Norman Rockwell charcoal soars to $242,000

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Norman Rockwell charcoal soars to $242,000
This important work on paper by Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) titled “Study - Crestwood Commuter Station,” (for the cover illustration, Saturday Evening Post, November 16, 1946) sold for an impressive $242,000, more than double its high estimate.

OAKLAND, CA.- Clars Auction Gallery hosted their major Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry and Asian Art Auction on Saturday and Sunday, September 15 and 16, 2018. The global market responded to the investment level works and property that were offered with numerous lots soaring for well over high estimate. Exceptionally strong prices were achieved in all categories and a number of exciting surprises were had as well. The property offered at this sale came from prominent California estates as well as museums, private institutions and special collections. In a statement after the sale, Redge Martin, President of Clars Auction Gallery said, “ This was our strongest sale of the year. The Specialists worked hard to get an exceptionally strong collection of pieces, and our Marketing Department promoted them strongly through a variety of media.”

The top highlight of this sale was the very impressive price realized on the double-sided charcoal on paper by Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) titled “Study - Crestwood Commuter Station,” (for the cover illustration, Saturday Evening Post, November 16, 1946)/Portrait of an Equestrian Gentleman, circa 1946. This meticulously realistic charcoal of commuters coming to and from a busy train station was offered with the estimate of $70,000-100,000. Highly competitive bidding drove this work to over twice it’s high estimate selling for $242,000. Clars was honored to report that this was the third highest price ever achieved for a charcoal on paper by Norman Rockwell.

The sale of the spectacular oil on canvas titled, Greek Fishing Boat (1992), by Gregory Kondos (American, b. 1923) achieved the second highest price for this artist. Solidly surpassing its high estimate of $45,000, this work sold for $67,650. (Provenance: Corporate Collection of the Nestlé Dreyer's Ice Cream Company (Oakland, California).

The works of American icon and beloved cartoonist Charles Schulz (1922-2000) continue to enchant collectors world wide with ever increasing value. Three works of PEANUTS from 1996 were offered at this sale, two Sunday comic strip originals and one lot of three daily comic originals (all inks on paper). All three offerings surpassed expectations selling for a combined total of $101,475. Individually, the set of three daily comic strips sold for $36,900, and the two Sunday comic strips achieved $33,825 and $30,750.

Rounding out the top American offerings was Modern Tapestry 1968/1968-73 by Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997). From the Modern Painting Series, this wood and cut pile weave tapestry soared to twice its high estimate selling for $24,600.

Moving to European offerings, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) took the top spot with his large linocut titled Femme Au Collier (1959). This impressive work was the featured multiple at the sale and it sold very well for $58,425.

A great surprise was had during the Saturday session when an “artist-unidentified” Old Master painting came on the block. Titled Preparing the Feast, European School/17th century, the painting was determined to be most likely German, circa 1600-1630. This work was estimated to sell for less than $1,000. Within minutes, the battle ensued driving the price on this “unknown” Old Master higher and higher to a final sale price of an astounding $52,275.

The sculptures offered also performed well. The bronze by Henry Moore (British, 1898-1986) titled Two Piece Reclining Figure, Maquette No. 5, 1962, sold for $28,290. Richard MacDonald’s (American, b. 1942) bronze titled Bullwhip, 2010, achieved $22,140 and the bronze sculpture titled The Bronco Buster, after Frederic Remington (American, 1861-1909), foundry mark “Cast by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co. NY 1895,” sold for over triple high estimate at $17,220.

After the sale, Rick Unruh, Vice President and Director of Fine Art, stated, “this month’s important fine art sale was one of the best in Clars’ history realizing over $1.2 million.”

This highlight of this category was a spectacular Tiffany Studios New York leaded glass table lamp, circa 1910. Executed in the Woodbine pattern, this lamp soared past high estimate selling for $30,750.

Taking second place was another of the great surprises at this sale. A Persian Heriz carpet was offered during the Saturday session with an estimate of $1,000 - $1,500. Following suit to the Old Master, the bidding opened at $500 and once again, within minutes, bidders vied heavily for this rug driving the final sale price to $24,600.

Tying for second place in this category, also selling for $24,600, was a lot of 20 Austria 100 Corona gold coins, all dated 1915.

An Egyptian style funerary figure depicting Ibis, a representation of the god Thoth, was offered with the estimate of $1,000 - $1,500 but collectors drove the final sale price on this rare piece to $12,300. Also flying well past high estimate was a 19th century Italian carved marble figural sculpture depicting a young provincial girl. Possibly by Andrei Cambi (Italian, 19th century), this lot sold for $9,840.

Rounding out the highlights in this category was a circa 1927 architectural panel from one of the original Bank of Italy’s buildings in San Francisco which achieved $7,380. In furniture, a Hans Wegner valet chair also sold nicely for $7,380.

Fashionistas took note of the Hermes handbags offered including a Paris Kelly Sport Ostrich Crossbody, a Clemence Bolide handbag, a Veau Doblis Bolide handbag, a Bolide Swift Web handbag and a Paris Sac A Main Boldie 31. The Hermes handbags achieved a total of $19,680.

Both fine jewelry and timepieces were among the top sellers at this auction. The fourth highest lot for this sale overall was a rare Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Stainless Steel Wristwatch, Ref: 6239. This exceptional timepiece was estimated to sell for $15,000 – 30,000 but soared to a final sale price of $46,125.

In jewelry, a round brilliant-cut diamond and sapphire 14k white gold ring with diamond weighing 5.87 cts. achieved an impressive $39,975 and an emerald-cut diamond and platinum ring (diamond weighing 3.10 cts) also soared past estimate selling for $20,910.

Rounding out these highlights was a Lady’s Vacheron & Constantine emerald, diamond and 18k white gold wristwatch that sold for seven times its high estimate for $7380.

Topping the offerings in this category was a Chinese underglaze blue and gilt dragon floor vase. Estimated to sell for $3,000 – 5,000, this vase flew out at an amazing $43,050.

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