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The Calder painting was one of two artworks that brought identical selling prices. The other was a color linocut on Arches paper by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), titled Faunes et Chevre. The work was numbered in pencil lower left (26/50) and on the reverse. Like the Calder, it also fetched $78,200. In all, just under 500 lots came up for bid in an auction that grossed about $1.5 million.
It was a busy day for Cottone Auctions’ staff, which had to tend to a packed house of around 250 people in the gallery, as well as nearly 3,000 approved online bidders. And, for some lots as many as 15 phone lines were humming, in addition to the estimated 1,000 left bids that were recorded that day.
“It was exhausting, but it was exhilarating, too,” remarked Matt Cottone of Cottone Auctions. “Fortunately, the market is very strong for better artwork and fine decorative accessories, as we had plenty from both categories in this auction. We stayed true to our philosophy of trying not to sell too much merchandise in any one sale and only offering better, fresh-to-the-market items.”
The auction was loaded from start to finish with original paintings by noted, listed artists, Tiffany lamps, estate silver, sculptures, Asian art, antiquities, art glass, Oriental rugs, period furniture and more. Headlining the event was the estate of William Levine of Rochester, N.Y., a businessman, philanthropist and modern art collector. His 43 lots accounted for $410,000.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Picasso made more than one appearance on auction day. His limited-edition engraved bottle (Madoura, 147/300), executed circa 1954 and 17 inches tall, in excellent condition, went for $14,000. Also, a color etching and aquatint by the Spanish artist Joan Miro (1893-1983), titled Le Permissionaire, circa 1974, signed in pencil lower right and numbered 28/50, made $40,000.
A gorgeous Tiffany Studios Daffodil lamp, standing 25 inches tall, with the base signed and the 20-inch diameter shade also signed, in overall excellent condition, went to a determined bidder for $57,000. Also, a Tiffany Studios table lamp with the base signed “Tiffany Studios, N.Y.,” 17 1/2 inches tall, with a 10-inch diameter shade and original patina on the base, rose to $14,260.
A stacked walnut mushroom table by the American modern furniture sculptor Wendell Castle (b. 1932), purchased directly by the consignor from Castle and initialed by him the year it was crafted, 1972, finished at $48,300. The table, in the original finish and in excellent condition, will be included in the new book Wendell Castle: A Catalog Raisonne: 1958-2011, due out soon.
A charming 19th century three-quarter length portrait of a young girl, Marietta Ryan, wearing a lace-trimmed gown and carrying a basket of flowers, unsigned but rendered by Milton Hopkins (American, 1789-1884), breezed to $42,500. The oil on board painting is a classic piece of American folk art, rendered by an artist who made his living primarily by painting children’s portraits.
An oil on canvas painting by the German artist Felix Schlesinger (1833-1910), titled Feeding the Rabbits, artist signed lower right, measuring 16 inches by 20 1/4 inches and housed in the original frame, earned $39,100. Also, an oil on canvas landscape work by the Canadian painter Cornelius David Krieghoff (1812-1872), titled Caughnawaga Indians in Snowy Landscape, made $37,000.
An enameled Russian silver-handled vase, made circa 1900, 6 inches tall, totaling 39 troy ounces of silver, coasted to $17,800; and a Walrath art pottery vase having stylized cattails with a matte finish and standing 8 1/4 inches tall, $15,525. Also, an early Russian icon showing St. George the Warrior in half-length armor, 10 3/4 inches by 13 inches, Moscow School, commanded $19,300.
Rounding out just some of the auction’s top lots, a Native American painted elk skin hide depicting a war dance and hunting scenes, impressive at 60 inches by 50 inches, in generally good condition despite some staining and loss, achieved $18,500; and a fine and rare First French Empire Boutet engraved sword (circa 1804-1815), with a 32-inch blade, rose to $16,100.
Cottone Auctions is especially interested in fine artworks, Oriental rugs, silver, Tiffany, art glass, art pottery, folk art, Native American, old clocks and stoneware. To consign an item, an estate or a whole collection, call them at 585-243-1000 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE