Clarke Auction Gallery offers cure for winter blues at 'Awesome' Feb. 6 auction

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Clarke Auction Gallery offers cure for winter blues at 'Awesome' Feb. 6 auction
This Ilias Lalounis jewelry 18K lavaliere gold necklace ($5/7,000) has a hand hammered and matte finish to the beads.

LARCHMONT, NY.- Winter blues and freezing temps got you down? Clarke Auction Gallery promises to heat things up with its “Awesome” estate auction on Sunday, February 6, at 10 am, featuring nearly 500 lots of fine art, antiques, decorative arts, jewelry and silver, Asian arts and more. Online bidding is available through, LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, and Bidsquare.

Fine art from the last few centuries is well represented with listed artists from America, Europe and Mexico in all media. Classic portraiture and landscapes will vie for attention with bold and colorful acrylics by Peter Max, figurative gouaches from Gert Wollheim and much more.

The most important painting, which is already attracting much presale attention, is a circa 1954 gouache by Fernand Leger, “Les loisirs,” depicting figures engaged in leisure activities. The painting ( $250/350,000) is similar in composition to his lithograph, “Le Picnic.” “The painting features motifs that Leger returned to many times in the last years of his life and ultimately used for both a lithograph and an Aubusson carpet as well as other drawings and paintings,” said Clarke’s fine art specialist William Schweller. The catalog description of the work lists its provenance and exhibition history.

Other important works include a large map-like drawing of Las Vegas ($20/30,000) by famed illustrator Saul Steinberg. The two-panel, mixed media drawing is from an Upper East Side, New York City, collection, and dates to 1958. “This work really showcases Steinberg’s trademark style, injected with whimsy, and captures the glitz and energy of 1950s Vegas,” Schweller said.

Showing the diversity of art on offer is an oil on canvas portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence depicting Mrs. William Morton Pitt ($5/7,000). The unfinished painting was exhibited at the Rhode Island School of Design and California Palace of the Legion of Honor in the 1920s and 1930s respectively. Worth noting is that quite a number of unfinished portraits by the vaunted portraitist have come to market and sell quite well. They offer an interesting insight to his working methods. Also on offer is a signed oil on canvas by Alexandre Cabanel, “Contemplation or The Italian Servant” ($15/20,000).

This auction also boasts three-dimensional art with a pleasing selection of figural bronzes by Latin American artists, including Francisco Zuniga, Angel Botello, and Felipe Castaneda. Each bronze is signed and numbered and has a fine patina.
Still looking for Valentine’s Day gifts? The jewelry category is dripping with gold and buyers will find everything from gold necklaces and bracelets by known designers to decorative smalls. “Following the amazing results of Ilias Lalounis jewelry in our January sale, we are presenting yet another Lalaounis 18K gold necklace ($5/7,000),” said Clarke’s jewelry specialist Whitney Bria. A similar example is in the book, Ilias Lalaounis Metamorphoses, which describes this piece as a “four bead necklace.” A signed David Yurman 18K gold link bracelet inlaid with diamonds ($6/9,000) will also cross the block.

Among decorative smalls is a striking Continental, likely Italian, 18K gold and enamel hinged box ($5/7,000) having a central scene of Venice with gondolas and surrounded with floral decoration.

In antiques, particularly Americana, traditional is king for its timeless elegance but Midcentury Modern has long been a powerhouse. “Both aesthetics share the ability to fit into almost any decor and seamlessly blend with antique and contemporary pieces,” said owner and auctioneer Ronan Clarke. “This auction features a great collection of both Midcentury and antique furniture.” Highlights include a J.W. Fiske horse and sulky weathervane, coming out of a Pelham Manor, N.Y., estate, 30 by 15 inches ($3/5,000); an antique Philadelphia two-piece, flat top highboy raised on ball and claw feet, 82 by 24 by 32 inches ($1/1,500) and a Hans Wegner daybed measuring 30 by 96 ½ inches at the headboard ($1/1,500).

Rounding out the auction will be a 19th Century French figural fountain maquette for a Paris fountain, 67 by 27 inches ($1/1,500) and two pairs of spinach jade table dividers ($3/5,000) decorated with figures, being sold together.

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