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Expansive collection of majolica from the Richard Mellon Scaife Etate to be sold at Clars
The first offering of Richard Mellon Scaife’s extensive majolica collection will be offered at Clars January 2015 sale.

OAKLAND, CA.- On December 15, 2014, Clars Auction Gallery announced that, in partnership with Christie’s, New York, they had been chosen to present the collection of the Estate of Mr. Richard Mellon Scaife to auction in 2015. Mr. Scaife amassed the collection travelling the world, and buying in some of the world’s finest and most prestigious antique and art galleries, including Jeremy Ltd., London, and Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge.

The collection was an important part of the interiors at his Pebble Beach (CA), Nantucket (MA) and Pittsburgh (PA) residences.

This world-class collection will be offered at both Christie’s Auction House, who will host an important single owner sale of Furniture and Decorative Arts in 2015, and Clars Auction Gallery who will be offering the remainder of the collection. The collection includes English porcelains dating to the early 18th century, an extensive Majolica collection including very rare examples, and fine antique furniture dating from the 18th century-present. Clars will hold two sales focusing on the Scaife Estate and collection January 17-19, 2015, and February 21-23, 2015, with the remainder of the collection in our following monthly auctions.

Coming to auction at Clars, on January 17, 18 and 19, 2015, will be part of his very extensive majolica collection amassed over several years. Scaife showcased this collection at both his Nantucket and Pebble Beach residences. The pieces selected for the January sale are mainly nautical in theme. Offerings date from the early to mid 19th century, including pieces from the studio of George Jones. Highlights include shell form compotes, early nautilus shell spoon warmers, clam form flower frogs, and highly decorated wall pockets. (PHOTO 1)

Also of note from the prominent Scaife collection, will be a French Industrial gilt bronze automaton lighthouse clock and barometer, circa 1890. (PHOTO 2) A miniature pietra dura specimen marble top table accented with red coral sprays is part of a large group of miniature furniture from the Scaife collection. (PHOTO 3)

Mr. Richard Mellon Scaife was born in Pittsburgh PA. July 3, 1932, and was the great grand-nephew of Andrew Mellon, growing up in Pittsburgh at the family's opulent homes in Pittsburgh and Ligonier. He was a noted media publisher and philanthropist, and donated hundreds of millions of dollars to countless causes, foundations and museums including the Clinton Global Initiative, the Heritage Foundation and Hoover Institute.

Clars January 2015 sale will also bring to auction offerings from other very notable estates. From a prominent Pacific Heights, San Francisco estate, a Steinway and Sons, New York, Model O baby grand piano, is estimated at $25,000 to $35,000. In addition, there will be an extensive collection of Early American furniture, including a Chippendale slant front desk, executed in mahogany, circa 1760-1790.

Hurray for Iconic Hollywood! — America loved all 140 episodes of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, an American television show that ran from January 22, 1968 through May 14, 1973 on the NBC network. Clars Auction Gallery will be offering three costumes worn by Ruth Buzzi, and designed by legendary Hollywood costume designer Michael Travis. (Note: Travis was also the costume designer for Liberace.) The highlight of the costumes to be offered is a Psychedelic Graduation costume. (PHOTO 4) There are only 2 other known examples of this costume, and the example Clars will be selling retains the original tag on the inside of the jacket to which Ms. Buzzi's name has been typed. Estimate on this costume is $5,000 to $7,000.

Rounding out this exciting three-day event will be significant offerings in Jewelry, Fine Art and Asian Art & Antiques. Highlighting the jewelry and timepieces category will be a Gentleman’s Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute stainless steel wristwatch, 40 mm, circa 1962; a diamond three-stone ring in 14k yellow and white gold, set with old European cut diamonds totaling approximately 2.86 cts. and a stunning carved Jadeite, diamond and 18k white gold pendant (PHOTO 5) that will be offered for $7,000 to $9,000.

In fine art, the January auction will feature a nice array of American and International works. One in particular is a watercolor by Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823-1900) titled, “Sunset (1894).” This delicate work on paper by the renowned Hudson River school artist will be offered at $5,000 to $7,000. An oil on canvas by New York artist, Leon Kroll (American, 1884-1975), titled “Nude Study,” will also be featured. On the International side, a colorful yet dramatic painting titled, "Teaching Our Young (1988),” by the Modernist, Objibwa/Chippewa artist, Norval Morrisseau (Canadian, 1932-2007), will be offered at $6,000 to $8,000. Heading south to the end of North America, a delightfully vibrant, oil on board titled, “Girl and Dog,” by Rosa Rolanda (Mexican, 1897-1962) is also estimated to achieve $6,000 to $8,000.

The Asian Art and Antiques category will offer a wide assortment of jade, including plaques, belt hooks, toggles and a brush washer carved with bat form handles. Another highlight will be an East Indian Mughal type khanjar dagger with a jade hilt carved in the form of a parrot, (PHOTO 6) inlaid with red glass eyes. In Chinese ceramics, there will be a selection of pottery from the Han to the Tang dynasties, including hu vases and various pottery tomb figures. In Qing and Republic period porcelain, an assortment of blue and white along with enameled dishes, bowls and vases will be offered. In the Japanese section, a highlight will be a gilt lacquered butsudan shrine cabinet from the late 19th/early 20th century.

Clars Auction Gallery’s Fine Art, Decoratives, Jewelry and Asian Art Auction will be held January 17th, 18th, and 19th. The sales will begin promptly at 9:30am on Saturday and Sunday and at 1:30pm on Monday. Previews for this sale will be held Friday, January 16th from 1pm to 6pm and 9am, Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9:30 am and by appointment. A complete catalog will be available online one and one-half weeks prior to the sale. For more information, please visit or email:

Clars Auction Gallery is based in Oakland, CA. As the largest full service auction gallery in the Western United States, Clars has worked in partnership with Christie’s New York on several important collections. Clars Auction Gallery has also been the chosen auction gallery of a number of institutions and distinguished private collectors across the country.

Bidding for Clars’ auctions is available in person, by phone, absentee and live online at, and through, and Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.

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