Cowan’s Inaugural Decor Auction

Cowan’s Fine and Decorative Art Department will hold its first Décor auction on Friday, January 8, 2010 in Cowan’s salesroom. The inaugural sale will include a fine selection of paintings and prints, furniture spanning the 18th to the 20th centuries, ivories, carved and gilt frames, rugs, baskets, sterling, and early and Bohemian glass.

Bidders can participate in person, place absentee or phone bids, or bid live on-line with Cowan’s bidding platform, iCowans.

Diane Wachs, Director of Fine and Decorative Art, notes that “Buyers for this auction are interested in great looking pieces within a good price range – and this auction has exactly that. This is a sale for everyone, from dealers to retail collectors, to people looking to furnish their house with great art.”

Highlights of the auction include several fine paintings by listed artists. An oil on panel by American artist Herbert Phillip Barnett (Ohio/Massachusetts 1910-1972) titled L’eglise St. Germain, is estimated to sell for $1000/1500. The painting is signed and housed in wooden frame with papier mâché around the interior. A label on the back notes Miller Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio.

A selection of mid-century modern furniture and other decorative arts are featured. A Knoll Bertoia Diamond Chair, designed by sculptor Harry Bertoia in 1950 and later manufactured by Knoll Furniture, is offered with an estimate of $6/800. A unique circa 1956 Sputnik Star Bust Chandelier, with a pre-auction estimate of $1/200, is a rare find but can be easily attained.

Victorian and early American furniture account for over 100 lots in the auction. An English Queen Anne Drop Leaf Table, 1750-1770, will be offered. Made of walnut and oak, the swing-leg drop-leaf table features an oval top and demilune leaves, above a bowed and scalloped apron. The drop leaf table is estimated to bring $800/1200. Also featured is a rosewood grain-painted Rococo Revival Secretary Bookcase, circa 1840-1850, that was found by the consignor in Covington, Kentucky, estimated to sell for $1000/2000.

Rounding out the auction are dozens of collections of fine porcelain, including a thirty-two piece “Minton Rose” Luncheon Service, from the mid to late 20th century, decorated in polychrome floral swags and detailing. The service, which contains footed cream soup bowls, demitasse cups and saucers, and luncheon plates, is estimated at $800/1,000.

The auction catalogue is available online at