KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Twentieth-century Abstract/Expressionist paintings and Asian furniture, recently deaccessioned by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, are among the highlights in the Oct. 5 Case Antiques Auction. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
The 423-lot cataloged auction, to be held at the company’s headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee, also features Continental furniture and decorative arts, sterling silver and art glass, along with rare books, autograph collections and manuscripts, all from Southern estates and private collections.
Most of the paintings deaccessioned from the Brooks entered the museum’s collection from the 1950s through the 1970s as purchase prizes in the museum’s Mid-South Art Exhibition, (founded in 1956). Artists such as Will Barnet and Jack Levine served as jurors, alongside museum directors from institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Walker Art Center. The paintings, numbering more than a dozen, all with starting bids under $1,000, are by American artists such as Al Allen (above), Alfred J. Pounders (b. 1931), Byron Burford (1920-2011), Joanna Higgs (b. 1934), Joe Chris Robinson (1922-2000) and Merlin Dailey (1931-2015).
“While some of the artists have passed away, many of those who are living are also starting to accumulate secondary market records,” noted company president John Case, adding, “It’s a really good opportunity to buy a large scale painting with museum provenance that shines in a contemporary interior at a reasonable price.”
The portion of the museum collection being auctioned also includes several pieces of Chinese hardwood and Korean inlaid furniture dating from the 19th through early 20th century, and a chinoiserie-style music cabinet signed by noted French cabinetmaker Gabriel Viardot (1830-1906).
Other Asian arts from estates and private consignors include a Qing porcelain plaque attributed to Yu Huanwen, Chinese export porcelain, Southeast Asian Martaban urns, Shin Hanga and other Japanese woodblock prints, and a collection of small Indian paintings.
Two Gustave Baumann colored woodblock prints, The Bishop’s Apricot and From Hillside Gardens are up for bid, as are four F.E. Jamison Scottish landscape oils, mid-20th-century abstract paintings by John Stuart Ingle (Minnesota, 1933-2010), and sculpture by Olen Bryant (Tennessee, 1927-2017). The art glass category includes Lalique, Baccarat, Handel and Loetz glass, as well as several rare and in some cases signed examples of American Brilliant Period cut glass.
While Continental Louis XV-style furniture from the living estate of Annette Petri of Nashville adds a gilded touch to the gallery, American furniture is also represented, including a Kentucky Sheraton sugar chest along with a Stickley mahogany Federal-style inlaid sideboard and a late 20th century Stickley inlaid oak cedar chest.
Book and manuscript lovers have several items to explore, including a 1540 edition of Virtutum Vitiorumque Exempla by Nicholas de Hanappes and a five-volume 1647 Biblia Sacra Vulgate (Holy Bible), along with a scarce early edition of Clement Moore’s The Night Before Christmas (titled A Visit from Santa, illustrated by David Scattergood) and a group of six American astronaut-signed books about space along with four Carmac McCarthy signed first editions. Elvis Presley and Ty Cobb autographs are for sale, plus autograph collections of presidents, 20th century military figures and Supreme Court justices; early maps; a John Penn (Pennsylvania governor) signed document; and a firearms-related letter signed by Samuel and Elisha Colt.
The auction also features an estate collection of Native American baskets, beaded pouches and pottery, a scarce Russian Walzendrehorgel street organ with decorative painted exterior, and several lots of jewelry and sterling silver including a set of 12 Manchester sterling goblets and large flatware services in the Gorham Chantilly and Reed and Barton Francis I patterns.
For more information or to consign objects for a future auction, call the gallery in Knoxville at 865-558-3033 or the company’s Nashville office at 615-812-6096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.