Items from Imperial Russian exhibit head to auction May 18-19

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Jackson’s International kicks off their spring auction season May 18-19 with a spectacular two-day auction at their headquarters in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The two-day, 1,100 lot auction features the Dr. James F. Cooper lifetime collection of Imperial Russian Treasures (day one) as well as Important American and European Works and a wonderful assemblage of important Asian items, including more than 50 pieces of Chinese carved jade.

Day one of the sale will highlight items from the Dr. James F. Cooper Collection, a great deal of which was recently displayed at the seminal exhibition Relics of a Glorious Past-the Imperial Russian Artifacts from the Collection of Dr. James F. Cooper, University of Saint Louis Museum of Art, Feb. 27 to Dec. 20, 2009.

Dr. Cooper acquired his first Russian icon in a small shop while visiting London, although it was not until he entered the doors of Jules L. Pass Antiques, one of St. Louis’ longstanding premier antique galleries, where he saw a group of icons that his interest in icons and pre-revolutionary Russian art and antiques was really ignited. Guided by Mr. Pass and his assistant Elena Willow, Dr. Cooper passionately pursued collecting Imperial Russian icons and art for the ensuing quarter of a century, carefully selecting examples from galleries and auctions houses throughout the United States and Europe.

Day One of Jackson’s two-day event will carry nearly 600 individual lots that cover most every aspect of Imperial Russian arts and crafts. The session begins with icons, of which there are more than 225 examples, beginning with a fine offering of early icons. The first lot to be sold is a pair of Russian icons of the Annunciation, circa 1600, which comprised the top of the Royal Doors of an iconostasis. These are followed by a Russian icon of the Meeting of the Lord from the second half of the 16th century, followed by a large and impressive Russian icon of Christ Enthroned, circa 1600.

Next to sell are numerous examples of silver gilt and shaded enamel items including an exceptional Imperial Russian silver gilt shaded and cloisonné enameled footed cup and cover, circa 1885. Measuring 12 inches in height and completely enameled, it carries an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000. Works from Faberge, Ovchinnikov, Khlebnikov, Kuzmichev, 11th Artel and many others are represented, plus enameled cases, kovshi, cups, pill boxes and teaspoons will also be sold.

One of the most interesting items is an important Russian Micromosaic Presentation Triptych, St. Petersburg, circa 1855 of St. Nicholas, and probably by noted Imperial Court mosaicist George Ferdinand Wekler (1800-1861). Next selling is a favorite category of icon collectors: 19th century icons with beautiful and heavily enameled silver rizas, such as a lovely impressive personal icon of the Guardian Angel by Feodor Ruckert. Many other examples as well as several fine icons from the Mstera and Palekh Schools, including signed examples, will also be sold.

A collection of Russian silver, including more than a dozen pieces of Faberge, will be next to sell, including an important large Faberge silver and jeweled Imperial presentation kovsh, as well as silver works from all of the major makers and including boxes, cases, tea sets, trays, kovshi, flatware and more.

Next up for sale will be a group of more than 24 Imperial Russian gilt bronze and malachite objects d’art, circa 1800-1880, which is followed by Russian paintings. Perhaps one of the most interesting paintings, a Genrich Schmidt (Russian 1861-1922) oil on canvas that was a part of the “infamous” Russian exhibition at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, which depicts the Entrance to the Church of Saint John the Theologian at Yaroslav, circa 1903. Other artists of note include Ivan Bilibin (Russian 1876-1942), Boris Zvorykin (Russian 1872-1930), Konstantin Trutovsky (Ukrainian 1826-1893), Sergei Sudeiken (Russian 1882-1946), David Burliuk (Russian/American 1882-1967), Alexander Benois (Russian 1870-1960), and Abraham Manievich (Russian/American 1881-1942).

A very fine Imperial Porcelain Factory cased tête-à-tête tea service reputed to have been made for Empress Marie, wife of Tsar Alexander II, leads off a fantastic grouping of Russian porcelain including more than a dozen Russian porcelain figurines, many by Gardner, several examples from the Imperial Porcelain Factory, as well as porcelain presentation Easter eggs and other porcelain items.

The first session continues with an impressive collection of Russian medals and military items including medals from the Orders of St. Anne, St. George, St. Vladimir and others, an impressive Imperial Russian silver mounted coronation folio, circa 1883 (Lot 399), Russian furniture, and a small but impressive collection of Russian jewelry.

The second session offers more than 500 items, including some very fine American and European works, as well as the aforementioned Asian works. Lots include such items as carved jade to English porcelain, art glass to original works of art, English silver to European decorative arts.

