333 North Main Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530
For auction schedules, visit www.ragoarts.com or call 609.397.9374

Helen Frankenthaler, Thanksgiving Day, 1974. Hand painted ceramic tile. From a private NYC collection.
Tiffany Studios (clockwise from top): Fine double inkwell, two scarab humidors, triple inkwell, gimbal candlestick. From the Jerome Shaw collection.

David Rago began selling American art pottery in 1972, entered the auction world in 1982 and founded The Rago Arts and Auction Center in 1996. This fall, the auction house enters its third decade in business with a season defined by strong private owner sales and singular objects.

Among the private collections coming to market: In October, the best collection of work by George Nakashima still in private hands; contemporary glass from the Estate Collection of Nancy Connolly; and Jerome Shaw’s collection of decorative arts from Tiffany Studios, Art Nouveau objects, French glass and ceramics. In November, a single owner collection that includes paintings and works on paper by Helen Frankenthaler, Theo Van Rhysselberghe, George Ault, Alfred Maurer, George Hitchcock, Joseph Stella, Alan Davie, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Victor Vasarely and sculpture by Yves Klein, Mary Bauermeister, Arman, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Fernando Botero, Gerhard Marcks, and Georg Kolbe.  Among the other notable offerings coming to market: A Chinese white jade brush washer on stand in September; work by Thomas Hart Benton, Winslow Homer and Joseph Fleck in November; and a ca. 1927 Cartier table box with enameled gold and gems in December.

George Nakashima (1905–1990), fine early Conoid bench, Nakashima Studio, New Hope, PA, 1961. East Indian laurel, hickory, walnut. Signed with client name. 30 x 96 x 30 inches. Provenance: Copy of original invoice and order form. Estimate: $25,000–30,000.

Two short form documentaries backed by Rago premiere this fall and winter, as well. The first focuses on George Nakashima and the second on Paul Evans. Both are produced by the New York School of Interior Design’s Danielle Ohad. The documentaries examine the aesthetics of these great studio craftsmen and the response of the market to their work over time. The premiere of “Collecting Nakashima” takes place at the New York School of Design in November. On October 8, the auction house will hold a benefit for the Nakashima Peace Foundation. “We’re devoting more of our time and resources to such educational efforts and a program on material culture for schoolchildren,” notes founder David Rago. “It’s an expansive time for us, with seasoned specialists joining the firm and a new property management program for those who are downsizing,” he adds. “Seeing Rago at this juncture is one of the great pleasures of my career.”


This Highlight was originally published in the Autumn 2016 issue of Antiques & Fine Art magazine, a fully digitized version of which is available at afamag.com. AFA is affiliated with Incollect.