (Galicia), and dated 1787. Auctioned for $314,000 (including buyer’s premium), against a presale estimate of $60,000-$80,000, this lot and 50 others in the auction were formerly in the Salomon collection, and not seen in the marketplace since sold at auction at the Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, in 1949. From the late 1920s through the 1940s the lamp was illustrated in numerous books, publications and articles.

“The success of this lot demonstrates that exceptional and rare material presented at auction finds a very strong bidding audience in any economy, said Kerry Shrives, Skinner’s director of Fine Judaica, “but this is especially true in more turbulent times as people turn to tangibles as a hedge against uncertain financial markets.” Shrives added, “Collectors are always in search of material that is fresh-to-the-marketplace and has great provenance. The robust prices overall at this auction reflect that sentiment.”

Other lots that brought big prices include: a Russian silver temple-form Hanukkah lamp from Kiev estimated at $10,000-$15,000, but sold for $189,600; a Polish silver Hanukkah lamp from the early 19th century estimated at $12,000-$18,000, went for $142,200; and a Polish Torah crown, probably circa 1840, sold for $65,175, well over its $10,000-$15,000 estimate.

Broadly described as the material culture of the Jewish people, Judaica objects have cultural or religious significance, whether made for the marketplace or for the synagogue.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Eight dolphin-form oil lamps line a lower shelf of the synagogue ark-form Hanukkah lamp. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Skinner Inc.

Eight dolphin-form oil lamps line a lower shelf of the synagogue ark-form Hanukkah lamp. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Skinner Inc.

The celebrated Hanukkah lamp is dated 1787 and is also marked with a circa 1809-1810 duty stamp. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Skinner Inc.

The celebrated Hanukkah lamp is dated 1787 and is also marked with a circa 1809-1810 duty stamp. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Skinner Inc.

George Hetzel's ‘Covered Bridge and Creek' has a $10,000-$20,000 estimate for the Concept Art Gallery auction June 6. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

Concept Art Gallery’s June 6 auction strong on regional art

George Hetzel's ‘Covered Bridge and Creek' has a $10,000-$20,000 estimate for the Concept Art Gallery auction June 6. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

George Hetzel’s ‘Covered Bridge and Creek’ has a $10,000-$20,000 estimate for the Concept Art Gallery auction June 6. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

PITTSBURGH – A spectacular moonlight landscape by Christian J. Walter is one of many works by regional artists that Concept Art Gallery will be offered at their June 6 auction. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Titled Moonlight Nocturne, the oil on canvas measures 33 by 46 inches and depicts a rural landscape under an evening sky in shades ranging from azure to pink. The circa 1920 painting, which carries a $35,000-$45,000 estimate, demonstrates Walter’s mastery of the difficult evening genre and.

Sam Berkovitz of Concept Art Gallery said that Walter’s work is scarce and this painting, which belongs to a local church, has been behind glass for many years and is in nice condition.

A native of the Pittsburgh area, Walter (1872-1938) was a self-taught Impressionist painter working in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Though he had no formal training, Walter studied art exhibitions that came through Pittsburgh. He was among the artists selected for the first Carnegie International Exhibition in 1896, helped found the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and in 1936 headed the Federal Art Project.

George W. Sotter (1879-1953) is most remembered for his moonlit snow scenes and landscapes with cloud-filled skies. His oil on canvas of a farmhouse landscape, 19 1/2 by 25 1/2 inches, fits in the latter category. It has a $10,000-$20,000 estimate, a modest sum for a major artist of the New Hope (Pa.) School of American Impressionism. The painting is a well-preserved example of the region’s influence on the artist’s impressionistic style.

Sotter began painting rivers and mills in his hometown Pittsburgh as a youth. As a student of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Sotter discovered the beauty of Bucks County. He moved to Holicong, Pa., near New Hope, living in a converted stone barn, which housed his studio.

