Skip to content
Rare teapot by George Ohr, $40,000-$60,000. Price realized: $46,875. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Forbes collection leads Rago design auction Oct. 26-28

Rare teapot by George Ohr. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Rare teapot by George Ohr. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – On Oct. 26-28 the Rago Arts and Auction Center will auction a significant collection of 20th-21st century furnishings and decorative arts. Among the more than 1,650 lots are Roycroft furnishings, lighting and metal ware, pottery, Navajo rugs and more from the Colorado home of Christopher Forbes. will provide Internet live bidding.

On Friday, Oct, 26 at noon EDT, a full afternoon of 356 lots is dedicated to Arts & Crafts pottery, glass and 20th century ceramics. Saturday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. will be 589 lots of Arts and Crafts furnishings and decorative arts. Day three, Sunday, Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. will offer 766 lots of Modern design.

“This is the greatest collection of property we’ve offered in the last four years,” said David Rago. “The contents from the Forbes family Colorado ranch; Michael and Marilyn Gould’s collection of Arts and Crafts furniture, ceramics and silver – over 30 years in the making and offered here in its entirety – and a large portion of Ken Forster’s encyclopedic selection of mostly American art pottery are just the beginning. There are gems in all categories, from enamels to silver to lighting. Add to that fine arrays of Nakashima, Paul Evans, Phil Powell, and many more great 20th-21st century makers.”

Friday’s sale is a day dedicated to a selection of American, European and modern art pottery and art glass from the 20th century. There are significant collections of better lines by Roseville, Owens and Weller, such as Decorated Matt, Matt Green, Futura, Henry Deux, Ferella, Sunflower, Greora and Coppertone. There is a large group of fine Clewell pots in patinated copper jackets.

From the Washington, D.C., area is a lifetime collection of Zuid-Holland Gouda; also a large group of Amphora by Ernst Wahliss, and Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel; many examples of Clement Massier.

There are fine American tiles and china-painted items, including a vase by Dorothy Warren O’Hara; many birds by Stangl, vases by Fulper, Grueby, Marblehead, S.E.G., Walrath and Walley; lots of Van Briggle, North Dakota School of Mines, and many rare student vessels.

The second portion of the sale will offer lots of glass by Tiffany Studios, Steuben, Durand, Galle, Legras, Lalique, Schneider, Loetz and others.

The Early 20th Century Design Auction begins on Saturday with early 20th century furnishings, lighting and metalware, pottery, art glass, woodblock prints, textiles and more, many from notable prominent private collections. Rago’s is privileged to represent the collection of American Arts and Crafts from Christopher Forbes’ Colorado retreat, with much rare Roycroft. Other collections in the sale include that of Marilyn and Michael Gould, connoisseurs of American art and antiques; and Ken Forster, noted scholar, collector, gallery owner, speaker and curator.

Saturday’s sale kicks-off with the distinguished collection of American Arts and Crafts from Christopher Forbes’ two houses in Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains (lots 1-132), one of the strongest groupings of Roycroft furniture, metalwork, and lighting to come to market in recent years. Christopher “Kip” Forbes, son of publishing magnate Malcolm Forbes, has been accruing this collection for over three decades, buying furniture, lighting, and accessories made by the Roycroft Community, circa 1900-1915, to furnish a pair of 1915 houses on the Forbes family ranch.

Among the Roycroft property for sale is a one-of-a-kind chair made by Dard Hunter. Illustrated in the 1994 Head, Heart and Hand: Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters, it bears the legend “Sit Down And Rest Thy Weary Bones.” Several pieces come from the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, N.Y.. Among those are two window seats, the carved door sign from the “Victor Hugo” room, a leaded-glass window from the peristyle and an original drawing of the Inn, both by Dard Hunter. Lot 47 is a candlestick telephone purportedly used by Elbert Hubbard. There are two exceptional bookcases, double- and triple-door, the first being especially rare with two drawers below, in untouched original condition. There is an extremely rare, possibly unique Roycroft Double Morris Chair, in addition to three Morris chairs of customary size; a tall magazine pedestal; a mouse-hole tabouret; a dining room set with table, chairs, sideboard and server; several chests; a 10-foot-long harvest table; numerous pieces of Roycroft copper work including two American Beauty vases, a fernery, and a jardinière, along with other decorative arts including pottery and Navajo rugs.

