Designer Spotlight: Philip & Kelvin LaVerne

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Philip and Kelvin LaVerne were a father son furniture making team who worked out of New York. They made works in pewter and bronze and opened their showroom in the 1960s on East 57th street.

Their earlier works focused on mythology and antiquities from across the globe, and the pair experimented with chemical reactions to create a patinated effect reminiscent of antiquities.


Philip and Kelvin Laverne, “Marriage Whirl” Table.
Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, “Marriage Whirl” Table.
Sold: $12,600

The LaVerne’s furniture pieces, including the “Marriage Whirl” table, have become highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts of mid-century modern design. The intricate Eastern motif in the “Marriage Whirl” table depicts an ancient ceremony of great happiness. It was designed in patinated bronze and pewter with hand-painted polychrome enamels.


Philip and Kelvin Laverne, Fantasia Coffee Table.
Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Fantasia Coffee Table.
Sold: $7,500

The LaVerne’s works were influential during the mid-20th century and continue to be admired and collected today for their artistic expression and innovative approach to furniture design.


Philip and Kevin LaVerne, Eternal Forest coffee table. Sold: $22,500
Philip and Kevin LaVerne, Eternal Forest coffee table.
Sold: $22,500

Read More

Artists to Watch: California

With this inaugural auction, we take great pride in introducing ten esteemed artists who persistently enrich the tapestry of California art.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Spring Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

This March we are excited to present several very special works in our Spring Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Matt Gondek

Gondek is known for colorful canvases with thick, bold lines depicting cartoon and comic book characters from the late 20th century.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

The Collection of Allan Stone

From 1960 to 2020, Stone had a prominent New York City gallery that was known for showing artists such as: Wayne Thiebaud, Eva Hesse, Jack Whitten, and more.

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

This March at Clars we are proud to feature a work on paper and a print by one of the most well-loved modern artists of Bay Area origin.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Designer Spotlight: Finn Juhl

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Finn Juhl’s NV-45 Chair is highly regarded for its innovative design, craftsmanship, and contribution to Danish modernism.

Three Finn Juhl NV-45 Chairs commended a total of $41,580 at Clars Summer Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction.


Finn Juhl NV-45 chairs.
Finn Juhl NV-45 chairs.
Sold: $25,200

Juhl initially began work on the NV-45 chair design in 1941, finalizing and first displaying the chair to the world at the annual Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in the fall of 1945. The NV-45 Chair is a striking and iconic piece of furniture. It features a sculptural wooden frame, with an exaggerated curved backrest, and organically shaped armrests.


Finn Juhl NV-45 chair.
Finn Juhl NV-45 chair.
Sold: $16,380

The natural and sinuous form starkly contrasted to Juhl’s previous chair designs, which tended to be boxier. Called “the mother of all modern chairs” by the Japanese professor and design collector, Mr. Noritsugu Oda, the iconic NV-45 chair is one of Finn Juhl’s absolute masterpieces. The chair’s design reflects Juhl’s interest in organic forms and his ability to merge aesthetics with comfort. It continues to be sought after by collectors and design enthusiasts around the world, serving as a testament to Juhl’s enduring legacy in furniture design.


Read More

Artists to Watch: California

With this inaugural auction, we take great pride in introducing ten esteemed artists who persistently enrich the tapestry of California art.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Spring Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

This March we are excited to present several very special works in our Spring Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Matt Gondek

Gondek is known for colorful canvases with thick, bold lines depicting cartoon and comic book characters from the late 20th century.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

The Collection of Allan Stone

From 1960 to 2020, Stone had a prominent New York City gallery that was known for showing artists such as: Wayne Thiebaud, Eva Hesse, Jack Whitten, and more.

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

This March at Clars we are proud to feature a work on paper and a print by one of the most well-loved modern artists of Bay Area origin.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Designer Spotlight: Arthur Espenet Carpenter

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

California has a lengthy history of woodworking and studio furniture design. One of the most renowned master woodworkers was Arthur Espenet Carpenter.