An ample selection of paintings by French-born George Hetzel (1826-1899), one of Pennsylvania’s leading Realist/Impressionist painters of the 1800s, will be presented at the auction. Hetzel’s family immigrated to America and settled in Pittsburgh, where the young man apprenticed as a sign painter. He later studied two years at the Dusseldorf Art Academy. Returning to Pittsburgh in 1850, Hetzel painted precise portraits in what was known as the Dusseldorf style. In the late 1850s he joined a group of local painters at a mountain retreat called Scalp Level. There he painted realistic landscapes and bucolic scenes. Later in his career he changed direction, toward impressionistic concerns.

Hetzel’s oil on canvas painting Covered Bridge and Creek measures 35 3/4 by 26 3/4 inches and carries a $10,000-$20,000 estimate. His Forest Interior, 19 by 23 inches, which further demonstrates his Realist style, has a $10,000-$16,000 estimate.   

A rare landscape by Pittsburgh artist John Beatty (1850-1924) will also be offered. The 26-by-36 oil on canvas has a $5,500-$8,500 estimate. Beatty was the first director of the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Other art highlights are an early portrait by Samuel Rosenberg and an Eduardo Cortes street scene.

Among the antiques to be sold is a horn chair from the collection of local designer Garth Massengill.

Previews are from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. June 3, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. June 4, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 5. The June 6 auction starts at 10 a.m. at Concept Art Gallery, 1031 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square, in Pittsburgh. For detail phone 412-242-9200.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


‘Forest Interior' captures the Realist qualities that made George Hetzel one of Pennsylvania's foremost painters of landscapes in the 19th century. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

‘Forest Interior’ captures the Realist qualities that made George Hetzel one of Pennsylvania’s foremost painters of landscapes in the 19th century. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

‘Moonlight Nocturne' is considered an important work by western Pennsylvania artist Christian Walter. The 33-by-46 oil on canvas has a $35,000-$45,000 estimate. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

‘Moonlight Nocturne’ is considered an important work by western Pennsylvania artist Christian Walter. The 33-by-46 oil on canvas has a $35,000-$45,000 estimate. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

George W. Sotter's oil on canvas of a farmhouse has a seemingly conservative estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

George W. Sotter’s oil on canvas of a farmhouse has a seemingly conservative estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Concept Art Gallery.

Matti Suuronen Futuro house, 1968, to be auctioned by Wright on June 2. Estimate $50,000-$75,000. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Wright.

Wright’s June 2 sale goes ‘back to the Futuro’ with Suuronen house

Matti Suuronen Futuro house, 1968, to be auctioned by Wright on June 2. Estimate $50,000-$75,000. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Wright.

Matti Suuronen Futuro house, 1968, to be auctioned by Wright on June 2. Estimate $50,000-$75,000. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and Wright.

CHICAGO (ACNI) – An extraordinary modern object known as “Futuro” has landed at Wright’s Chicago gallery for inclusion in their June 2nd Important Design sale.

When created in 1968 by architect Matti Suuronen, the prefab flying-saucer-shape dwelling went where no mobile home had gone before – into the remote woods of Finland and the annals of science fiction by means of a helicopter drop.

According to Futuro lore, the 1968 Jetsonesque abode came about when a friend of Suuronen’s commissioned him to design a modern ski cabin for his property in central Finland. Because the rugged terrain was difficult to access by motor vehicle, the solution was to fabricate something that was easy to assemble and light enough to transport by chopper. Inside, it should be streamlined, wired to function electrically at the push of a button, and fitted with seating that easily converted to beds.
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Santa Monica Beach. Image by Dehk. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

L.A. dealers fight idea of converting arts center to railroad maintenance yard

Santa Monica Beach. Image by Dehk. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Santa Monica Beach. Image by Dehk. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (ACNI) – Following the ouster of long-ensconced antiques dealers at London’s Antiquarius Market, who have been forced to relocate so an Anthropologie chain store can move in, art dealers a world away at Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station Arts Center are nervously dealing with their own battle against “progress” and the wrecking ball.

