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Quinn's & Waverly to auction works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Modigliani and Sam Gilliam
Sam Gilliam, Forest Bard, 72 x 36in., oil-on-canvas, circa 1966, signed, titled and dated on verso. Est. $30,000-$50,000. Courtesy of Quinn’s Auction Galleries.


FALLS CHURCH, VA.- Quinn’s Auction Galleries and its specialist subsidiary Waverly Rare Books will join forces on June 7 and 9 in offering a high-quality selection of fine and decorative art, furniture, Asian antiques and modern first editions. The June 9 session features artworks by such stellar names as Georgia O’Keeffe, Amedeo Modigliani, and acclaimed Washington Color School painter and lyrical abstractionist Sam Gilliam. All forms of bidding will be available to those who cannot attend in person, including phone, absentee, and live via the Internet.

The June 7 session, presented by Waverly Rare Books, contains 486 lots of collectible books, prints, photos, ephemera and memorabilia. A highlight is the 150-lot collection of modern first editions, including The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, and titles by George Orwell, Jack Kerouac, Ray Bradbury, William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, Aldous Huxley, Herman Hesse, Rudyard Kipling and many more. Also featured are books, clothing and prints from the Estate of Dr. John Joseph McLaughlin, founder and longtime host of The McLaughlin Group; plus a collection of children’s and illustrated books; maps and atlases; and Old Master Prints.

The impressive grouping of first editions is led by a 1939 copy of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Published by Viking Press, this desirable 1939 first edition retains its original dust jacket and is estimated at $2,000-$4,000. Two examples of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Scribner’s, 1925, contain the typographical errors denoting them as first edition first printings (each $800-$1,200); while another American classic, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, a 1952 first edition in a first-issue dust jacket (with no mention of the Nobel Prize Hemingway won for writing the novel) could easily surpass its $200-$400 estimate. A group lot of two Hemingway first editions – For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940, first-issue dust jacket) and A Moveable Feast (1964, with dust jacket) – is entered with a $200-$300 estimate.

Thomas Pynchon’s controversial 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow traverses science and speculative metaphysics in its storyline, which explores the mystery of a “black device” to be installed inside a World War II German V-2 rocket. A first edition with dust jacket, it is offered in the Waverly session with a $500-$700 estimate.

The collection of items from the estate of Dr. John McLaughlin (1927-2016) reflects both the intellectual and sartorial sides of the popular political commentator best known for his cerebral TV panel show The McLaughlin Group. There are dozens of custom-made blazers and suits, as well as polo shirts, silk ties, and other fine-quality accessories. The trademark tartan plaid sport coat McLaughlin wore on air every holiday season would be instantly recognizable to viewers. Its pre-sale estimate is $200-$400.

The star of Quinn’s June 9 Fine & Decorative Arts session is a circa-1966 Sam Gilliam oil-on-canvas work, Forest Bard. Purchased from a Washington, DC gallery shortly after it was created, the painting has remained in the same family ever since. Signed, titled and dated on verso, the 72- by 36-inch abstract executed in muted blue-green tones with peach and white accents is expected to make $30,000-$50,000.

Gilliam is enjoying the greatest success of his lifetime, but it has been a long time coming for the 84-year-old artist. “Sam Gilliam is regarded as a trailblazer. He was the first African-American artist to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, back in 1972. There has always been an interest in his paintings, especially here in the Washington, DC area, but it has only been in the last few years that his work has really caught fire,” said Quinn’s Sr VP Marketing Matthew Quinn. “Most of his auction records have been set in the last two years. Sotheby’s sold a 1971 Gilliam for more than $680,000 last September – a record price. It will be interesting to see what happens with the painting in our sale.”

A fascinating study from Georgia O’Keeffe’s (American, 1887-1986) renowned series “Above the Clouds” was consigned by a private Virginia collector whose family was close to the O’Keeffes during the artist’s childhood years in Williamsburg.

“Georgia O’Keeffe kept in contact with the family throughout her life and even stayed with them when The College of William & Mary awarded her an honorary degree in 1938. She gave the family this drawing years later, as a token of her longtime affection,” Quinn noted. The study is artist-signed and carries an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.

A 1948 Jay Hall Connaway (American, 1893-1970) painting titled Winter Cottage Monhegan (Maine) showcases the artist’s ability to capture Monhegan Island’s unique atmosphere on canvas. It measures 27½ x 38 inches (framed) and comes with desirable extra provenance in the form of a card from the artist, on verso. Est. $1,200-$1,600

Other art highlights include an Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1917-1920) chalk-on-paper profile of a head, $4,000-$6,000; and a Robert Henry Rockwell (Virginia, 1885-1973) bronze titled Moose. It is signed and dated on the base: R H Rockwell 1940, 1/10. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000.

An important schoolgirl sampler created by Jane Likens (1812-1880), Shepherdstown, (West) Virginia, displays rice, chain and cross-stitches on linen; and is dated 1822. It was exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has a record of provenance that includes the collection of James F. Scott, prior sale at Sotheby’s (Jan. 2013), and the collection of Connie Bergendoff of Old Lyme, New Hampshire. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000

Also of note are a set of six Danish Modern Koefoeds Hornslet rosewood chairs with leather-upholstered seats, $800-$1,000; a Shreve & Co., sterling silver set comprising a platter, 12 bread plates and 12 chargers, $2,000-$4,000; and a Tiffany Studios “Arrowroot” lampshade and base with Tiffany Studios New York 534 label, $4,000-$6,000.





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Quinn's & Waverly to auction works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Modigliani and Sam Gilliam

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