WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The eye-catching cover of Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ catalog
speaks a thousand words about what to expect at the company’s Nov. 21-22 auction. Andy Warhol’s vibrant pop-art depiction of a Campbell’s Chicken ’N Dumplings Soup can serves as the visual appetizer for an 817-lot selection of sleek modern design, art and decorative accessories, with an emphasis on midcentury. Adding a crowning touch is the boutique array of luxury goods and jewelry.
The winter-season opener for South Florida’s modern-art auction headquarters will combine two sessions that, in previous years, had been conducted two weeks apart.
“We’re sure our clients will appreciate having to make only one trip during the month of November instead of two. Now they can bid on furniture, decorative accessories and luxury goods in the Saturday session and modern art, rare editions and sculptures in the Sunday session,” said PBMA’s auctioneer and co-owner Rico Baca.
While at the auction, guests can count on the same gracious hospitality and courteous extras for which PBMA is well known, including complimentary valet parking and a catered buffet on both days. Those who cannot attend the sale in person are encouraged to bid absentee, by phone or via the Internet.
Day one focuses on superior-quality modern furniture, with a wealth of anchor pieces that includes designer coffee tables. The options are tempting. Lot 103, an Ado Chale coffee table topped in deep-green malachite is a stunning artwork that’s expected to land in the $20,000-$30,000 range. Lot 128, a product of the boundlessly imaginative minds of Philip and Kelvin Laverne, is a limited-edition glass-topped coffee table whose base is a three-dimensional nude with freeform twisted metal “rope” entwined around the supports. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000.
Lot 110, a classic George Nakashima Minguren I coffee table, comes with desirable provenance: an original receipt from the artist dated 3/13/73, a drawing of the table, plus relevant correspondence and cancelled checks. Its anticipated selling price is $10,000-$15,000. Lot 171, a rare Fontana Arte design of round shape with a concave, blue mirrored-crystal top is the epitome of Continental sophistication. The highest-estimated coffee table in the sale, it is likely to command a winning bid of $30,000-$50,000.
The list of great names continues with five sculptural metal furniture designs by Paul Evans, including Lot 284, a “Faceted 300” dining/center hall table, $12,000-$18,000; and a “Stalagmite” dining table, $10,000-$15,000.
Other furniture highlights include: Lot 149, a Gio Ponti executive desk with brass sabots, $20,000-$30,000; Lot 220, a pair of Sergio Rodrigues “Prototype” lounge chairs, $10,000-$15,000; Lot 226, a Poul Kjaerholm PK 80 daybed, $12,000-$15,000; and Lot 361, a pair of George Nelson “Coconut” lounge chairs with ottoman, $5,000-$7,000.
Distinctive lamps, sconces and sparkling chandeliers are led by Lot 39, one of the largest examples of Bakalowits & Sohne’s “Miracle” chandelier, $15,000-$20,000. It could be paired quite compatibly in a room setting with Lot 172, a rare and edgy Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte mirror #1657, $20,000-$30,000.
Designed by one of the titans of Murano, Carlo Scarpa for Venini, a 13-inch-high green glass “Corroso A Rilievi” (“Corroded in Relief”) vase is one of the stars of the decorative arts category. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Also offered in the Sunday session are metalworks, European and Southern American pottery (Meaders stoneware face jugs); Arthur Court decorative aluminum wares, and Scandinavian/Continental glass.
The glamour and elegance of Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue will be felt at PBMA’s exhibition center when 22 lots of designer jewelry and luxury accessories are presented. Many of today’s most desirable brands are included, such as Givenchy, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Valentino, Balenciaga, Judith Leiber and, of course, Chanel. There are Chanel horseshoe and cuff bracelets, a pair of wonderful faux-onyx braided-chain drop earrings, and several superb designs from Maison Gripoix for Chanel. A special prize for collectors, Lot 92 consists of a Maison Gripoix jeweled bib necklace and earrings suite of floral design, $8,000-$12,000.
Sunday’s session is devoted to modern art, rare editions and sculptures. The star entry is Lot 644, a monumental (11.2 ft. high) Harry Bertoia two-sided metal sculpture that was one of 10 commissioned by and displayed at the First National Bank of Miami (Florida). The work was also exhibited at Sotheby’s Feb./March 2014 event titled “Bertoia – A Celebration of Sound and Motion.” Its auction estimate is $100,000-$120,000.
A mini gallery of coveted Andy Warhol artworks includes the catalog cover, Lot 537, a signed, limited-edition silkscreen eponymously titled “Campbell’s Soup II: Chicken ’N Dumplings Soup.” Printed by Salvatore Silkscreen Co., and published by Factory Additions, New York, the 34½ by 22½-inch artwork is estimated at $25,000-$35,000. Lot 538, a Warhol “Mao” silkscreen, will be offered with a $30,000-$40,000 estimate.
Warhol was known to create and sign artworks on unusual media for his friends, such as the T-shirt
cataloged as Lot 539. The artist-signed silkscreen shirt depicts Warhol’s good friend, 1970s GQ model Joe MacDonald. The consignor, who was a good friend of MacDonald’s, explained the origin of the shirt. “Joe had a collection of Lalique that Andy wanted. In the late 1970s they made a deal – Joe would give Andy the Lalique collection, minus a few special pieces he wanted to keep, and Andy would paint a silkscreen portrait of Joe. When Andy finished the portrait, he also gave Joe a ‘gift with purchase’ – a T-shirt with the portrait image on it in three places and signed by Andy, front and back.” Years later, after MacDonald had passed away, the consignor saw the T-shirt in a charity auction and purchased it as a memento of his late friend. It is now offered in PBMA’s auction with a $5,000-$7,000 estimate.
A series of four compelling original paintings by Terry Rodgers might be described as “reality art,” as their themes mentally invite the observer to create subtitles. Each painting is a scene in which people are engaged in mundane activities but unaware that they are being watched. Listed as Lots 550-553, each is estimated at $12,000-$15,000.
A sci-fi classic, Lot 677 is a large and rare three-sheet poster promoting the 1942 film “The Ghost of Frankenstein.” The present owner, a comic book collector and dealer since the age of nine, purchased the poster as a young man 27 years ago. “He bought it from a woman whose father owned a movie theater. Apparently the poster was discovered in her father’s barn,” said Rico Baca. Handled with care over many years, the 72 by 37½-inch poster is expected to sell for $6,000-$10,000.
Among the many other significant artworks too numerous to mention are: Lot 530, a large, signed Tom Wesselmann lithograph “Bedroom Blonde Doodle with Photo,” $10,000-$15,000; Lot 517, a large, hand-carved and tufted Robert Indiana “LOVE” rug, $4,000-$6,000; Lot 546, a signed Willem de Kooning lithograph, $8,000-$12,000; and Lot 542, a large, signed David Hockney lithograph depicting his muse, Celia Birtwell, $12,000-$16,000.
Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ Nov. 21-22, 2015 auction will begin at 12 noon Eastern Time at the company’s exhibition center, 417 Bunker Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405. Preview: Mon.-Fri. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 9 a.m. onward on both auction days.
All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information, call 561-586-5500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.modernauctions.com. View the fully illustrated auction catalog online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.