Born in 1920, Arthur Espenet Carpenter was a self-taught furniture maker. He began making wood turned bowls at his studio in San Francisco in the late 1940s to early 1950s. By the mid-1950s, he had expanded to build custom furniture. Carpenter found that production was so busy that he felt disconnected from the furniture building process. In 1957, he decided that it was time to relocate to Bolinas, California, where he custom built his own house for his family. At his Bolinas studio, Espenet would create unique one-of-a-kind pieces for his clients, as well as his most well-known iconic pieces, such as the Wishbone armchair.


Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Bolinas, CA, walnut Wishbone armchair.
Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Bolinas, CA, walnut Wishbone armchair, having a shaped back with dowel construction, continuing to the contoured arms, above the blue upholstered seat, and rising on shaped legs.
Sold: $5,937

Espenet valued function as well as form. While his furniture pieces appear quite sculptural, they were also designed with comfort and utility in mind. For example, the arm hits the armrest of the Wishbone chair at just the right angle. Clars is offering a suite of eight Wishbone chairs, including two armchairs, with an auction estimate of $20,000–$30,000 in our June 15th Design auction. Also to be offered is a stunning dining table having five butterfly inlays, estimated at $10,000–$15,000.


Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Wishbone Chairs, eight, and Dining Table.
Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Wishbone Chairs, eight, and Dining Table.
Sold: $40,950

While there’s a certain simplicity or minimalism to Espenet’s designs, great attention is also paid to the finer details. An example of this point is the drop-down cabinet, which features a wood turned locking knob above well carved hinged supports, that sold at Clars for $5,937.


Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Bolinas, CA, walnut cabinet, having a rectangular top, above a hinged front with a locking knob, opening to a fixed shelf interior, and rising on tapered legs.
Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Bolinas, CA, walnut cabinet, having a rectangular top, above a hinged front with a locking knob, opening to a fixed shelf interior, and rising on tapered legs.
Sold: $5,937

Another example of Espenet’s extraordianry attention to detail can be seen in a set of two nesting walnut low tables, which commanded $6,875 at auction. While seemingly simple, the tables feature exposed dovetail joinery.


Detail of dovetail joinery, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Bolinas, CA, walnut nesting low tables.
Detail of dovetail joinery, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Bolinas, CA, walnut nesting low tables.
Sold: $6,875

The featured Arthur Espenet Carpenter jewelry box below, while quite functional, is also very sculptural. The contoured form has six bandsaw-carved drawers that feature prominently on the case.


An Arthur Espenet Carpenter, jewelry box, executed in walnut, with six bandsaw-carved drawers.
An Arthur Espenet Carpenter, jewelry box, executed in walnut, with six bandsaw-carved drawers.
Sold: $3,125
A Tripp Carpenter (Espenet Furniture) jewelry casket, of organic form with three lined drawers and crimson pulls.
A Tripp Carpenter (Espenet Furniture) jewelry casket, of organic form with three lined drawers and crimson pulls.
Sold: $250

Though Arthur Espenet Carpenter passed away in 2006, his legacy continues with his son, Tripp Carpenter, who learned woodworking as a child, and now is a professional woodworker in his own right.


Read More

Artists to Watch: California

With this inaugural auction, we take great pride in introducing ten esteemed artists who persistently enrich the tapestry of California art.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Spring Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

This March we are excited to present several very special works in our Spring Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Matt Gondek

Gondek is known for colorful canvases with thick, bold lines depicting cartoon and comic book characters from the late 20th century.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

The Collection of Allan Stone

From 1960 to 2020, Stone had a prominent New York City gallery that was known for showing artists such as: Wayne Thiebaud, Eva Hesse, Jack Whitten, and more.

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

This March at Clars we are proud to feature a work on paper and a print by one of the most well-loved modern artists of Bay Area origin.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Designer Spotlight: Tiffany Studios

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Louis Comfort Tiffany was a prolific American designer whose career spanned from the 1870s–1920s. While he was most well known for his stained glass, he produced pieces in a variety of mediums, including pottery, metalwork, and lighting.

