CINCINNATI, Ohio — A top example of the sand bottle artistry of Andrew Clemens (1857-1894) is on display at Hindman’s American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts auction on Wednesday, October 4. The catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.
During his short life — he died at just 37 years of age — Clemens gained national fame for his sand art, relying only on colored sand, some homemade tools and wire to arrange the intricate illustrations. He specialized in images of flags, boats, eagles and landscapes, usually with complex geometric patterns. Clemens began his career while attending the Iowa State School for the Deaf, having lost his hearing as a child from a bout of encephalitis.
Few of Clemens’ works have survived, making those that come to market exciting lots to watch. This example, commissioned by John and Margaret Leary of McGregor, Iowa, (Clemens’ hometown) dates to circa 1887 and features a sampler-style design with radiant colors. The item comes with direct provenance from the family and is estimated at $60,000-$80,000.
Born in Prussia, Severin Roesen (1815–1872) grew from humble origins to become one of the acknowledged leaders of the still life movement in 19th-century America. Roesen emigrated to the United States in 1848, earning a living by selling his paintings. His last known painting is dated 1872, and there is no historical record of him after that, interestingly.
This floral still life is dated circa 1870, near the end of his career. The painting comes with authentication by Judith Hansen O’Toole, formerly of the Westmoreland Museum, stating in part, “It should be noted that Roesen painted a much greater number of fruit pieces than floral, making the latter more rare.” The lot is estimated at $30,000-$50,000.
Bernard Barenholtz was a titan in the American toy industry, both as founder of Creative Playthings, an early educational toy company, and as a collector and author of antique toys and Americana. This unique early 20th-century bird cage, fashioned from steel sheets and wire to resemble an American riverboat, was formerly part of the Barenholtz collection. It carries an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.
View the catalog and bid now on this interesting auction at LiveAuctioneers.