Important Ludwig Deutsch painting leads Clars’ Feb. 23 auction

Important Ludwig Deutsch painting

‘Eid al-Fitr,’ (Breaking the Fast), 1902, by Ludwig Deutsch (Austrian/French, 1855-1935) will be offered for $250,000–$350,000 

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery’s February 22-23, 2020 auction will present highly significant works by renowned artists, designers and historic collections spanning the categories of Fine Art, Decorative Arts & Furnishings, Jewelry and Asian Antiques and Art. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.


Clars will present as one of the sale’s top highlights the stand-out painting, Eid al-Fitr,” (Breaking the Fast) (shown above), 1902, by the French naturalized Austrian Orientalist painter Ludwig Deutsch (Austrian/French, 1855-1935). This work is signed, inscribed and dated ‘L. Deutsch Le Caire 1902’ at lower left.

Despite the startling clarity of his pictures, the details of Ludwig Deutsch’s life remain elusive and vague. Brought up in Vienna, he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste before moving to Paris in 1878. There he befriended several Orientalist artists, including Arthur von Ferraris, Jean Discart, and his lifelong friend Rudolf Ernst. It is likely that he studied with the French history painter Jean-Paul Laurens prior to his participation in the Société des Artistes Français from 1879 to 1925; his other instructors and mentors, however, are unknown.

In 1919, Deutsch gained French citizenship and, after a brief absence, began exhibiting again under the name “Louis Deutsch.” In an effort to stay current and revive what was now a waning genre, Deutsch’s technique in the years after 1910 began to change; his late pictures hovered between the highly detailed, polished surfaces for which he – and several other Orientalist painters – had become renowned, and the looser brushwork and more highly keyed palette of Post-Impressionism. Throughout this long and varied career, Deutsch consciously avoided the picturesque and anecdotal qualities that marked so many contemporary Orientalist works, and chose instead a far broader and more modern approach. Drawing from all aspects of Middle Eastern life – especially Egyptian – and isolating and scrutinizing particular moments in time, Deutsch’s paintings are today seen as verging on the cinematic, with all the spectacular and static qualities of a promotional film still. Breaking the Fast, Eid al-Fitr will be offered for $250,000-$350,000.

Important Ludwig Deutsch painting

Trees by a Stream’ by Ralph Albert Blakelock (American, 1847-1919) will be offered for $20,000-$30,000.

Another top highlight in the Fine Art category is the oil-on-canvas by Ralph Albert Blakelock (American, 1847-1919) titled Trees by a Stream (above). This work represents his renown for painting serene and beautiful landscapes and will be offered for $20,000-$30,000. The work is accompanied with University of Nebraska Blakelock (Inv. #158 verso) letter from Norman Geske (Geske inventory #NBI-158)

 From California Impressionist painter Jack Wilkinson Smith (American, 1873-1949) will be his oil-on-canvas Untitled (Laguna Tidal Pool) that will be offered for $15,000-$20,000.

A classic painting by Alaskan artist, Sydney Laurence (American, 1865-1940), featuring his favorite subject matter, Mount McKinley, will also be offered at $10,000-$20,000.

Important Ludwig Deutsch painting

‘Nude in Red Veil’ by Elias J. Rivera (Guatemalan, b. 1937-) is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

Nude in Red Veil (above) by Elias J. Rivera (Guatemalan, b. 1937-) is a painting displaying the absolute perfection of the human body. Rivera’s captivating work ranges from the Guatemala Series and the New Mexico series being known for his realistic paintings of the people and colorful street in Guatemala, Santa Fe, Mexico, and Peru. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000


Highlighting the sculpture offerings will be the bronze Figure Four, 1983, by Nathan Oliveira (American, 1929-2010), which will be offered for $50,000-$70,000.

Important Ludwig Deutsch painting

Lynda Benglis (American, b. 1941-), ‘Norseman,’ stainless steel mesh and aluminum sculpture. Estimate $40,000-$60,000

From artist and sculpture Lynda Benglis (American, b. 1941-) comes Norseman, a stainless steel mesh and aluminum sculpture that carries a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$60,000. (Provenance: Purchased from Toomey Tourell Gallery, San Francisco, 2001.)


Clars will present an impressive photo collection including 13 photos from Ruth Berhenhard’s Nude Series, and several other iconic photograpghs by Bruce Davidson, Sebastaio Salgado, Jerry Uelsmann, Andy Warhol Polaroids, Marion Post Wilcott, and other great pieces by major photographers. 


