LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding for both sessions.
The opening session, to begin at 11 a.m., will feature 73 lots of 19th and 20th century American and European art. The second session, to begin at 2 p.m., will have 268 lots of postwar and contemporary art.
Winslow Homer’s Signal Corps near Yorktown, 1862, ink and graphite on paper, which was removed from the owner’s closet after many years, is expected to sell for $8,000-$12,000.
The other top lot to watch is Lot 32, Bernard Badura’s untitled charcoal on paper of Lambertville Quarry, which has a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.
“I chose this because work by Badura of this size, rarity and condition just doesn’t come up. As far as I can see, it’s the first time a Badura drawing this significant has come to the secondary market,” said Meredith Hilferty, director of Fine Art at Rago’s.
“I chose the works on this list not because they are better than others in the larger sale, but because each is singular and significant in some way,” said Hilferty. “All are worthy on their own. Many have been off the market for decades, if not generations. Some are quite rare or simply quintessential. Others are notable as being from artists whose works are actively sought in today’s market.”
The following four lots descended in the families of the original owners. They were either purchased from the artist or the artist’s gallery early on and have been off the market ever since.
- Lot 17, Arthur B. Carles, Nude, 1920, oil on canvas, $20,000-$30,000. This rare nude has been held privately for many decades by a Philadelphia collector.
- Lot 10, John Frederick Peto, untitled still life, oil on canvas mounted to board, $18,000-$24,000. This recently discovered Peto traces back to the artist’s family.
- Lot 49, Fairfield Porter, August Wildflowers, 1965; oil on Masonite, $10,000-$15,000. This early work was acquired from Porter’s gallery by the consignor’s mother by setting aside a bit of the family’s grocery allowance.
- Lot 31, Kenneth R. Nunamaker, On the Missing Link (Raven Rock, New Jersey), oil on linen, $60,000-$80,000. One of two works descended in a prominent Hunterdon County, N.J., family.
- Lot 67, Joan Miro, La Canatrice Chauve (The Bald Soprano), 1981, etching, $25,000-$35,000. This is the first time a print from this edition is being offered at auction. The small size of the edition, coupled with the scale of the work, makes it a rare and covetable Miro.
Hilferty’s top picks for the postwar and contemporary art session include the following:
- Lot 526, Louise Nevelson, untitled, painted wood and gold sculpture as a necklace, 11 1/4 inches long, $30,000-$40,000. Hilferty calls this work wearable art; it is sculpture – in scale and individuality – and relates directly to the art Nevelson was making at the time. It can be worn or hung.
- Lot 577, Theodoros Stamos, King on the Mountain or The Emperor Sees the Mountain, oil board, $10,000-$15,000.
- Lot 743, William Joseph Anastasi, untitled subway drawing, 2000, in silver ink on paper, estimated at $8,000-$12,000. Anastasi is attracting a lot of attention now. The consignor is an acquaintance who bought this from the artist.
- Lot 652, Mel Kendrick, untitled, 1988, bronze on wood base, $7,000-$9,000. From the artist’s best period, the work combines wood and bronze, which is both less common in his work and more interesting.
- Lot 571, Leonora Carrington, Oleo Sobre Tela, 1953, oil on canvas, $15,000-$20,000. This painting came out of the Terry Dintenfass Gallery shortly after it was made. The consignor was surprised by the increase in significance and value of works by this artist.
- Lot 543, Niki de Saint Phalle, Bird, 1979, paint and gold leaf on cast polyester, signed and numbered 6/10, 5 1/4 inches high, estimated at $8,000-$10,000. Nothing from this edition has been on market since early ’90s. This edition is small and has a hand done look and quality not achieved by later, larger editions.
- Lot 564, Alexander Calder, untitled, 1941, ink and gouache on paper, and lot 565, The Trio, 1944, ink on paper, each estimated at $30,000-$40,000. These two examples of works on paper by Alexander Calder show his whimsy, but more, relate directly to his sculpture.
