Important Louis Icart Collection to be sold at Ripley's Antique Helper Auctions
April 28, 2011 | view archive
Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper Auctions announces the sale of a group of fine Icart prints on May 14. Selections from The Jordan collection, including a number of Louis Icart etchings, an illustrated book and a personal letter from Icart to Hilda Jeffe, will be offered during the Company’s monthly Art and Antiques Auction.
Louis Icart (French, 1880-1950), created iconic etchings depicting life in Paris and New York in the 1920s. He is best known for his depictions of languorous and often scantily clad women enjoying leisurely pursuits.
"Do Not Enter" Louis Icart (French, 1890-1950) Etching and aquatint, 1922. Signed and numbered 82, lower left.
The works to be offered at Ripley’s are gleaned from the personal collection of Indianapolis residents Larry and Lana Jordan. They represent twenty-five years of passionate collecting that, according to Larry, started with a garage sale purchase. The attraction progressed into a worldwide hunt as the Jordans strove to constantly add to and upgrade their collection.
Larry credits the Internet as a great tool in helping him grow his impressive collection. After his first Icart purchase, the Jordans’ passion quickly grew into an all-out obsession. “If I didn’t have one, I bought it,” he says. “If I found a better one, I replaced the one that I had.” Along the way, Jordan took great care to have items professionally framed, conserved and documented.
The results of the Jordan’s efforts are reflected in this select offering. Works are documented with great detail, including letters of authenticity and condition reports. “I thought little about the cost of conservation and framing,” says Jordan. “Part of my thinking was that I would be adding value to the etchings… in doing so, these works would be around for others to enjoy long after I’m gone.”
"Duet" Louis Icart (French, 1880-1950) Etching and Aquatint. Signed lower right, LI blindstamp, and numbered A313 lower left. 1929 copyright upper left.
Ripley’s is pleased to offer an initial session of thirty Icart etchings, in addition to an Icart-illustrated book, “Le Nuit et le Moment,” and a personal letter written to artist Hilda Jeffe.
“Le Nuit et le Moment” represents one of Icart’s most recognized illustrated books. This unbound book, published in 1946, contains 25 final state etchings integrated into the text. It is Book Number 2, printed on Japan Imperial paper, of which there are 15 known examples, books Number 2 through 16.
Each book in this series was individually numbered and accompanied with an original drawing and a copper plate used to print one of the images in the publication; this book is offered along with copper plate for Print #1 in this volume, one original drawing, an additional suite of aquatints, plus two suites of etchings, one printed in sepia, the other in black and white, as well as the price list used by a sales person to market the book.
“It is amazing that this book is complete,” says senior Researcher and Appraiser, Andrea Hastings. “This is a rare opportunity for collectors. We are unaware of any other complete book selling at auction in recent years.” Hastings emphasizes that the rarity of this offering is increased not only by the fact that Book Number 2 represents the first in this series to be published on Japan Imperial Paper, but also by the inclusion of the copper plate for Print #1. “We believe that this pairing makes this a remarkable find,” she says.
The letter, offered in perfect condition, is written on Icart’s personal letterhead. It is accompanied with a typed translation. According to Mr. Jordan, Icart’s wife, Fanny, burned all of the artist’s correspondence following his death, making a letter of this kind a very rare find.
The letter was penned by Icart to Hilda Jeffe, a prominent American artist. Larry Jordan emphasizes that the rarity of this document lies not only in the connection that it provides between these two Twentieth Century artists, but also in its very existence.
Past offerings of Icart etching at Ripley’s have produced impressive results. “Martini Cocktail”, a 1932 etching (est. $1,500-$2,500) brought $4,250 in November of 2004, while “Swans,” a colored etching and aquatint (est. $1,800-$3,000) realized $2,400 in July of 2010.