The University City four-part tile panel by Frederick H. Rhead sold for $637,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

Frederick Rhead tile panel sells for $637,500 at Rago auction

The University City four-part tile panel by Frederick H. Rhead sold for $637,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

The University City four-part tile panel by Frederick H. Rhead sold for $637,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – An important four-part tile panel by renowned ceramicist Frederick H. Rhead sold for $637,500 at an auction conducted by Rago Arts and Auction Center on Saturday. The presale estimate for the unique work was $35,000-$45,000.

David Rago said Two Red Roses Foundation of Palm Harbor, Fla., was the buyer. According to the foundation’s website, Two Red Roses Foundation is a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to the acquisition, restoration and public exhibition of important examples of the American Arts & Crafts movement. It was founded by Florida businessman Rudy Ciccarello, who has assembled one of the largest personal collections of Arts & Crafts in America.

Rago described the tile panel as “extraordinary,” noting it was created by one of the top ceramic artists of the era.

Rhead created the 20 3/4-inch-square panel, which depicted a peacock, in 1910 during his tenure at University City pottery near St. Louis. The panel was a personal gift from Rhead to friend and Weller Pottery colleague Levi Burgess, for his Zanesville, Ohio, residence.

Rago said the home is still standing in Zanesville, and that he thought the tile panel was removed from the structure about 10 years ago. He said the panel was in excellent condition except for a small flat chip.

The panel, signed “Frederick H. Rhead, U.C. 1910,” is documented in Sharon Dale’s book Frederick Hurten Rhead: An English Potter in America, p. 64, fig. 72.

Rhead also worked for the Roseville Pottery, the American Encaustic Tiling Co. and at his own studio in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The sale of the tile panel was one of the many highlights of Rago’s three-day auction of 20th-21st century furnishings and decorative arts.

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


The University City four-part tile panel by Frederick H. Rhead sold for $637,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.

The University City four-part tile panel by Frederick H. Rhead sold for $637,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image.