Oil Paintings by Roger Brown and Felix Ziem Surpass Estimates in Neue Auctions' Fine Estates & Collections Auction, Dec. 2

Brown’s painting, titled Red Hills, realized $49,200 on an estimate of $1,000-$2,000, while the Ziem work, Sultan’s Caique at Constantinople, brought $39,975 on a $5,000-$8,000 estimate. 

Beachwood, OH, USA, December 12, 2023 -- An oil on canvas painting by Roger Brown (American, 1941-1997) blew past its $1,000-$2,000 estimate to finish at $49,200, and an oil painting by the French artist Felix Ziem (1821-1911) also shattered expectations in Neue Auctions’ online-only Fine Estates & Collections auction held December 2nd. They were the top two earners of the 417-lot auction. 

The Roger Brown painting, titled Red Hills, was unframed and unsigned but titled in pencil on verso. It had a canvas size of 22 ½ inches by 36 inches. The lot was accompanied by a copy of the book Roger Brown, by Sidney Lawrence (1987). Brown was often associated with the Chicago Imagist groups. He was known worldwide for his distinctive painting style and shrewd social commentaries on politics, religion, and art. Brown’s life was shortened by the AIDS virus. 

The oil on cradled mahogany panel by Felix Ziem, titled Sultan’s Caique at Constantinople, was expected to sell for $5,000-$8,000, but ended up realizing $39,975. The work had a panel size (less frame) of 20 inches by 32 ¼ inches and was artist signed lower right. Ziem was a French painter in the style of the Barbizon School who also produced Orientalist works. In 1857, France recognized his contributions to the art world by making him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. 

The rest of the auction featured original artwork, bronzes, miniature paintings, European collections of antiques and antiquities, carpets and furniture, all from fine local estates and collections. Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices include a 23 percent buyer’s premium. Online bidding via LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com

Furniture and furnishings featured a circa 1974 Guido Faleschini “Teorama” molded foam sofa for Mariani, seven modular sections upholstered in original cotton velvet, 156 inches long ($9,834); and Gabriel Argy-Rousseau pate de verre lamp of baluster form titled La Danse, showing three bacchic dancers and a spear carried by Bacchus ($5,144). 

A large oil on canvas painting by Joseph B. O’Sickey (American, 1918-2013), titled Red Cloth, signed lower right and housed in a frame measuring 51 inches by 61 inches, gaveled for $9,834. Another O’Sickey work, this one not at large at 25 ½ inches by 30 inches (canvas, less frame), titled Garden with Potted Plants, changed hands for $2,269. 

Remarkably, ten of the auction’s top 24 lots came from the antiquities category. Cynthia Maciejewski of Neue Auctions described the antiquities collection in the auction as “a major lifetime achievement,” adding that most of the cylinder seals were vetted by W. G. Lambert, a Professor of Assyriology at the University of Birmingham (UK, 1970-1993). 

Some of the antiquities came with a museum quality modern impression and a signed hand-written note from Professor Lambert. Top lots included a large Old Babylonian amethyst seal, carved with Lamma introducing a worshiper to a seated god ($7,565); a 1st Century BCE Roman carnelian intaglio of Jupiter-Annon, with a god’s head in profile, in a later hallmarked 18k yellow gold ring ($5,446); and a 900-800 BCE Neo-Babylonian cylinder seal ($5,144). 

Other top achievers included a circa 450-350 BCDE Archaemenid cylinder seal ($4,539); a circa 1900-1700 BCE Old Babylonian cylinder seal ($4,387); a circa 2000-1750 BCE carved basalt Assyrian figure ($3,9340; an Early Dynasty I circa 2800 BCE Sumerian cylinder seal (43,328); and a circa 3300-2900 BCDE Mesopotamian white stone stamp seal ($2,118). 

A vaporized metal pigments on paper by Larry Bell (American, b. 1939), titled Vapor Drawing (1979), signed and dated in pencil lower right and framed in plexiglass, 47 ½ inches by 38 ½ inches, rose to $8,320; while a charcoal on paper Mural Sketch of Marietta, Ohio, rendered in 1939 by Clyde Singer (American, 1908-1999) hit $4,236. 

The jewelry category featured a 21k gold twisted rope bangle bracelet, terminating to engraved, flat triangles and stamped on verso “21k” ($2,723); a pink tourmaline antique brooch, yellow gold framed, unmarked, with prong set stones four square cut purple and pink tourmalines and two triangle cuts ($2,118); and an unmarked Victorian gold-filled mourning locket with a hinged back and on a 10-inch-long gold-filled chain ($2,118). 

Chinese carved jade pieces proved popular with bidders. Items included an ornament comprised of a central bi disc form with plant motifs at top and bottom, and stylized taotie masks carved in slight relief encircling the form ($5,598); and a carved green jade camel, probably Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), approximately 3 ¾ inches tall ($2,269). 

Two works by Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989) caught the attention of bidders. One was an etching on paper titled Washington Gate, from the New York City series, signed and dated (1969) and numbered 84/125 lower left ($1,664). The other was a lithograph on paper, titled Le Sacre du Printemps, signed and numbered 53/150 at lower left ($1,135). 

Who isn’t attracted to gold? The auction featured a group of five 2 ½ U.S. dollar gold Liberty coins from 1878 to 1907, made into buttons, about 22 grams total ($1,513); and a 14k gold pendant with a seated Buddha, boasting three green chalcedony stones and three cabochon tiger eye stones, prong set, on a texted starburst ground, 46.91 grams ($1,362). 

Other gold lots included a gold bracelet, marked 22k gold, having a hollow tubular top with granulation and two small bezel set accent sapphires, finished with a high karat wove gold chain ($1,362); and a pair of identical 18k antique Art Nouveau gold bangles with a design of leaves on a vine with fruit, hallmarked 18k, 21.06 grams total ($1,135).

To learn more about Neue Auctions and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auctions, please visit www.neueauctions.com. Cynthia Maciejewksi and Bridget McWilliams can be reached by phone: 216-245-6707; or via email: cynthia@neueauctions.com, bridget@neueauctions.com.

About Neue Auctions:
To learn more about Neue Auctions, please visit www.neueauctions.com. They can be reached by phone: 216-245-6707; or via email: cynthia@neueauctions.com, bridget@neueauctions.com.

Media Contact:
Cynthia Maciejewski
Neue Auctions
23533 Mercantile Rd. #119
Beachwood, OH 44122 USA