Clarke Auction Gallery's Nov. 24 sale offers something for all collecting tastes
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Clarke Auction Gallery's Nov. 24 sale offers something for all collecting tastes
This pair of Wendell Castle chairs was designed for the newspaper giant, the Gannett Company, for use in its Rochester, N.Y., boardroom ($5/7,000).

LARCHMONT, NY.- Clarke Auction Gallery will present an auction on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 11 am that ticks off nearly every box on a collector’s wish list. Masterful paintings in a bevy of periods and styles? Couture jewelry? Designer furniture pieces custom made for the boardroom of a then-Fortune 500 company? Check, check and check.

“I’m proud to be able to consistently offer buyers interesting and fresh-to-market items in our auctions and satisfy collecting interests from Americana to Asian art, midcentury modern to traditional and most everything in between,” said owner and auctioneer Ronan Clarke. “Our November auction is strong across the board and includes pieces by sought-after names like Aldro Hibbard, Tiffany, David Webb and Wendell Castle.”

The fine art category will feature a charming and famous oil on canvas painting by American artist Aldro Hibbard (1886-1972). This painting titled “Country Fair” ($20/30,000) is signed lower left and measures 25 by 30 inches. “Hibbard’s ‘Country Fair’ ranks among the best works of Hibbard’s oeuvre,” said Clarke’s fine art specialist Will Schweller. “Featuring the mountains of New England that frequently appear in Hibbard’s paintings, ‘Country Fair’ sees the painter filling his landscape with human energy. He includes many charming details of an early 20th Century rural fair, including livestock, automobiles, as well as crowds of adults and children huddled around attractions, all existing underneath an American flag. This painting is so evocative of country life that it was included in a Maxwell House coffee advertising campaign, appearing in Life magazine as a depiction of the ‘American Scene’.”

Another highlight among paintings is an Eighteenth-Nineteenth Century oil on canvas portrait of a gentleman from the circle of Henry Raeburn ($1/1,500), measuring 36½ by 27½ inches. “This is a striking portrait that displays a true mastery of hand,” Schweller noted. “The painter has rendered the sitter’s felt collar in a tremendously lifelike fashion and displays the sitter’s genteel manner and personality through pose and gaze.”

The auction stays strong throughout and runs the gamut from paintings, jewelry, Asian art and decorative accessories to midcentury furniture. Expected to garner much interest is a trio of high design furniture made by Wendell Castle (American, 1932-2018) for the boardroom of the Gannett (newspaper) Company in Rochester, N.Y. Castle lived outside Rochester with his family in the 1970s and taught at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He was famous for his sculptural furniture and did all the furniture pieces for Gannett’s headquarters here, according to a 1978 Washington Post article. A pair of boardroom chairs ($5/7,000), on offer in this sale, is pictured in the artist’s catalog raisonne. Also crossing the block is a podium ($1/1,500) and a coffee table ($1/1,500) he did for the boardroom. All three pieces came out of an Essex, Conn., estate with Gannett provenance.

The auction will offer a very eclectic selection of jewelry and with the December holidays practically right around the corner, gift-giving options here run the gamut from about $300 to the $5/10,000 range.

“There is just a really beautiful array of signed couture,” says Whitney Bria, Clarke’s jewelry and silver specialist. “It ranges from David Webb and Schlumberger for Tiffany to a whole collection of Tiffany brooches.”

Bria, who is still cataloging lots for this sale, said several key pieces were presently at the Gemological Institute, including a wonderful Ceylon sapphire brooch in 14K gold that is being certified with an identity report as well as country of origin along with a blue cabochon and two amber necklaces.

Other jewelry offerings include many signed pieces, a collection of jade jewelry inscribed “Ming’s HK” and among gold pieces, several made in the chunky solid “statement jewelry” style that is in vogue now. Also crossing the block are coral jewelry and a fine French 18K gold hinged bracelet in the form of an antelope.

The Asian arts category will feature a diverse grouping of art from etchings to bronzes and porcelain. Highlights include a Zao Wou-ki (Zhao Wuji, France/China, 1920-2013) lithograph titled “Jardin Le Nuit,” 1954 ($2/3,000) and an untitled gravure etching and aquatint by the artist from 1957 ($1,5/2,500) as well as a group of Cambodian bronze heads and a Buddha ($1/1,500).

Other antiques that would make a fine addition to the home include a Steinway & Sons Model M ebonized piano from a fine Long Island estate ($3/5,000), a pair of Louis XV1 style gilt wood mirrors in a pleasing large size with urn crown and laurel leaf swags, 84 by 36 inches ($3/5,000); and an antique and finely hand woven Oushak carpet, 12 feet 7 inches by 10 feet 9 inches ($1/1,500).

Rounding out the auction are an original Peanuts comic strip layout (copyright date is 1975) signed by Charles Schulz, showing Linus and Charlie Brown conversing at a brick wall ($3/5,000); a signed pair of mahogany Baker chests with leather top writing desks having a nice original patina ($1/1,500) and a rare and important signed mahogany tall case clock, made by David Lestourgeon in London, circa 1710 ($1/1,500).

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