After 40 years, the Marberger collection appears at Rago / Wright March 13

Elaine de Kooning, 'Aladar #3,' estimated at $40,000-$60,000 at Rago / Wright.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Aladar Marberger (1947-1988) served as the director of the influential Fischbach Gallery and was a central figure in New York’s 1970s and 1980s art scene. When Marberger was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985, he dedicated himself to publicly fighting the prevalent stigma against the disease and reveling in life and art until his passing in 1988.

His collection — featuring many works by his close friends — went untouched for more than three decades and has only now emerged as the central feature of Living Out Loud: The A. Aladar Marberger Collection, happening Wednesday, March 13 at Rago / Wright. The sale includes works by Elaine de Kooning, Alex Katz, Doug Ohlson, and Raymond Parker. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Marberger evidently served as muse to a number of his artistic friends. Aladar on Aluminum is a 1972 oil on aluminum by Alex Katz (b. 1927-). Katz presaged the Pop Art movement of the 1960s with his use of bold colors among his many portraits. The work is estimated at $50,000-$70,000.

Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) was a close friend of Marberger, and the sale includes two figurative expressionist works depicting him. Aladar #3 ($40,000-$60,000) is a 1986 oil on canvas measuring 62 by 42in, with the subject sitting cross-legged with a stern countenance. Aladar dates much earlier, to 1973. The oil on Masonite is 36 by 30.25in and carries an estimate of $25,000-$35,000.

The sale’s top-estimated lot is an untitled tied-wire sculpture by Ruth Asawa (1926-2013). Known for her ability to make wire into natural Modernist forms, Asawa gave the sculpture to her friend Maria ‘Mitzi’ Kolisch, a San Francisco-based artist, activist, and scientist. Upon her passing, it was bequeathed to her son, who hung it outside his home in Santa Barbara. The consigners purchased the work from his estate and had it professionally conserved. It is notable that this work is not registered with Ruth Asawa Lanier, Inc. and is not included in the artist’s catalog raisonné. It has an estimate of $80,000-$120,000.

A 1972 work by Alexander Calder (1898-1976), titled White Path, is a gouache and ink on paper and is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation under application number A07250. It has direct provenance to the artist, and is estimated at $70,000-$90,000.

Artur Van Riggle, Harry Bertoia, Paul Evans, and other design greats charmed bidders at Rago

1902 Despondency vase by Artus Van Briggle for Van Briggle Pottery, which sold for $104,800 with buyer’s premium at Rago.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Back-to-back design sales in mid-January at Rago delivered typically strong results. Early 20th Century Design, held on January 18, posted high numbers for ceramics, while Modern Design, which took place January 19, saw triumphs for furniture and sculpture. Both sales were presented via LiveAuctioneers.

The crowning glory of the January 18 sale proved to be a 1902 Despondency vase, made by Artus Van Briggle for his self-named pottery firm. Estimated at $20,000-$30,000, it hammered for $80,000 and achieved a staggering $104,800 with buyer’s premium. The vase dated to soon after Van Briggle established his pottery in Colorado Springs in 1901, a location he chose in hopes it would ease his tuberculosis. Sadly, he would succumb to the disease in July 1904, at only 35 years old. The Despondency vase, possibly influenced by Rodin figures Van Briggle would have seen when studying in Paris in the late 1890s, is a coveted form of his. An example is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A 1901 piece by Anna Marie Valentien for Rookwood Pottery also handily beat its $4,500-$6,500 estimate. The large, yellow-beige modeled matte vase that featured the figure of a young woman clinging to one side hammered for $26,000 and sold for $34,060 with buyer’s premium. In addition, a circa-1920 Dinanderie vase by Jean Dunand charmed bidders, hammering for $21,000 and selling for $27,510 with buyer’s premium against an estimate of $7,000-$10,000.

Earning top-lot status in the January 19 auction was a circa-1968 bronze by Harry Bertoia, dubbed Untitled (Bush Form) and estimated at $50,000-$70,000. Bidders evidently liked that it had been in the same collection since it was made and that it is listed in the Harry Bertoia catalogue raisonné, because it rose to a hammer price of $100,000 and sold for $131,000 with buyer’s premium.

Another clear winner was a lot consisting of an armless sofa and matching chairs in teak, created in the 1950s by Pierre Jeanneret for Punjab University in Chandigarh, India. Estimated at $40,000-$50,000, the group hammered for $65,000 and sold for $85,150 with buyer’s premium.

