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June Auction Recap

June Auction Recap

20th C. Decorative Arts and Design Auctions

17 June 2016

On Saturday, June 4th, and Sunday, June 5th, Rago Arts and Auction Center held the summer session of its 20th C. Decorative Arts and Design Auctions.
The 1,200+ lots on offer in these four auctions included furnishings, lighting, architectural tiles, antique and modern ceramics, textiles, art glass, sculptures and other decorative works by Carlo Bugatti, Yoichi Ohira, Tiffany Studios, Grueby, Phil Powell, Lino Tagliapietra, Handel, Rookwood and more. In total, the weekend’s auctions brought in $4,612,969 in sales.

Works of American Arts and Crafts were among the top performing lots in Saturday’s Early 20th C. Auction, with outstanding sell through rates for works by Stickley, George Ohr and Grueby. This first auction of the weekend also saw the sale of an Artus Van Briggle proto-Lorelai vase, previously held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which soared above estimates to command a final sale price of $187,500. Buoyed by a true collectors market, the sale hammered over the low estimate with nearly 85% of lots sold.

Sunday’s sales of Modern Design, Ceramics and Glass were strong, particularly Ceramics and Glass. Among furniture makers, George Nakashima, Pierre Jeanneret, Paul Evans and Vladimir Kagan sold especially well. It was the Modern Ceramics and Glass, however, that truly soared, bulwarked by the Haber collection of Natzler pottery, including several large and important vases that had been off the market for two generations, and exceptional examples of contemporary art glass. It appears that the Modern Design market, driven for so long by sales of furniture, at last appreciates the beauty and value of smaller works of modern decor.

See the top performing lots below.

Early 20th C. Decorative Arts

Lot 88, an important 1898 proto-Lorelei vase by Artus Van Briggle sold for $187, 500, almost double the high estimate of $100,000, making it highest selling lot across all four auctions.

“This vase was consigned to us by the family that owned the Van Briggle holdings until its closure a few years ago. The vase had been on extended loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which likely contributed to its high desirability.” – David Rago, Partner/Co-Director of 20th/21st C. Design

See other sold lots from Early 20th C. Decorative Arts here.


Lot 509, a pair of 1970’s Swedish-made Terrazza Furniture System sofas designed by Ubald Klug for De Sede, rocketed to nearly 3x the high estimate of $3,500, achieving a final sale price of $10,635.

“As great midcentury pieces are rediscovered, and standbys continue their roll out, collectors enjoy recasting the players they put on their home stage. The outstanding sales result we saw with Lot 509 speaks to this spirit of rediscovery and renewal.” – Jad Attal, 20th/21st C. Design Specialist

See other sold lots from Mid-Mod here.

Modern Design

Lot 797, a fine sculptural front cabinet by Delaware Valley Modernist, Paul Evans, realized its high estimate of $175,000, making it the second highest selling lot in the two-day auction series.

“Lot 797 was the star lot in Sunday’s Modern Design auction. Fresh to the market, this sculptural front cabinet came to us from the New Jersey home of the piece’s original owner.” – David Rago, Partner/Co-Director of 20th/21st C. Design

See other sold lots from Modern Design here.

Modern Ceramics and Glass

Lot 1111, a blown glass Amber Lustre chandelier by American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, achieved a sale price of $59,375 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000.

“The Chihuly chandelier, the second sold by this auction house within a year, brought well above the conservative estimate and will be re-installed in a fine residence in the Mid-West. It was consigned by the Nassau County Museum of Art to raise funds for future acquisitions.” – Suzanne Perrault, Partner/Co-Director of 20th/21st C. Design

See other sold lots from Modern Ceramics and Glass here.

Thanks to an immaculately curated sale made possible by phenomenal consignments, Rago’s June Decorative Arts and Design Auctions were a huge success. We invite you to join us for our next 20th C. Decorative Arts and Design Auction Series, held on October 14th, 15th and 16th.

If you didn't get a chance to bid in this auction, you can still purchase unsold lots on Bidsquare until June 21, 2016.

Learn more about our upcoming auctions here.