OAKLAND, Calif. – Redge Martin, president of Clars Auction Gallery, knew the May 15-16 sale would be one of the company’s strongest based on the important estates represented and the quality of consignments in both art and furnishings. When the final hammer dropped his expectations were realized. The auction resulted in $1.4 million in sales, fourth largest in the firm’s 60-year history.
Martin said that Clars Auction Gallery is already more than 50 percent ahead of last year at this time. A staff of top specialists in their fields, a long-standing reputation for the highest standards of operation, and aggressive national and international marketing campaigns all contribute to Clars’ success in a still delicate economy, said Martin.
Clars’ May sale featured art and antiques from several important estates and consignors including the Lane & Jenkins trust of San Francisco, the Frank Hinman estate of San Francisco, the Dr. Sydney Widrow estate of Hawaii and the Dr. Lawrence Loftus estate of Carmel, Calif.
The art category soared above all achieving strong prices for both contemporary and classic works. Several important works from California painters were offered, led by Moonrise over Mojave by Maynard Dixon (California, 1875-1946). The bidding opened at $75,000 and competition from the floor, phones and Internet quickly drove this work to a final sale price of $110,450.
Sunday Boating, an oil on canvas by James Weeks (California, 1922-1998), a scene of a group sailing on San Francisco Bay executed in rich tones of blue, was estimated to earn $20,000-$30,000 and sold for $28,440. Oaks in a Field of Poppies and Lupine by Percy Gray (California, 1922-1998) followed at $24,885. View of Mount Tamalpais from the Valley, also by Percy Gray, achieved $20,145, and a stunning coastal work titled Mt. Doud, Big Sur, by Arthur Hill Gilbert (California, 1894-1970) did well at $20,145. American artist Andrew Wyeth’s watercolor, painted on the title page of a book and showing an empty basket on a sloping hill, sold within the estimate at $28,400.
A framed gelatin silver photograph, Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite by Ansel Adams from the Widrow estate sold for $23,700. This same photograph is part of the current traveling exhibition of Adams’ work entitled Ansel Adams, Early Work.
Turning to the contemporary art category, Enrico Donati’s framed mixed media entitled Eclipse Anee 2000 earned $26,070. Persons of the Prism, a framed acrylic on canvas by Gordon Onslow Ford (California, 1912-2003) sold well at $13,035.
Clars reports that Asian art and antiques has been performing exceptionally well for them. This sale had a set of four Chinese hanging scrolls, executed in ink and color on paper and attributed to Liu Kuo-sung (b. 1932), which nearly doubled its high estimate by selling for $35,550.
Important antique furniture lots performed within or over their estimates, suggesting that the decline in prices has been reversed. Selling for well over estimate was a circa 1875 monumental American Renaissance Revival bedroom suite done in walnut and walnut burl. With a high estimate of $12,000, this suite sold for $18,960.
The Sunday session of the two-day sale featured several exceptional jewelry offerings from these important consignors. The headliner of this category was a 9-carat brilliant cut diamond ring set in platinum accented by 52 smaller diamonds. This dazzling piece of fine jewelry sold for $88,450 to a determined phone bidder.
Clars Auction Gallery’s next two-day Fine Estate Auction will be Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13.
The auction house is located at 5644 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland.
For additional information, call Clars Auction Gallery at (888) 339-7600, visit their website at www.clars.com, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE