The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. will present a far-ranging auction October 23, 2019, during its monthly Red Carpet event, spanning the globe and the centuries to bring bidders a wide variety of notable and fine items. Offerings range from a notable collection of African carvings to a mix of contemporary paintings, antique primitives, French porcelain, Asian art, and antiques from many countries.
“This auction stretches across time – and the world,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of The Benefit Shop Foundation. “I am particularly excited to debut an African ethnographica collection, which was put together over decades by a New York and Paris-based dealer and longtime collector, whose son took over the business and is now selling select pieces from their longtime clients. We will be featuring this collection over several auctions into early next year, starting with this month’s offering of colorful wedding masks, fetish and reliquary statues, feather hats and more.”
Among the collection highlights is an oversized carved wooden mask ($300-1,500) from the Bobo in Burkina Faso or the Fang peoples in Cameroon with etched motifs of varying animals like lions, elephant, giraffe, and buffalo, symbolizing the relationship between animals and humans. The 49-inch tall mask has incised eyes, triangular nose, and open mouth.
Another expected standout is a carved wood figural statue ($100-1,000) from the Bete people in the Ivory Coast of a male figure with etched patterns throughout the body. Having metal nailhead details along the hairline and a rope and iron metal necklace, the statue measures approx 27-1/2 by 8-1/4 inches, including its wood base.
Shields are also well represented, including a carved shield with a center face ($100-1,000) made by the Basongye tribe (Songye) people in Zaire with center face by the Basongye (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). The shield measures 19 by 11-1/2 inches and is painted in tones of cream from kaolin, red, and natural dark tone wood, with an etched face set in relief in center. Another carved and painted Zulu shield from South Africa ($100-1,000) would look striking hung on a wall. Painted in tones of blue, cream and dark brown, the shield has a 19-1/2-inch diameter.
After Africa, the auction crisscrosses the globe, moving into Europe with a Danish MCM Borge Mogensen style drop front desk in teak ($200-400) having three lower dovetailed drawers; an early 19th century French Empire marble and bronze portico mantle clock ($400-800) with an unsigned white face (possibly porcelain) behind glass door, signed S. H. Paris, 21 inches tall; a Franz Hermle & Sons ornate German clock ($100-200),18 by 8 by 4-1/2 inches; and a pair of French Art Deco glass and brass wall sconces ($50-150) in a Rene Lalique style, having an intricate design of geometric and floral motif on frosted shades, glass inserts measure 8 by 7 inches. Also, on offer is a handmade and handsome Moroccan wool rug ($200-450) with multi toned geometric detail with tones of orange, red, brown and sand, 74 by 50 inches.
Besides being geographically diverse, auction offerings range in eras from the Seventeenth Century to contemporary pieces. Highlights include an antique wooden spinning wheel standing 48 inches tall ($100-150), a circa 1890 antique hand crank butter churn ($50-200) having a stenciled cow design and stenciled company name in block print “Bronson & Townsend Co, New Haven,” and an 18th century English chinoiserie secretary desk ($500-1,000) with striking Oriental or Asian scenes against a black lacquer background and gold toned painted trim and highlights, 86 inches tall.
Other examples of chinoiserie in the auction include a floor size signed double-handled ceramic vase with dragon heads ($100-200), 25 inches tall, and a black lacquered painted cabinet ($50-100) with various Asian figural garden scenes and gold toned painted borders and brass toned metal hardware, measures approximately 36 by 16 by 22 inches.
A collection of more than a dozen pieces of Old Paris porcelain will be represented in the auction, including a pair of circa 1870 vases ($100-400) with hand-painted gilt decorations on a magenta, porcelain white, and French blue ground, 16 inches tall; a circa 1840 Empire vase ($100-300) with angel figurehead handles and hand-painted gilt and floral decorations on a porcelain white ground, 11-1/4 inches tall; and a circa 1860 basket-form dish ($50-250), 2-1/2 by 7 by 4-3/4 inches.
Moving into the 19th century is a pair of French Empire bronze candelabras ($800-1,600), including two candelabras each with bronze angelic figures and gold toned arm ends, 30 inches.
The midcentury modern era is led here by a set of six Frank Gehry for Knoll “Hat Trick” chairs ($1,000-3,000) that were inspired by the apple crates he played on as a child. Each chair is marked on its underside with the Knoll logo, Gehry’s signature and the date of production. Among contemporary lots is a sculptural suspension light ($300-500) made of intertwined silver toned metal rings joined together by white toned metal molecular design, 50 by 42 by 50 inches.
Fine art is another category well represented in the auction and echoes the themes of this auction with artworks spanning the world and across eras. Two mixed media paintings by Alexander Rutsch (Austrian, 1916-1997) have attracted significant presale interest: a portrait of actress Anjelica Huston ($1,000-10,000) featuring various gestural strokes in tones of blue, green, and red, and an abstracted portrait ($500-5,000) having various gestural strokes in blue, green, orange, and saffron.
Other artworks on offer include a signed Giorgio de Chirico (Italian, 1888-1978) oil on paper portrait ($500-5,000) of a woman in shades of pink, blue, and teal; and a signed and numbered Charles Fazzino 3D Pop Art composition ($500-1,500) titled “Vadeling at Vail.” Rounding out the auction are a vintage porcelain Asian foo dog ($80-160) in tones of plum and light cerulean, 13 inches tall; a pair of vintage Asian intricately carved bone figurals ($70-140) of a male and female, 12 inches tall, and a vintage Salterini Ivy Leaf wrought iron couch and table ($500-1,000).
The monthly Red Carpet sales feature choice collections of antique, Midcentury Modern, brand furnishings, sterling, china, crystal, jewelry and fine art. With a mission “to donate, to discover and to do good,” the foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and auction proceeds support community organizations. Consignors get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and local non-profits get much needed funds.
The auction gallery is located at 185 Kisco Avenue, Suite 201, Mt Kisco, NY. For more information, visit thebenefitshop.org or call (914) 864-0707.