Paul Evans is a perennial favorite at Rago; more than two dozen pieces by the New Hope, Pennsylvania furniture artist appeared in the January 19 lineup. A circa-1968 loop cabinet with a pleasing green-patinated copper exterior romped past its $12,000-$16,000 estimate to hammer for $60,000 and sell for $78,600 with buyer’s premium.

Vintage ceramics and Nakashima cover back-to-back sales for Rago Jan. 18-19

George E. Ohr snake vase, estimated at $45,000-$65,000 at Rago.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Back-to-back sales from Rago promise collectors of vintage art pottery and ceramics and modern designs from Nakashima and Bertoia a tremendous opportunity, with more than 300 lots across both sales. Early 20th Century Design and Modern Design happen on Thursday, January 18, and Friday, January 19, respectively, and both catalogs are now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Day 1 kicks off with a bounty of 26 George Ohr pieces, ranging from his famed deformed works to more traditional designs. The highest-estimated Ohr piece is a notable snake vase dated to the 1897-1900 period. Standing 9.5in tall, it features two snakes, two ribbon handles, and an indigo, emerald, black, and gunmetal glaze. It includes an impressed signature to the underside G. E. OHR, Biloxi, Miss and is estimated at $45,000-$65,000.

Art Nouveau specialists Van Briggle Pottery (1901-2012) are also well represented in the sale with 10 items. Co-founder Artus Van Briggle takes the top slot among his pottery’s works here with what the lot notes call a “rare and early” Despondency vase. Topped with an agonized human figure, the base is marked AA Van Briggle 1902 92-8 70 and is in stunning condition. It is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

The final group in Day 1 comes from the Grueby Faience Company of Revere, Massachusetts. An ‘exceptional’ squat vase with water lilies designed by Florence Liley for Grueby Faience has a manufacturer’s mark and number to its base: Grueby Faience Co. Boston U.S.A. 184 and FSL. It carries a $15,000-$20,000 estimate.

Day 2 features four works by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978), each from a different group of designs for which the artist would make numerous iterative variations. Estimated at $50,000-$70,000 is Untitled (Bush Form) from 1968. Acquired from Bertoia and in the same collection since, this is its first appearance at auction.

Fans of the rugged naturalist designs of George Nakashima furniture can choose from an amazing 36 lots in the Rago sale. This Minguren II coffee table is the leading Nakashima lot of the day, made from American black walnut in 1973. It features an exceptionally large single slab crotch-wood top with three free edges and expressive figured grain. The piece is signed with client name Kislevitz to the underside. Sold with a digital copy of the original order card, the table is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.

Rago’s debut Crafted In Wood auction turned in solid results

William Hunter, Inner Space, $26,000 ($34,060 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.

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LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Rago’s first-ever Crafted In Wood sale, featuring fine woodworking art from leading contemporary designers, turned in solid results for consignors November 14. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

The 115-lot sale was dominated by items from the Stephen Weinroth collection, which focused on prime examples of craftsmanship from a number of key contemporary designers such as William Hunter, Michael Mode and Hans Weissflog. Unsurprisingly, those names appeared at the top of the results list, demonstrating strong demand for this growing category of collectible.

The sale’s top lot was Inner Space by William Hunter (b. 1947-), an American Craft College fellow. Created from cocobolo, a Central American wood, the 10in diameter work hammered for $26,000 ($34,060 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.

Bob Stocksdale (1913-2003) was a famed American woodturner who started by making baseball bats and spindles and graduated to fine works using exotic woods. This bowl is made from macadamia and was created in 1982. Estimated at $1,000-$2,000, the bowl sold for $15,000 ($19,650 with buyer’s premium).

Vessel is a 2004 collaboration between Jacques Vesery, Michael Lee, and Hans Weissflog, all noted woodworkers. Made from maple with applied pigment to illustrate its relief, it carried an estimate of $2,000-$3,000 and it hammered for $15,000 ($19,650 with buyer’s premium).

Two fascinating domed chess sets performed nicely. The sets were created by Michael Mode (b. 1946-), a Vermont-based self-taught woodturner whose works are part of the Smithsonian collection. One set sold for $3,200 ($4,190 with buyer’s premium), while the other reached $3,500 ($4,585 with buyer’s premium).
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William Hunter, Inner Space, which sold for $26,000 ($34,060 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Bob Stocksdale bowl, which sold for $15,000 ($19,650 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Jacques Vesery, Michael Lee, and Hans Weissflog, Vessel, which sold for $15,000 ($19,650 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Michael Mode chess set, which sold for $3,200 ($4,190 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Michael Mode chess set, which sold for $3,500 ($4,585 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Monumental cast of Maillol’s ‘La nuit’ skyrocketed to $615K at Rago

La nuit by Aristide Maillol, number 5/6 from a cast by Emile Godard, $470,000 at Rago.

