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

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Stories & News

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.

In the 1960s, the wunderkind Hollywood producer, N. Lee Lacy, fell in love with the African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and other Tribal Arts that he was seeing in galleries and auction houses in Paris, Brussels, and London (he had a home in London as a base). His uncommon creativity, writing for and producing TV series and iconic TV ads (winning Best Of The Film Festival awards in Cannes, Venice, London, and NYC), led to him have international offices with 40 writers working for his production company, which he headquartered in Hollywood.


A Bakota reliquary, Gabon, raised on stand, 22.5″h (overall); 20.5″h.
A Bakota reliquary, Gabon, raised on stand, 22.5″h (overall); 20.5″h (figure).
Sold: $8,820
An Olmec figure of a baby, 9″h.
An Olmec figure of a baby, 9″h.
Sold: $6,930

Lacy always collected tribal art, with Hollywood presenting buying opportunities in Pre-Columbian works in the 1960s and African works in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the 1960s and 1970s, Lacy also bought from auctions in London, NY, and Paris and at galleries in those cities and Brussels, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.


Chinese Han Dynasty Cast Bronze Covered Ding Vessel.
Chinese Han Dynasty Cast Bronze Covered Ding Vessel.
Sold: $1,890

Lee married Vanna Warmack Lacy 35 years ago. Together they fell in love with Oceanic Art, spurred by several voyages to the South Seas accompanying their friend, Caroline Yacoe. Yacoe is an Oceanic scholar, lecturer, author, art collector/dealer, and documentary filmmaker specializing in recording traditional ceremonies and cultures on remote Pacific Islands. This was also a prime period for acquiring authentic, old Indonesian pieces being brought to California by prescient dealers.


An exceptionally dynamic figural door, Toradja, Indonesia Sulawesi Island.
An exceptionally dynamic figural door, Toradja, Indonesia Sulawesi Island.
Sold: $20,160

Lastly, while producing and creating films in Hollywood and investing in property and living in Beverly Hills, the Lacy’s opened a gallery on the famed Melrose Place (which became the name of a hugely popular TV series) showing paintings and sculptures of modern and contemporary artists. Vanna was the Lacy Gallery’s Director. After a successful run of more than a decade, the Lacy’s retired their gallery. The paintings and sculptures they had most loved personally, plus their mostly decades-old tribal collections, resided with them in their Beverly Hills and then their Palm Springs home until June when it was time to move themselves and their art collections along.

By Dave DeRoche, Guest Curator.

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Property from the Estate of Meri Jaye

Meri Jaye was a renowned, San Francisco interior designer of passenger and cargo ships.

  • Estate Spotlight

Historic Frank’s Fisherman

Frank’s Fisherman, located on San Francisco’s waterfront, was established in 1946 and began as a chandlery for the bay area’s commercial fishing fleet.

  • Estate Spotlight

Property from the Estate of Harvey Clar

This April, our auctions will feature a remarkable collection from the estate of Harvey Clar, the gallery’s founder.

  • Estate Spotlight

Contemporary Glass Collection

On March 21st, Clars will be offering iconic pieces from glass artists, including Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, and more.

  • Design
  • Estate Spotlight

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

From the Private Collection of Stephen & Lynette Schwartz

Mr. Stephen Schwartz and Stephen’s Antiques are recognized antiques dealers and advanced collectors known nationwide.

  • Estate Spotlight
  • Furniture & Decorative Arts

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

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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