Ripley Auctions | Fine Art + Design Sale
Thursday, May 2, 2013 | 4 pm EST

Ripley Auctions offers important art and design in sale featuring architectural elements from the 1939 Art Deco home of Indianapolis race car driver and engineer Louis Schwitzer, a prominent Midwestern collection of Japanese cloisonné and fine Asian antiques, and a varied selection of paintings and sculpture by important American and European artists.

Sale includes significant pieces by Edgar Degas, Kees van Dongen, William S. Schwartz, George Ames Aldrich, T.C. Steele and Dale Chihuly.


Indianapolis, IN – Ripley Auctions will present its spring Fine Art + Design Auction on Thursday, May 2, 2013. With nearly 400 lots, the sale will offer collectors and design enthusiasts a broad selection of important works in a variety of styles and mediums including American and European paintings and sculpture, Modern Art and Design, and American and European Studio Glass.

Included in the fine art category are works by both internationally significant artists such as Edgar Degas and Kees van Dongen, and local stars such as T.C. Steele and Lucie Hartrath. Among the sale highlights are Degas’ "Femme Sortant du Bain," a bronze sculpture created in an edition of only 20, which is estimated to fetch between $250,000 and $350,000 and "Le Nil a Assouan," a harbor scene by Dutch painter Kees van Dongen executed in 1923, expected to sell for $75,000-95,000. Also featured are a wonderful mid-sized modernist oil by Russian-born William S. Schwartz painted in Galena, IL in the late 1920s, with a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-30,000; a cheerful harbor scene of Gloucester, Mass by Emile Gruppe which should receive significant East Coast interest and have little difficulty achieving the level of its pre-sale estimate of $6000-8000; and a stunning 1922 scene of Venice painted by Cincinnati painter Dixie Selden with an estimate of $20,000 – 30,000.

An important, fresh-to-the-market Indianapolis collection of paintings will also be presented for sale, including works by George Ames Aldrich, Charles Partridge Adams, Frank Myers Boggs, Henry Ward Ranger, and George Bonfield. A large oil on canvas by Andrew Melrose, “View Near Limerick on the River Shannon,” should also garner impressive results, with a modest pre-sale estimate of $6,000 – 8,000. Paintings that will undoubtedly attract considerable local interest are large landscapes by T.C. Steele and Lucie Hartrath, each carrying a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-30,000, and a group of rare nudes done by Randolph Coats.

A large collection of art and architectural elements from the 1939 Art Deco home of Indianapolis race car driver and engineer Louis Schwitzer is also a major sale highlight. Schwitzer, who won the first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 and has long been recognized as an early innovator in technical development in the automotive and transportation industry, hired prominent Indiana architect Edwin Kopf to design the house in 1937 as a tribute to his late wife. Featured in the sale is a large-scale mural by Pierre Bourdelle, who executed murals and reliefs in public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad including “The Vineyard,” which was a focal point of design at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The mural offered in Ripley’s May 2 sale will sell for an estimated $20,000 – 30,000. A series of six stone relief carvings featuring Zodiacal imagery, which adorned the exterior of the house, are being offered with pre-sale estimates of $4,000 – 6000 each. The sale also includes a selection of bathroom fixtures from the Crane Neuvogue Collection, designed by Henry Dreyfuss, who was one of the leading industrial designers associated with this late Art-Deco aesthetic movement. Seven toilets, estimated at $3,000 – 5,000 and seven sinks, estimated at $4,000 – 6,000 will be offered for sale, in addition to a variety of lighting fixtures, doors, and other decorative elements.

Supplementing the design offerings from the Schwitzer home is a selection of 20th Century design objects. Highlights include a pair of Newson Embryo chairs and a gorgeous chandelier designed by Italian Memphis Style originator Ettore Sottsass.

Ripley’s Fine Art + Design sale will also offer over 150 lots of Japanese Cloisonné and Fine Asian Antiques from a prominent Midwestern collection. Notable lots in the auction include a Satsuma vase from the Meiji Period – signed by and impressed with the seal of Kinkozan, one of the top producers of Satsuma – featuring multiple panels of dramatically detailed warriors and bijin-ga with a pre-sale estimate of $6,000 – 7,000; a cloisonné vase from the Meiji Period decorated with two panels of insects and exquisite geometric designs estimated to sell for $3,000 – 3,500; and a cloisonné vase featuring six panels of Japanese flora, also from the Meiji Period (est. $2,500 – 3,000). In addition to these fabulous examples of Japanese cloisonné, there will be a selection of fine Asian antiques including a lacquered box from the Taisho Period estimated to sell for $,5000 – 6,000 and a lacquered inro, or traditional Japanese case for holding small objects, set with inlaid mixed metal and mother of pearl depicting the legend of Chokwaro, a hermit monk with magical powers along with his horse, with a pre-sale estimate of $3,500 – 4,000.

American Studio Glass art by important artists such as Dale Chihuly, Paul Stankard, Michael Pavlick, John Kuhn, Richard Royal, Steve Tobin and Janusz Walentynowicz will also be featured in the sale.

Fine Art + Design Sale Details:

The auction will be held at the Indianapolis facility of sister company Antique Helper Auctions on Thursday evening, May 2nd, at 6 pm. It will also broadcast online at, reaching a worldwide audience of online bidders. An auction preview will be held from 2 – 6 pm on Thursday afternoon in the Antique Helper/Ripley Auctions gallery at 2764 East 55th Place in Indianapolis.

An online catalog of offered lots will be available at and beginning Friday, April 19. Bidding is available in person, by phone, by advance bid and online. More information is available by calling (317) 251-5635.

Image Information:

1. Pierre Bourdelle, Untitled Mural. Est. 20,000 – 30,000
2. Edgar Degas, La Femme Sortant du Bain, bronze. Est. $250,000 – 350,000
3. Dale Chihuly, Sun Yellow Basket Set, blown glass. Est. $14,000 – 18,000
4. Kees van Dongen, Le Nil a Assouan, oil on canvas. Est. $75,000 – 95,000
5. Japanese Satsuma Vase. Est. $6,000 – 7,000

High resolution versions of these and other images are available upon request.