20th Century Design offerings will also take center stage at the February sale, led by an exciting selection of furniture by George and Mira Nakashima.

Important Ludwig Deutsch painting

Walnut cabinet, Andy Franz for George Nakashima. Estimate $25,000-$35,000

Highlights include two pairs of George Nakashima Greenrock stools, each estimated at $10,000-15,000, as well as an Andy Franz for Nakashima walnut cabinet (above) that is expected to bring $25,000-35,000. A George Nakashima for Widdicomb even-arm sofa is valued at $20,000-$40,000.

Clars is honored to present the second installment of the collection of Oceanic and Tribal art items from the Richard I.M. Kelton Collection, Marina del Rey, California. The selection of items to be presented have a cumulative estimate of over $50,000-$100,000. One of the many highlights is a tall and spectacular Vanuatu Rambaramp effigy figure. Estimate $4,000-$6,000.

Fine sterling will also be a standout with the top offering being a Reed and Barton Love Disarmed flatware service that will be offered for $15,000-$20,000.

A collection of Tiffany Studios lighting includes a damascene and patinated bronze floor lamp, estimated at $6,000-$7,000, and a chainmail chandelier.  

Rounding out the other highlights in this category will be a grouping of four Louis XV period fauteuils from the collection of Antoinette Quilleret, “Topsy,” co-founder and President of David Webb for 18 years, valued at $4,000-$6,000. Also to be offered is an Austrian Joann Balkrausen carpet, valued at $7,000-$10,000.

A variety of Native American art, including an Eastern Woodlands or Great Plains Catlinite pipe and an American Eastern Woodlands Indian presentation pipe tomahawk estimated to achieve $5,000-$7,000.


February jewelry kicks off the sale with a selection of amethyst jewelry to celebrate the month’s birthstone. The highlight is a 48 carat, deep purple amethyst ring, accented with 6 full-cut diamonds.

Important Ludwig Deutsch painting

Ruby, diamond and 18k white gold necklace. Estimate $19,000-$20,000

Also to be offered is a fabulous ruby, diamond and 18K white gold necklace (above) with 20.7 carats worth of rubies and 41 carats worth of diamonds, with a pre-sale estimate of $19,000-$20,000. This necklace is worthy of dazzling at any award ceremony.
A large selection of elegant diamond jewelry includes a diamond, platinum by-pass ring with a total diamond weight of 2.60 carats; a pair of diamond and 18K white gold earrings featuring marquise, pear, triangular and full-cut diamonds, with a total carat weight of 6 carats; and an Art Deco style diamond and platinum bracelet with 6.65 carats worth of diamond weight, with pre-sale estimates at $900-$1,200, $4,000-$6,000 and $7,500-$8,500 respectively.
A whimsical Cartier agate, coral, diamond and 18K yellow gold duck brooch has a pre-sale estimate of $6,000-$9,000. This adorable brooch features a duck with sapphire eyes and a diamond necklace, topped with a jaunty gold crown. 
Also included in the sale is a selection of wristwatches, the highlight being a Cartier Pasha 18k yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with box and papers, estimated at $9,000-$10,000.
Finally a large selection of pearl jewelry will be offered in this sale. Notable lots include a Henry Dunay South Sea cultured pearl, diamond and platinum bracelet; a cultured pearl, emerald and gold convertible necklace-bracelet; and a pair of South Sea cultured pearl, diamond and white gold convertible earrings.


Among the highlights to be presented in this category is a large Chinese metal-alloy rectangular incense burner carried by two foreigners, six character “Da Ming Xuan De Nian Zhi” mark to the base. Coming to the sale from a prominent San Francisco estate, this lot will be offered for $3,000-$5,000.

Important Ludwig Deutsch painting

Large Chinese metal-alloy rectangular incense burner carried by two figures, six-character “Da Ming Xuan De Nian Zhi” marked to the base. Estimate $3,000-$5,000

Other exceptional pieces include is a Chinese carved coral figure of a beauty with a parrot and child that is estimated to sell for $4,000-$6,000. An inscribed Chinese bronze censer, the deep bowl-shaped body cast with a band of confronting archaistic phoenix against a leiwen ground, will be offered for $3,000-$5,000.

Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any item in the auction, email