Freeman's / Hindman presents antiquities from the Estates of Donald Wonder and Philip Pearlstein

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Freeman's / Hindman presents antiquities from the Estates of Donald Wonder and Philip Pearlstein
A Roman Rosso Antico Head of a Young Satyr. Estimate: $50,000 - $60,000.



CHICAGO, IL.- Freeman’s | Hindman presents its inaugural Antiquities and Ancient Art auction as a merged firm on May 23, highlighting objects from the Estates of Donald H. Wonder and Philip Pearlstein, as well as other esteemed collections.

“Our auction brings together the remarkable legacies of Donald H. Wonder, with his profound appreciation for Egyptian art, and the American painter, Philip Pearlstein, whose collection of ancient art was kept at his New York studio and influenced much of his later work,” said Jacob Coley, Vice President and Head of Department, Antiquities and Ancient Art.

The Wonder Collection [Lot 1-79]

Donald H. Wonder, a distinguished professional musician and antiquarian, was born in 1938 in Berkeley, California. Although initially pursuing a career in classical music, his fascination with ancient art was ignited at the age of 18 when he acquired his first piece, an Egyptian scarab. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of his lifelong passion for collecting and delving into the narratives woven within ancient artifacts. While studying music at the University of California, Berkeley, he simultaneously nurtured his growing interest in antiquities. After graduating in 1961, Wonder continued his academic pursuits, enrolling in the MA program at San Francisco State University. Throughout his career as a remarkable tenor, he balanced his musical endeavors with a dedicated exploration of ancient civilizations, particularly Egypt, which became a focal point of his collecting journey.

Building on his network within the theater and opera community, he cultivated relationships with auction houses, antiquities dealers, and collectors. This network, coupled with his extensive travels during his tenures with Boris Goldovsky's Opera Theater (1963-1966) and the musical "Evita" (1980), provided him with invaluable opportunities to acquire and study ancient artifacts. Subsequently, Wonder established himself as a prominent figure in the antiquities market, operating under the business title "Arts of Ancient Civilizations." His unwavering dedication to collecting persisted beyond his retirement from teaching music, remaining active until his passing in 2023. As his legacy lives on, his beloved wife endeavors to share his remarkable collection with fellow enthusiasts through a series of auctions at Freeman's | Hindman, ensuring that Wonder's passion for ancient art continues to inspire generations to come.

Ancient Art from the Estate of Philip Pearlstein [Lot 238-267]

Philip Pearlstein (1924-2022), a celebrated American artist, was known for his masterful figure paintings, capturing the human form with exquisite detail. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and physical distancing measures prevented him from inviting models into his studio, Pearlstein found new inspiration in his extensive collection of antiquities and ancient art. This remarkable collection, accumulated over decades of devoted collecting, became the central theme for a series of watercolors created during this unique period called Treasures from the Studio (2022).

Pearlstein's collection includes a wide range of ancient objects that he carefully curated over his 98-year life. His keen eye for artifacts and historical treasures is reflected in these watercolors, where he arranged and depicted various clay, terracotta, and earthenware art in unique compositions. From Greek pottery to Egyptian fragments, Pearlstein's final works provide a fascinating glimpse into the diverse pieces he collected and valued. The antiquities offered here are a testament to his love for history and his ability to bring these objects to life on canvas. Lots 238-267 offer collectors the chance to own a piece of the collection that inspired Pearlstein's final artistic creations.










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