European paintings, furniture and decorative arts lead Bonhams first San Francisco sale of 2013

20 Jan 2013, Period Art & Design, San Francisco
Period Art & Design, San Francisco

European paintings, furniture and decorative arts lead Bonhams first San Francisco sale of 2013

20 Jan 2013, Period Art & Design, San Francisco

San Francisco—Bonhams first auction of the year in San Francisco, the 639-lot Period Art & Design sale, January 20, achieved a successful $516,688. The leading lot of the multi-category auction, from the strong-selling European paintings portion of the sale, was an After Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) oil on canvas, "Saint Dominic in prayer," sold for $15,000 (est. $1,000-1,500). The piece depicts the robed Saint Dominic before a clouded sky.

Closely following that top lot was another European painting, a John Wootton oil on canvas, "An extensive river landscape with figures and a wagon on a track," sold for $13,750 (est. $4,000-6,000), which was Property of a luxury hotel. Strong lots continued with Property from the Collection of Joseph Klein (1899-1987), New York, NY, including a 17th/18th century Italian School red chalk on paper, "Figures wrestling a serpent," sold for $6,875 (est. $1,000-1,500) and an After Francesco Melzi oil on panel, "Flora," sold for $6,250 (est. $4,000-6,000). Also impressive in the section was an 18th century Continental School oil on panel, "A landscape with figures and a donkey on a track," sold for $4,000 (est. $1,000-1,500).

Furniture and decorative arts also sold well in the auction, led by such lots as an early 19th century, Regency inlaid mahogany, triple pedestal dining table, sold for $10,625 (est. $3,000-5,000) and, from the estate of noted San Francisco philanthropist and businessman Stephen A. Zellerbach, San Francisco, a first-half 20th century, Louis XV-style, walnut extension dining table, sold for $7,500 (est. $2,500-3,500). Highlights of furniture and decorative arts also included a mid-19th century, Louis Philippe, maple faux bamboo, marble-top dressing stand, sold for $6,000 (est. $500-700), which was Property of the James S. Clayton Trust, and a late 19th century, Victorian, oak mirrored sideboard, sold for $4,000 (est. $2,000-3,000).

The sale's success was also represented by two lots of American art, whose notable bids surpassed their estimates: a Sergei Bongart oil on board, "Chair with curtain," sold for $3,125 (est. $1,000-2,000) and a grouping of four Eldridge Ayer Burbank works, "Zia Indian village; Hopi Indian store, Polacca, Arizona; Adobe ruin, New Mexico; and Store, barn, sheep corral and residence of J.L. Hubbell, Ganado, Arizona, 1948," all in oil on canvas board, except for the third in oil on board, sold for $4,000 (est. $800-1,200).

Highlights of Modern & Contemporary Art in the auction also stood out. Included were works by British artists, such as a Paul Nash watercolor, charcoal and pencil on paper, "Landscape with pond, 1925," sold for $6,875 (est. $4,000-6,000) and a Tim Stoner oil on linen, "The Dead, 2004," sold for $3,500 (est. $2,000-3,000), as well as Property from the Estate of Charles and Eleanor de Limur, San Francisco, including a Roberto Soler untitled oil on canvas from 1961, sold for $3,125 (est. $1,200-1,800). Modern & Contemporary furnishings and décor highlights included a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe daybed, sold for $3,125 (est. $1,000-1,500); a pair of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs and ottoman, sold for $2,000 (est. $1,000-1,500); and a deer and moose antler eight-light chandelier, sold for $2,000 (est. $700-1,000).

Roy Lichtenstein works led the Prints portion of the sale. Among them were two color offset lithographs on wove paper: "Stedelijk Museum Poster, 1967," sold for $1,750 (est. $1,000-1,500) and "That's The Way—It Should Have Begun! But It's Hopeless (not in Corlett), 1968," sold for $1,188. Another notable print was a Fletcher Benton cast paper and painted wood multiple, "Tangent: Balanced-Unbalanced III, 1981," sold for $1,500 (est. $900-1,200).

Ceramics stood out among Asian Art in the sale. Leading them was a glazed porcelain, seated, esoteric, Buddhist divinity of 20th century China, sold for $2,250 (est. $500-700), which was Property from a Private San Francisco Estate, whose residuaries benefit the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation. Two other examples included a group of Chinese porcelain articles of the Late Qing dynasty and later, sold for $1,750 (est. $500-700) from the earlier mentioned Collection of Joseph Klein, and a pair of underglaze blue and iron red enameled bowls and covers, Guangxu marks, sold for $1,625 (est. $800-1,200). A grouping of two snuff bottles, which was Property from the Collection of John and Eve Mahan, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, also stood out, bringing $2,000, ahead of an $800-1,000 estimate.

Silver also sold well in the sale with such highlights as a sterling pair of compotes with matching flatware set in wooden case by Wallace Silversmiths, Wallingford, CT, sold for $6,875 (est. $4,000-6,000) and a sterling flatware set with case by International Silver Co., Meriden, CT, sold for $4,375 (est. $3,000-3,500), which was Property from the estate of Bruce L. Jones Jr., (1928-2012) Carmel, Calif.


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 appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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