PALM BEACH, Fla. – Two days after America celebrates Thanksgiving in traditional style, Palm Beach Modern Auctions (PBMA) will add to the holiday spirit with its own bounteous feast of modern and contemporary art at a Saturday, November 24 auction. In addition to offering guests rare and impeccably documented works by the most sought-after names in design, co-owners Rico Baca and Wade Terwilliger will host a catered, fall-themed buffet lunch. “No leftover turkey — we promise!” Baca said. There will also be complimentary valet parking, snacks and drinks throughout the day, and chair massages starting at 4 p.m. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
As guests settle in, they will see “one of the most beautiful ‘shows’ in the art and design world,” said Baca. “Every one of our auctions is a carefully planned production, with every piece selected first for its quality and market relevance, then carefully curated and researched.” Picasso, Miro, Koons, Wesselmann, Bertoia, Tagliapietra — these are just a few of the names collectors and the trade can expect to see in the 546-lot auction lineup.
Rare Miro artwork leads sale with $300K-$500K estimate
One of the premier art entries (shown at top of page) is a painted and glazed bas-relief ceramic work by Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983), titled Personnage Au Nez Rouge. Highly important and listed in the artist’s catalogue raisonne, its impeccable trail of provenance is extensive and includes, in part, Galerie Maeght, Paris; Pierre Matisse Gallery, Mr. & Mrs. Morton Neumann, Chicago; and Russeck Gallery of Palm Beach. Its auction estimate is $300,000-$500,000.
A mini menagerie of Jeff Koons metallic Limoges porcelain animals from the Celebration series consists of Balloon Swan (Yellow), Balloon Rabbit (Red) and Balloon Monkey (Blue). Each stands 10-11 inches high and has its own original presentation box and handling gloves. Artist-signed, marked and from an edition of 999, the whimsical trio is entered with a $40,000-$60,000 estimate.
Palm Beach Modern Auctions is honored to have been entrusted with artworks from the estate of artist and fashion designer Michaele Vollbracht (American, 1947-2018). The sale includes a key holding from his personal collection: a 1956 Francis Newton Souza (Indian, 1924-2002) painting titled Blond Nude. A compelling work of outstanding quality, it is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.
Designed by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) — one of the most respected of all American mid-century artists — a desirable Willow stainless steel sculpture standing 68 inches high comes with extensive provenance from distinguished sources and is accompanied by a copy of a letter of authentication issued by Bertoia Studio in Bally, Pennsylvania. The pre-sale estimate $50,000-$80,000
A wonderful selection of pottery will be offered from the 40-year collection of retired magazine art director Byron Fink of Philadelphia. Byron’s unerring eye for form and color led to his acquisition of many fine American and British pieces, including examples of George Ohr pottery and a prized Martin Brothers “grotesque” bird tobacco jar. Made in England in 1899, the glazed stoneware bird, which has a removable head, stands 11 inches high and is similar to a form depicted in the reference book The Martin Brothers Potters. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), glazed ceramic plate, color variant Tete de Taureau (Bull’s Head). Provenance: Christie’s London, Russeck Gallery of Palm Beach. Est. $40,000-$60,000A special treat is in store for collectors of coveted Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) pottery: 20 superb pieces designed by the Spanish master and produced at the Madoura studio (France) in the two decades following World War II. A beautifully framed glazed ceramic plate that would be a new discovery to most collectors is a color variant of Picasso’s Tete de Taureau (Bull’s Head). With provenance that includes Christie’s London (2003) and Russeck Gallery Palm Beach, the possibly unique design could achieve $40,000-$60,000.
Some of the finest art glass ever to pass through the doors of PBMA’s gallery will be auctioned on November 24. A monumental 7-piece set by Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941-) represents the earliest of the artist’s Persian series and was executed in a rich sunset orange/red. Made in 1988 and artist signed, the suite is entered with a $30,000-$50,000 estimate.
Among the very special furniture designs to be presented is Judy Kensley McKie’s (American, b. 1944-) “Grinning Beast” table of carved, bleached maple. Created in 1986 and artist signed, the 60-inch diameter table comes from a private Florida collection and could reach $15,000-$20,000 at auction. Also, the auction features a large collection of exceptionally high-quality Edward Wormley (for Dunbar) furniture designs from a respected Chicago gallery. A rare recamier chaise/sofa depicted in Mid-Century Modern Complete by Dominic Bradbury is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
From a large selection of jewelry that will be available at the action, a Bulgari (Switzerland) men’s stainless steel watch with three subdials, inspected by Certified Appraiser using GIA standards. Est. $600-$900The Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 auction will begin at 12 noon Eastern Time. PBMA is located at 417 Bunker Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405. Preview: 10-5 Monday, Nov. 19 through Wednesday, Nov. 21; and Friday, Nov. 23, as well as on auction day from 9 a.m. till noon. Closed Thursday, Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving. For additional information call 561-586-5500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.com.