Eye on Auctions
Closing books and more
By Caroline Birenbaum
The New York auction season draws to a close in June. There are many wonderful objects in a variety of collecting fields to be enjoyed during the previews. As always, check the websites for details, informative videos and blogs, and auctions not discussed below-either for lack of space or because catalogues were not yet available at deadline. In particular, be on the lookout for Book sales at Bonhams, Christie's and Sotheby's.
High points of literature and works from historic collections, including books owned by George Washington, are featured in the June 4 sale of the Library of a Distinguished American Book Collector. Another very special collection, offered on June 5, comprises 25 superb 16th- and 17th-century Carpets from the famed William A. Clark Collection, sold by the Corcoran Gallery of Art to benefit future acquisitions. Also on June 5, an auction of Egyptian, Classical and Western Asiatic Antiquities ranges from intimate objects to a monumental sculpture. The June 6 sale of Old Master Paintings presents Pieter Brueghel the younger's delightful "Spring." On June 7, a sale of Contemporary Art has nice works by Katz, Hockney, Haring and others. There's much to see in the June 12 sale of Important 20th-century Design, featuring gorgeous Tiffany glass from the Geyer Family Collection, American Arts and Crafts objects, and French Art Deco furniture.
A "Wedding Dance" by Brueghel the younger and an erotic "Duet" by Honthorst are among the Dutch and Flemish works featured in the Old Master Paintings sale on June 5. The June 6 auction of Important French Furniture from a Private Collection includes a pair of Louis XV ormolu-mounted Meissen vases and several automaton timepieces. Highlights of the June 6 sale of Antiquities include an Egyptian bronze cat, a Roman marble torso of Apollo from the collection of Dr. Mona Ackerman, and a Roman gilt-silver wine cup with Egyptian-influenced decoration, along with many pieces of ancient glass and Greek vases. On June 13, a New York collection of Masterworks by Tiffany Studios is followed by a multi-owner array of superb glass, furniture and other objects by European and American designers in a sale of Important 20th-century Decorative Art and Design.
The highlight of the June 6 auction of Maps and Atlases, Natural History and Historical Prints, and Printed Ephemera is one of only two known copies of a map of the newly-designed grid plan of Manhattan beautifully engraved on satin, 1821. A sale of American Art on June 13 comprises drawings and painted sketches by Avery, Bellows, Hopper, Hassam, and other well-known artists, as well as some fine works by lesser-knowns like Jane Peterson, and features Frank Lloyd Wright's original cover design for the June 1927 issue of "Liberty Magazine." The June 20 auction of 19th and 20th Century Literature offers the first Photoplay edition of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," a first limited edition of Hemingway's "In Our Time," signed copies of titles such as "The Grapes of Wrath," and a selection of Russian Constructivist/Futurist books and pamphlets.
A spiffy sale of modern Design on June 11 contains pottery by Lucie Rie and Jean Dunand, furniture and lighting by Jean Royere, a dining table by Paul Evans, and a pair of doors for Jean Prouvé's prefab designs for "Maisons Tropicales."
The wide-ranging June 14 auction of 20th-Century Decorative Arts encompasses delightful Art Nouveau, Art Deco, mid-century and contemporary works, with many wonderful examples of contemporary glass.
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