Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Sunday, June 05, 2005

A brutally hot summer weekend here in the Queen City of the West, saw ceramic and art glass aficionados gathering in the air conditioned upper recesses of the Cincinnati Art Galleries for their annual spring auction.
Sales were surprisingly brisk with occasional bursts into the high five figures for festive attending, phone, Internet and absentee bidders witnessed in today’s Rookwood Pottery event.
Noticed on the bidding floor were people from Boston, Atlanta, and Chicago as well as a sizable representation from the local three state regions of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky along with a well-traveled portion of the American Art Pottery Association membership who seemingly just left town following the AAPA convention in April.
While obviously the pots were a major draw, I can’t help humorously wondering if the delicious chili served by the CAG’s excellent catering service helped draw paying customers.
I wanted a second bowl but, sadly, this superb more Texan than Cincinnati style chili sold out in short order as plastic spoons flashed across the high end bidding floor.
This year’s auction seemed smoother and less beset by internet and phone bid contretemps than previous years or, perhaps, it was more that caustic auctioneer J. Louis Karp was possibly a teensy bit more mellow than in years past.
No great shakes however as Gallery owners Randy and Michelle Sandler have to be celebrating excellent sales including several excellent hammer prices all mellowed auctioneers notwithstanding.

There were several standout items including this beautiful 18 ¼ X 40 inch Architectural Faience mural comprised of several irregular shaped and matte glazed tiles which sold for $30,000 over its high estimate, in spirited bidding, to a phone bidder for $39,000.

This 1898 14 ¾ inch Standard Glaze Indian portrait entitled “Striker Apache” by Matt Daley sold to a rather relaxed floor bidding gentleman for $ 25,000 or $5,000 under its low estimate.

Another Matt Daley, this striking 20 inch 1886 Dull Finish floral sold $14,000 above its presale estimate for $20,000.

And, this small 7 ¾ inch but rare Iris glazed scenic vase by highly popular Japanese artist Kataro Shirayamadani achieved, after a feverish floor battle, a whopping $14,500.
In addition to a great many hammers in the high five figures, animal figurines of kitties, puppies, and fowl or anything signed by artists William Hentschel or Lorinda Epply seemed to easily zoom over their high estimates.
I, also, felt this year’s Ebay Live bidders showed a tad more dignity and discernment in their acquisitions than in previous years when Internet bidding more resembled a crazed paraná or piranha feeding frenzy.
As in previous sales, floor, absentee, and phone bids are subject to a 15% buyer’s premium while successful Internet bidders pay a 20% buyer’s premium.
Copies of the catalogue are still available through the CAG and all catalogue purchasers will receive a list of hammer prices as soon as the CAG staff compiles and collates one.

On a different note:
God dag Norge!

Photos: Mark Mussio
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