LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — It was an exciting time at Rago Arts and Auction Center’s two-day Twentieth Century Design auction this past weekend, March 2–3, with strong prices posted from start to finish.
More than 1,100 lots crossed the block during the action-packed sale, with a Frederick Rhead tile panel with incised and enamel decorated with fish and waves, Santa Barbara, Calif., 1914–17, leading an extensive selection of art pottery and Arts and Crafts furniture and accessories in the Saturday session.
Provenance listed the tile as descending from Mrs Hugh Weldon of Mission Canyon, Calif., whose father, Christoph Tornoe, was one of the directors of Rhead Pottery as well as Rhead’s neighbor and landlord. It had an extensive exhibition history. In a frame that measured 22 by 37¾ inches, the lot sold after active bidding at $118,750.
The same price was achieved the following day as a Wharton Esherick cherry sideboard, marked “W.E. 1960,” crossed the auction block. It was accompanied by a copy of correspondence between Esherick and his client and included a copy of the original drawing.
A complete review will appear in a future issue.