BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – A Collectors’ Passion Auction featuring a broad and diverse group of curated treasures from prominent estates and private collections will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 18, by Nye & Company. The sale will start at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. About 700 lots will come up for bid. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
The sale will be highlighted by Part II of the Myrna and Bernard Posner collection of silver and objets de vertu; a large selection of George Nakashima furniture being offered for the first time since it was purchased in the 1960s; several pieces of Americana from the estate of Eric Martin Wunsch; items from the estate of Alice Whitney Lorillard; and a private Ohio collection.
Objects of note include rare 18th century cast-iron firebacks and stove plates; a beautifully inlaid mahogany Federal serpentine sideboard that was made in Baltimore between 1800 and 1820, a labeled William Fiske dressing mirror, monumental girandole mirror; and a cast bronze sculpture by Leonard Baskin (American, 1922-2000) titled Holocaust and signed and numbered “4/10.”
The fine art category will also feature two large-scale paintings by John Thomas Serres (British, 1759-1825), depicting the Battle of the Saintes, pitting the English Navy against the French (above), during the day and at sunset. Serres exhibited extensively at the Royal Academy and was the maritime painter to King George III.
Jean-Baptiste Corot (French, 1796-1875) will be represented in the sale with a captivating oil on canvas on panel painting titled Prairies sur le bord de la scarpe, pres Arras (below). Corot was a pivotal figure in landscape painting as well as a printmaker in etching. His vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism.
Also up for bid will be a whimsical painted polyester sculpture by Niki de Saint-Phalle (French, 1930-2002), titled Juggler Vase (2000), signed, editioned and numbered. De Saint Phalle was a sculptor, painter and filmmaker, one of the few female monumental sculptors. Other artists in the auction will include Thomas Sully (American, 1783-1872) and Jerome Kirk (American, b. 1923).
The furniture pieces by George Nakashima (American, 1905-1990) feature a set of six walnut conoid dining chairs and a walnut low table with free-form edge. Both are from the 1960s. Nakashima was an American woodworker, architect and furniture maker. He was a leading innovator of 20th century furniture design and a father of the American craft movement.
Nakashima frequently established close relationships with his earliest patrons and even wrote their names on the boards personally selected for the furniture forms they were to become. Many pieces being sold from the collection and estates of Elayne and Monroe Weinstein indicate this collective and personal touch.
Other furniture in the auction will include a Chippendale mahogany block-front slant-front desk (Mass., circa 1760-1780); and a Chippendale walnut and figured maple chest over drawers (Pennsylvania, circa 1760-1790). Silver pieces will feature a Tiffany sterling silver coffeepot in the Mooresque pattern, designed by Edward C. Moore and made by John C. Moore for Tiffany; and an Indian silver enameled and jeweled spice box, Rajasthan, made in the mid-19th century.
Starting in the 1950s, Bernard and Myrna Posner had an avid interest in sterling silver and works of art. Their taste ranged from pieces that were American and British to ones that were Chinese, Australian and Southeast Asian. Their silver collection consisted of objects that crossed all time periods and varied from decorative objects to utilitarian pieces. Some of it was bought overseas.