Palm Beach Modern hits $1.8M with sale of art, Picasso pottery, Studio 54 celebrity photos

W. PALM BEACH, Fla. – “When you have what the people want, word gets out,” said Rico Baca, auctioneer and co-owner of Palm Beach Modern Auctions (PBMA), commenting on the company’s $1.8 million auction of modern and contemporary art, Picasso pottery and unique Studio 54 photos from a famous photographer’s estate.

 

Palm Beach Modern Auctions co-owner and auctioneer Rico Baca presiding over the sale

 

Many different types of collectors were attracted to the sale, which was held Feb. 4 and 5, 2017 at the company’s West Palm Beach venue. “With each successive auction, we attract new buyers of modern and contemporary art; and we always have a great turnout from our loyal following of modern furniture collectors,” Baca said. “But this time around there were two specialty categories that made headlines everywhere – Picasso pottery, and Studio 54 photos from the estate of photographer Richard P. Manning, known in the disco days as ‘RPM.’ We had a 100% sell-through rate on both the pottery and the photos, and an excellent overall sell-through rate of 85%.” All seven PBMA phone lines buzzed with bidder activity, Baca said, while the Internet delivered approximately 2,000 bidders per session from all over the world. Absentee and Internet live bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

 

Richard P. Manning a k a RPM (American, 1941-2013), copyighted gelatin silver print of a youthful David Bowie at Studio 54, $3,175

 

Major feature articles about the Studio 54 photos appeared in Britain’s Daily Mail and Sunday Mirror newspapers, with additional coverage in the New York Post and other U.S. daily newspapers from coast to coast. Celebrities depicted in Manning’s silver gelatin prints included Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, Brooke Shields, Diana Ross, Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, Rod and (then-wife) Alana Stewart, Jerry Hall, John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone, Truman Capote and many others. A candid portrait of a young, smartly dressed David Bowie (shown above) leaning back and taking in the surroundings sold for $3,175; while an artistic shot of a free-spirited couple on the dance floor made $4,763. All prices quoted are inclusive of 27% buyer’s premium.

There was intense global interest in the eight pieces of Picasso pottery entered in the sale. Among those vying for the desirable ceramics were representatives from two different museums in France. The lot garnering the greatest pre-sale interest was a bird-form vessel (shown below) known as “Pichet Anse Prise (Pitcher with Seized Handle).” The actual artist’s proof for a small 1953 edition of 200, it was originally held in the private collection of Picasso’s close friends Georges and Suzanne Ramie, owners of the Madoura studio where Picasso pottery was made. It sold for $24,130, a world auction record for the form.

 

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), ‘Pichet Anse Prise (Pitcher with Seized Handle),’ artist’s proof for 1953 edition of 200. Provenance: Madoura Pottery Studio, Vallauris, France; private collection of Georges & Suzanne Ramie, Christie’s South Kensington 2012 auction of Ramie Collection; Florida private collection. World record auction price for the form: $24,130

 

The top lot of the sale (shown below) was a sculpture by Harrry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978) titled Sonambient. Made of beryllium copper and brass, and accompanied by a COA from the artist’s son, Val Bertoia, it settled near the top of its estimate range at $58,420.

Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978), Sonambient sculpture of beryllium, copper and brass; 55 inches high, $58,420

 

Another notable metal sculpture was Angel Botello’s (Puerto Rican, 1914-1986) bronze titled Girl Dancing, which sold for $35,560.

Angel Botello (Puerto Rican, 1914-1986), Girl Dancing, bronze sculpture, circa 1965, $35,560

 

A signed Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990) artist’s proof titled Three Lithographs: One Plate had been donated by the artist in 1986 to Brother, Help Thyself, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit, for inclusion in an AIDS benefit auction. A quintessential Haring image, the artwork sold at PBMA within estimate, for $50,800.

 

Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), Three Lithographs: One Plate, artist’s proof 9/20, 1985, $50,800

 

Also among the February sale’s numerous art highlights were: a Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997) MERMAID lithograph from a signed edition, $10,795; a Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983) The Drunken Horse lithograph, also from a signed edition, $8,890; an Asger Jorn (Danish, 1914-1973) original painting, $21,590; and a Nicola Simbari (Italian, 1927-2012) original painting on canvas, $13,970.

 

Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997), MERMAID, signed lithograph, ed. 51/60, $10,795

 

Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983), The Drunken Horse, signed lithograph, ed. 66/75, $8,890

 

The furniture section was led by a Philip & Kelvin LaVerne acid-etched and patinated bronze-over-pewter dining/game table, signed and retaining a “Philip Laverne Collection Co.” label. Estimated at $10,000-$15,000, it was bid to $24,130. Six dining chairs in the manner of Jean Royere swept past their $3,000-$5,000 estimate to close at $12,065.

Philip & Kelvin LaVerne acid-etched and patinated bronze-over-pewter dining or game table, signed, Philip Laverne Collection Co. label, $24,130

 

PBMA co-owners Rico Baca and Wade Terwilliger made sure the auction’s mood was light and festive throughout – which wasn’t hard to do with a theme like “Studio 54 Revisited.” Guests were greeted by entertainers impersonating “Diana Ross,” who sang on an outdoor stage; and “Divine,” who handed out disco-ball necklaces as souvenirs.

 

As guests arrived, they were entertained in Studio 54 style by a Diana Ross impersonator (left) and a convincing “faux” version of Divine (right), who passed out souvenir disco-ball necklaces.

 

During the auction, “Divine” drew the names of two door-prize winners, each of whom received a Richard Manning print.

