Henry Moore sculpture to be sold at Cottone Auction March 25
GENESEO, N.Y. – On Saturday, March 25, Cottone Auctions will be conducting its annual Fine Arts & Antiques Auction beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time. The estimated 400 lots will include items from the Seymour H. Knox Collection out of Buffalo, N.Y., plus items from the Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y., the Rochester Museum and Science Center, the Everson Museum in Syracuse, N.Y., and an Old Westbury, N.Y. collection. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Categories will include lamps and art glass, decorative arts, jewelry, Oriental rugs, 20th Century design paintings and furnishings, American and European paintings, silver, clocks, Asian items, Native American and Americana.
Seymour H. Knox Jr. (American, 1898-1990) was known as “the dean of American art patrons.” After graduating from Yale in 1920, he directed several prominent corporations, including Marine Midland Bank, the F.W. Woolworth Co., the New York Central Railroad and the American Steamship Co., all the while dedicating himself to the acquisition of fine art.
Shortly after being elected president of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy Board in 1938, Knox and other members of his family provided inaugural donations for the “Room of Contemporary Art” at what is now the Albright-Knox Museum. This resulted in the immediate acquisition of masterworks by Paul Cezanne, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Fernand Leger, Henri Rousseau, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Amedeo Modigliani, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and Chaim Soutine.
The Room also helped facilitate the museum’s acquisition of Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure (circa 1935-1936), the first work by the British sculptor to enter the collection of an American art museum. To properly display this influx of new acquisitions, the Buffalo-born architect Gordon Bunshaft was selected to design an addition for the museum in 1958, funded in large part by donations from the Knox family. The addition was dedicated by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller on Jan. 19, 1962, whereupon the museum was renamed the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in honor of the Knox family’s generosity. (www.albrightknow.org/person/seymour-h-knox-jr).
Fresh to the market for this sale from the Seymour H. Knox Collection are a Henry Moore Maquette of a Draped Reclining Figure (est. $100,000-$150,000); a painting by Sir Alfred James Munnings Study of a Hound from Stanley Barker and the Pytchley hounds (est. $20,000-$40,000); and two fine watercolors by Ernest Wilhelm Nay, including one titled Composition ($10,000-$15,000) and a second untitled work (est. $5,000-$8,000).
Henry Moore (English, 1898-1986) is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures, which are located around the world as public works of art. The Maquette of a Draped Reclining Figure is the original scale model created as part of a commission for the Time-Life building on Bond Street, London, where it is positioned on the roof terrace. Draped Reclining Figure was the first sculpture in which Moore utilized rippled and ridged textures to denote drapery.
Also featured in this sale are numerous Tiffany Studios lamps from the Rocheleau Estate in Michigan, highlighted by an iconic Dragonfly table lamp (below) with an estimated value of $40,000-$60,000. The lamp is in untouched condition, with stunning colors and original patina. Three additional Tiffany Studios lamps from the collection are also featured: a Daffodil table lamp (est. $20,000-$30,000); a Ten-Light Lily lamp (est. $15,000-$20,000); and a Pomegranate table lamp (est. $10,000-$20,000).
Numerous other lamps will also be offered, including a Tiffany’s Studio Daffodil hanging chandelier from a private Connecticut collection, with an estimated value of $35,000-$55,000; and a Tiffany Studios Greek Key lamp from a private New York collection with an estimated value of $25,000-$30,000, along with other lamps by Handel, Wilkinson and Daum Nancy.
An Old Westbury, New York collection features numerous lots of French decorative arts. Highlighted are two Carnet De Bals, formerly in the collection of J.P. Morgan and sold by Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, in October 1976. One is gold and enamel, set with jewels (est. $3,000-$5,000) and the other is gold with mother of pearl set with diamonds (est. $6,000-$10,000). Also from the collection are French Limoges enamel and gilt wood framed plaques, a monumental French Napoleon III gilt bronze mantel clock (below) with cherubs, and a Kingwood & Vernis Martin decorated desk, each estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
A Portrait of a Young Girl by William Matthew Prior (American, 1806-1873), from a Rochester, New York family, is fresh to the market and among the highlights of the Americana category, estimated at $10,000-$15,000, as well as two carved and painted cigar store Indians, deaccessioned from the Rochester Museum and Science Center, with an estimated value of $5,000-$8,000 and $3,000-$5,000. Two other notable items in this category, both deaccessioned from The Strong Museum of Rochester are two carved and painted carousel figures, an elephant (est. $5,000-$8,000) and a camel (est. $4,000-$6,000).
A highlight of the painting category is a Norman Rockwell work titled Bedtime, with an estimated value of $100,000-$150,000. The 5-year-old boy pictured on the lap of the women in the painting is the son of John A. Chew. Chew and Rockwell were neighbors in New Rochelle, N.Y., in the 1920s and had become lifelong friends. During this time, Norman Rockwell would sketch and illustrate advertisements for Chew’s company.
Rockwell had asked to use Chew and other family members in several paintings over the years, many of which became Saturday Evening Post covers. This particular painting was on the cover of Literary Digest (issue, Vol. 76, No. 13, March 31, 1923). After the painting was complete, Rockwell gave it to Chew as a gift. The painting remained in his possession until the late 1950s, when it was passed on to a son, and then to a grandson, in 1997, thus staying in the Chew family since 1923.
For details call Cottone Auctions at 585-243-1000.