On Saturday, March 25th, Cottone Auctions will be conducting its annual Fine Arts & Antiques Auction beginning at 11 am Eastern time. The estimated 400 lots will include items from the Seymour H. Knox Collection out of Buffalo, N.Y., plus items from the Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y., the Rochester Museum and Science Center, the Everson Museum in Syracuse, N.Y., and an Old Westbury, N.Y. collection.Categories will include lamps and art glass, decorative arts (including several bronzes), jewelry, Oriental rugs, 20th Century design paintings and furnishings, American and European paintings, silver, clocks, Asian items, Native American, Americana and more.
Seymour H. Knox, Jr. (American, 1898-1990) was known as “the dean of American art patrons.” After graduating from Yale in 1920, he directed several prominent corporations, including Marine Midland Bank, the F.W. Woolworth Company, the New York Central Railroad and the American Steamship Company, all the while dedicating himself to the acquisition of fine art.
Shortly after being elected president of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy Board in 1938, Mr. Knox and other members of his family provided inaugural donations for the “Room of Contemporary Art” at what is now the Albright-Knox Museum. This resulted in the immediate acquisition of masterworks by Paul Cezanne, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Fernand Leger, Henri Rousseau, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Amedeo Modigliani, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and Chaim Soutine.
The Room also helped facilitate the museum’s acquisition of Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure (circa 1935-1936), the first work by the British sculptor to enter the collection of an American art museum. In order to properly display this influx of new acquisitions, the Buffalo-born architect Gordon Bunshaft was selected to design an addition for the museum in 1958, funded in large part by donations from the Knox family. The addition was dedicated by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller on Jan. 19, 1962, whereupon the museum was renamed the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in honor of the Knox family’s generosity. (www.albrightknow.org/person/seymour-h-knox-jr).
Fresh to the market for this sale from the Seymour H. Knox Collection are a Henry Moore Maquette of a Draped Reclining Figure (est. $100,000-$150,000); a painting by Sir Alfred James Munnings Study of a Hound from Stanley Barker and the Pytchley hounds (est. $20,000-$40,000); and two fine watercolors by Ernest Wilhelm Nay, including one titled Composition ($10,000-$15,000) and a second untitled work (est. $5,000-$8,000).
Henry Moore (English, 1898-1986) is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures, which are located around the world as public works of art. The Maquette of a Draped Reclining Figure is the original scale model created as part of a commission for the Time-Life building on Bond Street, London, where it is positioned on the roof terrace. Draped Reclining Figure was the first sculpture in which Moore utilized rippled and ridged textures to denote drapery. It is thought that his admiration for large, fleshy women originated from the paintings of Paul Cézanne.
Also featured in this sale are numerous Tiffany Studios lamps from the Rocheleau Estate in Michigan, highlighted by an iconic Dragonfly table lamp with an estimated value of $40,000-$60,000. The lamp is in untouched condition, with stunning colors and original patina. The Dragonfly pattern was popularized by Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls in the early 1900s. Three additional Tiffany Studios lamps from the collection are also featured: a Daffodil table lamp (est. $20,000-$30,000); a Ten-Light Lily lamp (est. $15,000-$20,000); and a Pomegranate table lamp (est. $10,000-$20,000).
Numerous other lamps will also be offered, including a Tiffany’s Studio Daffodil hanging chandelier from a private Connecticut collection, with an estimated value of $35,000-$55,000; and a Tiffany Studios Greek Key lamp from a private New York collection with an estimated value of $25,000-$30,000, along with other lamps by Handel, Wilkinson and Daum Nancy.
