LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – On Wednesday, February 16, Rago Arts and Auction Center will present Property from the Collection of Seymour Stein, founder of Sire Records. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, Stein was responsible for signing now-legendary artists including Talking Heads, the Ramones, the Pretenders, the Smiths and Madonna. He is also a prolific collector of fine and decorative art, and has been especially drawn to Art Deco and Art Nouveau ceramics, a passion that began with frequent scouting trips to Paris and the United Kingdom. Aided by his long-time curator and adviser Rodney Richardson, Stein procured only the best examples of ceramics, paintings, drawings and furniture he could find. Leaders at Rago said they are excited at the prospect of selling the Stein collection and expressed their gratitude to Stein and Richardson for their help, warmth and good humor.
Among the 125 lots on offer is Sleep, a 1964 tempera on board by George Tooker (American, 1920-2011), estimated at $60,000-$80,000. Information from Rago states, “Tooker’s haunting, dreamlike paintings are often compared with Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. He was initially classified as a Magic Realist, a term which he never felt actually applied to him or his art. Rather, he sought to depict everyday scenes of American life in an iconic and unique way. His deep exploration of design and symmetry in his works, combined with the technically difficult medium of egg tempera, led him to produce as little as two paintings each year. In his own words, he saw painting as ‘an attempt to come to terms with life.'”
Choice furnishings include a table-bibliotheque by French designer Eugene Printz, estimated at $30,000-$40,000. Fashioned from walnut, oak and brass, it sports an impressed manufacturer’s mark to its underside that reads, ‘Eugene Printz a Paris 1928 Made in France.’
Also worthy of mention and dating to the same era is a Rene Lalique molded glass panel in a metal frame depicting athletes putting themselves through their paces. Its estimate is $40,000-$60,000.
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