20th Century Auction Recap
May 15, 2012 | view archive
Dan Ripley Select’s 20th Century Art & Design, Folk Art & Americana Auction on May 12 gave the crew at Antique Helper the opportunity to showcase some of our favorite things. With items gleaned from private collections from across the country, this auction offered a broad spectrum of the best examples of art and design that we could find.
So enamored were we of several of the items offered in this sale, we produced a video to promote the auction, starring our own Christopher West alongside three other equally impressive superstars from the auction catalog:
At the top of everyone’s watch list was a 1962 Studebaker GT Hawk. During the weeks leading up to the auction, this swell ride could be seen cruising around Indianapolis, with Christopher at the wheel. It was parked outside our building on nice days, its chrome gleaming in the sunlight. Boasting a mere 67,000 original miles, this fine ride saw some very competitive bidding, ending with a hammer price just below the $12,000 low estimate, with a bid of $11,000.
Another item that caught our fancy was a paddlewheel power source working patent model. Finely crafted from wood and metal, this scale model of a marine generator came in a nice, aerodynamic package. Enthusiastic bidding easily achieved a hammer price within estimate, at $1200.
ASYM, a bench by Jared Cru Smith, was chosen as part of the special session featuring American Studio Furniture. Cru Smith’s work borders the line between furniture and sculpture by bridging the gap between utilitarian and aesthetic. Other works by Cru Smith featured in this auction, constructed of wood and rebar, spoke more loudly to the sculptural spectrum of the artist’s work. This curvaceous, sculptural wood, fiberglass and steel bench sold to a floor bidder for a hammer price of $600.
Many items in this auction reached or exceeded high estimate. One of the most delightful surprises of the day came in the form of a trio of Samsonite salesmen sample suitcases. Sold as three separate lots, each suitcase came with an individual estimate of $400-$600. It seems that more than one bidder was determined to own these wonderful examples of mid century advertising. Each suitcase exceeded estimate, bringing $900, $950 and $1050 for the tall streamline example.
One of the major highlights from this auction was a platinum-palladium print by famed Vogue photographer, Irving Penn (1917-2009). Penn was known for his ability to blend elegance and minimalism. The image, Father and Sun with Eggs, was shot in 1948 during the time Penn spent painting and taking photographs in Mexico, and was printed in 1978. There was intense rivalry in the bidding for this striking photograph, and it finished just below high estimate, with a hammer price of $17,500.
A painting by American Social Surrealist painter Walter Quirt (1902-1968) also garnered its fair share of attention. The large surrealist scene, painted in 1935, exceeded its high estimate of $12,000. It sold for $13,500.
There were also some great opportunities for buyers to find a few deals in this sale. A gathering of four mounted commercial industrial glove molds were just begging to be part of a modern industrial-inspired interior. They came in just under high estimate of $500, going to their new home for $475.
A painting by J. Harold Noecker (1912-2002) caught everyone’s eye. “Sun and Shadows” (est. $2,000-$3000) demonstrated Noecker’s ability to combine familiar objects in a haunting and enigmatic way. It sold within estimate, with a hammer total of $2400.
Being a well-rounded auction, there were some great entry level pieces offered, too. A “t” form modern ceramic vase by Helen Aigner sold just shy of its low estimate of $100, earning a winning bid of $90.