WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Now that we buy everything from toothpaste to sofas online, the idea of bidding at auction has lost some of its intimidation factor. In return, the industry has gained an influx of buyers shopping for their own homes.
Some are high-end collectors, ready to drop thousands on a piece hidden away for years in a private collection. The passion for collection crosses all price points, however, as evidenced by the results of Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ February 6th Modern/Contemporary Art & Design sale.
“Collectors care about the artist’s process, the complexity of the piece and where it fits into the artist’s career,” says PBMA’s auctioneer and co-owner Rico Baca.
Baca continues, “Others show up for some bigger name they saw in the catalog, then an unusual piece catches their eye. My research team loves it when we represent eclectic collections. There’s always something to learn that we can share with bidders who want to know more about the item they just fell in love with.”
Bidders ate up small, quirky sculptures like the Hank Murta Adams “Piece of Cake” which sold for double its high estimate and the Therman Statom painted glass pie which realized $5,850 on an estimate of $300-500.
Zhuang Hong Yi’s “Flowerbed” painting epitomized the complexity aspect, with hundreds of individually painted and folded rice paper flowers creating a mesmerizing color change effect. The contemporary work had a modest presale estimate of $2,500-3,500, which it exceeded by over 300%.
Vases and vessels were anything but typical, with fine crafts from glass to fiber arts being highly coveted. Standouts were a Mark Peiser glass vase (estimate $200-400, sold $2,210), Richard DeVore ceramic bowl (estimate $1,000-1,500, sold $3,510), Wendell Castle walnut jewelry box (estimate $2,500-3,500, sold $12,350), Mary Merkel-Hess paper basket (estimate $500-800, sold $2,210) and a Tom Joyce metal bowl (estimate $500-1,000, sold $2,210).
Familiar faces and messaging also found their niche. An Alec Monopoly mixed media realized $36,400 on a $2,500-4,500 estimate. Bidders from the US to Europe, Israel, Japan and the Philippines competed for the work featuring his signature icon – Hasbro’s Rich Uncle Pennybags. Mr. Brainwash works featuring Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin, boldly emblazoned with “Life is Beautiful” and “Love is the Answer” were hot ticket items, as were vibrant Roy de Forest and Ferdinand Kulmer paintings.
The entry- to mid-level collectors are shopping pieces that bring joy for the present while boasting investment potential for later. “We’re excited to see this new collecting pattern unfold,” continues Baca. “People are searching for things that bring happiness and beauty into their homes, and the competitive nature of auction adds entertainment value.”
*Prices include 30% buyer’s premium.
Erika Chapman, Palm Beach Modern Auctions
SOURCE Palm Beach Modern Auctions