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Metalwork a highlight at Rago's design auction Feb. 25-26

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 13 February 2012 17:29

Samuel Yellin, massive wrought-iron candelabrum. Estimate: $18,000-$24,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Rago Arts and Auction Center will hold its first auction of 20th Century Design of the year on Saturday, Feb. 25, and Sunday, Feb. 26, with over 1,350 lots of exceptional property from private collections, museums and directly from the artists and their families. will provide Internet live bidding. The auction will begin at 11 a.m. both days.

The auction kicks off on Saturday with Early 20th Century Design. Featured is the collection of Peter Renzetti, master blacksmith, which includes some of the finest Philadelphia Arts and Crafts ironwork to come to market in recent years. Also featured are 44 lots of property from a private Delaware collector. The last 100 lots of Saturday's sale is a collection of 20th century art pottery. The sale continues on Sunday with more Modern Design, including a large and impressive collection of rare pieces of sculpture and art glass, fine studio and designer furniture, lighting and contemporary art.

“Each auction has its own personality based on the consignments that happen to come in,” said David Rago. “At some level it's really beyond your control. This next sale, for some reason, includes the best selection of Philadelphia Arts and Crafts wrought-iron we've ever seen on the market. There are, of course, works by Samuel Yellin and his workshop, but also many pieces from the nearby Arden Community, and pieces by some more esoteric local craftsmen such as Finnegan and Janson, Parke Edwards and J. Barton Benson. There is also an unusually strong presence of Utopian Community material besides Arden's, including a rare table and chair from Rose Valley, and furniture, artwork and ceramics from Byrdcliffe. The postwar session is similarly outfitted, with a great selection of contemporary glass and ceramics as well as a broad selection from Organic Furniture masters such as Nakashima, Powell and Evans. There are 800 lots of Modern material spread over two sessions."

Saturday's sale begins with almost 400 lots of Arts & Crafts; immediately followed by 30 lots of European Secession and Wiener Werkstatte; 40 lots of Tiffany, Lalique and art glass; finishing the day with over 100 lots of 20th Century studio pottery. There is a fine and extensive collection of over 40 lots, property of a private Delaware collector, which starts with an exceptional trestle table and armchair designed by William Price and executed at the Rose Valley Utopian community in Delaware, circa 1901. The collection continues with a dozen lots from Byrdcliffe, a different Utopian community near Woodstock, N.Y. The materials relate to its founders, Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead and Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, and include a grouping of rare wares made at their White Pines Pottery. The collection concludes with fine and esoteric forged iron items from the Philadelphia area and abroad.

Sunday's Modern Design auction features approximately 630 lots of furniture, lighting and decorative arts. Prominent Modern pieces by George Nakashima, Paul Evans, Vladimir Kagan, Richard Ford, Phil Powell, Hans Wegner, Ed Wormley, Charles and Ray Eames, Tommi Parzinger, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Harry Bertoia, Wharton Esherick, Klaus Ihlenfeld, Dale Chihuly, Jon Kuhn, Mary Ann "Toots" Zynsky, Richard Ritter, Donald Deskey and many more.

Previews will begin Feb. 18.

An American Art Pottery discussion by Newark Museum Curator Ulysses Grant Dietz will take place at Rago Arts and Auction Center on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. The public is invited. Phone Rago’s at 609-397-9374 to RSVP and for details.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to


Samuel Yellin, massive wrought-iron candelabrum. Estimate: $18,000-$24,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center. 

William Price, Rose Valley Community, large trestle table. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.    

Viktor Schreckengost for Cowan, ‘Jazz’ plate. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Hans Wegner for Johannes Hansen, swivel chair. Estimate: $12,000-$18,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Wharton Esherick, Pheasant sculpture. Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Harvey Littleton, Glass sculpture, ‘Truncated Form.’ Estimate: $10,000-$14,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 09:55

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