Alexander Calder original gouache painting from 1969 brings $114,000 at A.B. Levy's May 5th auction An original gouache painting by Alexander Calder,titled Red and Blue Egg, artist signed and dated 1969, sold for $114,000 at a two-session auction held May 5th by A. B. Levy's in Palm Beach, Fla.
News-Antique.com - May 21,2013 - (PALM BEACH, Fla.) – An original gouache (opaque watercolor) painting by renowned artist Alexander Calder (Am./Fr., 1898-1976), titled Red and Blue Egg, signed in the artist’s hand and dated 1969, sold for $114,000 at a two-session auction held May 5th by A.B. Levy’s, in the firm’s main gallery located at 211 Worth Avenue. In all, over 450 quality lots were offered.
The Calder piece was the superstar of the fine art category. Impressive at 29 inches by 42 inches, the work on paper attracted attention because it was an original, not a lithograph, and for its whimsical and colorful qualities. Calder was famous as a sculptor, best known for his kinetic abstract mobiles. But he was also a skilled painter who worked in watercolors, oils and gouache.
A standing room only crowd packed A.B. Levy’s gallery, with all 80 seats taken and the spillover forced to participate standing. In addition, over 500 people registered to bid online, via LiveAuctioneers.com and through the A.B. Levy’s website (www.ablevys.com). The phones were also active and absentee bidding was brisk in an auction that grossed about $1.14 million.
“We were excited that the top lots did so well, and the same was true of the less expensive items,” said Albert Levy of A.B. Levy’s. “The middle market merchandise didn’t fare quite as well, but overall it was still a successful auction. There’s a real hunger out there for quality items – the best of the best – and this sale demonstrated that. We were very pleased.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium of 20 percent for up to $100,000 and 15 percent after that.
The top lot of the sale was a Cartier diamond ring, centered by a cut cornered rectangular modified starburst cut fancy intense yellow diamond weighing 6.01 carats and boasting VS2 clarity. Flanking the main stone were trillion cut diamonds, weighing about 1.23 carats. The size 6 ¾ ring – mounted in platinum with 18kt yellow prongs – slipped on a new finger for $182,000.
Two works of fine art realized identical selling prices of $12,000. The first was a piece by noted glassblowing artist Dale Chihuly (Am., b. 1941), consisting of five “Persian” glass pieces in amparo blue with red lip wrap (circa 1999). The other was a lithograph in colors on Arches paper by Marc Chagall (Fr./Russ., 1887-1985), titled Les Mimosas (1968), signed by the artist.
In the furniture category, a late 19th or early 20th century mahogany marquetry and parquetry bureau a cylindre (a desk with a front of curved quarter-circle form), made in Paris after the model by Jean-Henri Riesner and numbered 100, garnered $36,000; and a late 19th century Paul Sormani Louis XV-style ormolu-mounted amaranth and bois satin bureau plat (French flat-topped writing table with drawers to the frieze) with signed lock plate, hit $14,400.
Satsuma (early ceramics produced at the port of Satsuma, Japan, often with a crackle glaze) was a big hit with bidders. Two Yabu