Condition Report

Bid online at Bidsquare >

We will take you to Bidsquare, our preferred online bidding platform. Create your user account on Bidsquare (it only takes a moment) and register as a bidder in this sale.

Return to Catalog >

Continue browsing on Rago.

Bid with Rago >

Arrange a phone/absentee bid.

Sarah Selects

Sarah Selects

Rago Jr. Specialist Sarah Dziamba shares her favorite lots from our February Auctions

22 February 2016

Join us on February 26 – 28 when we host a series of six 20th C. Decorative Art and Design Auctions. With over 1,100 lots for sale across three days, choosing a favorite is no mean task. Fortunately, we didn’t have to. Instead, we asked Sarah Dziamba, a Jr. Specialist in the 20th/21st Century Design department, to do it for us.

Sarah joined Rago in 2011 and she became a Jr. Specialist in 2014. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Rutgers University and a M.A. in Italian Renaissance Art History from Syracuse University. We caught up with Sarah to discuss the February auctions while she was tagging the property. Here, without further ado, are some of her favorite lots.

This glazed ceramic Art Nouveau vase (Lot 131) is designed by Sándor Apáti Abt for ceramic and porcelain manufacturer, Zsolnay. Abt is considered one of the most talented of the artists employed by Zsolnay at the turn-of-the-century and all of his talent is on display in this piece. The vase is uncommonly large, beautifully executed, and masterfully incorporates the use of eosin glaze, a lustrous and iridescent glaze pioneered by Zslonay.

What does Sarah like best about this piece?
“The rich, bold colors and sinuous, flowing design. It is, quite simply, gorgeous”

See more from The Collection of James and Rose Ryan here.

This pair of New Hope lounge chairs (Lot 1006) was designed by legendary Pennsylvania woodworker and furniture maker, Phillip Lloyd Powell. Unlike his contemporaries, Paul Evans and George Nakashima, who produced many thousands of pieces of furniture over the course of their careers and employed a staff, Phil Powell worked alone or with Evans only. He is estimated to have made around 1,000 pieces during his lifetime, making these fine examples of his work exceptionally rare.

What does Sarah like best about these pieces?
“These chairs are beautifully made, extremely comfortable, and possess a timeless design; these would look equally at home in an Arts & Crafts-style house or a mid-century modern one. I can see myself curling up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate and passing countless hours of quiet comfort in these chairs."

See more from Modern Design here.

The twelve transfer-decorated porcelain plates (Lot 739) designed by Piero Fornasetti are emblems of mid-century Italian modern design and also carry a distinct whiff of playful surrealism. Included in the set are a rare Mongolfiere plate, dated 1953, and multiple Tema e Variazioni plates.

What does Sarah like best about these pieces?
“I’m obsessed with anything and everything designed by Piero Fornasetti and would love to own one or more of these plates someday. I find his design vocabulary to be visually striking, mentally stimulating, and just plain fun to look at and be around. His plates are especially desirable, I think, because they function in both utilitarian and decorative ways.”

See more from Mid-Mod here.

This color woodblock print by Gustave Baumann (Lot 388) makes evident his unparalleled eye for form and color.

What does Sarah like best about this piece?
“The sky reminds me of childhood days spent at my aunt and uncle’s house near Santa Fe. A cloudless summer sky out there is blindingly beautiful and crystal clear. I can close my eyes after looking at this print and almost feel like I’m there again, even though it’s been years since my last visit.”

See more from Early 20th Century here

Favrile glass, a form of iridescent art glass, was pioneered by Tiffany Studios in the late 19th century and used primarily in the creation of stained glass windows. This blown Favrile glass vase (Lot 17) is of the style Tel-el-Amarna and this deep and powerful blue is exceptionally rare.

What does Sarah like best about this piece?
“If I were ever able to afford a Tiffany Studios vase – one can dream, right? – this would be at the top of my list because of the perfect harmony of form, color, and decoration. I love the juxtaposition of jewel-like color and strong, simple lines.”

See more from Una Buona Vita here

This glazed ceramic vase (Lot 1521) by Betty Woodman from the 1970’s is a fine piece of modern American ceramics and an early example of Woodman’s well-regarded and very popular Pillow vases.

What does Sarah like best about this piece?
“I love how Woodman’s work, especially from this period, reflects her exploration of the global history of pottery. This vase, specifically, was inspired by Tang ceramics – yet she infuses it with her own personal flair. It’s a beautiful shape with a gorgeous glaze.”

See more from Modern Ceramics and Glass here.

Striking as these pieces are, they represent only a tiny portion of the impeccably curated and fantastically diverse works of Early 20th Century and Modern Design on offer in Rago’s February auctions. View a full listing of lots coming to auction in our online catalogs at