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Rago presents huge 20th Century Design auction June 16-17

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 31 May 2012 10:44

Tiffany Studios table lamp with fine Dogwood shade. Estimate: $95,000-$125,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Rago Arts and Auction Center will auction an impressive collection of 20th century furnishings and decorative arts on Saturday, June 16, and Sunday, June 17. Among the 1,100 lots are hard-to-find and one-of-a-kind pieces, many coming to the auction house straight from the artists or craftsmen. will provide Internet live bidding. The auction will begin at 11 a.m. EDT both days.

Day one of the sale consists of Arts & Crafts pottery and furnishings, early 20th century glass, metalwork and prints, concluding with 20th century ceramics. Day two consists of mid-20th-21st century modern furnishings, art glass, fine art (including sculpture), lighting, jewelry, tapestries and much more, all by famous makers and designers.

"Every sale finds its own personality," says David Rago. "This one is particularly rich in glass, from early enameled Gallé to a large collection of Lalique vessels, statuettes, and perfume bottles, and many fine examples by contemporary artists such as Toots Zynsky. The auction also includes several important Tiffany lamps, among the best we've ever offered, important studio furniture and art pottery."

Previews will be Saturday, June 9, through Thursday, June 14, from noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment and Friday, June 15, noon to 8 p.m. Doors open on day of sale at 9 a.m. An open house featuring a lecture by Judith Gura, “After Modernism: What’s New, What’s Next,” followed by a book signing will be held Wednesday, June 13. A reception will begin at 5 p.m. followed by the lecture at 6 p.m. An open house at 10 Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, featuring 20th Century Design auction highlights will be June 2 and 3, noon-5 p.m. Kindly RSVP to 609-397-9374 ext. 119 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Saturday's sale begins with 380 lots of early 20th century Arts and Crafts, consisting of pottery, furnishings, glass, metalwork, lighting, fine art and more. This sale is immediately followed by 78 lots of 20th century ceramics.

The sale begins with American art pottery—two important pieces decorated in cuerda seca with roosters by Frances Rocchi at Saturday Evening Girls. Lot 1, a large center bowl incised "Early to bed & early to rise makes a child healthy, wealthy & wise," is estimated at $17,500-$22,500; and lot 2, a pitcher incised "This is the cock that crew in the morn," estimated at $10,000-$15,000. Also of note is an exceptional vessel by Frederick Rhead at University City decorated with mushrooms, lot 17, estimated at $10,000-$15,000. Lot 23, a late arrival, is a spectacular, tall Rookwood Iris glaze vase painted by Kataro Shirayamadani with geese in flight, perfectly fired (uncrazed), for $8,000-$12,000.

European ceramicists include Zsolnay, Martin Brothers, Moorcroft, Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel, Ernst Wahliss, Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland Gouda, Sarreguemines, Clarice Cliff and Wedgwood.

Famous lighting makers include Tiffany Studios, Duffner & Kimberly, Fulper, Gustav Stickley, Handel, Pairpoint, Suess, Dirk Van Erp, Roycroft and Charles Schneider.

There are several remarkable Tiffany Studios lamps, including lot 373, a fine and large floor lamp with Tulip shade, estimated at $100,000-$150,000; and lot 274, a table lamp with a Dogwood shade, estimated at $95,000-$125,000.

Arts and Crafts furniture makers in Saturday's sale include Gustav Stickley, J.M. Young, L. & J.G. Stickley, Lifetime, Limbert, Roycroft, Stickley Brothers, Shapland and Petter, Charles Rohlfs, Walfred Thulin and Wilhelm Schmidt.

Furniture by Gustav Stickley includes lot 64, a drop-arm Morris chair (no. 369), estimated at $6,500-$9,500; lot 69, a rare and early five-leg dining table with square top, at $5,000-$8,000; lot 85, four Harvey Ellis inlaid dining chairs, at $8,000-$12,000; and lot 75, a Harvey Ellis double-door bookcase with leaded-glass panes, for $10,000-$14,000. Impressive L & J.G. Stickley lots include lot 80, a rare-form paneled Prairie settle, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; and lot 150, a rare and massive Mouse-hole dining table, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Furnishings in the sale by Charles Rohlfs include lot 86, a pair of rare tall-back chairs, estimated at $10,000-$15,000 (an identical example of these chairs is shown in a 1920 photo of Charles Rohlfs' living room).

Notable glassmakers of the early 20th century represented in the sale include Bigelow/Kennard, Daum, Gallé, Jacques Gruber, Loetz, Moser, Schneider, Steuben, Tiffany Studios, Vallerysthal, Almeric Walter, Auguste C. Heiligenstein, Bergun-Schverer and Gabriel Argy-Rousseau.

The finest assortment of Lalique glass to be offered at Rago's for several years (lots 269-310), consists of perfumes bottles, statuettes and vases.

The sale contains an impressive group of Gustav Baumann woodblock prints (lot 87-91a), the finest Rago's has presented to date. Three of these were gifted by the artist to the consignor's mother. One of these is lot 87, Tulips, estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

Other fine art in the sale includes paintings by George H. Hallowell and Lamont Warner, and an Orotone photograph, Bear Legs, by Carl Moon.

Famous metalworkers represented in the sale include: Samuel Yellin, Roycroft, Gustav Stickley, Gorham, Joseph Heinrichs, Dirk Van Erp, Hugo Levin, and John Pearson.

The sale contains a large and important pair of doors by Samuel Yellin, estimated at $10,000-$15,000, from Goodhart Hall, Bryn Mawr College. Also of note is lot 178, a rare and large Dirk Van Erp hammered copper kindling box, $6,000-$9,000.

Following the early 20th Century Design sale is a run of modern ceramics, by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Viktor Schreckengost , Jun Kaneko, Vally (Valerie) Wieselthier, Axel Salto, Betty Woodman, Otto & Gertrud Natzler, Aaron Bohrod, Adrian Saxe, Anish Kapoor, Anne Hirondelle, Carl Walters, Claude Conover, Colin Pearson, David Gilhooly, Edwin Scheier, Gudrun Baudisch, Harrison McIntosh, Hiroaki Morino, Hui Ka Kwong, Jais Neilsen, Michael Frimkess, Otto and Vivika Heino, Paul Soldner, Paula Winokur, Peter Voulkos, Steven Montgomery, Toshiko Takaezu, Viola Frey, Wayne Higby and Wilhelm Kage.

Studio pottery begins with lot 400, a massive Jazz bowl, made by Viktor Schreckengost for Cowan, estimated at $40,000-$60,000. This is one of the few original and possibly one of the last Jazz bowls still in private hands. The Jazz bowl was originally commissioned by Eleanor Roosevelt in celebration of her husband's re-election as governor of New York in 1931. Mrs. Roosevelt was so taken with the bowl that she commissioned two more. Immediately after, a New York City gallery placed an order for approximately 50. No one knows with certainty how many hand-incised Jazz bowls were made, but fewer than 20 are known. The one to be sold at Rago's in June is the latest to emerge.

Sunday's Modern Design auction features over 630 lots of furniture, lighting, decorative arts, art glass, and fine art including a vast collection of sculpture.

Sunday's sale has an impressive collection of sculpture in a variety of media by artists such as Harry Bertoia, Benjamin Moore, Bernard Brenner, Bob Bennett, Christopher Hiltey, Feliciano Bejar, Franz and Karl Hagenauer, Greg Nangle , Kay Bojesen, Kent Forest Ipsen, Klaus Ihlenfeld, Leo Sewell, Miles Van Rensselaer, Paul Evans and Sydney Cash. There are several lots of enameled panels by Edward Winter and Thelma Frazier Winter, and paintings by Rolph Scarlett and Smokey Tunis.

