Boutique Selections of Contemporary Art, Midcentury Furniture Lead Palm Beach Modern’s Feb. 20 Auction

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Sunny southeastern Florida, the global epicenter for cool modern design, is home to the premier source for investment-grade art and furniture: Palm Beach Modern Auctions (PBMA). While many modern-design aficionados wish they could keep their favorite gallery a secret, PBMA’s high-profile sales of coveted celebrity collections have made that impossible. The gallery sells to a discerning international clientele in dozens of countries around the world. PBMA’s eagerly awaited next auction will take place on Saturday, Feb. 20 and features an elite offering of modern design, art, furniture and accessories.

Jim Dine original oil-on-canvas titled ‘Room Painting,’ 1958, 48.75in square, est. $30,000-$40,000 (Palm Beach Modern Auctions photo)

Jim Dine original oil-on-canvas titled ‘Room Painting,’ 1958, 48.75in square, est. $30,000-$40,000 (Palm Beach Modern Auctions photo)

“For this sale we decided to take a boutique approach,” said PBMA auctioneer and co-owner Rico Baca. “We’ve put together groupings of interesting, high-quality works by artists and designers whom we know to be in demand with collectors right now. We’re giving bidders exactly what they want – a curated selection featuring all the right names.”

The immortal designs of master furniture designer and craftsman George Nakashima are represented in an array of forms. Lot 115, a classic walnut 4-drawer chest with freeform edge comes with a copy of the original invoice from Nakashima Studios and is estimated at $6,000-$8,000. It is immediately followed by a similar but straight-edge four-drawer chest with a letter of authenticity from Nakashima’s daughter, designer Mira Nakashima. Lot 116 is expected to make $5,000-$7,000. Made in 1964, Lot 117 is the star of the group, a fully documented 85-inch-long George Nakashima walnut coffee table estimated at $20,000-$30,000. Also produced in 1964, a pair of Nakashima wall-mounted two-drawer cabinets is accompanied by a letter from Mira Nakashima and entered as Lot 118 with a $15,000-$25,000 estimate. Complete provenance for all Nakashima furniture lots may be viewed in PBMA’s online catalog (see details at bottom).

Continental furniture highlights include Lot 54, a Gabriella Crespi (Italy) “Elisse” coffee table of brass and lacquered wood with four retractable leaves, $10,000-$15,000; and Lot 215, a unique Louis Durot (France) dining table commissioned by the consignor through Magen H Gallery XX Century Design, New York. The table is accompanied by the original commission agreement and invoice, and has a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.

A very special boutique selection of furniture by Mexican artist and designer Pedro Friedeberg (b. 1936-) includes examples of his iconic mahogany Hand Chair (Lot 121, est. $8,000-$10,000) and Hand and Foot Coffee Table, ex Bonhams (Lot 122, est. $10,000-$15,000). Expressing another side of Friedeberg’s surrealistic style, Lot 120 is a whimsical full-size Butterfly and Foot Chair, est. $4,000-$6,000.

The modern and contemporary art market is on a solid course for 2016, with some outstanding works poised to take the spotlight on February 20th. Lot 84, a large and early original oil painting by Jim Dine (American, b. 1935-) titled “Room Painting” is artist-signed and dated 1958 and has a Mark Borghi Fine Art gallery label on verso. Measuring 48.75 inches square, it is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

Lot 144 is an Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903-1974) oil-on-canvas with extensive gallery and museum provenance. The untitled work is expected to reach the $15,000-$20,000 range.

Three original color works on paper by John Chamberlain (American, 1927-2011) will be sold as Lots 246, 249 and 250. Each comes with provenance that includes the collection of Lorraine Belcher, who had an involvement with Frank Zappa in his early days as a musician and filmmaker. In what is now a rather famous anecdote in rock music history, Belcher and Zappa were arrested in 1965 for allegedly conspiring to create pornography. The offending material was, in actuality, an audiotape of the fully clothed friends “moaning and groaning,” Belcher said. She later married John Chamberlain and remained with the artist until the early 1990s. The artworks, artist-signed and dated 1981, are estimated at $2,000-$3,000 each.

There are many other high-quality art entries, both original works and from editions, by today’s most collected artists, including Tom Wesselmann, Larry Rivers, Jesus Raphael Soto, Sol Lewitt and Andy Warhol. Lot 95, a 1977 tapestry of a large cat by Karel Appel is entered with a $2,000-$4,000 estimate, while Lot 43, an original Robert Indiana wool artist rug, 75 from an edition of 175 and titled “Estonian Love,” could achieve $4,000-$6,000 at auction.

Commenting on the decorative art section, Rico Baca remarked that it contains “one of the finest collections of noteworthy Italian glass we have ever offered.” Many of the greatest names of midcentury Murano production are represented. They include: Lot 153, a “Dorico Acquamare” vase, $4,000-$6,000, and rare “Tessere” vase/bowl, $5,000-$6,000, both by Ercole Barovier; and Lot 234, a large and early Ferro Toso Barovier vase, $5,000-$7,000. Several superb designs by Tobia Scarpa are led by Lot 154, a pair of Tobia Scarpa “Occhi” vases, $5,000-$6,000. A desirable 16-inch Anzolo Fuga vertically striated freeform teardrop-shape vase is cataloged as Lot 338 with an estimate of $5,000-$7,000. Another key piece in the midcentury Italian glass grouping is Lot 369, a Giulio Radi “Reazione Polichrome” vase, est. $4,000-$6,000.

Twelve pieces of exquisite French Lalique glass from a private collection will be offered, starting at Lot 291. The highest-estimated entry is Lot 298, “Miroir un Cygnes,” a centerpiece that includes two frosted and etched-glass swans resting on a rippled-mirror plateau. Designed in 1945 by Rene Lalique, it comes to auction with a $7,000-$9,000. Lots 296 and 296 each consist of a pair of Lalique “Zeila” panthers – the former of frosted glass and the latter of black glass. Each pair is estimated at $1,500-$2,500.

Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ Feb. 20, 2016 auction will begin at 12 noon Eastern Time at the company’s exhibition center, 417 Bunker Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405. Preview: Mon.-Fri. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 9 a.m. onward on both auction days.

All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through or For additional information, call 561-586-5500 or e-mail [email protected] Web: