Clars Auction Gallery offers early Wayne Thiebaud paintings in Feb. 18-19 sale

Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud’s 1958, ‘Watermelon Slice,’ one of his earliest still life paintings ever to be offered at auction, is expected to sell for $80,000-$120,000. Clars Auction Gallery image


OAKLAND, Calif. – On Feb. 18 and 19, Clars Auction Gallery will present two early paintings by Wayne Thiebaud, decorative art and furnishings from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a significant collection of fine art prints and major ethnographic and tribal collections. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Clars Auction Gallery will offer for the first time to the public two early Wayne Thiebaud (American, b. 1920) paintings. Thiebaud’s 1958, Watermelon Slice, (above) a casein on board, is one of his earliest still life paintings to ever reach the auction stage. This beautiful initial work was created a year after he saw the groundbreaking exhibition “Contemporary Bay Area Figurative Painting” at the Oakland Art Museum, where he was introduced to the works of such artists as Richard Diebenkorn and David Park. This work is a recognizable Thiebaud for its color and focus. Carrying an estimate of $80,000-$120,000, this work will add significance to any Thiebaud or American pop-art collection.

The second original Thiebaud to be offered is Skyline (New York City), 1956, (below) a tempera on board painting. Created just two years prior to Watermelon Slice, this painting has hallmarks of what later becomes Thiebaud’s signature style, yet also shows influences of the Abstract Expressionist movement, which was gaining much allure in the 1950s American art scene. Skyline (New York City), with its hints of American Abstraction, will be offered with an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.


Wayne Thiebaud

This early work by Wayne Thiebaud titled ‘Skyline (New York City),’ 1956, will be offered with an estimate of $20,000-$30,000. Clars Auction Gallery image


Museum-quality fine art prints from a privately held single-owner collection from Piedmont, Calif., will also be offered on Feb. 19. Among these fine offerings is a work by one of the Bay Area’s most celebrated artists, Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993). Titled Blue with Red, 1987, (below) this woodblock print was created in tandem with Crown Point and Shiundo Print Shop in Kyoto, Japan. Using the ancient methods of Japanese woodblock print making, Diebenkorn expanded and refined his printmaking skills on Blue with Red, creating a stunning abstract image with swaths of cascading blue, and a texture only realized from woodcut printing on Echixen Kozo Moshi paper. This exciting print will be offered with an estimate of $30,000-$50,000. (Note: Diebenkorn’s Touched Red, 1991, sold at Clars for $54,450 in their November auction).


Wayne Thiebaud

From celebrated artist Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993) the woodblock print titled ‘Blue with Red,’ 1987, will be offered for $30,000-$50,000. Clars Auction Gallery image


Clars Auction Gallery is proud to have been selected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to offer approximately 700 items that have been deaccessioned. The first offering, coming to the February 19th sale, will include a set of four Italian Lombardo-Venetian walnut chairs, late 16th century, bequeathed to the institution in 1916 by a very prominent financier. These chairs will be offered for $4,000-$6,000. A large collection of 18th century English soft paste porcelains including Wedgwood, Worcester, Staffordshire, Spode, Sunderland and Crown Derby, will also be offered.

Another highlight in this category are two important carousel horses in restored condition. One example is a large Charles Carmel armored carousel horse, circa 1924, (below) original to the Eldridge Park Carousel in Elmira, N.Y.


Wayne Thiebaud

This important carousel horse by Charles Carmel will be offered for $20,000-$30,000. Clars Auction Gallery image


In fine lighting, the highlight will be a Duffner and Kimberly, New York, inverted leaded glass hanging fixture which will carries an estimate of $6,000-$9,000.

The sales will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, email Clars at