Oakland, CA, 16 and 17 – July 2016 – Clars Auction Gallery’s July 17th sale of Fine Art, Decorative Art Furniture, Jewelry/Timepieces and Asian Art saw particular excitement when a rare painting by American tromp l’oell artist, William McCloskey (1859-1941) came up for bid. The oil on canvas titled Wrapped in Lemons on a Tabletop (1888) experienced highly competitive bidding and substantially outperformed it $70,000 to $100,000 estimate. In the end, Wrapped in Lemons on a Tabletop (1888) achieved a very impressive $216,000 making it the highest price for the artist in over 5 years and the 7th highest overall out of only 25 that have sold at auction. As Rick Unruh, Vice President and Director of Fine Art at Clars explained, “There are approximately 100 known works by McCloskey and perhaps even fewer exist of his most desired and collectible subject matter, still lifes of citrus fruit wrapped in tissue paper.” Unruh also explained, “Having this painting featured as the highlight of our July auction proved to be a very good decision when most of the major auction houses close down for the summer months until September. Dealers and collectors are most definitely looking for fine art gems such as the McCloskey painting during these months.” Born in Philadelphia and trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, McCloskey oil still lifes epitomize a delicate execution and perfect realism that mesmerize the viewer. The painting, Wrapped Lemons on a Table Top, was one such example by the artist that caught the attention of some of the top and most well-respected galleries in New York that specialize in late 19th and early 20th century American fine art. The telephone bidding on this lot was fast and furious. The outcome was more than exceptional for the seller in New Hampshire who decided to forego waiting until the fall auction season. As Unruh points out, “The incredible interest we received and of course the outstanding price achieved for this East Coast painting in our West Coast venue proves that Clars’ global audience is yet again – second to none.”
Clars’ July 16th and 17th sale realized over $1 million with several other notable prices achieved. Also performing well in Fine Art was a bronze work by Canadian sculptor Sorel Etrog (1933-2014). Titled The Couple, and measuring 52” high, this work sold exceptionally well for $27,830.
In the Decorative Arts category, the top seller was an American Gorham Martelé .958 hollowware suite that surpassed its high estimate selling for $12,100. Coming in second and also outperforming high estimate was the art glass group titled Seaform, by Dale Chihuly (American b. 1941) which achieved $11,495.
A stunning diamond and platinum ring highlighting on old European cut diamond weighing 1.93 ct, was the top lot in this category and sold for solidly within estimate at $8,470.
Rounding out this sale was the Asian category that had its own surprises with several lots flying past high estimate. Two Chinese censers in particular had bidders fighting to the finish line. The first was a Guan-type tripod censer that was offered for $2,000 – $4,000 but sold for $9,680. The next was a Ge-type censer expected to achieve $1,500 but flew out at $8,470.
Clars’ next Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry/Timepieces and Asian Art Auction will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 13th and 14th, 2016. The sales will begin promptly at 9:30am on Saturday and Sunday. Previews for this sale will be held Friday, August 12th from 1pm to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9:00 am and by appointment the week prior. A complete catalog will be available online one and one-half weeks prior to the sale. For more information, please visit www.clars.com or email: [email protected]
Clars Auction Gallery is based in Oakland (CA) and is the largest full service auction gallery in the Western United States. Clars Auction Gallery has been the chosen auction gallery of a number of institutions and distinguished private collectors across the country.
Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.
Since 2001, Clars Auction Gallery has sold over $150,000,000 of Fine Art, Furnishings, Jewelry, Vehicles and Collectibles and has set multiple new world auction records. Follow Clars on Facebook and Twitter!