DALLAS — On Thursday, May 25, in its Pursuit of Beauty: Art Nouveau, Art Deco & Art Glass Signature® Auction, Heritage will present an important private collection of 41 Loetz works that demonstrate the firm’s tremendous range of production and the works’ timeless appeal. The auction also marks Heritage’s continuing successful expansion of the category, with highlights spanning a range of media and regions. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
“Our upcoming Pursuit of Beauty auction features the widest array of early 20th century we have ever offered,” said Heritage’s Consignment Director of Decorative Arts & Design Samantha Robinson. “It includes American, British and continental art glass, ceramics, sculpture, furniture and works on paper that collectively demonstrate the parade of styles throughout the period. Since we rebranded this auction series last year, our goal has been to expand its scope to encompass all media, and this season we accomplished it.”
In the latter part of the 19th century, Loetz introduced new techniques to satisfy voracious demand and ever-shifting tastes. And in 1897, Loetz’s encounter with the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibited in Bohemia and Berlin altered the trajectory of firm’s experiments and led to its most dynamic and prolific period. Loetz unveiled the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Phaenomen series of designs featuring iridescent, decorated surfaces. At the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900, Loetz won the Grand Prix award (alongside contemporaries Tiffany, Galle, Daum and Lobmeyr) for its Phaenomen line, including several works contributed by acclaimed designer Franz Hofstotter. Following its success in Paris, Loetz continued to collaborate with established designers, including Marie Kirschner, Otto Prutscher and Josef Hoffmann, and produced wares through its closure in 1947.
The collection in the May 25 event features many of the most celebrated and sought-after Loetz decors and forms, each among the finest examples of its respective type due to the collector’s discerning eye. Among the highlights are two Franz Hofstotter designs for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle: a Phaenomen (Gre 2/314) glass vase dating to circa 1902, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; and a Phaenomen (Gre 358) glass vase dating to circa 1900, estimated at $7,000-$10,000. There are also examples that seldom come to market, including a Loetz Titania (Ausf 118) vase from circa 1911 with an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.
Also in the May 25 event, Heritage Auctions will present the first installment of an important private collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco bronzes that epitomize the pursuit of beauty through representation of the female form. The collection traces the competing and shifting styles of the period, from Neoclassicism and Orientalism to Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The collection, which was assembled by a passionate and discerning private collector during the past two decades, includes iconic works by many of the most celebrated and prolific sculptors. Highlights include Franz Bergmann’s circa-1900 Cleopatra with Panthers; Demetre Chiparus’ circa-1920 Girl on Stool and the circa-1927 Egyptian Dancer, the latter of which has an estimate of $10,000-$15,000; Bruno Zach’s Checkers and Fringe from 1920; Marcel-Andre Bouraine’s Femme nue a la guirlande des fleurs from 1925; and two works by Josef Lorenzl.
There is a strong selection of ceramics in this auction, including a circa-1910 Fulper lamp. It is one of two known examples of a complex design depicting three dragonflies soaring over a pond studded with lilypads; the other example resides at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other ceramic highlights include an early Van Briggle glazed earthenware Spider vase from 1902, and a 1907 Newcomb College glazed Crawfish plate decorated by Marie Levering Benson, estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
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