The second session opens with a private collection of more than 50 pieces of Chinese carved jade. Also being sold in this session is a Chinese export painting of the View of the Hongs at Canton, circa 1847-1856. Carved ivory and Asian porcelain are also included in this section.

A fine sampling of cloisonné vases sells next, followed by some outstanding carved jade pieces including a Chinese carved jade table screen, Qing dynasty, estimated at $6,000 to $9,000; this screen depicts Taoist figures in a mountainous setting and is finely carved in Manasi nephrite. Another fine example is a carved jade censor, also dating to the Qing Dynasty, estimated at $5,000 to $7,000. There are many other fine examples selling, including many white jade pieces.

European paintings will be next to sell, starting off with two examples by Franz Meyerheim (German 1838-1880), followed by an example of the work that made Josef Israels well known, “Son of the Chosen People,” which will be offered at $30,000 to $50,000. Other works of note include a beautiful seascape by Montague Dawson (British 1890-1973), charming 14 inch by 18 inch oil on canvas painting of kittens by Charles Van Den Eycken (Belgian 1809-1891) and a lovely ice skating scene by Louis C. Malbranche (French 1790-1838).

Works by Antoine Blanchard (French 1910-1988), William Frederick Witherington (British 1785-1865), Luigi Paolillo (Italian 1864-1934), and Georg Fischoff (German 1859-1914) and many others will also sell at this time.

A small offering of marble and bronze sculpture is followed by a group of European decorative arts and furnishings including a large French Empire bronze and marble figural clock depicting “Apollo Playing His Lyre.” Also selling is Lot 721, a fine Tiffany Studios favrile glass desk lamp estimated at $5,000 to $7,000. Bronzes by Emile Picault (French 1860-1915), George Coudray (French active circa 1883), Francois Andre Clemencin (French b. 1878) and Henri Michel-Antoine Chapu (French 1833-1891) will also be offered.

European porcelain will sell next starting with a stunning palace size Royal Vienna urn, measuring 33 3/4 inches and estimated at $7,000 to $10,000 as well as works by KPM, Sevres, Meissen and others are all included.

Next to cross the block is a small but impressive group of American art including a Frederick Macmonnies bronze of Diana, measuring at 30 1/4 inches carrying a presale auction estimate of $18,000 to $22,000. An Augustus Saint Gaudens (one of two works by Gaudens to be offered on this sale) bronze of Robert Louis Stevenson will sell next. These will be followed by a John Audubon first edition, double elephant folio print of the Passenger Pigeon. Also featured is a painting by Iowa artist Grant Wood (American 1892-1942), along with works by George Ames Aldrich (American 1872-1941), William McKendree Snyder (American 1848-1930), Abbot Thayer (American 1849-1921) and Carl Weber (American 1850-1921).

An interesting illustration in the circle of Elizabeth Shippen Green will also be offered in this section. Also being offered are a nice collection of AAA lithographs by various artists and featuring different subject matters.

European works follow, including some exceptional carved and polychrome pieces. Lot 858 features a large and impressive carved and polychrome wood figural grouping of the Crucifixion, probably Oberammergau, circa 1880 and is followed by an imposing carved and polychrome wood figural grouping of the Ascension, carved by Sebastian Zwick (1816-1906). In the same session is Lot 867, a carved and gilt decorated figural grouping of the Madonna and Child by Anton Joseph Reiss (1835-1900) as well as several examples of 18th and 19th century European ecclesiastical paintings.

Lighting and art glass follows European works with four Handel lamps and art glass by Webb, Lalique and Galle. Some impressive pieces of English silver will be sold, including a pair of interesting silver and ivory jousting knights and an Odiot “Meisonier” flatware set. Some vintage jewelry will also be sold in the section including an elegant 4.4 carat diamond and platinum ring, a Vacheron gold and diamond watch, as well as a David Webb emerald and diamond ring.

Following another great section of Asian works including more carved jade and cloisonné vases, another small grouping of European paintings and works on paper by both Picasso and Chagall will be offered, along with works by Tamayo, Carrington and Miro, as well as a collection of portrait miniatures.

All items are available to view in person the entire week prior to the auction for extended hours. All items may also be viewed on the Jackson’s International website at at least two weeks prior to the auction and all artwork can be viewed now.

A 350-page, full color, fully illustrated auction catalog can be ordered for $35 USD. Contact Jackson’s at 1-800-665-6743 with additional questions.

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