Ironically, it is not civil engineers or government developers who pose the threat to Bergamot Station; it’s certain residents of the picturesque beach community in western Los Angeles County.

Municipal authorities previously advised the 30+ galleries and other businesses located in the artsy Bergamot Station enclave – including the Santa Monica Museum of Art and Santa Monica Auctions – that Bergamot has not been ruled out as the potential site for a light-rail maintenance yard. If tapped for this particular use, the complex, with its distinctive, loft-style buildings and contemporary vibe, would be razed.

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Dating to the first quarter of the 19th century, this North German Neoclassical mahogany secretary stands 79 inches high.

Art, antiques, scientific curiosities at New Orleans Auction June 6-7

Dating to the first quarter of the 19th century, this North German Neoclassical mahogany secretary stands 79 inches high.

Dating to the first quarter of the 19th century, this North German Neoclassical mahogany secretary stands 79 inches high.

NEW ORLEANS – Furnishings from a historic Tennessee plantation, curios collected by a geology professor, Orientalia from a famous French Quarter shop and antiques from numerous estates have been assembled for a major auction by New Orleans Auction Galleries Inc. on June 6-7. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The sale will be held at New Orleans Auction Galleries, 801 Magazine St., beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Art collectors will have the rare opportunity to buy a painting by Kate Freeman Clark (American, 1875-1957), one of the few important female American Impressionist painters. Tree by a Small Stream, Shinnecock Hills, circa 1896, is an oil on canvas, autumnal landscape, 16 1/4 by 20 1/4 inches. It has a $25,000-$40,000 estimate.

The daughter of a Vicksburg attorney, Clark pursued a career as a painter, enrolling in the Arts Students League in New York, where she studied under John H. Twachtman, attended watercolor classes taught by Irving Wiles and oil painting classes under William Merritt Chase, who would play an important role in her development as an artist. In 1896, for the first of six consecutive summers, Kate Freeman Clark attended Chase’s outdoor painting classes at Shinnecock Hills, Long Island. The location was perfect for an outdoor art school where the focus was “plein-air” painting, a term made famous by the French Barbizon painters of the mid-19th century.

At the turn of the century, Clark began submitting her work to important exhibitions using the name “Freeman Clark” in order to hide her gender. For a period of more than 20 years Clark had many works accepted into prestigious shows. William Merritt Chase’s death in 1916 and the changing mode of art, introduced by the New York Armory Show of Cubist paintings in 1913, disheartened her. After losing her grandmother in 1919 and her mother’s passing in 1922, Clark decided to give up painting and return to the family home in Mississippi. It is important to note that Clark never sold any of her paintings.

From Riverbend, the Tennessee plantation of Isaac W.R. Franklin, is a fine pair of George IV mahogany, giltwood and marbletop pier tables dating to the second quarter 19th century. Each has the incised stamp “Miles & Edwards, 134 Oxford St London.” The tables are 36 inches high, 69 inches wide and 19 1/4 inches deep. Purchased from Bernd Goeckler Antiques, New York, in 1996, the tables have a $14,000-18,000 estimate.

Also from the plantation is set of six Russian mahogany balloon-back dining chairs dating to the first quarter of the 19th century. Carved, ebony-detailed and parcel gilded in the neoclassical taste, the chairs are upholstered in emerald-green Napoleonic bee-figured silk. The set has a $6,000-9,000 estimate.

A Renaissance Revival walnut rolltop desk that features rotary pedestals represents the pinnacle of American furniture making in the last quarter of the 19th century. Similar to those made by Wooten, this desk retained a brass plaque reading, “The Shannon Co. Limited, Shannon Desk, London, Made in America.” The 60-inch-wide desk has a lace wood interior and a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.