Lots 556 to 618 are from the collection of Marilyn and Michael Gould, devotees and connoisseurs of American art and antiques and longtime friends. The Goulds collected American Modernist art, folk art, Civil War ephemera, American Arts and Crafts furniture, pottery and silver. In 1976, upon moving to Wilton, Conn., Marilyn became involved with the local historical society. In 1985 she took its faltering antique show in hand. Over the years, Marilyn managed the DAR Wilton Antiques Show, the Wilton Outdoors Antiques Show, the Berkshire Gardens Show in Stockbridge, Mass., the Hancock Shaker Village Antiques Show and many others. The New Britain Museum of American Art exhibited Michael’s collection of American Modernism in 2007. He died in May after a long illness. Rago’s is grateful for the opportunity to present their collection the American Arts and Crafts in its entirety.

The Gould’s collection includes furnishings by Limbert, Stickley Brothers, L. & J.G. Stickley, Gustav Stickley; lighting by Dirk Van Erp, Duffner & Kimberly, Handel, Grueby/Gorham; pottery by Grueby, Teco, George Ohr, Saturday Evening Girls; and metalwork by Kalo, Falick Novick, LeBolt, Roycroft, Gustav Stickley, Dirk Van Erp and Tiffany Studios.

Following the Forbes collection on Saturday, the sale continues with lot 500, an exceptional enameled triptych In Praise of Womanhood, England, 1901, by Alexander Fisher, estimated at $14,000-$19,000. The triptych was purchased by its original owner, Mrs. Easton of La Crosse, Wisconsin for the sum of £100. The lot is accompanied by a reprint of Fisher’s The Art of Enameling upon Metal, in which the triptych is featured, and by four letters of correspondence between Mr. Fisher and Mrs. Easton. Alexander Fisher was a preeminent force in the early 20th century enamelwork revival and among the very best of its proponents, known for his mastery of design in objects of vertu. Some of his finest pieces are in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

European ceramicists and potteries in Saturday’s sale include: Moorcroft; Liberty & Co.; Zsolnay; Rozenburg; Royal Copenhagen; Clement Massier; Clarice Cliff; Rorstrand; Paul Dachsel; Eduard Stellmacher; Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel; and Zuid-Holland Gouda.

American potters in the sale include: Saturday Evening Girls, George Ohr, Fulper, Tiffany Studios, Overbeck, University City, Frederick Rhead, William Jervis, Marblehead, Walrath, Mosaic Tile Co., Dedham, Ott & Brewer, Clifton, Grueby, Teco, Van Briggle, Rookwood, Newcomb College, Shearwater and Clewell.

The noted scholar, collector, gallery owner, speaker and curator Ken Forster has written about and dealt in decorative ceramics for 40 years. His books, which include Alternative American Ceramics and University of North Dakota Pottery: A History and Comparative Study, focus on the best of America’s esoteric potteries, both known and obscure. His personal collection, lots 749-804, includes pieces by Mary Yancey, Iowa State; Marblehead, Saturday Evening Girls, North Dakota School of Mines, Charles F. Binns, William Jervis, Frederick Rhead, Adelaide Robineau, Mary Louise McLaughlin, University City, Newcomb College, Rookwood, Clarice Cliff and Rorstrand.

Lighting in the sale is highlighted by these famous makers: Fulper, Dirk Van Erp, Duffner & Kimberly, Handel, Grueby, Tiffany Studios, Roycroft, Jefferson, Pairpoint, Miller, Riviere and Quezal.

Notable lighting lots include: lot 535, a Fulper Mushroom-shaped table lamp, estimated at $7,000-$10,000; lot 619, a rare table lamp with a Tiffany Studios acorn shade and Grueby base, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; and lot 683, a Duffner & Kimberly rare and large floor lamp with water lily shade, estimated at $20,000-$25,000.

Metalwork in the sale includes Liberty, Christopher Dresser, Kalo, Lebolt, Roycroft, Stickley, Dirk Van Erp, Samuel Yellin, Albert Berry, Rebecca Cauman, Shreve & Co., Gebelein, Jarvie and Tiffany Studios.

Early 20th century furnishings in the sale is by makers such as: Limbert, Stickley Brothers, Brooks, L. & J. G. Stickley, Gustav Stickley, Roycroft, Charles Rohlfs, Shop of the Crafters, Old Hickory. Among these is a large collection of Shop of the Crafters inlaid furniture; a rare Gustav Stickley stand with Grueby tile; two rare pieces by Charles Rohlfs, a hall chair and a log holder; and several rare Limbert cutout pieces.

American and European glass comprises lots 895-952, concluding Saturday’s sale. Emile Galle, Daum, Lalique, Loetz, Durand, Steuben, and glass and lamps by Tiffany Studios will be offered. We single out a fine Art Deco lamp by Daum; a single-owner collection of Durand glass in the King Tut pattern; and several fine Tiffany lamps.

