NEW YORK - Artist William Morris' 1995 masterwork, Artifact: Shard with Bone Pins more than tripled its estimate at Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts sale on December 16, reaching $62,500 after a lengthy phone bidding war. Made entirely of cast glass imbued with warm southwestern tones recalling sandstone and leather, the piece is an iconic example of Morris' work from the Artifact series. Painted figures by Jon Ombrek, recalling the cave paintings of Lascaux, grace the surface of the glass, which also served as the sale's cover lot. An additional Morris highlight, Rarotowgan Man, from his Man Adorned series, achieved $42,500. Bonhams holds the record for a William Morris piece at auction, having sold Canopic Jar: Sable Antelope for $290,500 in June.
"Bonhams is proud to be the auction leader in American Studio Glass," said Frank Maraschiello, Bonhams Director of 20th Century Decorative Arts. "The market is clearly embracing the field's luminaries, including William Morris, Michael Glancy, Richard Marquis, Mark Peiser and the late Harvey Littleton."
Innovative ceramics from Japanese artist Jun Kaneko were also well received. Kaneko's monumental earthenware sculptures of abstracted human heads, glazed in a striking black and white pattern, pushed the boundaries of the medium's possibilities. Standing nearly seven feet tall, a single example brought $25,000, while a pair of the heads reached $43,750. Another highlight was iconic furniture maker George Nakashima's maple burl and walnut Print Stand from 1980, which more than doubled its pre-sale estimate to sell for $35,000. The stand was created for the express purpose of viewing Japanese prints.
Continental decorative arts of note included Marcel Andre Bouraine's patinated and cold painted bronze, carved ivory, glass, and Portor marble Arlequine Lamp, which brought $62,500. Fritz Preiss' cold painted bronze, carved and painted ivory, and onyx sculpture of Diana as an archer was the sale's top lot, achieving $81,250, while Rembrandt Bugatti's patinated bronze figure, Portrait d'un General, sold for five times its pre-sale estimate, reaching $40,000.
Complete results for Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts auction in New York on December 16 are available at www.bonhams.com/auctions/21039.
Bonhams next sale of 20th Century Decorative Arts in New York will take place in May 2014. For more information, please visit www.bonhams.com.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com