Work by M.C. Escher and an acrylic by Julian Stanczak lead auction

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Work by M.C. Escher and an acrylic by Julian Stanczak lead auction
Lithograph on paper by Maurits Cornelis (M.C.) Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972), titled Castel Mola and Mount Edna, Sicily, signed, a rare early litho from the artist ($33,825).

BEACHWOOD, OHIO .- Eager bidders blew past high estimates for many of the lots in Neue Auctions’ online-only Art in Bloom sale held on April 27th. The top achievers of the 363 lots that came up for bid were a lithograph by M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972) that sold for $33,825 and an untitled acrylic on canvas by Julian Stanczak (American, 1928-2017) that finished at $27,675.

The catalog was packed with contemporary art glass, including pieces by Chihuly, Kirkpatrick, Mace, Scanga, Brock, Weinberg, Carlson, Francis, Leppla, Novotny, Roubicek and Smith; as well as many pieces of contemporary artwork, sculpture and fine objects. “It was a solid sale from start to finish, with high prices realized,” said Cynthia Maciejewski of Neue Auctions.

The 1932 lithograph on paper by Maurits Cornelis (M.C.) Escher was titled Castel Mola and Mount Edna, Sicily. It was a rare early litho from Escher that was signed lower left, numbered (“8/24”), and signed and dated in the plate with an “MCE” monogram and date (“12-32”). It measured 9 inches by 12 inches (minus frame) and easily surpassed its $18,000 high estimate.

The early acrylic on canvas painting by Polish-born American artist Julian Stanczak was an untitled work done in 1965, measuring 38 inches by 37 inches as framed. It was artist inscribed in pencil en verso and nicely framed. The painting was hand-done, before the use of tape and, like the Escher litho, it had a high estimate of $18,000 that bidders happily ignored.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. Internet bidding was facilitated by and Prices quoted include a 23 percent buyer’s premium.

There were three stoneware vessels by Claude Conover (American, 1907-1994) in the sale, all consigned from an Oklahoma collection and all three signed and titled to the base. They each had estimates of $6,000-$10,000. One, titled Tzots, was 23 ½ inches tall and sold for $12,300. Another, titled Verac, was 23 inches tall and hit $11,070. Both were ovoid cylindrical form.

There were two bronze sculptures in the auction by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (American, 1880-1980). One, titled Crest of the Wave (1925), had a greenish brown patination and stood 21 inches tall. It was one of the artist’s most popular sculptures, originally cast as a fountain. The work was signed and raised on a marble base and surpassed its $6,000-$9,000 estimate to garner $11,070.

A lithograph on paper by the surrealist master Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989), titled Symphonie Bicyclette (1970), was artist signed in pencil lower right and numbered lower left. It was matted and framed, with a sheet size 30 inches by 21 ½ inches (43 inches by 34 inches as framed). Like the Frishmuth, the work had a high estimate of $9,000 but commanded $11,070.

Someone got a great deal on a mixed media glass construction collaboration between Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941) and Italo Scanga (Italian/American, 1932-2001), a 1995 work titled Pinball Machine. It incorporated painted cast iron, blown glass and painted found objects, including Chihuly blown glass Ikebana Flowers and floats, as well as gilded putti.

Chihuly and Scanga were very close friends and were commissioned to make this piece for the consignor. The lot included a fax copy of the proposed drawing. It was impressive, at 85 inches tall and 57 inches wide, and was signed by both artists and dated 1995 to the cast iron base. The high estimate was an appropriate $25,000, but someone snapped it up for $11,685.

Another unexpected bargain was the oil on canvas Portrait of Henry David Inglis by Sir Henry Raeburn (British/Scotland, 1756-1823). The portrait of the Scottish travel writer and journalist had a canvas size of 30 inches by 25 inches (42 inches by 35 ½ inches as framed). It was supposed to sell for $12,000-$18,000, but a savvy bidder pounced on it for just $10,455.

Back to the overachievers. A Baccarat closepack millefiori (glass of mosaic appearance) paperweight, lovely in appearance and signed and dated 1848, with five silhouette canes including a goat, deer, dog, monkey and rooster, plus a wide variety of multi-colored canes including stars, clovers and floral forms, sailed past its $500-$800 estimate to bring $2,091.

Two colorful acrylic on canvas floral depictions by Dean Drahos (American, 1937-2010) crossed the auction block, both with modest pre-sale estimates of $200-$400. The top earner was an unframed, 18-inch-square work titled Shell Ginger, titled in stenciled letters to the left side panel of the canvas and signed and dated 03-02 to the right side panel. It sold for $2,460.

A modern Hickory Furniture Georgian-style mahogany silver chest on stand, with a squared top over four graduated long drawers, mahogany veneered with crossbanded borders, raised on a squared base and squared legs joined by stretchers, the interiors with flannel silver cloth and fittings, bested its $400 low estimate by more than ten times by hammering for $4,059.

Perhaps the king of the day’s overachievers was an oil on oak panel portrait painting of Simon George of Cornwall, after Hans Holbein the Younger (German, 1497-1593), the original of which is housed at the Stadel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. The 9 ½ inch by 7 ½ inch work (panel, less frame) had a pre-sale estimate of just $400-$600 but gaveled for a robust $9,225.

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