More notable works from the 19th/20th Century American and European Art session include an oil on canvas by Kenneth Miller Adams entitled Taos, NM, 1924, estimated at $4,000-$6,000, and an untitled oil on Masonite by Hughie Lee-Smith, estimated at $10,000-$15,000. There is a fine selection from Pennsylvania artists including William Langson Lathrop, Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge, Kenneth R. Nunamaker, Henry Bayley Snell, Charles Rosen, Arthur Meltzer, Walter Emerson Baum, Josef Zenk and Lloyd Raymond Ney. There are three lots in the sale by artist William Langson Lathrop, notably lot 26, an oil on board entitled Chesapeake Beacon, 1935, estimated at $8,000-$10,000. Another Pennsylvanian work in the sale is lot 34, an oil on canvas by artist Charles Rosen entitled Mountain Stream, circa 1945, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Also of note is lot 38, a Walter Emerson Baum oil on canvas entitled Summer Day, 1925, estimated at $20,000-$30,000. Pennsylvania modernists represented here include lot 41, an oil on canvas by Josef Zenk, entitled Hierarchy, estimated at $3,000-$5,000; and lot 42, five untitled conte on paper by Ramstonev (Charles Ramsey, Louis Stone and Charles Evans, 1937-1939), estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
Sculpture will include Lot 16, two bronze candlesticks by Grace Helen Talbot with foundry marks from Roman Bronze Works in New York, estimated at $2,000-$3,000; lot 18, a work on slate by Frank Eliscu entitled Banderillas, estimated at $1,000-$1,500; and lot 20, a carrara rosa marble bust by Boris Lovet-Lorski of Mrs. Frank Rice Short, circa 1935, estimated at $6,000-$8,000.
Works on paper: lot 48, an untitled colored pencil on paper, estimated at $1,500-$2,000 by Joseph Stella and two works by Alexander Archipenko, lot 63, a colored pencil on paper entitled Etude de Nu Assis, 1920, and lot 64, a charcoal on paper entitled Nu de Dos, 1908, each estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Also worthy of special mention, lot 50, a watercolor on paper by Joseph Stella entitled Sea and Mountain, estimated at $2,000-$3,000, and lot 52, an untitled ink on paper by Milton Avery, estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
More notable works from the Postwar and Contemporary Fine Art sale:
Paintings: lot 514, silkscreen inks on canvas by Richard Pettibone entitled Marilyn, 1978, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; lot 665, an acrylic on canvas by Markus Muntean and Adi Rosenblum, untitled (One is Never…), 1999, estimated at $8,000-$12,000; lot 700, an untitled acrylic on linen by David Korty, estimated at $7,000-$9,000; and lot 503 by Ludwig Sander, an oil on canvas entitled Seneca III, 1970, estimated at $7,000-$9,000.
Works on paper: lot 568, an untitled chalk and tempera on paperboard by Mark Tobey, estimated at $8,000-$10,000; lot 621, an oil paint stick and pencil on paper by Manuel Neri entitled Andrea No. 19, 1984, estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
Photographs: two gelatin silver prints by Hungarian/American artist Andre Kertesz include lot 558, entitled Chez Mondrian, 1926; and lot 559, entitled Melancholy Tulip, 1939, each estimated at $5,000-$7,000; lot 640, a Cibachrome print by Andres Serrano entitled Piss Elegance, 1987, estimated at $3,000-$4,000; lot 715, a Marilyn Minter C-print entitled Stud, 2005, estimated at $12,000-$18,000; and lot 720, a C-print by Kim Joon entitled Duet-incanto, 2006, estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
Prints: There are eight Andy Warhol prints in the sale, most notably lot 512, Electric Chair, from 1971, which is stamped Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board and 122/250, estimated at $9,000-$12,000. Also: lot 502, an offset lithograph and screenprint in colors by Frank Stella entitled Sinjerli Variation I, 1977, is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Sculpture: lot 740, a cardboard with foil, plastic, gold wrapping paper and tape entitled CNN, 2002 by Thomas Hirschhorn, is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Previews are scheduled Saturday, May 7, through Thursday, May 12, noon-5 p.m. and by appointment. Rago’s will be open until 7 p.m. on Friday, May 13. Doors open at 9 a.m. the day of the sale.
For details and to order a printed catalog, call Rago Arts and Auction Center at 609-397-9374 or visit ragoarts.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE