Cowan’s hosts inaugural 20th Century Art + Design Auction Oct. 31

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions, Inc., in partnership with Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio, will host its semi-annual Modern and Contemporary Ceramics auction Oct. 31, 2012. Immediately following the ceramics sale is Cowan’s Inaugural 20th Century Art + Design Auction.

Richard Notkin (1948, United States), Nuclear Nuts Teapot, 1991, Stoneware; ht. 5, wd. 8 in. Estimate: $4,000-$5,000. Photo courtesy Cowan’s

The ceramics sale will begin at 10 a.m. EST and feature a group of rare, early pieces by Michele Oka Doner, as well as a fine selection of works by Ralph Bacerra, Peter Voulkos, Lucie Rie, Betty Woodman and Akio Takamori.

Cowan’s inaugural 20th Century Art + Design sale will highlight exceptional works of mid-century and contemporary design, art nouveau, fine art, works on paper, photography and art glass. The 20th Century sale will begin at 1 p.m. EST.

Highlighted in the ceramics auction is a piece by Akio Takamori, titled “Male and Female Pair,” estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. Takamori first made his name with his innovative “envelope” vessel forms inspired by Ukiyo-e prints and the way that reclining couples created shallow vessel-like spaces.

A masterpiece by Lucie Rie, titled “Untitled Bottle Vase,” is estimated to sell for $15,000 to $25,000. Standing at 15 1/2 inches high, “Untitled Bottle Vase” is the most major piece of this particular series of Rie works, having been widely exhibited. It’s status as a masterpiece comes from the success in merging form and surface.

Rose Cabat, Group of Five “Feelies,” circa 1980, porcelain, largest diameter: 3 in., ht. 4 in. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500.

A number of works by Ralph Bacerra are expected to do well in the ceramics auction. A work titled “Untitled Portrait Head” is estimated to bring $10,000 to $11,500, and a piece titled “Gold Teapot” is expected to sell anywhere between $6,000 to $7,500.

Just over 200 items will be offered in Cowan’s inaugural 20th Century Art + Design auction. Among the most notable lots is a Galvanized Steel Table by John Dickinson is estimated to bring anywhere between $25,000 and $35,000.

Images by well known photographers will also be featured in the 20th Century sale. A photograph of Edward Westin at the Carmel Highlands in California by Ansel Adams is estimated at $3,000 to $5,000. A photograph, titled “Eleanor, Port Huron,” by Harry Callahan is expected to bring $3,000 to $5,000, and a photograph by Jerry Uelsmann, titled “Box of Sky,” is estimated at $2,000 to $3,000.

Additional items expected to do well in the 20th century auction include a George Nelson Home Office Desk, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000, a painting by Orville Bulman, titled “Last One,” estimated at $3,000 to $5,000, and a painting by Henry Faulkner, titled “Lemon Festival at Pisa,” estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.

To request additional information about the Contemporary Ceramics auction, contact Garth Clark at To request additional information about the 20th century auction; please contact Sam Cowan at

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