At the close of the 19th century, Louis Comfort Tiffany first developed Favrile glass. Deeply impressed from a recent trip to Europe in the 1860s, Tiffany drew inspiration from Roman and Syrian glass making. After much experimenting, Tiffany’s technique of ingraining color within the glass set it apart from other types of iridescent glass, resulting in the beautiful distinctive hues of Favrile glass.


Tiffany Studios, New York, Venetian table lamp, circa 1910.Sold: $106,250
Tiffany Studios, New York, Venetian table lamp, circa 1910.
Sold: $106,250

Tiffany was also largely inspired by nature – he was captivated by the array of lush colors of flowers and plants. This attraction to color also contributed to the brilliant shades featured in Favrile glass objects.


Tiffany Studios, New York, Favrile Urn.
Tiffany Studios, New York, Favrile Urn.
Sold: $504

Tiffany went on to win a grand prize at the 1900 Paris Exposition (the World’s Fair), for his Favrile glass. Later, he began producing lamps and large stained-glass Favrile pieces, cementing himself as one of the most influential figures in the Art Nouveau style through to the Arts and Crafts period.


Read More

Artists to Watch: California

With this inaugural auction, we take great pride in introducing ten esteemed artists who persistently enrich the tapestry of California art.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Spring Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

This March we are excited to present several very special works in our Spring Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Matt Gondek

Gondek is known for colorful canvases with thick, bold lines depicting cartoon and comic book characters from the late 20th century.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

The Collection of Allan Stone

From 1960 to 2020, Stone had a prominent New York City gallery that was known for showing artists such as: Wayne Thiebaud, Eva Hesse, Jack Whitten, and more.

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

This March at Clars we are proud to feature a work on paper and a print by one of the most well-loved modern artists of Bay Area origin.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

International Women’s Day

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Stories & News

Clars is celebrating International Women’s Day by highlighting the career of Greta Grossman, one of the leading female designers of the mid-20th Century.


Greta Grossman
Greta Grossman.

Not only was Grossman a furniture designer, but she was also an architect and interior designer. Her career spanned forty years and her reach was global. Although originally based in Sweden, Greta’s work became incredibly popular in the United States, and in the 1940s she opened a shop in Beverly Hills. It was there that she worked for celebrity clients, such as Greta Garbo.


Greta Grossman furniture and interior design.
Greta Grossman architecture.

Read More

Varieties of DRC

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) is renowned for producing some of the world's most sought-after and prestigious wines.

  • Fine & Rare Wines
  • Stories & News

From the Estate of Vanna & N. Lee Lacy
Palm Springs, CA

Clars is delighted to be offering the Collection of Vanna and N. Lee Lacy on Friday, July 14th in our Tribal Arts, Interiors, Art & Jewelry Auction

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Stories & News

Han Dynasty Highlights

The Han Dynasty was known for its exquisite craftsmanship and artistic design.

  • Asian Art
  • Stories & News

Designer Spotlight: Philip & Kelvin LaVerne

Philip and Kelvin LaVerne were a father son furniture making team who worked in pewter and bronze.

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Designer Spotlight: Finn Juhl

Finn Juhl’s NV-45 Chair is highly regarded for its innovative design, craftsmanship, and contribution to Danish modernism.

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Summer Modern + Contemporary Post Sale Highlights

Clars’ Summer Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction brought in active bidders from across the globe vying for artwork from world famous artists and design from master woodworkers.

  • Modern + Contemporary
  • Stories & News

Designer Spotlight: Toshiko Takaezu

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Toshiko Takaezu, renowned abstract Hawaiian ceramicist from the twentieth century, drew inspiration from her own cultural background as well as contemporary painting and sculpture.


Closed Forms
Toshiko Takaezu, Closed Forms.
Sold: $24,250

Toshiko Takaezu (American/Japanese, 1922–2011) is best know for her ‘Closed forms’ which can be described as both sculptures and paintings all in one. Each form is unique and varies in shape, size, color and texture and captures a spirit that mirrors work of other postwar expressionist artists, like Joan Mitchell and Mark Rothko.