A notable Bertoia lot is 729, a bronze and copper Bush sculpture, estimated at $20,000-$30,000, which comes with the original drawing by the artist.

Another notable lot in the sale is no. 500, an important sculpture by Paul Evans, estimated at $45,000-$65,000, originally purchased by the consignor from the Paul Evans studio in New Hope, Pa. This is a rare piece, and only one of two of these organic forms that Rago's has ever seen.

Famous makers of modern furnishings in the sale include Albert Paley, Arne Jacobsen, Arne Vodder, Borge Mogensen, Bruno Mathsson, Carlo De Carli, Charles And Ray Eames, Dorothy Draper, Edmund Spence, Edward Wormley, Eero Aarnio, Federico Armijo, Finn Juhl, Florence Knoll, Frank Gehry, George Nakashima, George Nelson, Gio Ponti, Hans Wegner, Harvey Probber, Isamu Noguchi, Jacques Adnet, James Mont, Jean Royere, Jens Risom, John Cederquist, Karl Springer, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Maison Jansen, Milo Baughman, Oscar Bach, Osvaldo Borsani, Paolo Buffa, Paul Evans, Paul Frankl, Paul McCobb, Phil Powell, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Pierre Paulin, Poul Kjaerholm, Silas Seandel, T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings, Tommi Parzinger, Vladimir Kagan, Warren Platner, Wendell Castle and Wharton Esherick.

There are many lots by George Nakashima in the sale (lots 514-530, and 923-938). Among the most notable is a fine turned-leg dining table with exceptional top, at $35,000-$45,000.

Featured Modern lighting lots include 544, a pair of sculpture table lamps by Karl Springer, estimated at $8,000-$10,000; lot 536, a lamp of cast plaster hands by Richard Etts, offered at $1,500-$2,000; and lot 604, a pair of floor lamps by Max Bill, estimated at $2,000-$3,000. Lot 608 is an Artichoke fixture by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. The idea behind the staggered design of the Artichoke fixture is that it may be viewed from any angle while concealing the light source located in the center.

The sale features a collection of glass vessels by Mary Ann "Toots" Zynsky, a studio glass artist and innovator, known for her distinctive heat-formed "filet de verre" (glass thread) vessels, which are represented in over 70 museum collections worldwide. A featured Zynsky piece is lot 752, an unusually large vessel titled "Ramingo," estimated at $14,000-$19,000. Zynsky's colleague, famous glassmaker Dale Chihuly, is also well represented in the sale, as with lot 759, a basket from the rare Soft Cylinder series, which is offered at $6,000-$8,000.

Jewelry includes a necklace, brooch and ring by New York artist Ed Wiener, a ring by Sam Kramer and a fibula (brooch) by designer Albert Paley. Notable is lot 887, an Ed Wiener textured yellow gold necklace, which was designed for the consignor by the artist, offered at $7,000-$10,000.

Silver includes a set of Diamond sterling flatware by Gio Ponti for Reed & Barton and an Art Deco coffee and tea service by Arthur Krupp for Berndorf.

Tapestries and rugs in the sale include designers and makers such as Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Lurcat, Olga Fisch, Andy Warhol, and Max Papart.

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


Tiffany Studios table lamp with fine Dogwood shade. Estimate: $95,000-$125,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center. 

 Important Saturday Evening Girls center bowl decorated with roosters and motto. Estimate: $17,500-$22,500. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Important Jazz bowl by Viktor Schreckengost for Cowan Pottery, 1929. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.    

Pablo Picasso hand-painted and glazed tile, ‘Tête de Garçon.’ Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Large Mary Ann ‘Toots’ Zynsky filet-de-verre vessel, ‘Ramingo.’ Estimate: $14,000-$19,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Rare Jacques le Chevallier and Rene Koechlin desk lamp, circa 1928. Estimate: $18,000-$22,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Early Wharton Esherick side chair, 1932. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Fine and rare Albert Paley custom dining table, 1981. Estimate: $18,000-$24,000. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2012 11:57

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