On Sunday, November 10, 2013, Clars Auction Gallery
hosted what was anticipated to be a very strong sale and indeed it was. Realizing $2.1 million for the two-day event, this was the strongest November auction in the firms history and the second largest overall. Redge Martin, President of Clars, commented after the sale: Everything did very well, across the board and, currently, for 2013, we are up 23% over 2012.
All categories of fine art sold extremely well with numerous bidders from around the globe participating. Out of the many spectacular American, European and Chinese paintings, prints, and sculpture that were offered, the highest selling painting of the sale was The Proposal by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian, 1843-1932) which faired exceptionally well selling for $166,600. Rick Unruh, Vice President and Director of Fine Art at Clars, commented, We were quite pleased with the outcome of the de Blaas painting selling 40% better than the most recent auction results for the artist held in New York two weeks ago.
Among the other European highlights was a charming oil on canvas titled, Kittens Playing with a Pocket Watch (1898), by Charles H. van den Eycken (Belgian, 1859-1923) fetched $23,800 and two vibrantly beautiful paintings by Emilio Grau Sala (Spanish, 1911-1975) sold respectively for $17,850 and $11,900. An impressive color etching and aquatint by Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983) titled, "La Femme Arborescente," sold for $11,900 which was the highlight of the numerous Modern and Contemporary prints that were offered. Rounding out the top performing European lots was a lovely oil on paper by Jean Jansem (French, 1920-2013) titled, "Village au Matin," that fetched $9, 520.
The American art was equally as successful. A large, as well as important, portrait titled, The Black Kimono," by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) topped the list fetching $47,600. Close behind the Chase painting was Joseph Rusling Meekers (1827-1889) stoically beautiful painting titled, "Near the Atachafalaya," selling for $38,675. Sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012), African American Lady, soared past its $5,000 to $7,000 estimate settling at $11,900 while Frederick William MacMonnies (1863-1937) bronze, "Venus and Adonis (1895), sold respectively for $14,280.
Heading out West, California artists held their own with equally impressive results such as James Weeks (1922-1998) grand acrylic on canvas titled, ''Bocce Ball #1,'' selling for $17,850 followed by a classic painting by Thomas Hill (1829-1908) titled, Yosemite, fetching $15,470. Passing Clouds, an oil on board by Percy Gray (1869-1952) flew past its $6,000-8,000 estimate selling at $10,710. Lastly, a rare set of eighteen photographs, Pageant of History in Northern California, by Ansel Adams (1902-1984), rounds out the Californian list at $16,660.
Contemporary Chinese art found global attention with two watercolors by Chen Chi (Chinese/American, 1939-2005) selling for $20,230 and $14,280 ending up well past their $3,000-$5,000 estimates. A lovely painting by Shang Ding (Chinese, b. 1954) titled, "Contemplation," also surprised the crowd by fetching $10,700.
The furniture and decorative arts department performed very well with strong prices realized from the start to the conclusion of the sale, commented Deric Tores, Vice President and Director of Decorative Arts and Furnishings. Two important special collections were offered the first being a collection of French Cameo glass which realized over $50,000. The second was a collection of Native American textiles, basketry, pottery and 19th century totem poles. This collection sold very strong realizing $60,000 overall.
In the individual lots offered, topping this category and soaring past estimate was a monumental 19th century Royal Vienna urn, executed in hand painted porcelain with a reserve depicting the portrait of Unschuld, (Innocence). Measuring 24h x 16w x 6d it sold for $19,040, a new gallery record for Royal Vienna. Furthering the Continental porcelain, a Meissen figural group brought an impressive $10,755.
Lighting was particularly strong with the top lamp being a Tiffany Studios example deaccessioned from the Honolulu Museum of Art which brought $14,340 and a rare Tiffany Studios Mermaid lamp base that sold for $15,535 against its high estimate of $5,000.
Also from the Honolulu Museum was an important circa 1760 Chippendale slant front desk. Expected to achieve a high of $6,000, this historic piece went for over three times that amount selling for $19,040.
And one very lucky bidder cruised away from the sale in a fabulously finned 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville with only 38,000 original miles for a smooth $32,725.
FINE AND ESTATE JEWELRY
Two exquisite jewelry lots placed in the top 15 lots of the sale. A fancy brownish yellow diamond and near colorless diamond ring sold for $28,560. Just a few lots later, an 18k yellow gold ring centered with a bezel set oval jadeite cabachon earned an impressive $19,040.
ASIAN ART AND ANTIQUES
Taking the #3 spot in the sale overall was a Chinese hardwood side table. Also coming from the Honolulu Museum of Art, this table was Qing dynasty (17th/18th century) and reputed to be huanghuali and achieved $41,650.
Also contributing the highly successful November sale was the 7th top lot of the auction, a Chinese daye zitan hardwood table en suite that brought $28,560.
Clars next Fine Art and Antiques Auction will be held Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, 2013. Previews for this sale will be held Friday, December 6th from 1pm to 6pm and 9am each auction day and by appointment. A complete catalog will be available online one week prior to the sale.