For details phone New Orleans Auction Galleries at 504-566-1849. View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

‘Numerous Lots of the Curious and Arcane

New Orleans Auction Galleries will offer a substantial number of objects from the estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner on June 6-7. A native Oklahoman, Skinner received his bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Oklahoma. He began working for Texaco in 1952, who moved him to New Orleans.

He longed to teach, however, and so joined the faculty of Tulane University as a professor of geology and paleontology, where he remained for 43 years until his retirement in 1996. Stephen Nelson, chairman of Tulane’s earth and environmental sciences department, recalls that Dr. Skinner “loved the historical aspects of the science. He was probably one of the world’s experts on the history of geology.” His specialty was micropaleontology, the study of microscopic fossils.

Dr. Skinner was a prolific collector, and his passion for detail and the minute led to the creation of an award-winning stamp collection. He was one of the leading authorities on the subject of stamps of the Confederate States of America, the author of several books on the subject and the recipient of the 1994 Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research.

His zeal for collecting was not limited to stamps, however, and he generated a diverse collection of worldly objects. The eclectic nature of his anthology invokes a comparison the the collecting phenomenon in 16th-century and 17th-century Europe, and the resulting creation of the “cabinet of curiosities,” by monarchs, princes and the gentry class.

During the Renaissance, a fascination with the natural world, global exploration, advancements in medicine, biology and mathematics, and a revival of interest in classical studies inspired these collections. Samuel Quiccheberg, a 16th-century art historian, wrote in Inscriptiones vel tituli theatri amplissimi, (1565), that God had placed man in a position to attain universal knowledge. To reach this goal, he encouraged one to “assemble all known types of natural phenomena, naturalia, and the most remarkable of human creations, artificialia, so that one’s collection would contain in a microcosmall that existed in God’s universe.”

The collecting passion began with kings, princes and aristocrats. Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria installed marvelous objects in the Ambras Schloss castle in Innsbruck. His treasury included fantastic pieces of coral, musical and scientific instruments, books 1,000 paintings, and many pieces of arms and armor. In Florence, Italy, Francesco I de Medici’s Studiolo was a secret room, decorated with paintings, adjacent to his bed chamber, containing among other rare things, a clock of amber, a table of gold, and many jewels. These affluent men were adhering to the classical precedent which suggested the greatness of a ruler could be displayed by his accumulation of rare and elegant personal possessions.

Further down the social scale, cabinets exhibited an encyclopedic compilation of objects relating to natural and manmade works, many of which were strange or exotic. Of this genre, the contents of British cabinets are the best examples to compare with Dr. Skinner’s collection, and other similar objects in the sale. One of the most familiar cabinets to cognoscenti is the collection assembled by the naturalist and gardener, John Tradescant, and his son, John Jr. This collection became the nucleus of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University in England. It was first housed in a building referred to as the “ark” located in Lambeth, a borough of London. A German traveler, George Stirn, visited the ark in 1683, and recorded the contents. An excerpt from the inventory follows:

… a piece of human flesh on a bone, olives, gourds, a piece of wood, an ape’s head …, all kinds of shells, … the hand of a mummy, all kinds of precious stones, coins, a picture wrought in feathers, … the robe of the King of Virginia, (Chief Powhatan’s mantle), a few goblets of agate, a girdle such as the turks wear in Jerusalem, the passion of Christ carved very daintily on a plumstone, a large magnet stone, … pipes from the East and West Indies … “

One of the earliest documented cabinets was that of a politician, Walter Cope. He had an apartment in London “stuffed with queer foreign objects in every corner including “an African charm made of teeth, a unicorn’s tail, a mummified child, a Chinese cap made of goose foots [sic], Queen Elizabeth’s seal-around horn, which had grown on an Englishwoman’s forehead, and an Indian canoe suspended from the ceiling.”

