GENESEO, N.Y. – On Saturday, March 25th, Cottone Auctions will be conducting its annual Fine Arts & Antiques Auction. The estimated 400 lots will include a potential top lot in a bronze sculpture. The lots comprise of items from the Seymour H. Knox Collection out of Buffalo, N.Y. Plus items from the Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y., the Rochester Museum and Science Center, the Everson Museum in Syracuse, N.Y., and an Old Westbury, N.Y. collection.
Bronze Sculpture Among Auction Headliners
Categories will include lamps and art glass, and decorative arts (including several bronze sculptures). Plus, jewelry, Oriental rugs, 20th Century design paintings and furnishings will be present. In addition, American and European paintings, silver, clocks, Asian items and Americana are on offer.
Seymour H. Knox, Jr. (American, 1898-1990) was known as “the dean of American art patrons.” After graduating from Yale in 1920, he directed several prominent corporations. Among those entities is Marine Midland Bank, the F.W. Woolworth Company, the New York Central Railroad and the American Steamship Company.
Knox Family Contributions Set Course for Museum
Shortly after being elected president of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy Board in 1938, Mr. Knox and
other members of his family provided inaugural donations for the “Room of Contemporary Art.” This resulted in the immediate acquisition of masterworks by Paul Cezanne, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, and others.
The Room also helped facilitate the museum’s acquisition of Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture Reclining Figure (circa 1935-1936). This is the first work by the British sculptor to enter the collection of an American art museum. In order to properly display this influx of new acquisitions, the Buffalo-born architect Gordon Bunshaft was selected to design an addition for the museum in 1958. The addition was dedicated by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller on Jan. 19, 1962. At which point the museum was renamed the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
‘Draped Reclining Figure’ May Prompt Bidding Battle
Fresh to the market for this sale from the Seymour H. Knox Collection are a Henry Moore Maquette of a Draped Reclining Figure (est. $100,000-$150,000) bronze sculpture. A painting by Sir Alfred James Munnings Study of a Hound from Stanley Barker and the Pytchley hounds (est. $20,000-$40,000). Plus, two fine watercolors by Ernest Wilhelm Nay, including one titled Composition ($10,000-$15,000).
Henry Moore (English, 1898-1986) is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures, which are located around the world as public works of art. The Maquette of a Draped Reclining Figure is the original scale model created as part of a commission for the Time-Life building on Bond Street, London, where it is positioned on the roof terrace. Draped Reclining Figure was the first bronze sculpture in which Moore utilized rippled and ridged textures to denote drapery. It is thought that his admiration for large, fleshy women originated from the paintings of Paul Cézanne.
Tiffany Lamps and Lighting In Spotlight
Also featured in this sale are numerous Tiffany Studios lamps from the Rocheleau Estate in
Michigan, highlighted by an iconic Dragonfly table lamp with an estimated value of $40,000-$60,000. The lamp is in untouched condition, with stunning colors and original patina. The Dragonfly pattern was popularized by Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls in the early 1900s. Three additional Tiffany Studios lamps from the collection are also featured: a Daffodil table lamp (est. $20,000-$30,000); a Ten-Light Lily lamp (est. $15,000-$20,000); and a Pomegranate table lamp (est. $10,000-$20,000).
Numerous other lamps will also be offered, including a Tiffany’s Studio Daffodil hanging chandelier from a private Connecticut collection, with an estimated value of $35,000-$55,000; and a Tiffany Studios Greek Key lamp from a private New York collection with an estimated value of $25,000-$30,000, along with other lamps by Handel, Wilkinson and Daum Nancy.
Kingwood & Vernis Martin Desk Could Reach $15,000
An Old Westbury, New York collection features numerous lots of French decorative arts. Highlighted are two Carnet De Bals, formerly in the collection of J.P. Morgan and sold by Sotheby Parke Bernet, N.Y., in October 1976. One is gold and enamel, set with jewels (est. $3,000-$5,000) and the other is gold with mother of pearl set with diamonds (est. $6,000-$10,000). Also from the collection are French Limoges enamel and gilt wood framed plaques, a monumental French Napoleon III gilt bronze mantle clock with cherubs, and a Kingwood & Vernis Martin decorated desk, each estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
Included in the category of 20th Century Design are pristine examples by Angelo Lelli for Arredoluce Monza, Italy, circa 1950, which include a nickel plated “Stella” chandelier (est. $20,000-$30,000) and a Triennale floor lamp (est. $5,000-$8,000).
Rockwell’s ‘Bedtime’ To Vie For Top Lot
A highlight of the painting category is a Norman Rockwell work titled Bedtime, with an estimated value of $100,000-$150,000. The 5-year-old boy pictured on the lap of the women in the painting is the son of John A. Chew. Mr. Chew and Mr. Rockwell were neighbors in New Rochelle, N.Y., in the 1920’s and had become lifelong friends. During this time, Norman Rockwell would sketch and illustrate advertisements for Mr. Chew’s company.
Rockwell had asked to use Mr. Chew and other family members in several paintings over the years, many of which became Saturday Evening Post covers. This particular painting was on the cover of Literary Digest (issue, Vol. 76, No. 13, March 31, 1923). After the painting was complete, Rockwell gave it to Mr. Chew as a gift. The painting remained in his possession until the late 1950s, when it was passed on to a son, and then to a grandson, in 1997, thus staying in the Chew family since 1923.
For more information, visit www.cottoneauctions.com or call 585-243-1000.