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Exotic early Murano glass on offer in modern design auction Nov. 25

Several examples of early and seldom-seen Murano glass from the Sergio & Yoli Gnesin collection will be presented during Palm Beach Modern Auctions' Nov. 25 sale.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A wealth of modern design, from red-hot Sam Francis original art to ultra-cool Paul Evans furniture and icy diamonds in platinum, will dominate the day at Palm Beach Modern (PBMA) Friday, November 25 auction. The 500+ lots of art, designer furnishings and luxury goods represent the categories PBMA’s co-owners, Rico Baca and Wade Terwilliger, have identified as upward trending.

PBMA’s Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 auction will start at noon Eastern Time. Also, all forms of bidding will be available: in-house, absentee, phone and online.

“This is a sale that modern design collectors will want to take their time browsing through,” said Baca, who is also PBMA’s auctioneer. “There’s something wonderful at every turn. Even our regular buyers who’ve come in for a sneak preview say the same thing – ‘I have just the perfect place for that in my house.’ Then they move on and say the same thing about another artwork or piece of furniture. Very occasionally a sale will fall into place like this one, where there’s strength in every category and scores of exciting artworks that haven’t appeared in the auction marketplace before.”

Extensive Murano Collection Leads Modern Design Sale

Modern design Murano glass sculpture

Ermanno Nason (Italian, 1928-2013), Omaggio A Guttuso (Homage to a Water Carrier), Murano glass sculpture/vase, circa 1959 ($18,000-$24,000). All photos courtesy Palm Beach Modern Auctions

Bacca's description would certainly apply to the Sergio & Yoli Gnesin Murano glass collection in this sale. A native of Milan, living among glassblowers and designers, Sergio Gnesin is not only a knowledgeable collector, but also an author. He wrote the 2003 Murano reference book Vetri di Ermanno Nason. Furthermore, with his wife Yoli, whom he met after moving to Miami, Sergio has made many trips back to Italy to source connoisseur-level Murano glass.

The auction contains several rare and exceptional pieces from the Gnesin collection. Lot 311, a sculpture/vase dating to 1959 is the creation of Ermanno Nason (Italian, 1928-2013). It bears his signature and the piece's title is Omaggio A Guttuso (Homage to a Water Carrier). Standing 16.75 inches high, this example is an acquisition directly from the artist. It carries an estimate of $18,000 to $24,000 into the auction. Another unusual entry by Nason is Lot 310, a 10.5-inch-high sculptural goat. Also seen in Gnesin’s book, this 1980s production could reach $10,000-$15,000.

Lithe Sculptures Set to Sell 

A collection of Chaim Gross (Austrian/American, 1904-1992) bronzes from the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is up for bid. The sale of these items will benefit the non-profit. The Gardens is on the National Register of Historic Places. Six lithe sculptures are in the sale, including Lot 64, a 29.5-inch-high work from 1968. Its title is "Happy Children." It bears the artist’s cipher and foundry stamp, and it incorporates four active figures within an oval. Also, its pre-sale estimate is $8,000-$12,000.

Three extremely desirable Sam Francis original works on paper come forth on scholarship from the Sam Francis Foundation. Each retains a Sam Francis Estate stamp. Lot 79, measures 38 x 29.75-inch and comes with a 1998 LOA and copy of the book Sam Francis: Elements and Archetypes. Also, the piece appears in the book. Furthermore, the line of provenance includes the artist’s estate and several prestigious galleries and collections. It carries an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000.

Fine Art Features Famous Names

Lot 74, a signed, 78-inch-square Stanley Casselman (American, b. 1963) original painting from 2015, carries a $30,000-$50,000 estimate; while Lot 121, a compelling Enrico Baj (Italian, 1924-2003) mixed-media work titled Danseuse Au Miroir, 47.5 by 39.25 inches, could reach the $35,000-$45,000 range. In addition, the art section features three sculptures by Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978). One of which (Lot 179) is a Stalactite Panel made of brass and mesh-metal. It carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.

Also, the auction includes eight pieces of prized Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) pottery crafted and hand-painted at the Madoura studio in France. All are in beautiful condition and have strong provenance. Lot 209, a Chouette owl-form vessel, 103/500, could realize $12,000-$18,000.

Diamonds, Rubies, and Emeralds On Offer

A highly select offering of fine jewelry was inspected in its entirety by a certified appraiser and

Hummingbird brooch

18K yellow gold, diamond, emerald and sapphire brooch in form of hummingbird ($4,000-$5,000).

graded per the system used by the Gemological Society of America (GIA). A sensational sparkler, Lot 292 is an 18K white gold ring with a 3.70 emerald-cut center diamond, color I, clarity VS2, surrounded by 39 round-cut diamonds having a total weight of 1.10 carats. From the Estate of Florida physician Dr. Samuel L. Scher, it takes the auction spotlight with a $40,000-$60,000 estimate. Furthermore, there are many other sumptuous gems, including rubies and emeralds in platinum settings; and a superb platinum bracelet set with diamonds weighing an estimated 15.78 carats. Entered as Lot 297, it is expected to make $18,000-$22,000.

Two fine Rolex ladies’ watches are precisely counting down the minutes till auction time. Lot 124 is an 18K yellow gold Presidential model estimated at $6,000-$8,000; while Lot 301, an 18K white gold Presidential with 10 diamonds on the dial and 24 brilliant-cut diamonds in the lugs, carries a $15,000-$20,000 estimate. Both are boxed with papers.

Back-to-Back Bidding On Nakashima Furniture

In addition, some of today’s most sought-after mid-century furniture will be available on November 25. Ten lots of George Nakashima furniture include bedroom pieces, a large mirror, and a turned-leg walnut table (with two leaves) and matching set of six grass-seated chairs, which will be offered in two consecutive lots, each estimated at $7,000-$9,000. Additionally, the table and four of the chairs were purchased by the consignor’s parents directly from the Nakashima studio in 1952. The two additional chairs were purchased later and are identical matches.

In conclusion, other furniture highlights include Lot 48, a Tommi Parzinger cabinet, $6,000-$8,000; Lot 138, a Jean-Michel Frank parchment screen/divider, $20,000-$30,000; and several pieces of Paul Evans furniture, including Lot 189, a rare monumental cabinet; Lot 190, a set of eight dining chairs; and Lot 192, a 78-inch-long Stalagmite dining table.

For additional information, visit, call 561-586-5500, or e-mail

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