Original oil on canvas paintings by Lois Dodd (American, b. 1927), Mercedes Carles Matter (American, 1913-2001) and Gillian Ayres (UK, 1930-2018) sold for a combined $150,000, and a beautiful black ebony Bosendorfer grand piano played a sweet tune for $53,125 in a live and online auction held Jan. 16 by Ripley Auctions, based in Indianapolis.
The Estate Art & Antiques auction was headlined by items from the estate of the legendary British conductor and composer Raymond Leppard (1927-2019), a Grammy-winning recording artist and scholarly revivalist of 16th and 17th century baroque operas. Also offered were fine items pulled from prominent estates and collections in the Indianapolis area – 325 lots in all.
In addition to the Raymond Leppard items, the auction catalog was packed with Italian and American studio glass, musical instruments, modern paintings, sculptures and decorative accessories. Around 20 people attended the auction in person, in the Ripley Auctions gallery, while hundreds of others bid online via LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.
Andrea Hastings, Ripley Auctions’ Vice President and Head of Inventory, said, “Recently we’ve achieved auction record prices for some of New York’s post-modern female artists who I’m happy to see are getting due recognition.” She was referring to the paintings by Dodd and Matter, whose paintings were the auction’s two top earners. The Gillian Ayres work was the third top lot.
The large, 66 inch by 48 inch painting by Lois Dodd was untitled (Can’t See the End Table for the Trees) and depicts just that: an end table amongst a group of trees. It had a Fischbach, N.Y. gallery label verso and sold for a robust $71,875. Dodd is primarily a painter of New England landscapes, never people. She’s fascinated by shapes. Much of her work has geometric emphasis.
The colorful, untitled still life by Mercedes Carles Matter was painted in 1962 and acquired directly from the artist by the consignor, a private collector in Indianapolis. The 43 inch by 49 ½ inch work (image area, less frame) climbed to $65,624. Matter is best known as a painter of abstract still lifes. She lived in East Hampton, N.Y., and founded the Studio School in 1964.
The equally colorful Angel Heart, painted in 1992 and signed by Gillian Ayres, measured 48 inches by 36 inches (image area, less frame) and knocked down for $12,500. Ayres was one of the most significant abstract painters to emerge in London during the postwar period. She was a disciple and vanguard of the taschist style, a distinct, non-geometric abstract style.
The Bosendorfer grand piano (model 225, serial #37277), featured a black ebony finish and an upholstered Standard Kimball black bench. It wasn’t available for gallery viewing and shipped directly from the residence of the consigner to the buyer. Bosendorfer is one of the oldest fine piano makers. It was founded in 1828 in Austria by Ignaz Bosendorfer.
Following are additional highlights from the auction, which overall grossed $350,000. All prices quoted include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.
Most of the lots in the auction were from the estate of Raymond Leppard, who notably served as the music conductor for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1987-2001. His collection included a library of over 100 books, featuring orchestral, choral and operatic scores, historical reference material and music theory volumes, many dating from the 17th thru the 19th century.
Highlights included works by Bach, Rossini, Mozart, Handel, Schubert, Wagner, Tartini, Elgar, Stamitz, Burney, Britten, Stanley and others. The top lot was Dardanus. Prologue. Le Theatre represente les Jardins de l’Amour a Cytherea, on y voit ce Dieu sur un Threne de fleurs, Venus esl a ses cotez, Les Graces (1744). It sold for $3,500. Other lots included:
– Charles Villiers Stanford’s hand-written and scored Irish Rhapsody No 4, The Fisherman of Loch Neagh and What He Saw, with composer’s notes, signed on the title and final page, November 10, 1913 ($3,250).
– Maestro Raymond Leppard’s personal score of Claudio Monteverdi Il Ritorno D’Ulisse in Patrinia in two volumes and two acts, with Leppard’s personal notes, Faber Music Ltd, London. Rebound 10/4/79 ($1,625).
– Benjamin Britten signed musical score for Overture The Building of the House, with composer’s hand-written notes, including: “Written in the opening of The Maltings concert hall. Snape. June 2nd, 1967” ($1,375).
Also from the Leppard estate, a Tobia Scarpa for Venini green Battuto art glass vase (Murano, Italy), 9 inches tall, went for $1,875; while an original illustration plate of the formal procession for the coronation of James II, from Francis Sanford’s History of the Coronation of James II and of Queen Mary (T. Newcomb: London, 1687), framed and inscribed, brought $1,000.
Decorative arts from local estates and collections included a Roseville art pottery Futura line ‘Bomb’ vase with a stepped neck, flambe and gloss green vase, hit $1,125; a rare and large Frankart Art Deco figural arching nude smoking stand with original jadeite glass tray, marked on the base, realized $1,062; and a John Prip for Reed & Barton sterling silver partial flatware service in the ‘Dimension’ pattern, 41.801 troy oz., made $1,250.
Ripley Auctions has three auctions lined up through the end of February: a Fine Estates & Vintage Jewelry auction on Saturday, January 30th, at 11 am Eastern time; a Guinness World Records Museum auction, presented by Ripley’s Remarkable Rarities, ending on Friday, February 12th, at 5 pm Eastern time; and a Vintage Jewelry auction on Friday, February 22nd, at 3 pm Eastern; all will be held online and in the Ripley Auctions gallery.
To learn more about Ripley Auctions and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auction events, please visit www.RipleyAuctions.com. Updates are posted often.