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LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – A monumental cast of La nuit by Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) raced away from its estimate of $15,000-$25,000 to hammer for $470,000 ($615,700 with buyer’s premium) at Rago Arts and Auction Center on November 10. This work is number five from the posthumous socle mobile edition of six produced by Paris bronze founder Emile Godard.

La nuit is among the best-known and admired of Aristide Maillol’s sculptures. He began working on the composition in 1902 — the year he held his first one-man show with dealer Ambroise Vollard – taking his artistic inspiration from Michelangelo and emotional inspiration from the ill treatment of Emile Zola during the so-called Dreyfus Affair. He made several refinements following his return from Greece to view sculpture of the archaic period, and first exhibited the newly finished limestone at the 1909 Salon d’Automne. It was placed in the middle of the rotunda of the Grand Palais where Rodin, elder statesman of French sculpture, had planned to display one of his own works. When he saw Maillol’s larger-than-life figure of a crouching woman, he was happy to give the prime spot to his younger colleague. The original is in the Kunstmuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Casts of Maillol bronzes were made in various sizes across the 20th century, most of them for Vollard, who had an agreement that gave him complete rights over reproduction. He typically used the Florentin Godard (1877-1956) sand-casting foundry. Casts such as this – it measures 3ft 10in (1.17m) high – were done by his nephew Emile Godard (1911-71) between 1956-71.

The price was way above expectations, but there are others from this Emile Godard edition that have made much more. Number 1/6 sold at Christie’s New York in November 2007 for $1.8 million, while number 4/6 took £1.2 million (roughly $1.5 million) at Christie’s in London in February 2013.

A slightly smaller 3ft 4in (1.01m) cast of La nuit was produced by the Georges Rudier foundry circa 1944, the year of Maillol’s death. Also made in an edition of six, examples of this version have brought similar seven-figure sums at auction.

Rago’s American and European Art sale had another outstanding performer in a watercolor by Fidelia Bridges (1834-1923). Estimated at $2,000-$3,000, it made $90,000 ($117,900 with buyer’s premium), a new record for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts artist.

Dated 1907 and measuring just under 9 by 14in (22 by 35cm), A Cottage Garden was probably painted in Canaan, Connecticut where Bridges lived in a hillside cottage from 1892. The flower garden she created there became the subject of many paintings. This particularly successful composition betrays her debt to the Pre-Raphaelite movement and her mentor William Trost Richards, who had received this particular work as a gift. It had left his family in 1988 and was consigned from a private Pennsylvania collection.

Fidelia Bridges is one of a number of women artists who, once neglected by academia and the marketplace, are now receiving due consideration. A pioneer in her time, she was elected as a National Academy of Design associate in 1873 and one year later became the only woman of seven artists in the American Society of Painters in Watercolor (now The American Watercolor Society).

According to Artprice, the previous auction high for Bridges was the oil on canvasboard Small Bird with Flowering Ironweed, which sold for $74,500 at Doyle New York in November 2021.
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‘La nuit’ by Aristide Maillol, number 5/6 from a cast by Emile Godard, which hammered for $470,000 and sold for $615,700 with buyer’s premium at Rago.
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‘A Cottage Garden,’ a 1907 watercolor by Fidelia Bridges, which hammered for $90,000 and sold for $117,900 with buyer’s premium at Rago.
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Korman collection of ceramics, glass and studio furniture delivered stunning results at Rago

Judy Kensley McKie, Fish Bench, $260,000 ($332,800 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.

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LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Philadelphians Jane and Leonard Korman‘s collection of fine 20th-century American studio furniture, monumental ceramics, and glass sculpture overperformed at Rago November 9. The 96-lot sale’s complete results are available for review at LiveAuctioneers.

As anticipated, Fish Bench by studio furniture artist Judy Kensley McKie (b. 1944-), led the sale, hammering for $260,000 ($332,800 with buyer’s premium), way ahead of its $75,000-$100,000 estimate. All three McKie lots in the sale blew past their estimates.

Studio ceramicist Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011) was another Korman favorite, with nine of her works in the sale. The top seller was Makaha Blue, a glazed porcelain piece from 1993. Estimated at $40,000-$50,000, it hammered for $100,000 ($128,000 with buyer’s premium).

