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Elite Decorative Arts to sell seven works by African American artist Dox Thrash
Oil on canvas by Marcel Mouly (Fr., 1918-2008), of a harbor scene with gray skies (est. $8,000-$10,000).
BOYNTON BEACH, FL.- Seven original works by renowned African-American artist and printmaker Dox Thrash (1893-1965) will headline a 349-lot multi-estate auction scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5th, by Elite Decorative Arts, at the firm’s spacious gallery in the Quantum Town Center, located at 1034 Gateway Blvd. (Stes. 106-108) in Boynton Beach, at 1 p.m. (EST).

Fine art by other listed artists will also be offered, but the auction will also feature a magnificent array of French and German porcelains, Chinese antiques, Sevres and Meissen, bronzes, silver, crystal, clocks, designer purses and more. Previews will be held Friday, Oct. 4, from 11-5, and on auction day from 11-1. Internet bidding is provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.

The Dox Thrash artworks are from the extensive art collection of Samuel and Sally Nowak, patrons of the arts who began their collection in 1945 and gathered numerous important works by artists such as Sloan, Lux, Prendergast, Henri and Avery. But they also acquired many works by iconic artists like Picasso, Cassatt, Roualt, Matisse, Rivera, Mailloi, Rodin and Dufy.

“We are proud to have been selected by the Nowak estate to be the exclusive agent to market and sell these select works by Dox Thrash,” said an officer at Elite Decorative Arts. “The Nowaks were greatly influenced by their neighbors in Philadelphia, Albert Barnes and his wife, avid art collectors whose Barnes Foundation houses one of the finest collections of Impressionist art masterpieces in the world. The Barneses imparted their discerning eye for art to the Nowaks.”

The Nowaks met Dox Thrash in 1945, at an exhibit of Thrash’s work in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. By then, Thrash was already well known for his work on the Federal Art Project (part of FDR’s WPA jobs program). He also had invented a new printmaking technique called carborundum mezzotint. The Nowaks befriended Thrash and purchased many of his artworks.

Seven of those will be featured in the Oct. 5 auction. They include a gouache portrait of a black gentleman, 10 ½ inches by 6 ¾ inches (est. $7,000-$10,000); a graphite and ink depiction of an Egyptian god figure, circa 1941-1945, 9 ¼ inches by 7 ¼ inches (est. $5,000-$7,000); and an oil painting on board work titled The Scientist, 20 inches by 16 inches (est. $12,000-$18,000).

All seven works by Thrash have been authenticated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by John Ittmann, curator and author of the book Dox Thrash – An African-American Printmaker Rediscovered. Additional works by Thrash, plus other listed artists in the Nowaks’ massive art collection, will be sold at future auctions. These seven works by Thrash are the first installment.

Dox Thrash was born in Griffin, Ga., and died in Philadelphia. He worked in a circus, in vaudeville and as an elevator operator and studied art at night at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He served in World War I in the legendary brigade of black soldiers known as the Buffalo Soldiers. His works are realistic depictions of African-American life in the 20th century.

Other art in the sale will include an oil on canvas by Marcel Mouly (Fr., 1918-2008), of a harbor scene with gray skies, signed lower left, dated 1982, and measuring 30 inches by 24 inches (est. $8,000-$10,000); and a colagem collage by Brazilian artist Romero Britto (b. 1965), constructed of many of his works ripped into pieces and attached together (est. $6,000-$8,000).

Several wonderful Sevres pieces will change hands throughout the course of the day. One of the expected top earners is a large and impressive mid-18th century French porcelain ormolu gilt bronze mounted centerpiece, having figural winged female busts and a body with a hand-painted scene of a bachelor with two women in a garden, on a bench (est. $10,000-$15,000).

Two other noteworthy Sevres lots include an exquisite pair of 18th century ormolu gilt bronze candelabra, each having seven arms and a figural standing cherub design and both 29 ¾ inches in height (est. $6,000-$8,000); and a circa-1754 French porcelain box showing cherubs in forest scenes with flowers, signed G. A. Shulz, 6 inches tall, 10 inches long (est. $6,000-$8,000).

One other French porcelain piece that must be singled out here, too, is an antique hand-painted urn, signed E. Fuchs (for the Austrian artist Emile Fuchs, 1866-1929). The urn boasts a dore gilt bronze frame and stand and the body shows a nymph scene with cherubs drinking wine. Made around 1900 and standing 58 ½ inches tall, the piece is expected to hit $12,000-$18,000.

Gorgeous plaques will also come up for bid. They include a Russian hand-painted lacquer plaque depicting a scene of the Archangel Michael trampling Satan, circa 18th or 19th century, 38 ¾ inches by 30 ½ inches (est. $12,000-$15,000); and a large 19th century French hand-painted enameled porcelain rectangular form plaque depicting two seated cherubs (est. $6,000-$8,000).

Also set to cross the auction block Oct. 5 will be a 19th century German Sitzendorf porcelain figural mantle clock, with a man and woman standing to each side of the movement (est. $5,000-$7,000); and a pair of German Sitzendorf circa-1887 porcelain figural candlesticks, each one 10 ¼ inches tall, with cherubs, garlands and a messenger bird (est. $3,500-$5,500).

Elite Decorative Arts’ next big auction after this will be sometime in November (date and time to be announced), also in the Boynton Beach gallery. Consignments for that and all future auctions are being sought.





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