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Top 17 of ‘17

Top 17 of ‘17

A Year of Auction Results in Review

18 December 2017

We’ve seen some exceptional property cross the Rago auction block this past year. As 2017 draws to close, we’re digging through the archives to present our “Top 17 Lots of 2017.”

Paul Evans – Unique and Important Cabinet

Sold for $ 382,000 in Modern Design Auction on 1/22/17

This dramatic cabinet by Paul Evans blends elements of his Sculpture and Cityscape Series to create a one-of-a-kind piece. With a realized price of $382,000, this masterwork now holds the world record for highest price paid for a work by the artist.

Bvlgari – Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Bypass Ring

Sold for $298,000 in Fine Jewelry on 12/3/17

Set with an untreated 5.01 cts. pear cut Kashmir Sapphire and 2.50 cts pear cut diamond, this bypass ring by jewelry maker Bvlgari is a sparkling dream in blue and white.

David Novros – Untitled

Sold for $150,000 in The Collection of an Important New York Corporation on 11/11/17

Property from the Collection of an Important New York Corporation featured large format works by Contemporary abstract artists, including this massive (10’ x 22’) untitled work by David Novros which sold for $150,000 against a $40,000-60,000 estimate – setting a new auction record for the artist.

Greene and Greene – Hanging Lantern

Sold for $143,000 in The Danziger Collection of Early 20th C. Design on 9/23/17

This hanging lantern was designed by brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene – owners of the California architectural firm Greene & Greene and vanguards of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. It came from one of Greene & Greene’s great commissions: the Long Beach, California home of Mrs. Jennie A. Reeve.

Yves Klein – Venus Bleue

Sold for $137,500 in Property from an Important New York Collection on 5/6/17

Many artists have taken it upon themselves to invent new styles and techniques, but very few have gone so far as to invent a new color. French artist Yves Klein patented his unmistakable International Klein Blue (IKB) in 1960. Klein’s Venus Bleue features a headless and armless model bust in IKB.

George Ohr – Large Ribbon Handle Vase

Sold for $87,500 in The Collection of Dr. Martin Eidelberg on 1/21/17

Dr. Martin Eidelberg is Professor emeritus of Art History at Rutgers University and a renowned expert on ceramics and Tiffany glass. The collection he amassed over the course of over 50 years and offered at Rago in January of 2017 featured fine works of early 20th century design, including this large and stunningly glazed vase by the Mad Potter of Biloxi, George Ohr.

7.19 cts. Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Ring

Sold for $87,500 in Fine Jewelry Auction on 6/11/17

When it comes to diamonds, bigger isn’t always better, but biggest is always bling! Weighing in at a scale-tipping 7.19 cts., this sizable stone rode a wave of desire to a realized price of $87,500.

Tiffany Studios – Lotus Shade Lamp

Sold for $68,750 in The Danziger Collection of Early 20th C. Design on 9/23/17

Reflecting the Art Nouveau aesthetic popular during the early 20th century, this Tiffany Studios Lotus shade table lamp would have been attainable by only the wealthiest patrons when it originally sold – and time has not made it any less desirable.

Worthington Whittredge – Untitled Landscape

Sold for $68,750 in 19th/20th C. American/European Art Auction on 11/11/17

A personal favorite. This enchanting landscape was brought into Rago during one of our Free Walk-In Appraisal days and consigned to our September art sales. Just imagine the consignor’s delight when it achieved a realized price of $68,750 – more than 10x its high estimate of $6,000!

U.S. 1902 Liberty Gold Proof

Sold for $66,275 in Coins and Currency on 8/24/17

Sometimes, all that glitters really is gold. This 1902 Gold Proof $10 Coin, the second finest example extant, was NGC graded at Pop 3.

Chihuly – Amber Lustre Chandelier

Sold for $50,000 in Modern Ceramics and Glass on 5/21/17

Immoderate and elegant in equal measure, works by Dale Chihuly appear frequently at Rago Auctions and rarely fail to match or exceed their estimates. This Amber Lustre chandelier was no exception, nearly doubling its high estimate to sell for $50,000.

KEM Weber - Silver Tea Set

Sold for $46,875 in The Hudson Years: The Collection of Mark McDonald on 9/24/17

Designed by KEM Weber in the late 1920s as a commission for the Friedman Silver Co., this four-piece silver tea set from the “Silver Style” series embraced the new American Machine Age. This is only the second complete set from this series ever sold at auction.

Head of a Roman Nobleman

Sold for $37,500 in Remix: Timeless Style on 6/10/17

This carved marble bust hammered head and shoulders above its estimate, earning a realized price of $37,500.

David Webb – Enameled Gold, Diamond and Ruby Frog Bracelet

Sold for $37,500 in Fine Jewelry on 6/11/17

As exquisite as it is whimsical, this figural bracelet by quintessential American jewelry designer David Webb jumped right past its estimate range of $18,000 – 24,000 to sell for $37,500.

Alexander Hamilton – Signed Letter

Sold for $37,500 in Great Estates on 10/21/17

A rare slice of American History that Rago was proud to offer for sale: a letter written by founding father Alexander Hamilton in 1792 ordering the purchasing of public debt.

Charles and Ray Eames – First Edition ESU-400

Sold for $36,750 in The Hudson Years: The Collection of Mark McDonald on 9/24/17

The market’s appetite for the best work by design duo Charles and Ray Eames hasn’t been sated. Bold, minimal and functional, the ESU-400 shelving unit perfectly encapsulates the design philosophy of these mid-century American modernists.

Rene Lalique – Tortues Vase

Sold for $30,000 in the Lexora Collection of Lalique Glass on 9/22/17

2017 brought Rago two auctions dedicated entirely to work by the great French glass artist Rene Lalique.

It was an exciting and successful year, and for that we thank our many wonderful buyers and consignors. We look forward to an even bigger and better 2018.

View all past auction for 2017 here.