Sunday, November 07, 2004
Sales Soft at CAG
With some exceptions, like this unusual engraving-like 8 5/8” X 10 5/8” 1914 vellum plaque by E. T. Hurley which sold at double its high estimate for $14,500, the sour economy was clearly evident at this weekend’s bellwether Cincinnati Art Gallery Holiday Sale of Rookwood Pottery.
Excepting what is getting to be the regular Ebay oddity, like this 1914 7” matte production vase that sold for $1,550 over its catalogue list, most lots, including some very fine artist-signed examples, advantaged the buyer by selling well under pre-sale estimates.
I’m guessing the recent Forsythe sale of the Ruthven Collection had a clear impact upon this morning’s valuations, as many Art Pottery auction regulars, present at the Ruthven sale, were absent from today’s CAG event.
Another possible contributor to the modest hammers was this winter’s unusual lack of detail on many lots in the usually info-packed catalogue.
Excepting today’s lucky attending, phone and Ebay buyer, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the usually cash-flush Art Pottery regulars from across America peruse their soon-to-be-mailed lists of hammer prices.
Among the notable bargains:
This most unusual 8” 1941 production form with an unusually low pre-sale estimate, a superb glaze and bearing an original Rookwood paper label still sold for a song hammering at $375.
This museum-quality 1898 modest-sized and tiger-eyed portrait of Moki the Rabbit Hunter by Sturgis Lawrence and bearing a Cincinnati Art Museum acquisition number sold well under its estimate for $12,000.
This extremely rare 9 7/8” 1895 Aerial Blue by Bruce Horsfall with a 20-year old restored crack managed to score just over its low estimate by selling for $8,500.
And, this extraordinarily rare and heavy 66” X 91” Architectural Faience Mural sold in very slow massaged bidding for $6,000 under its low pre sale estimate for $24,000.
No matter this winter’s soft prices and the gallery owner’s likely discontent, the amusing patter provided by auctioneers Louis J. Karp and Brad Karoleff guaranteed a highly entertaining morning at Randy and Michelle Sandler’s premier art pottery event here in the birth place of the American Art Pottery movement.
Photos: Mark Mussio