Another small, sundry collection was compiled by Canon John Bargrave in the 17th century. Originally contained in three cupboards, the contents included the mummified finger of a French soldier, a working model of a human eye, jasper stone from an obelisk in Rome, wampum beads, a Roman terracotta oil lamp, an embalmed chameleon, coins, and Roman gems. Canon Bargrave’s widow gave his collection to Centerbury Cathedral after his death and as recently as 2000, one cupboard remained in the vaults of the church.

The contents of the above-mentioned cabinets cover a broad spectrum including scientific instruments, minerals, manuscripts, unusual zoological specimens, oddities of nature, and natural and manmade objects from Asia and the Americas. The range of objects complements Dr. Skinner’s collection offered in this sale, which includes a large, grotesque, copper Nepalese mask of the demon Bhairab, a wide variety of stone,s fossilized remains and shells, a shrunken head from the upper Amazon, microscopes and scientific equipment – some obtained as vintage curiosities, others working tools of Dr. Skinner’s laboratory – several celestial maps, a large collection of pre-Columbian art, Pueblo pottery, a selection of spears from Oceania, Ethiopian Harari baskets, a variety of butterflies, sea horses, beetles and assorted scientific ephemera.

Cabinets of Curiosity were the forerunners of museums. Like the Tradescant collection, some were absorbed into institutions, some into other private collections, some simply disappeared over time. Michael Kimmelman, art critic and frequent contributor to The New York Times, wrote several years ago, “Museums grew out of the old wonder cabinets. … it has everything to do with curiosity, which is what makes us human. It is a curiosity that serves the pleasures of the spirit.” Curiosity is the characteristic that nourished Dr. Skinner’s multifaceted, acquisitive nature.

Reverences:
Impey, Oliver and MacGregor Arthur, ed. The Origins of Museums: The Cabinet of Curiosities in 16th and 17 Century Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Pope, John. “Hubert Skinner, Expert on Fossils and Stamps.” New Orleans Times-Picayune, March 3, 2009.

Swann, Marjorie. Curiosities and Texts: The Culture of Collecting in Early Modern England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Standing triumphantly is an imposing pair of French bronze and marble candelabra featuring the Greek goddess Nike. These early 19th-century pieces have a $12,000-$18,000 estimate.

Standing triumphantly is an imposing pair of French bronze and marble candelabra featuring the Greek goddess Nike. These early 19th-century pieces have a $12,000-$18,000 estimate.

Eight panels of this Famille Rose jar alternate between landscape and peony decoration. Topped with a Foo Dog, the 27-inch jar has a $4,000-$7,000 estimate.

Eight panels of this Famille Rose jar alternate between landscape and peony decoration. Topped with a Foo Dog, the 27-inch jar has a $4,000-$7,000 estimate.

Of the school of Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727-1788), this 30-by-25-inch oil on canvas is inscribed ‘Portrait of Colonel Henry Townshend.

Of the school of Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727-1788), this 30-by-25-inch oil on canvas is inscribed ‘Portrait of Colonel Henry Townshend.

‘View of the Doge's Palace and the Piazza San Marco, Venice' is the work of Marc Aldine (French, 1870-1956). The signed oil on canvas painting measures 19 3/4 by 25 3/4 inches.

‘View of the Doge’s Palace and the Piazza San Marco, Venice’ is the work of Marc Aldine (French, 1870-1956). The signed oil on canvas painting measures 19 3/4 by 25 3/4 inches.

American art glassmaker created this bowl for his Macchia series in 1992. It measures 18 by 30 by 24 inches and is estimated to reach $18,000-$25,000.

American art glassmaker created this bowl for his Macchia series in 1992. It measures 18 by 30 by 24 inches and is estimated to reach $18,000-$25,000.

A selection from the estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner.

A selection from the estate of Dr. Hubert C. Skinner.

Lot 251 - Spencer Lens Company, Buffalo, New York, Monocular Microscope, Model 44, 1924.

Lot 251 – Spencer Lens Company, Buffalo, New York, Monocular Microscope, Model 44, 1924.

