Ron Clarke will say hes just a simple Irishman but his well-trained eye for fine art is keen. Running auctions and buying art and antiques for decades, Clarke can immediately spot the one good painting in an attic full of mere stuff. Fresh on the heels of selling an important Reuven Rubin painting last month for $300,000, Clarke has sussed out yet another notable painting by an important artist from a local estate.
At Clarke Auction Gallery
s next sale on Sunday, February 19, at 10 am, crossing the block will be a pair of large acrylic diptychs by Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (b 1940), a Native American painter raised on the Flathead Reservation in western Montana. She is well known for her intricate abstract paintings and prints from the 1970s on. Her artworks weave together personal narratives and her cultural history with motifs from modern signage and art history. Estimated to attain $20/30,000, the two works, Okanogan Series #4 and 6 comprise a collage of four canvases that measure 84 inches tall by 32 inches wide. Also on offer from the same estate is an untitled pastel drawing by Smith depicting dancing figures ($3/5,000).
Jaune Quick-To-Smith is a contemporary painter that is very well collected; she combines painting, collage and appropriated imagery to create a very unique visual language, said Clarke.
Far from being the only notable lot in the auction, the diptychs joins a parade of fine paintings across the block, ranging from folky and genre scenes to landscapes, portraits as well as modern and abstract works. Design pieces for the home, furniture, silver and jewelry and Asian arts are also well represented.
Two signed folky wood relief assemblages from Bernard Langlais (American, 1921-1977) are on offer. First up is Cows, a large work measuring 49 by 52 ½ inches ($8/12,000) followed by Knock Wood ($4/6,000), 33⅓-inch tall. The late artist was working in his summer cottage in Maine in the late 1950s when he first started working with wood scraps that he precisely arranged, mosaic-style, into artistic compositions. He likened this technique to painting with wood.
Among modernist artworks by American artists are Richard Diebenkorns Ochre, a 1983 woodcut in colors ($8/12,000), on Mitsumata paper. The work is initial-signed and measures 25 by 35¾ inches. European artists are also abundant here from Alberto Pasinis (Italian, 1826-1899) Desert Encampment, a small oil on panel ($6/9,000), to Latvia-born Raimonds Staprans (b 1926), whose Fishing Boats Sunset oil on canvas is on offer at $4/6,000.
The jewelry offerings here run the gamut from fine diamonds and gold to fine colored gemstones. Expected to lead this category is a ribbed 18K yellow gold bypass style bracelet ending in two carved colored gem cabochons, most likely tourmaline. Coming from a Fairfield County estate, the bracelet is estimated at $5/7,000. Another statement piece is a large 18K yellow gold, coral and diamond brooch ($4/6,000), from a Manhattan estate, boasting coral cabochons and round brilliant cut diamonds.
Several fine rings will also sparkle, including a platinum and 6.92-carat diamond engagement ring ($4/6,000) with a GIA-graded L color, VS2 diamond; a platinum and 4+carat diamond eternity band ring from a Manhattan estate ($4/6,000) and an 18K white gold ring centered with a prong-set colored gem flanked by fancy brilliant cut diamonds ($4/6,000).
Statement design pieces for the home typically find favor with buyers here and on offer is a Warren Platner custom wall-mounted shelving unit ($2/3,000), made for the Friedman home in Greenwich, Conn. The unit, having six adjustable shelves, measures 72¼ inches by 30 by 10½ inches. A furniture piece that still has its fine original shape is a Victorian walnut library cabinet ($4/6,000), signed Bellanger, and retains a label in one drawer, 68 by 153 by 21 inches.
An interesting addition to the sale is a massive grouping of bullion and silver ($8/12,000), including Washington quarters, Franklin half dollars, Walking Liberty half dollars, Barber half dollars, Kennedy half dollars, Roosevelt and Mercury dimes, war nickels and more.
Rounding out the auction are an enameled metal floor lamp after Serge Mouille, 81 inches tall, having three fully adjustable arms. each with nipple shades on decorative brass knuckles ($1/1,500) and a late 18th-early 19th Century Chinese blue and white double dragon fish bowl ($1/1,500), about 18¼ inches in diameter and 16 inches tall.