Case to auction Leon Kroll painting May 16
Also offered are several pieces of Southern regional art and a variety of fine antiques.
The sale, which includes nearly 400 cataloged lots, is the company’s largest one-day offering of art and antiques to date. Leading the art is a 48-by-36-inch oil on canvas portrait of a woman lounging in an armchair by Leon Kroll (American, 1884-1974). Kroll, a realist painter, studied at the National Academy of Design and the Academie Julien in Paris, where he won the Grand Prix for painting the nude. He went on to participate in the famed Armory Show of 1913 and frequently exhibited with friends Robert Henri and George Bellows, and other members of The Eight.
“The female form was a constant theme throughout Kroll’s acclaimed career, and this is an exceptional example of his work,” said gallery president John Case. The painting bears the stamp of the Leon Kroll estate.
The four pencil and charcoal drawings by Jonas Lie (American, 1880-1940) depict a copper mine in Bingham, Utah. They date from 1917, a year when Lie produced a series of paintings of the mine. While the Phoenix Art Museum owns a Lie oil painting with a view identical to one of the drawings, the current whereabouts of most of his other mine paintings are unknown.
Famous in his day, Lie served as president of the National Academy of Design from 1934 to 1939. He also produced a celebrated series of paintings depicting the construction of the Panama Canal. Also included in the auction is an oil painting by Lie of a bridge along the Seine in Paris.
Other artists represented include Edgar Nye, Edna Palmer Engelhardt, Howard Finster, Emile Blondel and Carlton Wiggins.
Items of Southern interest include a pointillist painting in vivid spring colors titled Children at the Shop by West Tennessee 20th-century artist Carroll Cloar. There are also two wood and two ceramic sculptures by noted folk artist Bessie Harvey, including a 38-inch-tall piece, Medicine Man Riding A Hog. It was pictured on the front cover of the catalog for the Awakening the Spirits exhibit held at the Knoxville Museum of Art in 1996.
An East Tennessee bookcase desk, formerly of the Richard Doughty collection, is among the regional furniture in the sale, as is a Tennessee Hepplewhite drop-leaf table, illustrated in The Art and Mystery of Tennessee Furniture. There is also a Jefferson County Tennessee lazy Susan dining table, a cherry biscuit table with marble slab with provenance from an Alabama plantation, and a Southern federal inlaid Pembroke table. Several small tables and stands, including painted Georgia and Tennessee candlestands, are also offered.
Of interest to history buffs is a hand-drawn East Tennessee Civil War period field map drawn in blue, red and black inks on oilcloth. It shows the town of Zollicoffer, renamed Union in 1865 and now known as Bluff City, Tenn. A red and white jacquard coverlet by H. Wilson of Kentucky, dated 1849, is another scarce Southern artifact, as is a 19th-century cut paper valentine woven with ribbon, and found in East Tennessee.
Southern pottery, a staple at Case’s auctions, includes an East Tennessee manganese glazed redware pitcher, exhibited at the East Tennessee pottery exhibit held at the East Tennessee Historical Society in 1996; a Tennessee stoneware jar marked William Grindstaff; and a West Tennessee stoneware jar with crimping around the midsection, attributed to the Craven family of potters. Rounding out the pottery is a North Carolina jug with sine wave incising stamped Isaac Lefevers; an Edgefield, South Carolina, pitcher of rare large size; and several contemporary Southern folk pieces by potters including Lanier Meaders and B.B. Craig.
Other antiques include a Pennsylvania marked copper teakettle, a George III inlaid hanging corner cupboard, a pair of Georgian window benches, a set of eight Chippendale-style carved dining chairs, sterling and coin silver, English swords, rare maps, an outstanding gilt bronze epergne, and a strong selection of Chinese export porcelain and European porcelain.
A collection of books illustrated by Arthur Rackham, including a personal letter hand-signed from him, rounds out the sale. The auction will be held at Case’s gallery in the historic Cherokee Mills Building, 2240 Sutherland Ave. in Knoxville, on Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m. Internet and phone bids will also be accepted. A preview will take place on Friday, May 15, from noon to 7 p.m. A complete online auction catalog will be available for viewing via the website, www.caseantiques.com. Interested bidders may also call (865) 558-3033 for more information.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE