NEW YORK – Bonhams is presenting a private New York collection of Art Nouveau lithographs by the master illustrator Alphonse Mucha at its June 14 auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts. Essentially an ode to the collector’s grandmother, an ethereal beauty who came of age at the turn of the century, the collection was formed over the course of 40 years and reflects a discerning eye for line, color and draftsmanship. Mucha’s sensual style, which typically featured intriguing female figures, is well represented.
The highlight of this private Mucha collection is undoubtedly his 1896 Four Seasons, a grouping of four separate lithographs printed in Paris on Japan paper, and individually framed (estimate $60,000-80,000). Mucha represents each season with characteristic flair – innocent Spring, sultry Summer, fruitful Autumn and frosty Winter. Four Seasons was Mucha’s first series of decorative panels and one of his most popular works.
“We are very pleased to offer this fine private collection of Alphonse Mucha posters, magazine covers, postcards and decorative panels,” said Beth Vilinsky, Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts Senior Specialist. “Collecting beautiful artwork that captured the romanticism and mystery of the Art Noveau era has been a guiding passion in this connoisseur’s life. Established and emerging collectors now have a wonderful opportunity to acquire some of the most enduring graphics of the late 19th century.”
Other Art Nouveau classics on offer include a significant selection of Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and bronze lamps and chandeliers. A leaded glass Dragonfly table lamp is already generating significant interest because of its vivid colors and mottled, atmospheric blue background (estimate $140,000-180,000). A Jonquil and Narcissus table lamp, with its delicate white and yellow flowers, is equally enchanting (estimate $100,000-150,000).
Bonhams will also offer the outstanding Studio Glass Collection of Dr Anthony Terrana on June 14, including works by celebrated artists such as William Morris, Paul Stankard and Dan Dailey. Highlights include the auction’s cover lot, Morris’ Zhejiang Man from the Man adorned series (estimate $180,000-240,000) and Paul Stankard’s intricately lampworked Nantucket Bouquet Assemblage (estimate $20,000-30,000).
Contemporary glass from the collection of Daphne Farago will also be up for auction, including works by Michael Glancy and Dale Chihuly. Richard Marquis’ boldly patterned Marquis-Scarpa Vase #7 from 1991, made from fused, slumped, blown and wheel-carved glass is especially notable (estimate $12,000-15,000). From the same collection comes a remarkably inventive Wendell Castle four legged desk and pair of chairs, which were commissioned directly from the artist in 1989 (estimate $30,000-50,000).
According to Frank Maraschiello, Bonhams Vice President and Director of 20th Century Decorative Arts, “The strength of the June 14 auction is in the museum-quality contemporary offerings coming from esteemed private collections.”
Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts auction will take place on June 14 in New York. The auction will preview at Bonhams New York from June 8-14.