Furniture and decorative arts from the Tuscan-style summer home in Annisquam of the Bent family for the past 100 years will be offered at Skinner’s Friday 4 p.m. session of its two-day auction of European furniture and decorative arts.
Named Quattro Venti, for “Four Winds” in Italian, the 15-room house was built in 1914 by Quincy Bent (1878-1955), a director and vice president of Bethlehem Steel, and was furnished mostly with purchases made in Italy by his wife, Deborah Norris Bent (1883-1965), as she traveled in Europe with her mother during the house’s construction.
The 114 lots of furnishings include Italian walnut furniture ranging in age from a pair of 16th-/17th-century Renaissance console tables ($3,000-
$5,000) to an 18th-century rococo inlaid walnut chest of drawers ($4,000-
$6,000) to a 19th-century neoclassical dressing table and mirror ($800-
Among the decorative art offerings are two 17th-/18th-century Belgian verdure tapestries ($4,000-$6,000 and $3,000-$5,000), a pair of Italian Renaissance-style bronze torcheres ($4,000-
$6,000), and a pair of circa 1870 French painted pottery vases on bronze stands ($2,400-$3,500).
Quattro Venti, which has a servants wing and a butler’s pantry the size of a typical dining room, saw many elegant dinner parties during its heyday, calling for an extensive collection of silver, 46 lots of which are being sold. Estimates range from $15,000-$20,000 for 18 sterling silver dinner plates centered with an armorial and engraved “D.N.C.B.,” Deborah Bent’s monogram, to $200-$300 for a 5-inch-diameter sterling silver bowl engraved “Quincy Bent, Jr./April 3rd, 1911.”
Friday’s session also includes nearly 300 lots of furniture and decorative arts from other consignors. Highlights include a late-19th-/early-20th-century Dutch colonial Baroque-style silver-mounted hardwood cabinet on stand ($10,000-$15,000), a set of 10 early-20th-century Queen-Anne-style dining chairs ($3,000-$5,000), a pair of 19th-century French neoclassical candelabra ($3,000-$5,000), and a pair of 19th-century French rouge marble and gilt-bronze urns with covers ($4,000-
Saturday’s 10 a.m. auction features the Harry A. Root Jr. Collection of 18th-century English pottery, which was amassed over 40 years. Root, an Illinois resident who died last year at 86, donated a portion of his collection to the Art Institute of Chicago.
The 362 lots being auctioned have estimates ranging from $4,000-$6,000 for a pair of circa 1760 Staffordshire 8⅞ -inch long cream-colored earthenware fruit baskets in a basket weave design to $200-$400 for three 18th-century Staffordshire cream-colored earthenware items decorated with a Chinese man in a fenced garden.
There are over 70 teapots in the collection, some in such unusual forms as a three-story house and a recumbent camel, each with a $1,500-$2,500 estimate. There also are over 35 cow creamers, the highly collectible cow-form pottery vessels that were used for serving cream and milk.
In addition to the Root collection, Saturday’s auction includes more than 400 other lots of fine ceramics and more than 100 lots of sculpture.
. . .
Grogan & Co.’s auction last month celebrating the Dedham firm’s 25th anniversary as fine arts auctioneers and appraisers grossed $1.9 million with many of the lots selling well above their estimates.
Over 40 countries were represented in the bidding with 29 percent of the 672 lots sold going to Internet bidders.
The top seller was a pair of Chinese gilt-bronze cloisonné-covered vases purchased by a Chinese Internet bidder for $92,250, more than 11 times the low of its $8,000-$12,000 estimate. The same bidder bought a gilt and polychrome bronze figure of a deity for $19,680 or more than 24 times the low of its $800-$1,200 estimate.
Topping the fine art offerings was “Old Iowa Barn,” a 13-by-15-inch oil on board by the Iowa-born realist painter Marvin Cone (1891-1965) that sold over the phone to a Iowa collector for $51,000 against a $20,000-$30,000 estimate.
Other top selling art included “Forms in Space,” a 1985 color serigraph depiction of the American flag by the Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (1922-97), which was purchased by a bidder in the room for $48,000 against a $25,000-$35,000 estimate, and “Leda and the Swan,” a circa 1960 ripolin on Masonite board by the Australian artist Sir Sidney Nolan (1917-92) which sold to an Australian phone bidder for $46,800 (estimate: $30,000-$50,000).
A circa 1870 copy of the 18th-century Louis XVI marquetry inlaid ormolu mounted Table des Muses, expected to bring $5,000-$8,000, sold to a Chinese collector for $33,824.
A pair of chinoiserie copper relief architectural panels commissioned in 1914 for Marble House, the Vanderbilt mansion in Newport, R.I., sold over the phone to a private collector for $36,000 (estimate: $30,000-$50,000), and a Louis XV-style three-piece ormolu mounted rouge marble garniture sold over the phone to a West Coast dealer for $21,600 ($20,000-$30,000).
Silver offerings were highlighted by a 20-inch vase engraved “Aztek,” which soared above its $2,000-
$3,000 estimate and sold to a dealer for $45,000.
All but three of the 16 sketches and drawings by the Boston artist Alan Rohan Crite (1910-2007), which were found by a young couple when they purchased an abandoned storage locker, sold for a total of $28,000. Items from the Columbus Avenue studio of the artist, whose works depicted the African-American experience, brought $1,560. The top selling lot of two ink and marker drawings of neighborly gatherings in the South End fetched $7,200.
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Over 400 works by 100 past and present printmakers will be offered at Christie’s inaugural First Impressions sale July 16.
The sale encompasses a strong selection of postwar and contemporary works as well as examples from several important institutional collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper Union, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Among the 20th-century works are the offset lithographs in colors, “Four Prints” ($4,000-$6,000), by the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (1962-) and the 1970 depiction of the alphabet in the form of a Good Humor ice cream bar ($1,000-$2,000) by the Swedish-American artist Claes Oldenburg (1929-).
Virginia Bohlin can be reached at vboh