Guests attending Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ (PBMA) stylish, hospitable events often compliment co-owners Rico Baca and Wade Terwilliger on the consistent superiority of items offered in their sales. To make the cut for any of PBMA’s beautifully presented auctions, an artwork, furnishing or decorative accessory must pass the tests of quality, authenticity and market desirability, said Baca, who is also the company’s auctioneer.
PBMA’s next Modern Design, Art & Accessories auction, on Saturday, May 14, features more than 550 carefully curated items by premier midcentury to contemporary designers, artists and manufacturers. The sale – which is already attracting strong absentee bids – opens with sleek 1950s-1970s furniture, including a superb Vladimir Kagan Contour loveseat/sofa that is expected to make $5,000-$7,000.
Other top furniture lots include an Edward Wormley occasional table with Murano glass-tiled top, Jacques Adnet upholstered leather and brass folding chairs; and a pair of Marzio Cecchi for Studio Most leather and enamel-on-steel lounge chairs with matching ottoman. “Midcentury furniture has obvious aesthetic appeal, but it was also made to last. It is meant to be used and enjoyed in the home,” Baca noted.
The fastest-growing category in PBMA’s sales is modern and contemporary artworks. The May 14 selection includes investment-grade art to please a variety of tastes.
A large, original Alex Katz painting on canvas titled Good Morning Study III is signed and dated 2007. Its ownership can be traced back to the artist himself. Estimate: $35,000-$50,000. Another sizable original work on canvas was painted by Gene Davis (American, 1920-1985) and is titled Algiers. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000.
Several fine sculptures will be auctioned, including a Harry Bertoia bronze titled Wave-Formed Energy. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Val Bertoia, it is estimated at $20,000-$30,000. A massive 41-inch-tall figural bronze by Angel Botello titled Girl Standing with Umbrella comes with a copy of an invoice from Galeria Botello Inc. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000.
A special highlight is the collection of Pablo Picasso hand-painted Madoura pottery from the Estate of Dr. Samuel L. Scher. Also, a whimsical Kenny Scharf hand-painted ceramic work titled Object to Enjoy, from a 2008 edition of 25, doubles as a functional water pipe. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.
Created by Thomas Stearns of the Venini Murano Italia glassworks, an important Cappello del Doge vase has provenance that begins with the revered Italian company’s long-tenured head glass master. The orange, bronze and white acid-etched vessel appeared in both the Venini Glass Catalogue 1921-2007 and Venini: Catalogue Raisonne 1921-1986. This connoisseur’s piece is entered with a $20,000-$40,000 estimate.
Palm Beach Modern’s May 14, 2016 auction will begin at 12 noon ET at 417 Bunker Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405. Preview: Mon.-Fri. from 10-5 and from 9 a.m. onward on auction day. There will be free valet parking and a complimentary catered luncheon, snacks and beverages available to all guests.
View the auction catalog online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.