Sunday’s Modern Design auction features over 750 lots of furniture, lighting, decorative arts, art glass, and fine art. Famous makers include George Nakashima, Dan Johnson, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Paul Evans, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Vladimir Kagan, Claude Conover, Beatrice Wood, Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Pablo Picasso, Peter Voulkos,and Dale Chihuly.

Among the top furnishings are a fine carved cabinet by Phil Powell of New Hope, Pa.; a carved and unique desk by Wharton Esherick of Paoli, Pa.; a rare soldered metal table by artist Sol LeWitt; and a fine small lamp table by Judy McKie.

Notable lots of sculpture by Harry Bertoia include: lot 1451, a tall Sonambient sculpture, estimated at $35,000-$45,000; lot 1452, a bronze bush sculpture, estimated at $19,000-$24,000; and lot 1453, an untitled (Bush) sculpture, estimated at $37,500-$47,500.

There are lots of Feliciano Bejar glass Magiscope sculptures; and Miles Van Rensselaer sculptures of glass and cast bronze; and a run of Oxidized bronze sculptures by Klaus Ihlenfeld.

Studio pottery is highlighted by a bust by Robert Arneson, a large selection of Takaesu, from small to very large, a group of strong teapots by Peter Shire and a couple of interesting vases by Dame Lucie Rie.

Notable lighting lots in the modern sale include: two lots, 1211 and 1212, of six arm chandelier by Angelo Lelli for Arredoluce, estimated at $15,000-$20,000 each; lot 1601, a large eight-branch chandelier by Stilnovo, estimated at $8,000-$12,000; and lot 1636, a pair of Sculpture table lamps by Karl Springer, estimated at $8,000-$10,000.

Notable Lina Tagliapietra glass lots include: lot 1224, a tall glass sculpture with internal swirl in red and yellow glass, estimated at $5,000-$7,000; and lot 1225, a large glass vessel, estimated at $6,000-$8,000. Also of note, lot 1226, a Dale Chihuly five-piece Sapphire Persian glass set with red lip wrap, estimated at $7,500-$11,000; lot 1231, an untitled sculpture by William Morris of blown glass, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; lot 1239, a John Lewis console table of cast glass, estimated at $7,000-$9,000; and lot 1250, is a set of blown glass rocket jars by Richard Marquis, estimated at $6,500-$8,500.

There is modern jewelry by Earl Pardon, William Harper, Richard Fishman, Ed Wiener, Paul Lobel and Dorothy Feibleman.

Silver in the sale is by Georg Jensen, Arne Jacobsen / A. Michelson, Gio Ponti for Reed & Barton, Sant Elia and Roberto Ceccherini.

A notable jewelry lot is no. 1628, a mosaic bracelet by Earl Pardon of sterling silver, gold, enamel, gemstones, abalone, and onyx, estimated at $3,500-$4,500. Lot 1543 is a Georg Jensen 56-piece sterling flatware set for eight in the Continental-Antik pattern, Denmark, designed 1906, estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

The sale includes tapestries after the works of several great artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Niki De Saint Phalle, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali, Jean Miotte and Andy Warhol. There is a fine grouping of rugs by David Shaw Nicholls.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, Rago Arts and Auction Center will hold an open house that will feature a lecture by George H. Marcus, What’s ‘Modern’ about Modern Design? There will be a reception at 5 p.m. and his lecture at 6 p.m. RSVP to 609-397-9374 ext. 119 or

Consignments are being accepted for the 20th-21st Century Design Auction on Saturday/Sunday, March 2-3. Call 609-397-9374 or email:

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


Rare teapot by George Ohr. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Rare teapot by George Ohr. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Karl Kipp, Roycroft, rare fernery, East Aurora, N.Y., 1912-1915. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Karl Kipp, Roycroft, rare fernery, East Aurora, N.Y., 1912-1915. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Frederick H. Rhead / U.C. important and large Peacock tile. Estimate: $35,000-$45,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Frederick H. Rhead / U.C. important and large Peacock tile. Estimate: $35,000-$45,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Tiffany Studios/Rookwood Arrow Root lamp. Estimate: $35,000-$45,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Tiffany Studios/Rookwood Arrow Root lamp. Estimate: $35,000-$45,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Van Briggle important vase with bronzed handles. Estimate; $15,000-$20,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Van Briggle important vase with bronzed handles. Estimate; $15,000-$20,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Sol LeWitt dining table. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Sol LeWitt dining table. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Warren McArthur rare tete-a-tete. Estimate: $14,000-$18,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.

Warren McArthur rare tete-a-tete. Estimate: $14,000-$18,000. Rago Arts & Auction Center image.