French-Swedish furniture designer Ingrid Donat (b. 1957-) created this pair of Femme Girafe floor lamps in 2003 from patinated bronze and parchment. Competing bidders drove the final hammer price to $130,000 ($166,400 with buyer’s premium) against a $35,000-$45,000 estimate.

Though most of her works were untitled, Ruth Duckworth (1919-2009) nearly always gave things some sub-name to distinguish them. Her Untitled (Form 18990) carried a low $4,000-$6,000 estimate, but bidders drove the 1990 porcelain sculpture to the whopping sum of $50,000 ($64,000 with buyer’s premium).
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Judy Kensley McKie’s Fish Bench, which sold for $260,000 ($332,800 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Toshiko Takaezu’s Makaha Blue, which sold for $100,000 ($128,000 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Ingrid Donat’s Femme Girafe floor lamps, which sold for $130,000 ($166,400 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Ruth Duckworth’s Untitled (Form 18990), which sold for $50,000 ($64,000 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Bowl by Lucie Rie, which sold for $55,000 ($70,400 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Single-owner Masterworks of Craft sale at Rago Nov. 9 celebrates 20th-century American artists

Wendell Castle Triad chair, estimated at $13,000-$17,000 at Rago.

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LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Fixtures of the Philadelphia art community for years, Jane and Leonard Korman meticulously collected select examples of fine 20th-century American studio furniture, monumental ceramics, and glass sculpture. Rago brings 96 examples from their outstanding collection to market with Masterworks of Craft from the Kormans on Thursday, November 9. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The Kormans were clearly fans of Judy Kensley McKie (b. 1944-), the well-known studio furniture artist who focuses on animal and floral forms. The sale has three of her works, with Fish Bench as the top-estimated McKie lot. Made in 1999 of patinated bronze, the work is marked 8/10 and is estimated at $75,000-$100,000.

Groundbreaking studio potter Lucie Rie (1902-1995) was also a Korman favorite, with three examples in the sale. Rie’s unique approach to glazing and firing can be seen in Vase with Flaring Lip, a 1989 work dating to near the end of her career. It carries an estimate of $15,000-$20,000.

Considered a father of the American craft furniture movement, Wendell Castle (1932-2018) was an active artist whose works perform positively at auction. In an unusual departure from his traditional medium of wood, Triad Chair features gel-coated fiberglass construction with gold leaf. It is number 7 from an edition of 8 and is estimated at $13,000-$17,000.

Monumental ceramic sculpture is a unique and rather remote area of art, occupied by only a few. A leader in this category is Jun Kaneko (b. 1942-), an educator and artist who has pushed the boundaries of ceramic sculpture. Untitled (Dango) is a large-format work, measuring 38 by 42 by 28in. It is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

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Judy Kensley McKie Fish Bench, estimated at $75,000-$100,000 at Rago.
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Lucie Rie vase with flaring lip, estimated at $15,000-$20,000 at Rago.
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Wendell Castle Triad chair, estimated at $13,000-$17,000 at Rago.
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Jun Kaneko, ‘Untitled (Dango),’ estimated at $15,000-$20,000 at Rago.
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Betty Woodman, His/Hers Vases, 4th of July, estimated at $45,000-$65,000 at Rago.
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Toshiko Takaezu ceramics and Richard Marquis art glass shattered their estimates at Rago

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LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Ceramics by Toshiko Takaezu and art glass by Richard Marquis were star performers at Rago’s Postwar and Contemporary Ceramics and Contemporary Glass sales, held on October 4 and 5. Complete results are available for review at LiveAuctioneers.

Works by famed Hawaiian ceramacist Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011) were expected to perform well and bidders obliged. Spring Moon (with rattle), a glazed stoneware piece by Takaezu that had been unveiled at two Chicago exhibitions in 2000, hammered at double its low estimate of $70,000, ultimately selling for $183,400 with buyer’s premium.

Tamarind, also by Takaezu, is a work of glazed stoneware dating to circa 1962. Sourced from a private estate, the piece wildly overperformed its $7,000-$10,000 estimate, hammering for $48,000 ($62,880 with buyer’s premium).

Untitled (Triple Vase) is a set of three small glazed stoneware vases with sgraffito. Created around 1958 by Takaezu, the trio hammered at $38,000 ($49,780 with buyer’s premium) against a modest estimate of $4,500-$6,500.

