Speiser collection of furniture and decorative arts at Bonhams Sept. 16 sale


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A nest of four Gallé marquetry tables, circa 1900 Each rectangular top inlaid with flower or birds, raised on trestle supports joined by a shaped stretcher; the largest top inlaid Gallé. height of largest 27 inches; width 22 1/2 inches; depth 13 3/4 inches Estimate: $3,000-$5,000 Photos courtesy Bonhams

NEW YORK – On Sept. 16, collectors will be offered the opportunity to bid for a wide variety of Asian and European furniture and decorative arts, paintings, prints, rugs and carpets from the Park Avenue estate of Laura Speiser. Complementing this offering will be an extensive array of European furniture, decorative arts, paintings and prints from a Coconut Grove, Fla., private collection. More than 500 lots in many categories and price points will cross the auction block in the single-day sale.

The morning session will be devoted to offerings from the Park Avenue residence of the late Laura Speiser. The mid-town prewar building was designed by Emory Roth; the classic nine-room Speiser apartment was designed by noted New York interior designer Jamie Drake. A noted ceramicist, Laura Speiser’s work was included in many international exhibitions. The furnishings of her home clearly reflect her artistic sensibilities as well as her particular passion for Chinese ceramics.

Highlighting this auction is a large collection of Tang Dynasty horses, camels, guardian figures, and military officials. Amongst these is a massive, Chinese amber-glazed pottery camel estimated at $12,000 to $15,000 and a pair of Chinese sancai glazed civil and military officials estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.

Speiser also maintained a keen interest in the works of fellow contemporary American artists including Leonard Baskin, Romare Bearden, and Kay Hoffman. Among the many Baskin works are two significant patinated bronze sculptures titled Theusus (estimate $8,000-$12,000) and Iphegenia and Jepthas’ Daughter (estimate $6,000-$9,000); Romare Bearden’s colorful print, Carolina Memory, (estimate $2,000-$3,000); and Hoffman’s carved marble figure of a seated woman (estimate $200-$300).

Speiser’s eclectic furniture collection consisted primarily of American Empire, Art Deco and Scandinavian Biedermeier pieces dating from the 19th and 20th centuries; of particular note is a rare Carlo Bugatti room divider created circa 1900. Estimated at $7,000 to $10,000, the Moorish fruitwood and ebonized wood, pewter, copper and brass inlaid room divider is sure to inspire competitive bidding.

Property from the Coconut Grove private collection will be offered during the afternoon session. The contents of the sprawling Mediterranean waterfront residence designed by famed architect Walter De Garmo in 1931 features a number of European paintings dating from the 19th century, as well as English, French, Italian, Scandinavian and Burmese furniture and decorative arts.

Sure to be among the most sought after of the furniture lots will be a rare, Swedish Neoclassical parcel-gilt mahogany pier mirror and console. Executed by the esteemed maker PG Bylander circa 1820, the piece is estimated at $18,000 to $25,000. Additionally, bidders will be drawn to an exceptional George III style mahogany bookcase, the lockplate stamped by the exclusive firm of Gillows, Lancaster– the bookcase carries a presale estimate of $5,000 to $8,000.

Many exceptional works of fine art will be offered, including a painting by George Percy R. E. Jacomb-Hood (British, 1857-1937) titled The Betrothal (estimate $10,000-$15,000) and a rare aquatint, etching, and carborundum executed by Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983) in 1969 entitled Le Dandy (estimate $10,000-$15,000).

Previews will take place at Bonhams’ New York galleries from Sept. 11-15. The Laura Speiser estate auction will begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 16; the Coconut Grove private collection auction will take place later that day at 2 p.m. The illustrated auction catalog will be online at www.bonhams.com/newyork in the weeks preceding the preview and auction. For more information about the department, please visit www.bonhams.com/us.

Photos courtesy Bonhams. ?


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More Images:

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John Roper (American, 20th century), Untitled (Abstract Sculpture) signed in solder ROPER. Welded metal with glass top, 18 inches high; 18 1/2 inches long; 12 inches deep. Estimate: $400-$600
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A Biedermeier mahogany cupboard, second quarter 19th century The stepped oval and square top with canted front corners above a drawer over a cupboard door, raised on canted bracket feet. Height 52 1/2 inches; width 22 3/4 inches; depth 17 inches Estimate: $1,200-$1,800
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Gary Beecham (American, b. 1955), Topographic Distortion, 1988, internally decorated, blown glass sculpture, inscribed and titled 8 3/4 inches high Estimate: $500-$700

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