SAN FRANCISCO – Turner Auctions + Appraisals will offer the Grace Garcia Estate, Part I, on Saturday, June 4. It features a wide array of paintings, religious items and decorative arts from the personal collection of the late Grace Garcia, a passionate collector of beautiful things and an avid world traveler. Known as Gracie by her many friends, acquaintances and customers, she was the owner of Gilroy Antiques in Gilroy, California, for more than 30 years. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Items in the June 4 sale from the trust of the Grace Garcia estate are diverse and eclectic and most date to the 18th to 20th centuries. They include paintings, marble sculptures and busts, glass and porcelain vases, ceramic wall plaques, needlepoint and crewel work, Gothic candlesticks, birdcage automatons, trinket boxes, French jewel caskets, painted miniatures, Staffordshire figures, Limoges boxes, Chinese ginger jars, sterling flatware and decorative items, Victorian wool work and an antique teaching skull.
Among the religious lots are paintings, icons, monstrances, reliquaries, a ciborium, sacred hearts and plaques, carved statues and figures, crucifixes and crosses, Thai buddhas, Hindu deities and Buddhist statues. Jewelry items for women and men include necklaces, bracelets, pendants, brooches, cufflinks, wrist and pocket watches. Designers include Tiffany, David Yurman and Judith Ripka.
Grace Garcia (1939-2022) was born in Campbell, California to a family with roots in San Francisco. She graduated from Campbell High School, married in 1957 and had four children. As a young bride with a budget of $25 a week, she could not afford to shop in stores with new furnishings. As a result, she began to pursue antiques and other beautiful old things that were less costly. While she is quoted as saying she “became a collector at birth,” Garcia began collecting in earnest in the early 1960s, shopping for beauty, not price. As time passed, her collection grew dramatically, with items acquired from her travels, antique shows or stores, in advance of estate sales, or from people who knew she would appreciate their gifts.
Her job brought her further into the sphere of antiques. As manager of the Main Street Exchange in Los Gatos, California, Gracie worked until the store closed in 1989 due to the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake. Soon after, she decided to launch her own shop, Gilroy Antiques, and on her own terms: she was only open the first 20 days of each month, reserving the last 10 days to travel the world or visit friends and family. For more than 30 years, her store provided two sources of great pleasure – there, she was surrounded by her antiques and she met people who visited, making many friends and connections along the way.
A large part of Gracie’s personal collection has a religious flavor, perhaps inspired initially by the splendid works of art in the Vatican. Although she was not religious in the traditional sense of the word, she was spiritual and embraced items from various religions, appreciating the art, dedication and craftmanship that went into the pieces. The religious items were displayed throughout her living spaces and particularly her bedroom, where Gracie cheekily noted that she had had “more priests in her bedroom than anyone else.”
Highlights of the upcoming sale include an oil-on-canvas 19th-century copy of Madonna of the Chair by Raphael, housed in an elaborate 19th-century giltwood and gesso Renaissance-style frame. It is estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
Another notable object with a religious theme is a circa-18th-century large silver-mounted altarpiece crucifix. The carved and painted figure of Jesus appears on a stained wood cross with sterling silver rays and scrolling floral mounts, and the bottom of the cross has a peg insert for a stand. Its estimate is $1,000-$2,000.
Stunning works of decorative art on offer include a Dominick & Haff Aesthetic Movement silver water pitcher. An inscription on the bottom reads “FH / Oct 26, / 1881,” and it carries an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. A second strong decorative art piece from the June 4 auction is a Chinese giltwood processional box, estimated at $400-$600.
Jewelry selections are led by a David Yurman gem-set, silver and 14K gold cuff bracelet. This classic back-hinged cuff boasts faceted amethyst terminals, square-cut pink tourmalines and cabochon green onyx and is estimated at $300-$500.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/