On May 18 and 19, 2013, Clars Auction Gallery
realized over $1.7 million on the exceptional fine art, furnishings, decorative art, jewelry and Asian antiques that were offered and will be recorded as the 4th largest sale in the firms history. Fueled in great part by the Fine Art category which featured a spectacular array of works by American artists as well as European, exceptional prices were also achieved in the Asian, Ethnographic and fine jewelry categories.
Turning first to the exciting fine art results, the three pivotal paintings by legendary artist LeRoy Neiman (American, 1921-2012) stole the show, said Rick Unruh, Vice President and Director of Fine Art at Clars. Finish at Indy, Neimans brightly colored 1982 painting depicting the closest finish in Indy 500 history, was expected to achieve $50,000 on the high side but collectors would compete furiously for this work driving the final sale price to an astounding $94,300. And they werent finished battling yet when the next lot, Neimans Longchamp, came on the block. Depicting jockeys atop their horses at the world famous Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France, this work galloped at full tilt past its high estimate of $50,000 selling for $77,530. And finally, Neimans Himalayan Ascent, went solidly within estimate selling for $41,650.
Several other works by American artists also exceeded expectations. From Alaskan artist Sydney Mortimer Laurence (1865-1940), his oil on canvas Northern Lights sold for $24, 990 and Southwestern artist Anna Katherine Skeeles (1896-1963) oil on canvas Taos Chapel close to doubled its high estimate achieving $23,800. And a rare bronze sculpture titled Horses Playing, by Wilhelm Hunt Diederich (American, 1884-1953) sold very well for $20,230.
California artists also fared well, commented Rick Unruh, with Water, Sand and Patterns, by August Gay (1890-1949) earning $59,500 followed by Clayton Sumner Price (1874-1950) whose Horses at Watering Hole sold for $47,600 and Eucalyptus by Maurice Braun (1877-1941) which fetched $20,230.
Several European pieces did quite well. A lovely painting titled, La Jeune Maman, by Spanish artist, Antoni Clavé, sold for $13,090 and Italian artist, Michele Cascellas oil on canvas, Portofino, sold well above its $5,000-7,000 fetching $13,090.
20th century prints added to the stellar day with a Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Austrian, 1928-2000) portfolio that sold for $26,180 followed by Roy Lichtensteins (American, 1923-1997) Shipboard Girl selling for $23,800.
Turning to the other outstanding sales of the day was a significant 19th century Maori people, New Zealand, architectural sculpture from inside a ceremonial house. De-acquisitioned from the de Young Museum of San Francisco (CA), this important ethnographic offering was expected to achieve $22,000 but sold impressively for almost double at $41,650.
The exquisite jewelry offered drew collectors and the solid prices to go with them. Topping this category was an Art Deco platinum and diamond ring highlighting two old European cut diamonds, weights approximately 2.27 cts. and 2.50 cts. It was accompanied by a 14K yellow gold twisted wire ring jacket. This stunning piece surpassed its high estimate selling for $22,610.
In decorative arts, sterling and art glass held the spotlight. From renowned glass artist Dante Marioni (American b.1964) his stunning circa 1995 work titled Yellow Pair With Red Wrap, which measured 29 inches high, easily soared to its final sale price of $13, 035. In sterling, it was a Georg Jensen Danish sterling silver centerpiece that topped these offerings commanding the same impressive price as Marioni, also going for $13,035.
And finally, Clars always exciting Asian offerings had its surprises as well. Topping this category was a lot of five 19th century Chinese cloisonné enameled garniture set from the Tibet House, New York, that sold for double its high estimate earning $23,800.
Clars next Fine Art and Antiques Auction will be held on June 15 and 16, 2013. Previews for this sale will be Friday, June 14th, from 1pm to 6pm and beginning at 9am on both Saturday, June 15th and Sunday, June 16th.