Clars is excited to present our Furniture, Art, Jewelry & Asian Auction on February 16th and our Warehouse Sale on February 17th. These sales will offer a splendid variety pieces that any collector would treasure.
Furniture & Decorative Arts
The Furniture & Decorative Arts section of the February Gallery auction offers a diverse collection of antiques and contemporary items, ranging from Regency swan consoles and antique Persian and Chinese carpets to modern furniture icons by Hans Wegner and Percival Lafer.
Decorations include sterling silver, French bronze decorations, Meissen porcelain, and a menagerie of Herend animals. A collection of Santa Clara blackware vessels and a vibrant spectrum of contemporary art glass and studio ceramics will also be available.
Fine Art will present an exciting selection of artwork this February. Highlights include works by important California artists, such as Elmer Bischoff and Sam Francis, as well as an impressive sculpture by Italian-American artist, Harry Bertoia.
First, we offer a painting by Bay Area Figurative Movement artist, Bischoff. A Berkeley native, Bischoff studied art and taught at a Sacramento high school until he joined the United States Air Force in World War II. After the destruction of the war, the prevailing art style in the United States was Abstract Expressionism, and Bischoff moved in circles with avant-garde painters upon his return to the San Francisco area.
After joining the faculty of the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), Bischoff worked in close company with like-minded artists, including Karl Kasten, Richard Diebenkorn, and David Park. Diebenkorn and Park joined Bischoff in forming the “First Generation” of Bay Area Figurative artists. This group transitioned away from working in the mode of Abstract Expressionism and embraced a figurative style.
Bischoff’s work in this month’s sale, titled Cityscape — and depicting just that, shows a scene that could be taken from several areas around the San Francisco Bay, with the rooftops of buildings receding down and peeping over the tops of hills. Although Bischoff and his colleagues championed figuration in their artwork, we can still see the echo of abstraction in the bold colors and emotive brushwork of this painting.
An artist whose work remained solidly in the realm of Abstract Expressionism throughout his career was San Mateo-born, Sam Francis. Like Bischoff, Francis served in the Air Force during World War II. After his return to California, he was visited by artist David Park, who encouraged Francis to express himself artistically. Inspired by artists like Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler, Francis’ work was characterized by large dollops of vivid color, smeared into both geometric and organic forms. Rather than remaining in California, Francis travelled globally, exhibiting and working in Paris, Mexico, New York, and Tokyo, where his exposure to Zen Buddhism greatly influenced his work.
Francis eventually landed in Los Angeles and became a prolific printmaker. The Francis piece to be offered at Clars this month is a striking monotype featuring woodcut and oil pigment elements. Viewers will note the painterly elements of the print, translated directly from Francis’ earlier paintings, as well as the solid color structure of the composition. Francis often favored primary colors in his work, particularly blue, and this piece is no exception. These components designate this print as an exemplary Sam Francis creation.
Finally, we will offer a large-scale sculpture by Harry Bertoia. Born in Pordenone, Italy, Bertoia travelled to the United States at age 15 to study jewelry making and metalwork. His talent in these areas quickly led to commissions from figures as prominent in the arts as Charles Eames and Edmund Bacon. After further studies in welding, Bertoia experimented with furniture design, and developed his most notable creation — the sound sculpture. Bertoia fashioned several of these sculptures, comprised of brass and beryllium copper rods affixed to a flat surface, and used them to record a series of 11 albums, all titled Sonambient.
Although Bertoia eventually made dozens of these sculptures, each one is completely unique, producing different tones based on the configuration of rods, metal composition, and the shape of the sculpture. These multi-functional artworks can be found in prominent collections nationwide, including the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The sounding sculpture at Clars this month consists of 16 vertical rods that are minimalist and modern in appearance, yet ring out with an expressive timbre. Also featured this month are attractive works by Louise Nevelson, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, and much more.
Fine Jewelry & Timepieces
The Fine Jewelry & Timepieces department at Clars is excited to offer a selection of diamond, colored gemstone and gold jewelry, in their upcoming February 16th sale.
This sale features a variety of wardrobe staples to build up the foundation of your jewelry collection at accessible price points. Some of these highlights include a diamond ring, featuring a diamond approximately 1.50 carats, estimated at $3,000–$5,000; and a diamond and 14k gold bracelet, estimated at $4,000–$6,000. There will also be a colorful gemstone selection available, including a pink tourmaline and 14k white gold ring, estimated at $2,000–$3,000; and a cultured South Sea pearl, diamond and 14k white gold ring, estimated at $800–$1,200. Other wearable pieces include a collection of Trifari costume jewelry, estimated at $200–$300. Complementing the auction will be a selection classic timepieces, including an Omega Constellation 18k gold watch, estimated at $3,000–$5,000.
This February, Clars’ Asian Art department will offer a diverse array of Asian masterpieces that span several cultures and historical periods.
A key feature in the sale is the collection of jade carvings, crafted in the 18th-century Mughal Style. These pieces, including intricately designed teapots and incense boxes, blend Indian and Chinese artistry, highlighting the rich Mughal influence.
Another notable highlight is the Ming Dynasty fahua ceramic figure of Luohan. This piece, characterized by the vibrant and intricate fahua glazing technique, reflects the religious significance and artistic depth of the Ming Dynasty.
We will be offering additional highlights from the Qing Dynasty, including a Chinese famille rose and underglaze blue bird and flower hu-form vase, which showcases intricate and colorful depictions of avian and floral motifs. A Chinese enameled 100 deer hu-form vase is another masterpiece available that features a multitude of deer in various stances — symbolizing longevity and prosperity. Lastly, the Chinese jade and hardstone embellished lacquer wall panel up for auction is a testament to exquisite craftsmanship, combining luxurious materials in a harmonious design.
Also to be featured is a remarkable late 19th century Japanese inlaid bronze koro and cover, crafted by Ohashi San’emon (1851–1895) during the Meiji period. Measuring 14.125″ in height, this piece is distinguished by a pixiu finial and is elaborately decorated with auspicious symbols in copper, silver, and gilt. The inscription, “Dai Nihon Ohashi Sam’emon seizo,” on the underside further authenticates its origin.