OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery hosted the final sale of an exciting 2016/2017 fiscal year with their monthly Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry/Timepieces and Asian Art Auction. Fine art was the star at this event, but great success and surprises were seen across all categories. Overall, the Sept. 16-17 auction earned $1.7 million, contributing to Clars’ $20 million year and making it the second most successful year in the firm’s history. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
Albert Bierstadt’s (American, 1830-1902) elaborate oil on canvas landscape titled Passing Clouds Over Mountains led this sale commanding the over-high-estimate price of $102,850. This work (above) was an excellent example of Bierstadt’s mastery in capturing the beauty of the American West.
Overall, paintings by American artists did very well at this sale. Selling for almost six times high estimate was a lavish Hawaiian landscape by George Stratemeyer (American, 1853-1909). This oil on canvas titled Waianuenue Falls (Rainbow Falls) with Mauna Kea in the Distance, 1891, (below) was offered for $4,000 to $6,000, but sold for an impressive $33,275.
The oil on canvas by Edgar Payne (American 1883-1947) titled Mountains in Winter sold nicely for $25,410.
Latin American art was also prominently featured at this sale. Among the top performers in these works was an oil on burlap by David Alfaro Siquieros (Mexican, 1896-1974). This work titled Mountainous Landscape sold for $33,275.
The exceptional Modern print offerings were well received by collectors producing excellent prices. Among the headliners in this category was Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) whose color silkscreen titled Sunset, 1972, signed and dated, sold for well over high estimate at $36,300.
There were several great surprises in the decorative arts portion of the sale. Soaring well beyond expectation was a Continental micromosaic plaque, circa 1790-1800, attributed to G. Raffaelli. The plaque, which depicts an exotic finch, came to the sale with an estimate of $800 to $1,200. Bidding opened at $400, the next bid jumping it to 10 times that. Up it climbed to an incredible final sale price of $21,780.
The Modern furniture portion of the sale also has it share of surprises. “Table Torsade,” attributed to Diego Giacometti, was offered for $10,000 to $15,000, but lively bidding escalated the final sale to more than double high estimate to $33,275.
Collectors vied heatedly for the Gerald Wingrove 1:15 scale model of a 1930s Bugatti Atlantic (EXK6). Coming to the sale from the estate of Thomas J. Perkins, San Francisco and Belvedere, Calif., this lot had a great deal of presale interest. Expected to achieve $5,000 to $7,000, the model sold for $15,730.
A Mills Dewey 5 cent upright floor wheel slot machine also attracted collectors selling for $12,100. And a C. Bechstein Grand Piano flew past its high estimate fetching $11,340.