Conemtporary prints will be some of the highlights in the Clars’ Nov. 16 session with two standout works by Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) and Ed Ruscha (b. 1937). Diebenkorn’s Red-Yellow-Blue, a color etching with aquatint and drypoint from 1986 highlights the sale with an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. This print was a collaboration for the Bay Area abstract expressionist and figurative artist with the celebrated Crown Point Press in San Francisco.
A second important print being offered will be Ed Ruscha’s iconic Pepto-Caviar Hollywood from 1970. In the late 1960s Ed Ruscha began working with Cirrus Editions and Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles to experiment and push the limits of traditional printmaking by integrating unconventional liquid materials into his prints. By 1970, Ruscha turned his attention to the Hollywood sign with an edition that incorporated his interest in radical new materials and printmaking. Pepto-Caviar Hollywood was created by Ruscha in 1970 and masterfully expresses the Janus-faced nature of Los Angeles, through the unique and peculiar media of Pepto-Bismol, caviar and lithography. By using caviar, Rusha comments on the high-end posh lifestyle of Los Angeles and, with the mass-produced digestive aide, he notes a culture that is commercially saturated and superficially tinted. This important print will be offered at $20,000 to $30,000. Proceeds from the sale of this work will go to funding the Delaplane Scholarship, which provides scholarships for graduate students of journalism at UC Berkeley.
Modern sculpture will also play a dominant role with a large monochromatic wall-piece by the artist Louise Nevelson. The work, which is untitled from 1957 is one of Nevelson’s wall pieces created the year before Nevelson’s work was collected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York—making Nevelson an important artist in the canon of 20th century American sculpture. This important work has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
A painting by Odd Nerdrum is an exciting highlight and is a significant work of historical importance. The Norwegian figurative painter is most well-known for founding the Kitsch Art Movement, and wrote two seminal texts on the subject titled On Kitsch in 2000 and Kitsch – More than Art in 2011. In Nedrum’s painting Twins the artist creates a suspenseful moment, where a figure armed with a spear encroaches on young twins peering over a primordial pool in an otherwise barren landscape. Loaded with allegory, we see Nerdrum’s two main influences, Rembrandt and Caravaggio referenced in the palette and mythological subject matter. The artist’s processes is time-intensive, creating less than 10 works a year, making this a unique moment to acquire a work at auction at the attractive estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
Another highlight will be an exceptional portrait by William Aikman (British, 1682-1731), Portrait of Maestro, Giovanni Bononcini (Italian, 1670-1747), which carries with it a remarkable provenance from the collection of Leopold Mozart, father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The painting of Italian cellist and composer Giovanni Bononcini, whose popularity rivaled that of George Frederic Handel, has an estimate of $90,000 to $130,000.
Leading the important 17th through 19th century Dutch painting genre is an outstanding church interior scene by Daniel de Blieck (1620-1673). In this intimate painting measuring 10 by 15 inches, the artist’s use of perspective, line and geometry is nothing short of mastery. Here seven figures quietly meander through the fantastical space in the evening hours – some huddling in hushed conversation with a loyal pup trailing nearby. This painting comes from the collection of the virtuoso dealer in Dutch art, Jacques Goudstikker, and was exhibited at the Legion of Honor of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (estimate: $20,000 to $30,000).
One of the most collected artists of the renowned painters of the Hague School, Bernard Blommers (1845-1914) is most admired for the tenderness in which he depicted the lives of the Dutch working people. In this 19th century painting titled The Tryst, Blommers selects as his subject an affectionate yet endearingly humble moment between a young couple (estimate: $7,000 to $9,000).
Rounding out the category of Dutch genre painting are elegant examples of still life and portraiture. A 17th century still life of various flora is represented by the work of Simon Verelst (1644-1771). Elegant red, rose and white hues explode from the pictorial ground with a realism that beguiles the senses. Meanwhile, moving into the 19th century, an exceptional portrait painting by Isaac Israels (1864-1934) – known as the Master of Dutch Impressionism – depicts a portrait of a brown-eyed, dark-haired beauty wearing a fashionable white hat. This work also hails from the storied gallery of Jacques Goudstikker in Amsterdam and carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.
