Grays Auctioneers Fine Art, Antiques & Decorations Auction Saturday Feb. 7, 1 pm

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 17:04.
02/07/2009 - 13:00
02/07/2009 - 16:00

Preview, Thurs 2/5 noon -8pm; Fri 2/6 noon - 5pm Last minute preview 2/7 11:30am - 1pm

The shining star of this auction ...

A Claude Cononver Vase, lot 84, estimates $5000-7000

Claude Cononver (1907-1993) is probably the leading Cleveland School ceramist next to Viktor Schreckengost. His works were sold by Potter & Mellen for many years and most Cleveland collectors owned at least one of his pieces. For me his pieces are simultaneous ancient and modern. There is definitely an Asian, Shinto spirit to them. They seem to have a silence about them and a weight and mass greater than their actual size. Yes, they are quite mysterious. Many of Cononver's vessels are quite large too. This piece is very intimate in scale.It seems to want to be caresses and idolized.

The first months of the new year are usually a little slow in the auction world. The big spenders are in Florida and the rest of us are usually scrounging for pennies after paying our winter utility bills. This year there is a new twist. World wide depression has made this the best buyer's market, maybe ever, for fine art, quality furniture and fine china and silver. A recent fine art sale in New York was described in the New York Times as a "half price sale."

Many Clevelanders are practical and frugal, if you have saved your money thinking that you cannot afford the finer things then this might be the time for you to start buying at auction. Start your art collection, buy some better furniture for your home or just treat yourself to something you might not have been able to afford a few years ago.


Here are some of the fine art highlights: 

Lot 100, R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) Jitterbug aluminum sculpture, signed with two books. estimates: $2400-3400


 Lot 367A Joseph Beuys (German 1921-1986) Two works, Institution and Noiseless Blackboard, with book Joseph Beuys Multiples 1971, estimates $1000-1500



Lot 88, Laurence Izard (1932) Mouse, bronze estimates $100-150 (and there are several other works by Izard)

Lot 92, William McVey (1904-1995) McDog Bronze, estimates $600-800


There is a life size version of this work outside the Cleveland Botanical Gardens


There is plenty of furniture in this auction, and something to suit everone's taste -- Victorian, Midcentury Modern, French Regency, Early American. This table and chairs by Grosfield House are very unusual ...

Lot 41A A Grosfield House Table c. 1948, estimates $800-1200

Lot 41 Six Grosfield House embossed green leather dining chairs,   estimates $800-1200


My personal pick number 1: Lot 245 Francoise Gilot (French b. 1921) Gondola, Lithograph, estimates:$250-350

The subject and the style are OK, but this print probably would not gab my attention if it was n't by one of Picasso's mistresses/wives. He married Gilot when he was quite old and she was a young beautiful artist. They were together a number of years, had two children together and then she left him. She was the only woman he did n't destroy. She wrote a book called Surviving Picasso.

My personal pick number 2: Lot 161, Pre-Columbian figures estimates: $40-60.

Pre-Columbian art is not my area but I really like this little figurines because they were my first experience with sculpture. My Pediatrician, Dr. Hadden in Berea, had these figures in his office. I must have been about three the first time I really noticed them. I might bid on these but feel free to bid against me. Who knows how many children they may have inspired to become art historians.


Grays Auctioneers
10717 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44102
United States
Phone: 216-458-7695
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