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European paintings, furniture and decorative arts lead Bonhams first San Francisco sale of 2013
John Wootton (Snitterfield 1682-1764 London), An extensive river landscape with figures and a wagon on a track, signed and inscribed 'J. Wootton fect.' (lower left), oil on canvas, 42 1/2 x 55in. Sold for 13,750; Est. $4,000-6,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams first auction of the year in San Francisco, the 639-lot Period Art & Design sale, January 20, achieved a successful $516,688. The leading lot of the multi-category auction, from the strong-selling European paintings portion of the sale, was an After Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) oil on canvas, “Saint Dominic in prayer,” sold for $15,000 (est. $1,000-1,500). The piece depicts the robed Saint Dominic before a clouded sky.

Closely following that top lot was another European painting, a John Wootton oil on canvas, “An extensive river landscape with figures and a wagon on a track,” sold for $13,750 (est. $4,000-6,000), which was Property of a luxury hotel. Strong lots continued with Property from the Collection of Joseph Klein (1899-1987), New York, NY, including a 17th/18th century Italian School red chalk on paper, “Figures wrestling a serpent,” sold for $6,875 (est. $1,000-1,500) and an After Francesco Melzi oil on panel, “Flora,” sold for $6,250 (est. $4,000-6,000). Also impressive in the section was an 18th century Continental School oil on panel, “A landscape with figures and a donkey on a track,” sold for $4,000 (est. $1,000-1,500).

Furniture and decorative arts also sold well in the auction, led by such lots as an early 19th century, Regency inlaid mahogany, triple pedestal dining table, sold for $10,625 (est. $3,000-5,000) and, from the estate of noted San Francisco philanthropist and businessman Stephen A. Zellerbach, San Francisco, a first-half 20th century, Louis XV-style, walnut extension dining table, sold for $7,500 (est. $2,500-3,500). Highlights of furniture and decorative arts also included a mid-19th century, Louis Philippe, maple faux bamboo, marble-top dressing stand, sold for $6,000 (est. $500-700), which was Property of the James S. Clayton Trust, and a late 19th century, Victorian, oak mirrored sideboard, sold for $4,000 (est. $2,000-3,000).

The sale’s success was also represented by two lots of American art, whose notable bids surpassed their estimates: a Sergei Bongart oil on board, “Chair with curtain,” sold for $3,125 (est. $1,000-2,000) and a grouping of four Eldridge Ayer Burbank works, “Zia Indian village; Hopi Indian store, Polacca, Arizona; Adobe ruin, New Mexico; and Store, barn, sheep corral and residence of J.L. Hubbell, Ganado, Arizona, 1948,” all in oil on canvas board, except for the third in oil on board, sold for $4,000 (est. $800-1,200).

Highlights of Modern & Contemporary Art in the auction also stood out. Included were works by British artists, such as a Paul Nash watercolor, charcoal and pencil on paper, “Landscape with pond, 1925,” sold for $6,875 (est. $4,000-6,000) and a Tim Stoner oil on linen, “The Dead, 2004,” sold for $3,500 (est. $2,000-3,000), as well as Property from the Estate of Charles and Eleanor de Limur, San Francisco, including a Roberto Soler untitled oil on canvas from 1961, sold for $3,125 (est. $1,200-1,800). Modern & Contemporary furnishings and décor highlights included a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe daybed, sold for $3,125 (est. $1,000-1,500); a pair of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs and ottoman, sold for $2,000 (est. $1,000-1,500); and a deer and moose antler eight-light chandelier, sold for $2,000 (est. $700-1,000).

Roy Lichtenstein works led the Prints portion of the sale. Among them were two color offset lithographs on wove paper: “Stedelijk Museum Poster, 1967,” sold for $1,750 (est. $1,000-1,500) and “That's The Way—It Should Have Begun! But It's Hopeless (not in Corlett), 1968,” sold for $1,188. Another notable print was a Fletcher Benton cast paper and painted wood multiple, “Tangent: Balanced-Unbalanced III, 1981,” sold for $1,500 (est. $900-1,200).

Ceramics stood out among Asian Art in the sale. Leading them was a glazed porcelain, seated, esoteric, Buddhist divinity of 20th century China, sold for $2,250 (est. $500-700), which was Property from a Private San Francisco Estate, whose residuaries benefit the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation. Two other examples included a group of Chinese porcelain articles of the Late Qing dynasty and later, sold for $1,750 (est. $500-700) from the earlier mentioned Collection of Joseph Klein, and a pair of underglaze blue and iron red enameled bowls and covers, Guangxu marks, sold for $1,625 (est. $800-1,200). A grouping of two snuff bottles, which was Property from the Collection of John and Eve Mahan, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, also stood out, bringing $2,000, ahead of an $800-1,000 estimate.

Silver also sold well in the sale with such highlights as a sterling pair of compotes with matching flatware set in wooden case by Wallace Silversmiths, Wallingford, CT, sold for $6,875 (est. $4,000-6,000) and a sterling flatware set with case by International Silver Co., Meriden, CT, sold for $4,375 (est. $3,000-3,500), which was Property from the estate of Bruce L. Jones Jr., (1928-2012) Carmel, Calif.

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