The estate of James W. Pihos will be sold May 5-6 at Matheson's in Florida The lifetime collection of the late James W. Pihos, formerly of Las Olas Isles, Fla., plus two prominent Miami estates, will be sold at auction May 5-6 by Matheson's AA Auctions in Melbourne, Fla.
another lot with an expected $30,000-$50,000 selling price is a monumental oil on canvas painting of a lion in repose by Charles Robert Knight (N.Y., 1874-1953). Knight was best known for his animal-in-landscape paintings, but he was also known for dinosaur sculptures and other prehistoric renderings. The painting in this auction is attractively housed in a period frame.
Another artwork of note is an ink drawing with wash depicting a reclining nude figure by Leonard Tsuguhary Foujita (1886-1968), a French-Japanese painter and a contemporary of artists such as Picasso, Georges Braque and Henri Roussea. The work being sold, Nu Allonge, is signed and dated lower left (1951), is double matted in a gold leaf frame and is 7 ¼ inches by 12 inches.
Also from the artwork category, an original oil on canvas of a woman playing the piano by James (Francis) Day (N.Y., 1863-1942), is expected to fetch $10,000-$15,000. The work is signed lower right and measures 30 inches by 34 inches. Other artworks in the auction are by such notables as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Nicola Simbari, Joan Miro and Paul Jacoulet.
Asian objects will be featured all weekend and one lot is so intriguing it borders on being priceless -- a Chinese figure of a standing Quan Yi, with an inscription on the base that translates “Gift from Sima Yan to...” (illegible). Sima Yan was the first emperor of the Jin Dynasty (265 to 420 AD). If it’s authentic to the period, the estimate of $15,000-$20,000 is wildly conservative.
Another ancient Oriental lot is a rare pair of grey pottery Taoist mask two-piece door knockers, from tomb doors dating to the Warring States period (475-221 BC). When a thermo-luminescence analysis/report was done at Oxford (authentication papers included ), it stated the date of the last firing was 1,800-2,000 years ago. The knockers should realize $10,000-$15,000.
Two Chinese lots carry identical pre-sale estimates of $3,000-$5,000. One is a spinach jade table screen mounted in a fretwood stand (16 inches by 10 ¾ inches overall). The 18th century screen came from Yuan Ming Yuan, Peking, in 1860. The other is a pair of porcelain foo dogs attributed to the Ming Dynasty (circa 1368-1644), with ivory glaze perched on fitted stands.
A carved ivory and inlaid lacquer birdcage, attributed to the Ch’ien Lung period and removed from the Imperial Palace in Peking, China by Anglo-French troops who invaded in 1860, is expected to bring $7,000-$12,000. The dome cage has ivory rod sides above a collar of red lacquer ware, inlaid mother of pearl insects and floral motif, with a nifty cloisonné feed jar.
A Louis XV ebony striking bracket clock, with bracket (circa 1750), should command $10,000-$15,000. The “Festeau Le Jeune A. Paris” clock comes in a cartouche-shaped case and is mounted with scrolled ormolu having an eagle in a pierced pendant. Also due to be sold is a Yamanaka silver and jade inkwell with turquoise Buddha (est. $2,500-$3,000) a pair of Japanese Shibavama vases (est. $2,500-$3,500); and a Greek