Sandzen paintings top Clars’ many highlights Feb. 20-21

Sandzen paintings

Birger Sandzen (American/Swedish, 1871-1954), ‘Toward Sunset (Manitou, Colorado),’ 1916, oil on canvas. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. Clars Auction Gallery image

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery will feature major paintings by Birger Sandzen as well as modern and 20th century design highlights in its auction Feb. 20-21. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Fine art

Born in Sweden, Birger Sandzen (American/Swedish, 1871-1954) emigrated to Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1894 where became an art professor at Bethany College and lived and worked there until his death. Sandzén’s style uses thick and heavy impasto brush strokes of paint in bright and bold colors to depict the landscapes of the Western United States. Sandzén first painted in the Colorado Springs, Colorado, area in 1916, and became a frequent visitor to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, in 1918. Works from this time period are considered to be his best and are highly sought after by collectors. Clars will offer one of these rare paintings from his first visit to Colorado titled Toward Sunset, Manitou, Colorado (above). A later work by the artist, but equally impressive, titled, Early Fall (below), shows a beautiful scene of trees by a river on a bright, Kansas autumn day. This oil on board was executed a year before his retirement in 1945. Both paintings will be offered on Sunday, Feb. 21, with an estimate of $50,000-$70,000 each.

Sandzen paintings

Birger Sandzen, ‘Early Fall,’ 1944, oil on board. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. Clars Auction Gallery image

“Sandzén paintings of this caliber and provenance are very hard to come by so we are thrilled to be able to offer these two exceptional paintings for the first time at auction. We also greatly appreciate and thank the Birger Sandzén Museum in Lindsborg, Kansas, for authenticating these works,” said Rick Unruh, CEO and director of fine art at Clars.

Portraiture of racy historical sitters from the past are always a favorite among collectors. One such painting that will indeed create much interest, as well as talk, at the Feb. 21st auction is The Lady in Black and Green (Mrs. Dudley Ward) by Sir John Lavery (Irish, 1856-1941). The sitter, Freda Dudley Ward (1894-1983), was an English socialite best known for being the married mistress of the Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VIII) from 1918-1929. Painted in 1920 at the peak of her romance with the future king, this oil on canvas is estimated at $20,000-$40,000 and is sure to stir up some old gossip.

Sandzen paintings

John Lavery (Irish, 1856-1941), ‘The Lady in Black and Green (Mrs. Dudley Ward),’ 1920, oil on canvas. Estimate: $20,000-$40,000. Clars Auction Gallery image

 Furniture and decorative arts

Twentieth-century design highlights include a number of Tiffany Studios items, such as a crab inkwell estimated at $10,000-$15,000 and a harp lamp desk lamp estimated at $6,000-$9,000.

Sandzen paintings

Tiffany Studios patinated bronze crab inkwell, the body with hinged lid opening to a storage compartment, 8in x 7½in x 4in. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Clars Auction Gallery image

Modern furniture will be prominent in the sale; two of Hans Olsen “Fried Egg” chairs are estimated at $6,000-$9,000. Also to be offered is a Philip and Kelvin Laverne Chan table estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Other modern designers represented in the Clars auction are Hans J. Wegner, Kai Kristiansen, Nils Johnsson, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Mies Van Der Rohe, Anne Goldman, Milo Baughman, Karl Springer and Umberto Mascagani.

Sandzen paintings

A pair of Hans Olsen (Denmark, 1919-1992) ‘Fried egg’ lounge chairs, for Bramin Mobler, Denmark, 1950s. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Clars Auction Gallery image

For collectors of fine period furniture, Clars will present property from John Doughty Antiques, San Francisco. Numerous Georgian and early English 18th period pieces will be up for auction.

Sterling silver collectors will be in luck this month, as the sale will include a large selection of flatware and hollowware. Highlights include a Gorham California bicycle race sterling trophy, circa 1894 estimated at $4,000-$6,000, and an Aesthetic Movement presentation coin silver pitcher by Braverman and Levy.

Jewelry & timepieces

The fine Jewelry & Timepiece Department at Clars Auction Gallery will offer a selection of diamond, colored gemstone and gold jewelry and timepieces in the sale. The colorful selection is highlighted by a 7.18 carat Colombian emerald ring, accented by diamonds, estimated at $6,000-$8,000; a tanzanite ring, weighing approximately 7.13 carats, estimated at $3000-$5,000; and a 2.75 carat ruby and diamond ring, estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

Sandzen paintings

A Colombian emerald, diamond and 18K gold ring. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Clars Auction Gallery image

For details contact Clars Auction Gallery at or 510-428-0100.


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