 

With the help of an audience member (right) and Divine impersonator (center), auctioneer and PBMA co-owner Rico Baca drew the winners of two door prizes: Richard P. Manning Studio 54 prints.

 

Guests enjoyed a delicious catered lunch, snacks and drinks, all under the watchful gaze of a suspended Man in the Moon that was an actual prop from the fabled New York City nightclub.

 

Snack time under the gaze of an actual prop used at Studio 54 in its heyday, a Man in the Moon with spoon

 

PBMA will conduct a Modern Art, Design & Luxury Auction in April. To discuss consigning to the sale, call 561-586-5500 or e-mail info@modernauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog for the Feb. 4-5, 2017 auction online, complete with prices realized, at LiveAuctioneers.com.

 

 

Shipwreck silver, offbeat Americana attract bidders worldwide to Milestone’s Jan. 14 sale

Silver bar recovered from the 1622 shipwreck of the Atocha off the Florida Keys, 1045ozt, sold for $36,600. Milestone Auctions image

 

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – The fun factor was off the charts at Milestone’s Jan. 14 New Year’s Spectacular Auction, where bidders could view Spanish silver from a 1622 shipwreck, try on amusing antique parade heads or practice a dignified military gait while toting Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s monogrammed personal luggage.

Read more

Colossal diamond, carved hall bench topped Ahlers & Ogletree auction

GIA-certified 6.77-carat modern champagne diamond ring. Price realized: $31,000. Ahlers & Ogletree image

 

ATLANTA – A GIA-certified 6.77-carat modern champagne diamond ring sold for $31,000 and a monumental hall bench attributed to R.J. Horner brought $28,320 at Ahlers & Ogletree’s New Year’s Signature Estates Auction held Jan. 14-16. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Read more

Picasso pottery vase top pick in Weiss Auctions at $37,200

Earthenware vase by Pablo Picasso, 15 inches tall, with knife engraving and partial brushed glaze. Price realized: $37,200. Weiss Auctions image

 

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – A white earthenware vase designed by Pablo Picasso and made in 1952 as one in an edition of 400 sold for $37,200 at an auction held Jan. 29 by Weiss Auctions. The vase was the top lot in a sale that grossed over $350,000, with more than 1,000 people combining to bid live and via the Internet. Absentee and Internet bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Read more

DeCamp’s ‘Lady in Black Hat’ tops John Moran’s Studio Art Auction

Boston portrait artist Joseph DeCamp was represented in the January catalog with ‘Lady in a Black Hat,’ which earned top-lot status with a $12,200 selling price (estimate: $3,000-$5,000). John Moran Auctioneers image

 

MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers kicked off their 2017 auction calendar with an exciting auction event featuring an eclectic selection of 248 works of fine art, the majority of which carried estimates below $2,000. Many pieces featured in Moran’s Studio Fine Art Auction fell under the heading of California and American art for which Moran’s is known. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Read more

Wall Street breakthrough sparks rally at Capo Auction

Arturo Di Modica (Italian, b. 1941), ‘Cavallo’ (Horse), bronze, 1981-1986, 6 x 6 x 4 feet. Price realized: $16,800. Capo Auction image

 

NEW YORK – The momentous breakthrough on Wall Street last week sparked a buying frenzy on Arturo Di Modica’s bronze sculptures at Capo Auction Fine Art and Antiques. The Italian artist’s Cavallo bronze sold to a prominent horse farm in Wellington, Fla., for $16,800 at Capo Auctons’s sale Jan. 28. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Read more

English automaton clock stops just short of $1M at Fontaine’s auction

Rare 18th century English-made pagoda form automaton musical clock, produced for the Chinese Qing Imperial Court. Price realized: $998,250. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery image

 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A rare 18th century English-made pagoda form automaton musical clock, produced for the Chinese Qing Imperial Court, fell just shy of the $1 million mark when it sold for $998,250 (including buyer’s premium) at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s Antiques and Fine Art Auction, held Jan. 21. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Read more

William Edmondson ‘Nurse’ leads robust winter auction at Case

There has been strong demand at the national level lately for carved limestone sculptures by self-taught African-American artist William Edmondson (Tennessee, 1874-1951). His 14-inch sculpture of a nurse earned $129,800 (est. $80,000-$90,000). Case Antiques Auction image

 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A William Edmondson carved limestone sculpture of a nurse injected excitement into the Jan. 21 Case Antiques Auction, drawing a healthy winning bid of $129,800 and also boosting interest in an institutional collection of outsider art (all prices include the buyer’s premium). Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Read more

Asian monochrome ceramics soar at Kaminski auction Jan. 15

Rare lime green Chinese vase, 8 1/2 inches. Price realized: $87,500. Kaminski Auctions image

 

BEVERLY, Mass. – A collection of rare Asian ceramics and a Julio Le Parc mobile stole the show at the Kaminski Auctions Jan. 15 sale. The Travis Brock collection of monochrome ceramics brought in bidders from all over the world and the prices achieved reflected it. Fifteen of the 20 top prices achieved in the auction were porcelains from the Travis Brock Collection, which was originally acquired in Derbyshire, England in 1972. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers. Read more

Artemis Gallery’s Jan. 18-19 antiquities auction draws fierce bidding, new collectors

BOULDER, Colo. – Artemis Gallery welcomed a contingent of new collectors to their Jan. 18-19, 2017 auction of classical antiquities and Asian, Pre-Columbian and ethnographic art. The 454-lot sale – the second-best in the company’s history, both in terms of the monetary total and the number of items sold – achieved a strong 65% sell-through rate, with intense competition on several pieces. Internet live bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

Read more