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Thomas J. Perkins Estate shatters world auction record for Bo Barrett at Clars November 2016 Sale
The previous record of $50,000 for a work by Bo Bartlett (American, b 1955) was shattered on Sunday, November 13th when “Lifeboat,” sold for $296,000. [Provenance: From the estate of Thomas J. Perkins.]

OAKLAND, CA.- Clars Auction Gallery’s November 12 and 13, 2016 sale featured a major installment of the property from the Thomas J. Perkins Estate (San Francisco and Belvedere, CA and his famous Maltese Falcon yacht). The impressive results of this sale were driven in great part by Perkins’ colleagues and friends plus collectors worldwide who came out to bid on items from his extraordinary lifestyle and collections. The sale earned over $2.5 million and was Clars strongest November auction in their history. After the sale, President Redge Martin said, “Clars was very honored to have been selected to represent this important estate. It was very exciting for us to see the number of Thomas Perkins’ friends, acquaintances and business associates who were familiar with the exceptional property he had and their desire to own a piece or pieces from his amazing lifestyle.”

In addition to the Perkins estate, this sale also featured property from several other highly notable estates, museums and special collections.

Although each category of fine art did exceptionally well, the most exciting lot of the entire sale which also set a new global record for the artist, was the painting, “Lifeboat,” by Bo Bartlett (American, b. 1955) which sold for $296,500. This work sold well over its $30,000-50,000 estimate and 5 times higher than the previous record held. This large oil on canvas had the solid provenance of coming from the Estate of San Francisco venture capitalist, Thomas J. Perkins, and was a particular favorite piece of the former owner. This painting graced the interior of his famous yacht, The Maltese Falcon. “We had numerous telephone bidders from all over the world on this lot who all very much wanted this work, that some believe to be Bartlett’s greatest. Needless to say, the outcome was beyond our expectations,” exclaimed Rick Unruh, Vice President and Director of Fine Art.

The Hudson River School was the next category to ‘shine’ at Clars Important November 13th Auction with the colorful, luminist oil on canvas, “Greenwood Lake, New Jersey (1874),” by Jasper Cropsey (American, 1823-1900) selling for $84,700 followed by the large, meticulously executed wooded scene painting, “Kaatskill (Catskill) Creek,” by Worthington Whittredge (American, 1820-1910) achieving $66,550.

Other East Coast paintings that enjoyed high returns were, “Still Life with Pot and Ladle,” by the Long Island, New York master, William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916) selling for $33,275 as well as, “Evening by the Pont d’lena with the Eiffel Tower in the Distance” by Rockport, Massachusetts artist, Emile Gruppé (American, 1896-1978) also pinnacled to top out at $20,570 from its $5,000-7,000 estimate. Percy Gray (American, 1869-1952) led the Early California category with five pristine watercolors selling for a combined total of $36,300.

Prints and Multiples had outstanding results as well with three individual and vibrant color silkscreens by Pop Artist Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) from the “Sunset (1972)” series cumulating in a grand total of $111,925. Always a favorite in the San Francisco Bay Area but now a favorite internationally with Abstract Expressionist collectors, Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993) once again triumphed in this category with the intensely provocative color aquatint, “Touched Red (1991),” achieving $54,450. A rare portfolio of twelve gelatin silver prints by Edward Weston (American, 1886-1958) titled, “Fiftieth Anniversary (1902-1952)” led the Photography portion of the sale with an impressive result of $60,500.

The decorative arts and furnishings from the Perkins Estate had incredible results as well with most lots going for over high estimate. An Augustus Humbert 1851 $50 gold slug minted in San Francisco, PCGS XF40, surpassed its high estimate selling for $36,300. Four English carved oak newel post finials achieved $16,940, over 10 times their high estimate and an Italian Baroque polychrome painted and parcel gilt center table, Tuscany, early 17th century, flew past its high estimate selling for $13,310. Also of note from this estate was an Erwin Sattler Munich Nautis, which sold for $6,655, well over its $500 – 700 estimate, a Pino Signoretto Murano aquarium block, 20th century, brought $7,865, and a Gerald Wingrove scale model of a 1929 supercharged Bentley or "Birkin Blower,” which realized $7,865. After the sale, Deric Torres, Vice President of Decorative Arts and Furnishings commented, “We knew this [Thomas Perkins] estate would be well received by the market but it solidly surpassed all of our expectations with the November sale alone achieving nearly $750,000 on his items and collections.”

In addition to property from the Perkins estate, prominently featured at the sale was a George Nakashima “Conoid” coffee table, circa 1964, that achieved $12,100. And for the luxury traveler, a rare circa 1920 Louis Vuitton steam trunk doubled its high estimate selling for $15,730.

Calligraphy from master calligrapher Yu Youren (Chinese, 1879-1964) came from the estate of a prominent Republic period official and provided both great excitement and unexpected high prices. The top lot in the collection was a handscroll dedicated to his son Yu Wangde. This ink on paper was signed on the left and inscribed with the date (Republic) 36th year seventh month. Estimated to sell for $30,000 – 50,000, highly competitive bidding drove the final selling price to $84,700. The remaining two calligraphies offered also solidly surpassed their high estimates selling for $15,730 and $14,520 respectively. These significant prices reflect the increasing market demand for works by Chinese contemporary ink artists, a trend that has grown rapidly since the early 2000s, making them a great investment for Asian and Western collectors alike.

A Chinese Ge-type lobed planter was also among the high Asian prices achieved selling for $30,250 against its $2,000 – 4,000 estimate as was a Chinese Guan-type tripod censer that achieved an astonishing $24,200 also against its $2,000 – 4,000 estimate.

Diamonds dazzled at the November sale with a 3.15 ct round brilliant cut diamond and 14k yellow gold pendant necklace surpassing its high estimate selling for $19,360. And selling for twice its high estimate was a diamond and 14k white gold ring centered by one modified old European-cut 1.09 cts diamond that achieved $4,840.

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