Beachwood, OH, USA, November 6, 2021 — An oil painting by the Japanese-American artist Kikuo Saito (1939-2016), a colorful Parisian street scene by Constantin Kluge (French, 1912-2003), and a large stoneware vessel by Claude Conover (American, 1907-1994) all finished well above their high estimates in Neue Auctions’ online-only Fine Art & Antiques Auction on Saturday, October 30th.
The Saito painting, titled Summer Ghost (1997) was the sale’s top lot, finishing at $14,760 against an estimate of $7,000-$10,000. The work, 50 inches by 57 ¾ inches (sight, less frame), was signed, titled, and dated. Saito was an abstract painter with ties to the Color Field movement and Lyrical abstraction. His paintings infused saturated color scapes with delicately drawn lines.
There were two Kluge oils on offer. The Parisian cityscape, titled Place de la Madeleine, signed and 40 inches by 46 inches, as framed, went for $9,840 against an estimate of $5,000-$8,000; while the aptly titled Village on a River, artist signed lower right and with a canvas size of 28 ½ inches by 36 inches, changed hands for $3,444, which was within the estimate of $2,000-$4,000.
The very large Claude Conover “Milpa” stoneware vessel of ovoid-shouldered form, having a circular mouth and signed to the base, 23 inches tall, soared past its $4,000-$6,000 estimate to bring $8,610. The large size of this structure makes one think about how Conover here stretches the limits of ceramic structure. Conover was educated locally, at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
The auction overall contained 334 lots of fine art, antiques, jewelry, carpets, furniture, and decorative arts. “Neue Auctions routinely achieves top-market prices for fine art across a broad range of collecting categories,” said Cynthia Maciejewski of Neue Auctions. “The October 30th auction had a wide variety of art and antiques for everyone.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. Internet bidding was facilitated by Liveauctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, and Bidsquare.com. All prices quoted include a 23 percent buyer’s premium.”
Lots that way outperformed expectations included a pair of Chinese painted panels, each painted in ink and color on silk with immortals with various accouterments, 60 inches by 32 inches, that hammered for $7,380 against a $500-$1,000 estimate; and a woodcut in colors on paper by Max Pechstein (German, 1881-1995), titled Jumpers (1912), signed lower right and inscribed lower left, 7 ½ inches by 12 inches (image). It brought $5,227, easily besting the $300-$500 estimate.
A 19th century Khotan handwoven wool carpet, made in Eastern Turkestan, ended up being the third top lot of the auction, selling for $9,840, more even than the Conover’s vessel and topping its $3,000-$5,000 pre-sale estimate. The 22-foot by 11-foot-1-inch rug had a vase and pomegranate design on a vibrant blue field, the borders having floral scroll and medallion and cloud designs.
The sterling silver category was led by a large Tiffany & Company monteith, circa 1966, of oval form with a scalloped rim, raised on baroque style scroll legs, weighing 109.37 oz. troy ($4,305); and an International sterling silver flatware service in the Royal Danish pattern, monogrammed and in vintage condition with normal wear from use, weighing about 159.82 oz. troy ($3,705).
Other silver lots featured a streamlined mid-century Japanese .950 silver tea service comprising a teapot, a coffee pot, a creamer, and covered sugar with impressed marks, weighing 67.48 oz. troy ($1,476); and a beautiful Gorham sterling silver flatware service for twelve, with all pieces, monogrammed on the handles and properly marked, weighing about 145.83 troy oz. ($2,952).
The sale featured a nice collection of American curly maple furniture, including a lovely 19th-century curly maple drop leaf dining table with a finely figured single-board rectangular top and two single-board drop leaves ($2,337); and a 19th-century curly maple two-drawer stand made from nicely figured wood, finished on all sides and raised on turned legs, 30 inches tall ($1,722).
Additional American furniture included an 18th century Chippendale mahogany chest of drawers with a rectangular top over four graduated long drawers with reeded quarter columns flanking ($3,690); and a diminutive 18th-century mahogany Queen Anne gate leg table having a circular top with two drop leaves and raised on cabriole legs ending in pad feet, 25 inches tall ($1,722).
Original oil paintings featured an oil on canvas marine work with ships by John Bentham-Dinsdale (British, 1927-2008), titled The Frolic and Wasp Off Bermuda (1,722); a group of four framed oils on canvas by Andre Michel (French, b. 1945), all Paris street scenes ($1,353); and a Continental School oil on canvas, Venus on a Dolphin with Cupids, nicely framed ($1,353).
Asian lots were led by a Chinese peach bloom glaze vase with an applied dragon, shoulder form with a long neck encircled with a dragon from the rim to the shoulder, 9 ½ inches tall, with the six-character mark of Qing Kangxi in underglaze blue ($2,460); and a Chinese Kangxi style Famille Verte tea caddy, hexagonal form, decorated in an allover pattern with creatures ($1,169).
Two of the more visually arresting lots in the sale were a pair of 75-inch-tall brass and Lucite ionic column torchieres, with brass shades over an ionic scroll on rectangular Lucite column forms and squared brass bases ($3,690); and a late 19th-century mold-blown opalescent coin spot bottle in ruby glass with a swirl pattern shoulder and base. Despite lacking a stopper, it sold for $1,169.
Neue Auctions has become renowned for attracting wild and wonderful items to its sales, and this one was no exception. A few of the more eclectic offerings up for bid were as follows:
– An 18th century French School oil on canvas Portrait of an Actress, the subject likely a man in women’s garb (as women were routinely denied acting pursuits back then) ($800).
– A Chief Lelooska (Nez Pearce, d. 1996) painted Eagle Mask (1967), made from carved polychromed wood, copper, hair, feathers, and raffia, 23 inches in height ($861).
– A large and dramatic Chinese scholar’s rock made from craggy c-curved stone with holes in tan-colored stone, in a fitted four-legged carved wood stand, 16 inches tall ($615).
– Unique and colorful blown, cut, and assembled glass and painted aluminum bench made circa 2004 by Therman Statom (Florida, b. 1953), about 65 inches in length ($1,230).
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