OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery concluded an impressive 2014-2015 fiscal year on Sept. 19-20 with a major fine art, decorative, jewelry and Asian art sale that earned $1.8 million, the second highest September sale for the firm. Overall, the fiscal year realized $17.5 million, the second highest in the auction company’s history. LiveAuctioneers.com provided absentee and Internet live bidding.
Photography from the Art Institute of Chicago was the overwhelming favorite among collectors and dealers of the fine art categories on Sept. 20. Clars offered well over 200 works by the world’s finest 19th and 20th century photographers from the Chicago museum that amounted to a cumulative total of $150,300 for the day.
One example was a gelatin silver print titled Aboard the Cressida, South Pacific, 1932, by Walker Evans (American, 1930-1975). This photograph (below) was expected to sell for $700 to $1,000 but achieved an impressive $4,150.
“Photography was in a bit of a lull a few years ago,” remarked Clars director of Fine Art, Rick Unruh. “But now we are seeing a resurgence with lots of momentum as of late, making it one of the strongest mediums in the art market.”
Among the other notable works of fine art offered, an oil on canvas titled On the Irish Coast, 1893, by William Trost Richards (American 1833-1905) earned $29,750. In sculpture, the top seller was a bronze by Diego Giacometti (Swiss, 1902-1985) titled L’autruche, (below) that sold solidly within estimate for $27,370.
It was the case of the “dueling bidders” that drove a pair of circa 1840 French dueling pistols (below) to the impressive price of $27,370. The dueling pistols were attributed to Devisme and came to the sale from the collection of Trotter’s Antiques, Pacific Grove, Calif.
In the Asian offerings, the highest price achieved was on a pair of Chinese huanghuali official’s hat armchairs (below) from the collection of a diplomat who purchased them in the early 1990s. This set sold for well over estimate at $29,750.
It was a Chinese silk scroll painting (below) in the manner of Tang Yin (Chinese, 1470-1524) that defied all estimates, however. Expected to sell for $400 to $600, the scroll sold for an astonishing $19,040.
The top jewelry lot at this auction was a jadeite, diamond and platinum ring (below) that achieved $16,600.