An Old Westbury, New York collection features numerous lots of French decorative arts. Highlighted are two Carnet De Bals, formerly in the collection of J.P. Morgan and sold by Sotheby Parke Bernet, N.Y., in October 1976. One is gold and enamel, set with jewels (est. $3,000-$5,000) and the other is gold with mother of pearl set with diamonds (est. $6,000-$10,000). Also from the collection are French Limoges enamel and gilt wood framed plaques, a monumental French Napoleon III gilt bronze mantle clock with cherubs, and a Kingwood & Vernis Martin decorated desk, each estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
Among the rugs up for sale is an Oushak, 16? 8? x 12? 10?, in beautiful ivory, cinnamon and salmon tones, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; a rare 19th century Chajli runner, 9’11”x 3’10”, estimated to bring $7,000-$10,000; and around 16 other estate rugs, including Kazaks, Heriz, Hamadans and Caucasians.
A Portrait of a Young Girl by William Matthew Prior (American, 1806-1873), from a Rochester, New York family, is fresh to the market and among the highlights of the Americana category, estimated at $10,000-$15,000, as well as two carved and painted cigar store Indians, deaccessioned from the Rochester Museum and Science Center, with an estimated value of $5,000-$8,000 and $3,000-$5,000. Two other notable items in this category, both deaccessioned from The Strong Museum of Rochester are two carved and painted carousel figures, an elephant (est. $5,000-$8,000) and a camel (est. $4,000-$6,000).
Included in the category of 20th Century Design are pristine examples by Angelo Lelli for Arredoluce Monza, Italy, circa 1950, which include a nickel plated “Stella” chandelier (est. $20,000-$30,000) and a Triennale floor lamp (est. $5,000-$8,000). A fine, free form Conoid Bench by master wood-worker George Nakashima will also be featured. The piece was purchased directly from the artist in 1973 and includes the original artist sketch, as well as the receipt of the purchase. The estimated value of this bench is $15,000-$20,000. Also being sold is a painted steel coffee table by master blacksmith Albert Paley being sold for the Estate of Sarah H. Collins, Rochester, NY and a painting by Joseph Floch, Women and Children having an architectural background, purchased directly from the artist’s estate by a private upstate New York Institution in 1983.
A highlight of the painting category is a Norman Rockwell work titled Bedtime, with an estimated value of $100,000-$150,000. The 5-year-old boy pictured on the lap of the women in the painting is the son of John A. Chew. Mr. Chew and Mr. Rockwell were neighbors in New Rochelle, N.Y., in the 1920’s and had become lifelong friends. During this time, Norman Rockwell would sketch and illustrate advertisements for Mr. Chew’s company.
Rockwell had asked to use Mr. Chew and other family members in several paintings over the years, many of which became Saturday Evening Post covers. This particular painting was on the cover of Literary Digest (issue, Vol. 76, No. 13, March 31, 1923). After the painting was complete, Rockwell gave it to Mr. Chew as a gift. The painting remained in his possession until the late 1950s, when it was passed on to a son, and then to a grandson, in 1997, thus staying in the Chew family since 1923.
A few other noteworthy paintings will include John Kensett’s Sketch of Nature, oil on canvas; a Heinrich Sperling oil on canvas titled The Protector from a private Rochester, N.Y., collection; Emile Gruppe’s Vermont Landscape, from a private Rochester, N.Y., collection; and William Chadwick’s The Ginger Jar, from a private Florida collection. Each of these paintings are estimated at $7,000-$10,000.
Featured in the silver category is a Tiffany sterling flatware set, in the Chrysanthemum pattern, from a prominent Buffalo, N.Y., family, with an estimated value of $10,000-$15,000; an Edward Viner English sterling silver and mother of pearl flatware set (est. $5,000-$8,000); a pair of John Café London sterling candlesticks, circa 1754, from a private collection in East Aurora, N.Y. (est. $2,000-$4,000); and various other sterling tea sets, candlesticks, trays and more.
Several clocks will also be offered, to include a fine J.C. Brown acorn shelf clock, an exceptional example of a Frederick Wingate tall case, and a fine and rare Curtis & Duning gilt wood banjo.
To view the entire sale with photos and descriptions, please visit www.cottoneauctions.com Cottone Auctions is located 120 Court Street, Geneseo, New York. For information, please call 585.243.1000 or check the website.