Diego Rivera, Jim Dine artworks headline Millea Bros. sales May 16-18

Jim Dine

Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886-1957), drawing, 1925, Diego Rivera, ‘Las Banistas de Tehuantepec’ (The Bathers of Tehuantepec), charcoal and pastel on cardboard, signed ‘Diego Rivera’ upper left, dated and dedicated ‘Para Ana Diego 25,’ 19in. x 35in. (sheet), Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Millea Bros. image

BOONTON, N.J. — Millea Bros.’ Spring “Select” auction arrives May 16, 17 and 18, featuring five decades of modern and contemporary art from the estate of legendary gallerist Ileana Sonnabend; a spotlight on the arts of Mexico, ranging from 16th century Spanish Colonial objects to Mexican modern masters, including five works by Diego Rivera and a Pablo Picasso drawing from 1935 as well as over 1,200 lots of fine antiques and decorative arts. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Day 1, featuring Asian Arts, and British and American art and antiques, includes a selection of jades, porcelain and lacquerware from the estate of Florence and Herbert Irving. Co-founder of Sysco Corp. and philanthropist Herbert Irving amassed a collection of Chinese and Japanese decorative objects of such significance that the Metropolitan Museum of Art named their Asian arts wing after the couple in recognition of the singular importance of their donations to the collection. Highlights at auction include an early Qing Dynasty archaic jade censer, a group of Imperial Japanese silver and fine 17th century scroll paintings. The Irving collection was particularly known for the depth and quality of its Japanese lacquerware holdings, and Day 1 features multiple lacquer pieces ranging from a 15th century Negoro spouted bowl to contemporary works by Suzuki Mutsumi. Additional Asian highlights include over 30 Ming-era porcelain objects.

Also at sale is a rare-to-market single-owner collection of early Mexican Spanish Colonial art, featuring mostly 16th and 17th religious paintings, retablos, nichos and wood carved Santos, many deaccessioned from museum collections.

Jim Dine

Spanish Colonial School, carved Santo, 16th century, Philippines, polychrome painted carved wood, depicting St. Vincent Ferrer, 15in. high. Estimate $400-$600. Millea Bros. image

Other single-owner collections include a group of 18th and 19th century architectural models loaned by Clara and Eugene Thaw to the Cooper Hewitt Museum; an extensive grouping of 18th and early 19th century English pearlware Toby mugs; and an archive of Revolutionary-era correspondence, including a letter from George Washington, from an old Connecticut family collection. A selection of fine American and British antique furniture comes from a Bunny Williams appointed Westchester estate.

Jim Dine

Ralph Wood English pearlware Toby jug, circa 1760, polychrome underglaze porcelain, 9.75in high. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Millea Bros. image

Day 2, devoted to Modern and Contemporary art and design, features works from the collection of legendary gallerist Ileana Sonnabend. Following Millea Bros.’ record-breaking 2018 sale of the Ileana Sonnaband photography collection, over 80 unique works of painting, sculpture and drawings anchor the May 17 sale. Top lots include Jim Dine’s 9 Little Flesh Paintings, an early nine-panel Pop masterwork not seen for over 50 years, two Jean Tinguely metamechanic sculptures, an early John Latham “skoob” assemblage, paintings and conceptual works by Carlo Alfano, Brassai photographs of the Parisian underworld, and other exceptional works of American and European Pop Art, Minimalism, Arte Povera, Neo Geo and art photography from the 1960s-2000s showcasing a broad survey of Sonnabend’s evolving stable of artists.

Jim Dine

Jim Dine (American, b. 1935) ‘9 Little Flesh Paintings,’ acrylic on canvas, 1959-1960, each panel pencil signed and numbered, unframed, each canvas panel 16in x 10in. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. Millea Bros. image

Day 2 also features Mexican contemporary art from the Leon Constantiner Collection, including two Francisco Toledo paintings, and works by Juan Soriano, and Jose Luis Cuevas. A circa 1914 Italian Futurist abstract by Giacomo Balla comes from the estate of couturier  Arnold Scassi. Design highlights include 18 pieces of custom Tommi Parzinger furniture and lighting from a private Manhattan commission, and a single-owner collection of American Studio art pottery including works by Betty Woodman, Karen Karnes and Rick Dillingham. A selection of French modernist and custom furniture from a Peter Marino interior includes a rare circa 1970 gilt bronze Fred Brouard coffee table.

Jim Dine

John Latham (British,1921-2006) ‘Unaddressed Letters’ ‘skoob’ painting, 1961, books, plaster, oil paint on canvas laid on board, signed and Alan Gallery paper label verso, 24in. x 18.5in. x 9.5in. deep. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Millea Bros. image

Day 3 features French and Continental decorative arts including arts of Russia and Old Masters to Post-Impressionist fine art. Top art lots include an important 1935 Pablo Picasso watercolor drawing Femme et Tete Antique and Massimo Campigli’s Bella Donna, an oil on canvas from 1950. Additional works from the Leon Constantiner Collection feature Diego Rivera’s 1925 pastel Las Banistas de Tehuantepec as well as four other Rivera sketch drawings. Other art highlights include a Luca Giordano Old Masters painting from the T. Edward and Tullah Hanley collection, and 11 Russian and Byzantine icon paintings, dating from the 14th-17th century, from the estate of Elizabeth Stafford. An especially fine selection of Continental porcelains includes a Catherine the Great era Russian Imperial tea service, and multiple monumental and elaborately decorated Meissen and Dresden centerpieces. Rounding out the sale is a large selection of Louis XV and XVI furniture, Continental Academic paintings, and French decorative arts from a Brooklyn, New York, brownstone.

For further information call Millea Bros. at 973-377-1500 or info@milleabros.com.