Just as works by Takaezu dominated the first session, Richard Marquis art glass triumphed on the second day. Marquis (b. 1945-) is considered a leading member of the studio art glass movement, with odd and often patriotic themes to his works. American Acid Capsule with Cloth Container (1969-70) is an early example of Marquis’ output, created while he was a Fulbright Fellow at Venini, and features a cloth container commissioned from Nirmal Kaur (Barbara Brittell). It has been in numerous exhibitions and was purchased by the consignor directly from the artist. Estimated at $15,000-$20,000, it sold for $50,000 ($65,500 with buyer’s premium).

Another Marquis piece from the same Fulbright period is Stars and Stripes Cup with Container (Free Speech Cup). Like the lot above, it includes a cloth container created by Nirmal Kaur. Also estimated at $15,000-$20,000, the lot advanced to $35,000 ($45,850 with buyer’s premium).
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Toshiko Takaezu, ‘Spring Moon (with rattle),’ which sold for $140,000 ($183,400 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Toshiko Takaezu, ‘Tamarind,’ which sold for $48,000 ($62,880 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Toshiko Takaezu, ‘Untitled (Triple Vase),’ which sold for $38,000 ($49,780 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Richard Marquis, ‘American Acid Capsule with Cloth Container,’ which sold for $50,000 ($65,500 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Richard Marquis, ‘Stars and Stripes Cup with Container (Free Speech Cup),’ which sold for $35,000 ($45,850 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Laura de Santillana, ‘Untitled (Flag),’ which sold for $28,000 ($36,680 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Ralph and Terry Kovel’s lifetime collection lands at Rago and Toomey Nov. 1

[av_heading heading=’Ralph and Terry Kovel’s lifetime collection lands at Rago and Toomey Nov. 1′ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ size=” av-desktop-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=” av-desktop-font-size=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-desktop-font-size-1=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” subheading_color=” seperator_color=” icon_color=” margin=’,,35px,’ av-desktop-margin=” av-desktop-margin_sync=’true’ av-medium-margin=” av-medium-margin_sync=’true’ av-small-margin=’,,20px,’ av-mini-margin=” av-mini-margin_sync=’true’ headline_padding=” headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-desktop-headline_padding=” av-desktop-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-medium-headline_padding=” av-medium-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-small-headline_padding=” av-small-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-mini-headline_padding=” av-mini-headline_padding_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ av-desktop-padding=” av-medium-padding=” av-small-padding=” av-mini-padding=” icon_padding=’10’ av-desktop-icon_padding=” av-medium-icon_padding=” av-small-icon_padding=” av-mini-icon_padding=” link=” link_target=” title_attr=” id=” custom_class=” template_class=” av_uid=’av-lnym7znx’ sc_version=’1.0′ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Highlights from the lifetime collection of American antiques and collectibles experts Ralph and Terry Kovel will come to market at Rago and Toomey & Co. on Wednesday, November 1. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The 87-lot sale offers insight into the personal tastes of the Kovels, nationally known for their syndicated weekly newspaper column, syndicated television show and (since the 1960s) their series of price guides designed to help aspiring collectors buy right. Their folksy writing style carried over when they made the jump to television, and viewers made their show one of the most-watched programs of its type for years.

Ralph passed away in 2008 from complications of a broken hip, but Terry and her daughter Kim continue to keep the Kovels empire moving forward as part of a larger firm.

With 33 items in the auction, Ralph and Terry were clearly fans of George E. Ohr (1857-1918), the “mad potter of Biloxi,” whose work ranged from somewhat traditional to abstract and Expressionistic long before such artistic schools were in vogue, particularly in ceramics. Ohr died largely unknown, but the Kovels became his champion, and their extensive Ohr collection demonstrates his design genius. This glazed earthenware vase, dated to 1897-1900, stands 8.75in in height and features a pink glaze with sponged-on cobalt, orange, and raspberry glazes. It is estimated at $35,000-$45,000.

Three works by French Realist Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) are also included in the sale. Bonheur, both a painter and sculptor, worked in very fine realism and often at grand scale, with some paintings, such as The Horse Fair from 1855, measuring 8 by 16ft.

Much smaller but just as detailed is Taureau, a circa-1860 full-frontal view of a bull and his mighty horns. Measuring 21.25 by 16.75in, Taureau is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.

