BEACHWOOD, Ohio – An important and visually arresting dining table custom designed by Wendell Castle (American, 1932-2018), an untitled ink on paper artwork by Franz Josef Kline (American, 1910-1962), and a still life floral painting by the Vietnamese artist Le Pho (1907-2001) are just a few expected highlights in Neue Auctions May 15 Modernism auction. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The online-only auction, starting at 10 am Eastern time, features 424 lots gathered from regional estates and longtime collectors, including selections from the late Cleveland concert promoter Mike Belkin and his wife Annie. The sale lineup covers a wide range of mediums and categories: paintings, sculpture, works on paper, furniture, art glass, ceramics, enamel work, and jewelry.
Included is a 1988 Wendell Castle dining table that sports an oval top in holly veneer, inlaid with purpleheart triangles and inlaid dots spelling “The Check’s in the Mail,” which is the table’s title. It has a leather covered edge with a purpleheart substructure supporting six gold plated brass rings, all raised on 15 leather covered cones. The Wendell Castle table is estimated at $30,000-$50,000.
Other modern furniture pieces include a circa 1950-1960 wingback chair by Arturo Pani (Mexican, 1915-1981), upholstered in horsehair fabric with a split crest rail and extreme scroll wings, raised on cabriole legs, and estimated at $3,000-$5,000; as well as a circa 1960s Odyssey coffee table by the American design team of Philip Laverne (1908-1988) and Kelvin Laverne (b. 1936). It’s etched, patinated, and polychromed bronze and pewter, and also carries an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.
The selection of works on paper is led by an untitled Franz Kline ink on paper, circa 1949-1950. It’s signed and inscribed “April 15, Kline” at the lower right, has an estimate of $30,000-$50,000, and bears a Kline Foundation number on the verso (ZD 325). Also of note are three color woodblocks printed on Japan paper by Milton Avery (American, 1885-1965), titled Rooster, Hen, and Lamb. Hen, an artist’s proof, is signed in the lower right, dated 1954, and estimated at $1,500-$3,000. A 2008 photolitho diptych by Valerie Hammond (American, b. 1952), titled Southern Cross (A Constellation in the Southern Hemisphere), should sell for $6,000-$9,000.
Standouts among the paintings include a still life by Le Pho, titled Fleurs (Flowers). It should change hands for $6,000-$9,000. Still Life with Sculpture on Table by Claude Venard (French, 1913-1999), boldly executed with heavy impasto and signed in the lower center, is estimated at $3,000-$5,000, while River Landscape by Jean Franck Baudoin (French 1870-1961) should hit $2,000-$4,000.
A 1984 diminutive cloisonne enamel on copper over painted wood box form by Kenneth Bates (American, 1904-1994), titled Homage to Art Deco and featuring a multi-colored geometric design, is expected to rise to $500-$1,000. Lastly, a tall, rounded cylindrical form stoneware vessel by Cleveland School artist Claude Conover (1907-1994), is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
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