March 27 Modern Design Auction Wrap Up
It was an exciting day for collectors who gathered on Saturday, March 27 at Dan Ripley's Antique Helper in Indianapolis, Indiana for our first ever all-Modern auction. With more than 600 lots gleaned almost entirely from the estate of an important New York collector, the offerings ranged from rare Murano Italian Art Glass to Danish and English pottery to Modern European and American furniture and metalwork. There was something to appease the appetite of even the most discriminating collector of Modern Design. All purchasers paid ending sale price in addition to a 10% buyer's premium for items sold on the auction floor and 15% for internet and absentee bids. With auctioneer Jack Christy calling the sale, bidding opened with a De Poli enameled copper sea creature designed by Gio Ponti, closing precisely at low estimate of $3,000. Following close behind was an enameled copper swan by Gio Ponti for Paolo de Poli which closed just above low estimate at $2,200. Sales remained steady throughout the auction, with pottery fairing well. Friberg prices remained strong, with small pottery vases closing between $255-$425, while Gustavberg sales remained mixed and Poole and Rorstrand consistently fared low, with the exception of a pair of Gustavberg ceramic horses by Stig Linberg, selling above high estimate of $600 at $875. Meanwhile, sales for Fantoni Italian pottery were good, with a 1959 Cubist sculpture vase closing at $2,400 and a pair of green Modern Raymor pottery vases closing at $725. Sales for many lots of Eva Zeisel Red Wing pottery pieces were strong as well. A Tapio Wirkkala shell form laminated wood dish, estimated to bring $2,500-$3,500 closed just below high estimate at $3,250. Sales for Rose Cabat studio pottery were strong as well, with a trio of Feelie Studio Pottery vases with incised signatures closing above high estimate of $600-$900 at $1,000 and another pair closing at $375. A selection of Gambone Italy animal figures consistently brought higher than expected prices. With average estimates between $300-$500, these lots closed between $825-$1,100, with all sales going to telephone and internet bidders. Two Dino Martens glass vases each sold within or near estimate, with a bullicante color patch vase closing at $2,800 and a bullicante pinwheel murrina vase closing at $3,250. Christofle France silver sold above estimate, including a Gallia Futurist tea set, estimated to bring $300-$400 but finally closing at $900. Meanwhile, a Christofle silver multi vase in box, estimated to bring $400-$800 closed at $1,000, and an Alessi cubist inspired silver tea set also sold above its estimate of $200-$400, closing at $525. As a diversion from decorative arts, collectors in the market for two-dimensional modern art had the opportunity to bid on two abstract works in oil by Italian/American California artist Mario deFerrante (1898-1992). Sales for these pieces were within estimate, with both closing at $875. A Robert Rauschenberg composition singed and dated 1982, estimated to bring $1,200-$1,500 closed just below low estimate at $1,175 to a floor bidder who is a neighbor of the artist. Meanwhile, a framed and matted "Theatre Figuras" Spanish art show poster created by Salvador Dali expressly for this exhibition closed below low estimate of $200 at $180, and a signed serigraph by French artist Raoul Dufy also closed below low estimate of $200 at $150. Sales for six lots of furniture by Gilbert Rohde for Herman Miller were impressive, with all pieces closing well above estimate. But a Natzler American Studio Pottery bowl brought the record-breaking price of the day. Estimated to bring $900-$1,500, this piece finally closed at $3,500, while another Natzler piece, estimated between $1,500-$2,500 closed low at $950. Two Gaetano Pesce Fish Design Plastic table lights fared well, with the first closing at $1,400, well above the estimated $600-$1,200, and the second closing within its estimate of $800-$1,600 at $1,450. There were many rare and difficult to find items offered in this sale, including an extremely rare Flavio Poli corroso bull Murano glass sculpture believed to be only the second one offered at auction. Estimated to bring $9,000-$12,000, this outstanding example closed below estimate at $7,000. Other Murano art glass fared even better, including a Barovier and Toso "Alterni" Tessere black and blue crosshatch Murano art glass vase, closing within its estimated $4,000-$6,000 at $5,500, while a pair of attributed Venini Iridescent clear Murano art glass candlesticks closed above high estimate of $200 at $225 and a Seguso Siderali Murano art glass vase closed at low estimate of $2,000. Three Venini Murrina Murano art glass eggs faired similarly, with each closing just below high estimates of $1,200 between $1,050-$1,150. Two lots of Mazegga fasce Murano glass vases both closed within estimated range at $800 and $975 and sent overnight to an eager West Coast EBay bidder. All in all, this was a successful auction, and the staff at Dan Ripley's Antique Helper look forward to hosting more specialized auctions in the future. On Sunday, April 25 we will host a jewelry auction, and Saturday May 1 is marked for our next monthly Arts and Antiques auction. For further information or to obtain images of items for your publication, please don't hesitate to contact us at 317.251.5635.