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Fine Art, Design, Orientalia, and Clocks on the Block at Hess Fine Auctions

by Special to WorthPoint (02/19/14).

This 14th-century Chinese Yuan Dynasty scroll by the literati artist Zhao Zi Yong should realize $20,000-$25,000 in an auction of rare and highly collectible Orientalia, fine art, design pieces, tribal art, antiquities, clocks and more slated for Saturday, Feb. 22, by Hess Fine Auctions.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – More than 125 lots of rare and highly collectible Orientalia, fine art, design pieces, tribal art, antiquities, clocks and more will be sold in an Internet and catalog auction slated for Saturday, Feb. 22, by Hess Fine Auctions, with assistance from ATN Properties, LLC. Both companies are headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Feb. 22 event will be packed with fine works of Archaic Period Chinese bronzes, Japanese metalwork, jade, ivory, art pottery, porcelain, paintings, Native American artifacts, collectible antique clocks and other items.

“The Orientalia items plus the ornate ivory pieces and some rare smalls are expected to do particularly well,” said Josh Lubecky of Hess Fine Auctions.

One expected top lot is an important Yuan Dynasty (14th century) Chinese silk scroll by the noted literati artist Zhao Zi Yong. The scroll, which is signed and dated 1356, is quite long and beautiful. Bidding will begin on this lot (#10) at $6,000, but by the time the final gavel falls it should reach between $20,000 and $25,000. Ancient Chinese scrolls are coveted by collectors.

This 1970s lithograph titled “Typewriter Eraser” by Claes Oldenburg is expected to hammer for $1,000-$1,500.

Two lithographs by the Swedish-born American artist Claes Thure Oldenburg (b. 1929) are both expected to do well. One depicts a typewriter eraser and is a study for a public sculpture (est. $1,000-$1,500). The other is a litho of a teapot on Japanese Moriki paper. Christie’s sold an identical image at a prior auction for $7,500, so this example has been estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

The latter lithograph carries an impeccable provenance, having come from the private collection of the assistant to Tatyana Grossman, the founder of Universal Limited Art Editions, which printed the piece. In fact, the auction will also feature a portrait of Ms. Grosman herself, by the renowned printmaker Robert Rauschenberg (Am., 1925-2008) (est. $1,500-$2,500).

Oldenburg and Rauschenberg have much cache in fine art circles. Oldenburg became one of America’s leading Pop Artists, with his whimsical sculptures of pop culture objects, many of them large and out-of-doors. Rauschenberg was one of the major artists of his generation and, along with Jasper Johns, is credited with breaking the stronghold of Abstract Expressionism.

Two other lithographs in the sale also deserve mention. One is an original 1936 sepia litho, signed by the iconic artist Norman Rockwell, best known for his depictions of everyday American life, many of which graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. The lithograph, titled “Tom Sawyer, First Smoke,” shows Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (est. $1,000-$1,400).

The other is a limited-edition Eight Stone lithograph by Lee Bontecou (Am., b. 1932), from the same Universal Limited Arts Editions collections as the Rauschenburg litho and an Oldenburg print (est. $800-$1,200). Ms. Bontecou is today one of America’s most individualistic artists. She pioneered the technique of shaped canvas, which combines oil painting and sculpture.

Beautifully carved ivory creations from Asia will feature a set of Japanese carved ivory “Seven Lucky Gods” statues on a tiered wooden base (est. $2,500-$3,000); a pair of large carved Chinese ivory emperor and empress statues on thrones, decorated with dragons and birds (est. $1,000-$1,500); and an antique Chinese intricately carved-in-the-round and reticulated ivory tusk depicting Buddhist scholars in a mountain scene with lotus flowers at the base (est. 500-$900).

This set of Japanese carved ivory Seven Lucky gods statues on a tiered wood base carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,500 to $3,000.

Also sold will be an ornately carved Chinese ivory tripod lidded censor with foo dog finial, having incredible lattice reticulation that reflects the influence of Islamic art (est. $1,000-$3,000); a huge Asian Coromandel eight-panel black lacquer carved folding screen from the 1800s (est. $2,000-$4,000); and a Chinese (or Japanese) silk embroidery panel, impressive at six feet five inches in height, with scholars in a cloudy landscape with cranes (est. $1,000-$3,000).

Rounding out just some of the auction’s expected top lots are a late 19th-century Auguste Moreau French La Rosee du Matin gilt figural clock on an onyx base in remarkable condition, due to its having remained in the same Florida funeral home for more than 100 years (est. $1,200-$2,000); and a circa 1-300 A.D. ancient Roman green iridescent glass jug (est. $750-$1,000).

The action will get underway promptly at 12 noon (EST), with a preview scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21, the day before the auction, from noon to 5 p.m., or by appointment. Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers, and phone and left bids will also be taken. Hess Fine Auctions holds weekly sales, plus six major online auctions per year, like this one.

Hess Fine Auctions (and its affiliate firm, Hess Fine Art) is located at 1131 4th Street North in St. Petersburg, Fla. Company president Jeffrey Hess is one of the world’s foremost experts in high-end quality timepieces and vintage watches. Katrina Hess, chief of operations, is one of three GIA graduate gemologists on staff.

Hess Fine Art and Hess Fine Auctions are always seeking quality merchandise for purchase or sale. They are especially interested in watches, jewelry, precious metals, gold, silver, platinum, diamonds and gemstones, coins, vintage and antique items, estate items, original paintings, collectibles, glass artwork, pottery, porcelain, silver flatware, hollowware and fine art.

To inquire about selling or consigning a single item, an estate or a collection, call 727.896.0622, e-mail to sales@hessfineauctions.com“>sales@hessfineauctions.com or visit the Hess Fine Art and Hess Fine Auctions website.


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