Lot 256 - Nineteen-Piece Group of Laboratory Equipment and Books, late 19th/early 20th.

Lot 256 – Nineteen-Piece Group of Laboratory Equipment and Books, late 19th/early 20th.

Oil-on-board painting of young woman on shore, by Josef Israels (Dutch, 1824-1911), $20,700. Image courtesy Gordon S. Converse & Co.

Estate art, strong online bidding brought success to May 25 Converse sale

Oil-on-board painting of young woman on shore, by Josef Israels (Dutch, 1824-1911), $20,700. Image courtesy Gordon S. Converse & Co.

Oil-on-board painting of young woman on shore, by Josef Israels (Dutch, 1824-1911), $20,700. Image courtesy Gordon S. Converse & Co.

MALVERN, Pa. – An original oil-on-board painting of a lone woman by the sea, done by the renowned Dutch artist Josef Israels (1824-1911), sold for $20,700 at a multi-estate sale held Apr. 25 by Gordon S. Converse & Co. Titled Watching and Waiting, the artwork measuring 26 inches by 19 inches finished as the top lot of the 300 items offered. All prices quoted are inclusive of a 15% buyer’s premium.
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Madonna and Guy, oil on canvas by Peter Howson, 2005. Image courtesy McTear's Auctioneers.

Controversial painting of nude Madonna and Guy Ritchie in May 30 auction

Madonna and Guy, oil on canvas by Peter Howson, 2005. Image courtesy McTear's Auctioneers.

Madonna and Guy, oil on canvas by Peter Howson, 2005. Image courtesy McTear’s Auctioneers.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND (ACNI) – Madonna has never been shy about revealing herself to the world, but artist Peter Howson’s oil-on-canvas interpretation of the “material girl” and filmmaker ex-husband Guy Ritchie presents a controversial alternative view of the celebrity couple. Criticized by some for its unflattering depiction of the svelte entertainer – one critic describing it as “Neanderthal” in appearance – the impressionistic painting has vaulted into the public spotlight with the announcement that it is to be auctioned on Saturday, May 30, at McTear’s Auctioneers in Glasgow.

The painting titled Madonna and Guy was completed around 2005 and most recently was held in a private collection in Scotland. Although experts anticipate it will fetch between $24,000-$35,000, many observers believe it could go much higher.
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Bargain hunters patrolling U.S. 40 yard sale

DUBLIN, Ind. (AP) – If you like yard sales, U.S. 40 is the place to be this week.

If not, you might want to steer clear of the highway: the Historic National Road Yard Sale will continue through Sunday along the route’s 824 miles from Maryland through Illinois.

“It’s bumper-to-bumper people all across 40,” said yard sale organizer Patricia McDaniel, owner of Old Storefront Antiques in Dublin, about 50 miles east of Indianapolis.

Betty Skaggs of Richmond, Ind., and Beth Thompson of rural Fayette County will leave their families at home, empty Thompson’s van of most of its seats and begin packing the van with their finds.

“It’s a ritual for us,” Thompson said. “This year, we’re leaving on Friday morning and just working toward Indianapolis. We’ll spend a couple nights there, see what we find further on the other side of Indianapolis.”

It’s not just for homeowners and bargain hunters. Civic organizations take advantage of the crowds by organizing food booths, and churches and other organizations will use the occasion for fund-raisers of their own.

“One of the things that is really unique about this sale is that each town is able to contribute whatever they want,” McDaniel said.

Bill Gebhardt of Centerville, who’s participating for the sixth year, has a cement wall in front of his house that he uses to display items.

“Just some odds and ends. Some collectibles here and there,” he said.

Gene and Joanne Wallen of Dublin plan to sell bottomless chairs for potted plants, old wardrobes, furniture and an old playhouse.

“We have a lot of miscellaneous stuff,” Joanne Wallen said.

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