Read More

Artists to Watch: California

With this inaugural auction, we take great pride in introducing ten esteemed artists who persistently enrich the tapestry of California art.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Spring Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

This March we are excited to present several very special works in our Spring Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Matt Gondek

Gondek is known for colorful canvases with thick, bold lines depicting cartoon and comic book characters from the late 20th century.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

The Collection of Allan Stone

From 1960 to 2020, Stone had a prominent New York City gallery that was known for showing artists such as: Wayne Thiebaud, Eva Hesse, Jack Whitten, and more.

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

This March at Clars we are proud to feature a work on paper and a print by one of the most well-loved modern artists of Bay Area origin.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Designer Spotlight: Dirk Van Erp

  • Designer Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

California has a long-standing tradition for metalwork. One of the most renowned metalworkers was a San Franciscan, Dirk Van Erp, who was prominent during the Arts and Crafts Period.


Dirk Van Erp, Arts & Crafts Vase.
Dirk Van Erp, Arts & Crafts Vase.
Sold: $1,520
Mica Table Lamp
Dirk Van Erp hand hammered copper and mica table lamp circa 1912.
Sold: $15,000

While he is most well-known for his table lamps, Van Erp also designed a variety of decorative arts including vases, humidors, jadinieres, and tea kettles, among others. Dirk Van Erp table lamps were typically executed in hand-hammered copper with a mica shade.


Bean Pot lamp
An Arts and Crafts Dirk Van Erp Bean Pot lamp.
Sold: $5,000

Also prized are Van Erps hammered copper vases. “Warty” vases are particularly collectible. They feature a hammered warty body, and often have a fine original red patina.


Copper Vases
Left: Large Dirk Van Erp hammered copper vase. Sold: $12,500
Right: Dirk Van Erp studios, San Francisco, hammered copper “Warty” vase. Sold: $6,250

What makes a Dirk Van Erp piece more collectible? Collectors often prize the original patina, or finish. Another important factor is the date of the piece — which can be determined by taking a look at the stamped mark on the underside. Dirk Van Erp pieces are typically marked with an impressed windmill signature with text below (Van Erp was a Dutch American artisan).


D'Arcy Gaw mark.
D’Arcy Gaw Dirk Van Erp mark in rectangle under windmill.

The earliest signature reads, “D’ARCY GAW DIRK VAN ERP.” In 1909, Dirk joined forces with D’Arcy Gaw, an interior designer. In 1910, the duo began to use an impressed mark bearing both of their names. This mark was used until 1911. Many collectors consider works from this period to be of the best and most desirable quality.


Closed Box Mark
Dirk Van Erp closed-box mark.

In 1911, when their partnership dissolved, D’ARCY’s name was removed (chiseled off) from the stamp. At this stage, the stamp became known as a “closed-box” mark, with Dirk Van Erp’s name only. This was used between the years of 1911–1912, and the box was inadvertently damaged due to chiseling, to become an “open-box” mark.


Closed box mark and San Francisco
Closed box mark with San Francisco.

In addition to the open box, it is thought that during and after the 1915 World’s Fair, Dirk Van Erp added “San Francisco,” which usually appears below the box. Van Erp exhibited at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition — the San Francisco World’s Fair that demonstrated to the world that the city had risen from the ashes, a mere nine years after the Great Fire. It was a world class exhibition that brought many of the world’s finest artists to California, and served as evidence that the San Francisco Bay Area was (and is) a world class destination bursting with talent.

This mark was used from 1915 through the death of Dirk Van Erp’s son, William, in 1977.

Read More

Artists to Watch: California

With this inaugural auction, we take great pride in introducing ten esteemed artists who persistently enrich the tapestry of California art.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Spring Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

This March we are excited to present several very special works in our Spring Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Matt Gondek

Gondek is known for colorful canvases with thick, bold lines depicting cartoon and comic book characters from the late 20th century.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

The Collection of Allan Stone

From 1960 to 2020, Stone had a prominent New York City gallery that was known for showing artists such as: Wayne Thiebaud, Eva Hesse, Jack Whitten, and more.

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

This March at Clars we are proud to feature a work on paper and a print by one of the most well-loved modern artists of Bay Area origin.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary