Switching gears from the usual first Saturday of the month Arts and Antiques
auction, Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper hosted an evening auction on Thursday,
July 1. Consisting entirely of catalogued items, this auction represents a change
of pace for the Indianapolis-based auction house, where in, in the past, uncataloged
items were sold to floor bidders alongside typically more impressive catalogued
pieces available to a live and international audience via EBay.
The new character of the auction attracted a large crowd, drawing enthusiasts
in from the summer’s heat to enjoy a few air conditioned hours, bidding on an
array of desirable items. Included in this sale was an important consignment
from the Eiteljorg estate in Indianapolis. Consisting of several paintings and
works on paper, among the most impressive in this group was a selection of three-dimensional
modern art by Brazilian artist, Frans Krajcberg (1921- ). A holocaust survivor
whose parents both died at Auschwitz, Krajcberg moved to Brazil in 1948, where
he grew to be considered the greatest living South American artist. In all,
seven works by this artist were sold, totaling nearly $12,000, plus a 15% buyer’s
premium to a single New York collector, via telephone.
An EBay bidder was the happy winner of a lovely mauve and blue vase carved
around the entire circumference with stylize American Indian figures by the
Overbeck sisters. Incised with monogram and artists initials "F" &
"E", this piece, estimated between $3,000 and $5,000, closed within
estimated range at $4,750.
Maybe people were looking forward to a holiday weekend at the lake, but when
eight separate pieces of Old Hickory and Old Hickory-style furniture came up
for bid, the fireworks really began. A rustic daybed lounge (est. $500-$800)
fell within range at $625, plus 15% buyer’s premium to an EBay bidder, while
an Old Hickory style loveseat settee with caned hoop arms (est. $800-$1200)
closed above high estimate at $1,300, also going to an EBay bidder. An arm chair
estimated between $100-$200 doubled high estimate, closing at $400, and a rocker
in the same style fared similarly, closing at $625. Closing this set was an
Old Hickory of Martinsville double hoop back settee (est. $900-$1200), closing
at $1,350, plus a 10% buyer’s premium, to a floor bidder.
In the same rustic vein, a wood root folk art 5-way rustic picture frame, possibly
Gnarled Wood Rhododendron, expertly handcrafted and offered in good condition,
also closed above high estimate of $600, at $825.
Asian art enthusiasts were not left in the dark for this sale, either. Among
an array of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and scrolls were two fine Chinese
textiles, sold as separate lots. The first, a Chinese silk weaving tapestry,
possibly antique with gold metallic thread and mounted on a scroll, estimated
between $300 and $500, more than doubled estimate, closing at $1,050. The second
tapestry, also Chinese weaving silk with gold metallic thread fared similarly,
doubling the high estimate of $500 at $1,000.
Lovers of French Art Deco had the chance to bid on a bonze female nude lamp,
attributed to Max Le Verrier (French 1891-1973), with a Daum Nancy shade. Estimated
between $800 and $1,200, this piece closed just below high estimate at $1,050.
Likewise, a Franz Bergman (Austrian/American 1898-1977) bronze statue of Salome
holding the head of John the Baptist on a plate, signed "Nam Greb"
(est. $800-$1,200), closed at $1,250.
Of course, every auction has its deals for collectors, and this sale was no
exception. A Dutch Master still life in the style of Egbert (the Elder) van
Heemskerck (Dutch 1643-1704), consigned by the Eiteljorg estate and estimated
between $2,500 and $5,000, ended below estimate at $800. Likewise, a painting
after American painter Benjamin West, "The Death of General Wolfe,"
probably executed in the 1800s, estimated between $1,000 and $2,000, closed
shocking low at $140.
Lovers of abstract painting had several opportunities to take home some impressive
works consigned from the Eiteljorg estate, including an abstract pottery tile
by Fred Henze (est. $300-$600), closing low at $275, as well as an abstract
modern painting by an unknown artist, closing well above high estimate of $100
at $400. Also from the Eiteljorg estate was an agamograph by Israeli artist
Yaacov Agam. Given to Harrison and Sonja Eiteljorg in 1977 by Agam, the piece
was signed, dated and framed by the artist. Estimated between $300 and $500,
it closed at $650, plus 10% buyer’s premium to a floor bidder.
As the auction sped to its concluding, there was yet another surprise in store
for all in attendance. A stir rose through the crowd as an oil on canvas depicting
a ship, attributed to American illustrator Harvey T, Dunn (1884-1952), first
soared past estimate of $3,000-$6,000, then reaching far above anyone’s wildest
expectations to close at an impressive $18,500, plus a 15% buyer’s premium to
a phone bidder from New York.
With the acquisition of an important East Coast collection, Antique Helper
is looking forward to hosting many more similar auctions in the coming months,
holding separate sales of cataloged and uncataloged items, as well as our second
all-modern design auction, scheduled for October 9. For more information, please
call us at (3127) 251-5635.