In the American 20th century portrait category, a large painting by Henry François Farny (1847-1916) titled Self Portrait in Mexican Cowboy Attire (1894), will be featured. Originally from France, Farny was known for his paintings of the American West, which often featured Native Americans in their dramatic landscape environs. A large robust individual, physically, Farny depicts himself in period attire in this reflective portrait from 1894 estimated at $60,000 to 80,000. Another artist born in Europe (Germany), who also came to America to go West, was Carl Rungius (1869-1959). Rungius excelled at painting, and perfecting, scenes of Western wildlife and their surroundings. One example is, Mountain Vista with Grizzly Bear, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. This panoramic, yet colorful, scene captures one of nature’s most magnificent animals with a crisp blue sky and snow-capped peaks in the background. Heading south, Robert Wood’s (1889-1979), Texas Bluebonnets (1943), offered at $20,000-30,000, is a perfect example of one of the artist’s vibrant oils on canvas depicting a vast field of this beautiful wildflower.
One of the highlights of the sculpture category is by French sculptor, Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). La Joueuse de Boules (The Ball Player), 1902, estimated at $22,000-28,000, is a gilt bronze featuring a classically posed nude. Italian artist Marino Marini (1901-1980) exemplifies simplicity of form in his abstract equestrian sculptures such as in the bronze, Untitled (Testa di cavallo), which is being offered at $12,000 to $16,000.
The Davis School of California is also a feature of Clars’ November auction with prints by Wayne Thiebaud, Roland Peterson and Robert Arneson.
Furniture and decorative arts
Important investment level furniture will highlight this category’s offerings. An impressive Emile Galle bedroom suite is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000. In addition, a collection of Warren Platner furniture consisting of two 1725 Easy chairs and ottomans will be offered (each estimated at $3,000 to $5,000), and a dinette set (estimate: $5,000 to $7,000). Also to be offered will be a Philip and Kelvin Laverne bronze low table, depicting stylized Modernist figures, that is estimated to achieve $10,000 to $15,000.
Among the important Ethnographic offerings will be a monumental poi bowl (calabash), 18th century, with scattered indigenous repairs, 14 inches high by18 1/2 inches wide, that is estimated at $10,000 to $15,000.
In decorative furnishings, works by world renowned masters will include an ormolu mounted kingwood and Vernis Martin vitrine attributed to Francois Linke, Paris, circa 1905, that is estimated at $18,000 to $22,000. Also to be offered is a collection of porcelain including two Berlin porcelain plaques estimated at $12,000 to $16,000, and a large KPM plaque depicting Moses, which carries an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.
Asian art and antiques
Headlining the Asian art category will once again be furniture, including huanghuali pieces. Included are about eight lots from the collection of an American diplomat who acquired the furniture from Asia in the early 1990s. From another source, we are offering a huanghuali and hardwood table for the game of mahjong with an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000, and a set of eight huanghuali and hardwood side chairs having woven seats, will be offered at $120,000 to $140,000. Also to be offered will be a selection Himalayan items from the Gerber estate of Reno, Nev., including various thankga and carved manuscript covers.
Jewelry and timepieces
The highlight will be a pair of diamond and platinum hoop earrings, G. Arzilli, Italy, set with rectangular step cut diamonds totaling approximately 36.50 carats (estimate: $20,000 to $40,000).
Two stunning Art Deco bracelets will attract jewelry collectors worldwide. The first is an Art Deco diamond and platinum bracelet, French, set with old European cut diamonds totaling approximately 22.80 carats that caries an estimate of $18,000 to $25,000. The second is an Art Deco sapphire, diamond and platinum bracelet, French, Bouchet, centering an oval sapphire weighing approximately 18.10 carats with diamond accents totaling approximately 6.00 carats (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000).
Two rings of importance both carry an estimate of $12,000 to $14,000. The first is a diamond and 14K yellow gold solitaire ring, highlighting a round brilliant cut diamond weighing 5.09 carats. The second is a diamond and 18K yellow gold ring, featuring an oval brilliant cut diamond weighing 2.77 carats.
Patek Philippe will be the highlight of time pieces offered. An Art Deco enamel and diamond Lapel watch, circa 1925, is expected to achieve $8,000 to $12,000.
The sales will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Pacific on Saturday and Sunday and at 1:30 p.m. on Monday.
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