PALM BEACH, Fla. – An important and rare glass vase by Emile Galle sold for $89,600 and a
patinated bronze sculpture by Lynn Chadwick brought $96,000 at a 342-lot auction held by A. B. Levy’s, in the firm’s gallery at 211 Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. The auction consisted mostly of Modern, antiques, fine art, silver, jewelry and glass, and grossed a little more than $2 million.
The Galle vase was marqueterie de verre, a glass-making technique in which colored pieces of semi-molten glass are set into the body of a glass vessel before it hardens. It was first introduced by Galle himself, who lived in France from 1846-1904. The vase in the sale boasted applied and carved foot detail and gilt foil inclusions, and stood 17 ½ inches tall. It had no chips or cracks.
There were actually two bronze sculptures by Lynn Chadwick (Br., 1914-2003) in the auction. The one that fetched $96,000 (the sale’s top lot) was titled Beast XXI (1959). It was 13 inches tall, signed, dated and numbered. The other, titled Walking Cloaked Figures, featured a pair of figures, both signed. The piece, partially polished, stood 11 ¼ inches tall and fetched $57,600.
Lynn Chadwick became world renowned for his semi-abstract bronze and steel sculptures, most of which were inspired by the human form and natural world. He never attended art school, but his career, spanning 50 years, began in sculpture through exhibition design. He never worked in clay, only iron and bronze. He gave male figures rectangular heads, the females triangular heads.
A standing room only crowd of around 40 people packed A. B. Levy’s gallery to attend the sale live, while hundreds of others (from over 35 countries) bid online, through Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and absentee bidding was also brisk. “It was a solid sale,” said Albert Levy of A. B. Levy’s. “Lalique, Modern and Contemporary lots all did especially well.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 20 percent buyer’s
Over 78 percent of lots by the renowned French glass designer Rene Lalique (1860-1945) were sold. Two lots posted identical prices of $36,000. One was a rare and fine opalescent glass vase titled Terpsichore, introduced in 1937 and 8 ¼ inches tall. The other was a grey glass vase titled Palestre, 16 inches tall, first introduced in 1928 and the largest Lalique production model made.
A third Lalique vase, an opalescent glass piece first introduced in 1927 and titled Bacchantes, 9 ¾ inches tall, brought $31,200. Pablo Picasso made multiple appearances, first with a partially glazed ceramic pitcher or chope visage (face mug), 8 inches tall and conceived in 1959, one of 300 made ($4,800); and then with a red earthenware turned pitcher with a painted surface in black and white, titled Sujet Poisson (1962), 5 ½ inches tall, one in an edition of 500 ($3,900).
Early 20th century pieces from Tiffany Studios (N.Y., 1899-1920) included a pair of leaded glass and bronze table lamps, both circa 1910, that did particularly well. One, titled Bell Flower, 20 ½ inches tall, featured a hemispheric shade with a floral décor ($33,600). The other, titled Feather, 16 inches tall, featured a stylized feather decoration on a multi-colored, conical shade ($16,800).
Two acrylic on canvas paintings by American artist Jules Olitski (1922-2007) combined to sell for over $70,000. One, titled Amongst Angels (1991), measuring an impressive 48 inches by 72 inches and signed, titled and dated, brought $40,800; while a 1982 work titled Demon Queen, 28 inches by 80 inches, also signed, titled and dated, hit $30,000. Both still had their gallery labels.
An acrylic on canvas rendering by James Brooks (N.Y./Mo., 1906-1992), titled Isen (1966), 48 inches by 72 inches, signed lower left, sold for $48,000; while a Liquitex on board in a Plexiglas box by Tom
Wesselmann (Am., 1931-2004), titled Tiny Dropped Bra (edition #1), signed on the reverse and the underside of the box and small at just 3 ½ inches by 5 inches, fetched $13,800.
A Steinway & Sons Louis XV-style Model A grand piano (1910), with a parcel gilt mahogany case carved with scrolls and shells and internal elements dating from 1859 through 1878, 6 feet 1 inches long, played a sweet tune for $12,000. Also, a delicious looking glass sculpture from the master glass blower Dale Chihuly (Am., b. 1941), titled Macchia, 10 inches tall, rose to $5,400.
Rounding out the day’s offerings was a single-owner biscuit tin collection that featured over 60 tins that brought respectable prices. A. B. Levy’s next big auction is planned for Thursday, Dec. 10, also in the Palm Beach gallery. It will be predominantly a jewelry auction, with other items.
A. B. Levy’s is actively accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (561) 835-9139; or, you can send them an e-mail at email@example.com. To learn more about A.B. Levy’s, please log on to www.ablevys.com.