R. W. Martin & Brothers, better known as “the Martin Brothers,” operated a pottery concern in London from 1873-1914. Their best-known line of pottery, known as “Wally Birds,” feature anthropomorphic designs with grinning fowl whose heads may be removed for storing pipe tobacco. Immensely popular at the time, Martinware remains a leading collectible today. The Kovels cherished this two-faced pitcher featuring impish grins on both sides. Dated 1901 and clearly signed “R. W. Martin & Bros.,” the salt-glazed stoneware jug in apparently immaculate original condition is estimated at $4,500-$6,500.
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George E. Ohr Exceptional vase, estimated at $35,000-$45,000 at Rago and Toomey & Co.
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Rosa Bonheur, ‘Taureau,’ estimated at $6,000-$8,000 at Rago and Toomey & Co.
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Martin Brothers double-face jug, estimated at $4,500-$6,500 at Rago and Toomey & Co.
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Taxile Doat rare and exceptional vase, estimated at $10,000-$15,000 at Rago and Toomey & Co.
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Attributed to Alexander Roux, Louis XVI Revival music-themed cabinet, estimated at $5,000-$7,000 at Rago and Toomey & Co.
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Untitled Ed Clark piece top seller at Rago’s Postwar and Contemporary Art auction

[av_heading heading=’Untitled Ed Clark piece top seller at Rago’s Postwar and Contemporary Art auction ‘ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ size=” av-desktop-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=” av-desktop-font-size=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-desktop-font-size-1=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” subheading_color=” seperator_color=” icon_color=” margin=’,,35px,’ av-desktop-margin=” av-desktop-margin_sync=’true’ av-medium-margin=” av-medium-margin_sync=’true’ av-small-margin=’,,20px,’ av-mini-margin=” av-mini-margin_sync=’true’ headline_padding=” headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-desktop-headline_padding=” av-desktop-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-medium-headline_padding=” av-medium-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-small-headline_padding=” av-small-headline_padding_sync=’true’ av-mini-headline_padding=” av-mini-headline_padding_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ av-desktop-padding=” av-medium-padding=” av-small-padding=” av-mini-padding=” icon_padding=’10’ av-desktop-icon_padding=” av-medium-icon_padding=” av-small-icon_padding=” av-mini-icon_padding=” link=” link_target=” title_attr=” id=” custom_class=” template_class=” av_uid=’av-lmj9blc4′ sc_version=’1.0′ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Rago’s Postwar and Contemporary Art sale on September 13 saw terrific and often unexpected results from a variety of artists, including Alfred Leslie, Louise Nevelson, and Donald Judd. The sale’s complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

The Rago auction offered painting, sculpture, drawing and photography from some of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. And while the sale had Andy Warhol’s Joseph Beuys screenprint, the lot passed.

Instead, the top lot was an untitled acrylic and gesso on canvas by abstract painter Ed Clark (1926-2019). Measuring 35.375in square, the piece was estimated at $200,000-$300,000. It landed right in the middle of that range, at $250,000 ($327,500 with buyer’s premium).

Alfred Leslie (1927-2023) is a rare example of an artist changing his dominant style without breaking his stride. Known early in his career as an abstract expressionist alongside fellow New York artists such as Joan Mitchell, he abandoned expressionism in the 1960s in favor of realistic figurative portraiture.

Rago’s sale had a 1957 untitled work from Leslie’s first phase. Estimated at $10,000-$15,000, the oil and assemblage on canvas hammered at a whopping $95,000 ($124,450 with buyer’s premium), perhaps in a nod to Leslie’s passing in January of this year.

A piece by sculptress Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) was also a major winner in the Rago sale. Something of an iconoclast, Nevelson routinely wore a wild mixture of ethnic clothing and false eyelashes made of mink that matched her larger-than-life persona. Her 1966 work Atmosphere and Environment II, a monumental and monochromatic example of her trademark wall pieces, sold for $55,000 ($72,050 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $15,000-$20,000.
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Ed Clark, ‘Untitled,’ which sold for $250,000 ($327,500 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Alfred Leslie, ‘Untitled,’ which sold for $95,000 ($124,450 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Louise Nevelson, ‘Atmosphere and Environment II,’ which sold for $55,000 ($72,050 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Donald Judd, ‘Untitled (Tomato Red),’ which sold for $200,000 ($262,000 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Alex Katz, ‘Tiger Lilies,’ which sold for $38,000 ($49,780 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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Juan Hamilton, ‘Untitled,’ which sold for $15,000 ($19,650 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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After Fernando Botero, ‘Trojan Horse,’ which sold for $16,000 ($20,960 with buyer’s premium) at Rago.
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