Classic Art & Antiques from Great Estates - Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:00 PM EDT

Rembrandt, meet Penrod!     (Or: Everything and even more)

Our August 31 auction will be an antiques fest, with a wide range of impressive art objects, uniquely elegant furniture and a book collection of historic importance. A feast for the mind of anyone interested in artistic expressions older – for the most part – than a 100 years!

Many of our auctions are suitably focused on one major region or school, on one form of art or event (Indy 500, anyone?). The one that will take place at the end of this month, however, will venture beyond any constraints other than age and will make for what we hope will be a captivating and variegated landscape bringing together oil paintings by 19th century British and American artists, art photography haunting in its linear simplicity, fine silverware, early maps – some hand-colored and dazzling the viewer with striking decorative details, incunabula folios with added calligraphy in colorful inks, Asian art going back to the Han dynasty, and even tribal art.

One of the nuclei of this auction will consist of books (and a few other objects) that once belonged to a very prominent son of Indianapolis, Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) and has been kept together by some of his descendants. Tarkington was enormously successful during the first decades of the 20th century, authoring quite a few best sellers. His plays were staged on Broadway and he was indeed a rockstar before the invention of rock!

Collectors will be able to bid on such monuments of early 20th c. American literature as signed first editions of Penrod, The Magnificent Ambersons (Pulitzer Prize), Alice Adams (Pulitzer Prize again – a rare feat!), among many other such bibliophilic marvels. Long dedications and several vivid sketches adorn many of those books. Tarkington was also an avid art collector, who traveled throughout Europe, and some of the prized possessions he gathered in his house in Maine, such as bronze statuettes, are currently available for your bidding and bear witness to his passion for art. Whether you are interested in the history of the American novel or are just nostalgic (aren’t we all sometimes?), the sale of this collection in itself is an event you don’t want to miss!

Another major aspect of our August 31 auction is the sale of more than 150 artworks on paper. Art on paper has an enormous, and growing, following. The reaction of paper to watercolor and to ink of many kinds may have something to do with that fascination. It’s an impossibly delicate and notoriously temperamental medium for artistic (non)representation, but there is something verging on magic in its capacity to be imbued, for example, with watercolor just enough to add transparency and diffusion to those pigments, or to ‘suffer’ in so many ways the impression left by a lithographic stone, by a copper plate that was engraved or etched or by a woodblock. Whether you are an occasional collector or someone who lives (also) for the moment when you’ll be able to acquire that wonderful print you’ve been dreaming about for a while, you should probably mark this date in your calendar.

In addition to great masters like Dürer, Rembrandt, and Baroque artists who collaborated with van Dyck and with Rubens, you’ll have a chance to acquire your own original impressionist prints (by Manet, Cezanne, Renoir or Morisot) or to add an etching by a major artist like Haden, Cameron, Chahine, McBey, Chagall or Signac. You’ll be able to admire, and perhaps to own, superb woodcuts with their firm lines, or etchings with free-flowing contours (and almost microscopic details that make you wonder if, say, Rembrandt trained an army of ants to do some of the work for him).

A variegated landscape waiting for explorers like you! We are looking forward to your participation on August 31!

See catalog HERE