Oct. 16, 2005 - Mission to Modern Auction Sells to Packed House
(October 24, 2005) Indianapolis, Indiana. The crowd came early and stayed late at the Sunday, October 16 Art and Antiques Auction, featuring Mission to Modern at Dan Ripleys Antique Helper. Featuring furniture, fine and decorative arts, textiles and pottery from the Mission period through early 1970s Modern Design, this sale drew collectors from many genres. The house was packed to standing room only, while telephone lines and absentee bids came in strong as well. All winning bidders paid a 12.5% buyers premium for floor bids and 17.5% for eBay, telephone and absentee bids, which are included in the end prices of items listed.
Leading with a nice representation of Arts and Crafts style furniture, the auction started on a strong note with the sale of a Gustav Stickley oak tabouret round table with the original Craftsman paper label intact, selling within estimate to an absentee bidder for $822.50, while a Gustav Stickley Arts and Crafts rocker #323 brought $1,175 from a phone bidder. Picking up the pace, a Mission oak, Arts and Crafts bookcase sold for $1,760 to a floor bidder, and a Stickley Brothers Quaint Furniture arts and crafts Morris rocker closed at $1,068.75, to a floor bidder. But, the most noteworthy piece in the Arts and Crafts furniture category, an L an JG Stickley china cabinet faired even better, bringing $9,400 from an eBay bidder.
Several pieces of sought-after American art pottery were offered, including a Newcomb College art pottery high glaze arts and crafts vase, by potter Joseph Meyer and decorated by Ada Wilt Lonnegan, which brought $4,993.75 from an eBay bidder. Even more impressive, a telephone bidder was the winner of an important arts and crafts pottery vase by the Overbeck sisters Elizabeth and Hanna, which sold for $12,375. Meanwhile, an outstanding Quezal art glass vase realized $4,993.45, also going to a telephone bidder, and later, a very desirable Venini Fazzoletto Murano art glass vase, designed by Fulvio Bianconi brought $940 from an eBay bidder.
Artwork from the period included two works by Indiana landscape painter J. E. Bundy (1853-1933), bringing $1,237.50 and $972 from the floor, while a Harbor scene by Canadian artist William De Garthe (1907-1983) closed at $940.
Modern sales were solid as well, with perhaps the most talked about lot in the auction being a drawing and autograph by John Lennon from the log book of the schooner the Megan Jaye, which Lennon commissioned in June of 1980 to sail from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda. Reportedly encountering a storm during the voyage, Lennon was forced to work on the deck, later citing the experience as one of the factors that returned him to songwriting. Reportedly writing two songs during the trip, Lennon eventually returned to the studio to work on Double Fantasy. Representing an important piece of Rock and Roll and Beatles history, this exciting document sold to an ecstatic local collector for $9,350.
Nearly 70 lots of Muncie art pottery drew local collectors as well as plenty of telephone, absentee and eBay bids. All faired well, but, most notably, a Ruba Rombic lamp base designed by Reuben Haley, shape #221, sold for $2,820, to a telephone bidder.
But the top selling lot of the auction was yet to come. A Portfolio Book of Cats by Japanese/French artist Tsugouharu Foujita (1886-1968), with text by Michael Joseph, including all 20 of the original loose leaf prints on Japanese vellum paper, signed and numbered 110 out of 500, put up a good fight, finally going to an eBay bidder for the impressive sum of $26,437.50.
Other modern fine art included an oil on board by Luigi Lucioni (Italian/American, 1900-1988), 5th Floor Window NYC, abridging $3,818 from an eBay bidder and a pastel drawing by George Segal (American, 1924-2000), also going to an eBay bidder for $1,938.75. A modern oil, signed J. Chardi brought $1,821.25, from an eBay bidder in India, and a signed color lithograph by Joan Miro (1893-1983) closed at $1,468.75, to an eBay bidder.
Being a sale that emphasized Modern Design, furniture provided a huge draw from both retailers and collectors. Names like Gilbert Rhode, Paul McCobb, Mies Van Der Rohe and Charles and Ray Eames slipped from auctioneer DeWayne Butlers tongue as smoothly as the surface of the Barcelona table. Prices remained solid, including the sale of a pair Gilbert Rohde Paldao Group mahogany two door utility cabinets by Herman Miller, ca. 1940. Sold as two separate lots, they brought $590.63 and $703.13, from the same floor bidder. A New York absentee bidder won a set of three modernist parchment covered nesting tables in the style of Karl Springer, which closed at $1,821.25. Paul McCobb pieces came on strong, including a Paul McCobb for Calvin coffee table from the Irwin Collection, bringing in $705 from a telephone bidder, and a wall unit from the same collection, closing at $1,410, and going to the same bidder.
A George Nelson for Herman Miller blonde credenza went to a floor bidder for $1575, while George Nelson for Herman Miller drop-leaf, gate-leg table, with Herman Miller foil tag intact, closed at $998.75, to an eBay bidder. Two sets of four Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller plywood DCM chairs were offered, the first, with no labels, closing at $998.75, to an eBay bidder, while the next, with two circular labels intact realized $1,040.63, from a floor bidder. And, in keeping with the Rock and Roll atmosphere, a very rare early Fender electric guitar from April 1954 sold for $5287.50, to an eBay bidder.
The staff at Antique Helper is now gearing up for the next Art and Antiques auction scheduled for November 20, followed by a Costume, Estate and Bakelite Jewelry Auction on December 4. In addition, the Estate of Italian Sculptor Eduardo Simone will be auctioned on December 11. For more information about these auctions, visit our website at www.antiquehelper.com or call 317-251-5635.