Grueby tiles among favorites in Rago’s Design sale May 19-20

Grueby five-tile frieze of an ox-drawn cart, complete with 10 matching matte green tiles; all tiles 12 in. square. Estimate: $40,000-$50,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Rago Arts and Auction Center will hold its auctions of Early 20th Century and Modern Design on Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.


The weekend event will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. Eastern with an Early 20th Century Design session consisting of 276 lots.

“Our first session starts off strong with a single-owner Rookwood collection, followed by numerous highlights including a Louis Tiffany painting from the Robert Koch collection, an exceptional Grueby tile frieze (above), and a Zsolnay leopard vase (below), and culminates in over 20 lots of Tiffany Studios metalwork and lighting,” said Sarah Cutler, Rago specialist.

Zsolnay large leopard vase by Sandor Hidasi-Pillo, eosin glaze, raised five churches seal, Pecs, Hungary, circa 1912, 10½ in. x 9 ½ in. Estimate: $9,000-$12,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

The Modern Ceramics and Glass session will be held Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

“May Design features our finest offerings of both ceramics and glass in over a year, with stellar examples from top artists including some of the best [Paul] Soldner we’ve ever seen and a red, white and yellow Chihuly chandelier from a corporate collection,” said David Rago, partner  and co-director of Rago’s Design Department.

Dan Dailey (b. 1947) large lighting sculpture, ‘Tropical Storm,’ Boston, Mass., 1995, patinated and gilt brass, blown glass, Vitrolite, 37 in. x 36 in. x 9 in. Estimate: $9,000-$14,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

The Daphne Farago Collection of Decorative Arts will be sold Sunday starting at 10 a.m. Daphne Farago (1924–2017) was a lifelong benefactor and supporter of Studio Craft. Proceeds will benefit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The collection features exceptional contemporary glass by Libenský & Brychtová, Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Richard Marquis, Dan Dailey and Toots Zynsky; ceramics by Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye, Ron Nagle, Jun Kaneko, Robert Arneson, and Betty Woodman; furniture by Wendell Castle, Sam Maloof, and Garry Knox Bennett; spectacular Japanese baskets; and textile, fiber and bead art by Judy Mulford and Michael Olszewski.

Wendell Castle (1932-2018), crescent rocking chair, Scottsville, N.Y., 1981, sculpted walnut and leather, signed and dated, 35½ in. x 26 in. x 39 in. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Sunday’s Modern Design session will consist of more than 300 lots including 11 pieces of Harry Bertoia metalwork. Featured is an exceptional untitled bush sculpture of patinated bronze and copper.

Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) untitled sculpture (Bush), Bally, Pa., 1977, patinated bronze and copper, 14 ¾ in. x 25 in. x 24 in. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Modern Design continues with a T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings Mesa table and over 40 lots of George Nakashima furniture, including fresh-to-the-market private collections and spectacular pieces from Folly Cottage.