The legacy of Manhattan’s Fifty/50 Gallery will be honored in the upcoming Structure & Ornament auction, presented by Rago and Wright. This sale of jewelry from 1900 to the present revisits a similar exhibition by the gallery in 1984. Mark McDonald, the only surviving founder of Fifty/50, was among the forerunners of Mid-century Modernism. He brought the work of contemporary designers into New York and the broader art market, particularly through his catalog for the 1984 show. Curating the present auction, McDonald reflects, “Creating this sale has been a look back and a lunge forward for me, reviving treasured old connections and encouraging me to stretch my focus in new directions.” Over 140 lots of Modernist studio jewelry will be available. This includes pieces from Giampaolo Babetto, Peter Chang, and Harry Bertoia.
Babetto’s pieces represented in the sale reflect Minimalism, Concrete Art, and Modernism. One key lot from the Italian artist is an 18-karat gold necklace, signed and dated by Babetto in 2000. A perfect circle with five slightly bent parts, the back is blackened with niello, a metallic sulfur alloy popular during the Renaissance. Several of his brooches will be on offer as well, resembling small, geometric wall hangings.
Works from Peter Chang, a Scottish jeweler, contrast strongly with many of the other Mid-century Modern lots. All three of his works available in this auction invoke Chang’s Chinese ancestry and personal touch of whimsy. The Herald quotes his artistic philosophy: “I like to incorporate a bit of fun: spice it up. People take things too seriously.” His bracelet is decorated with red and white fragments on a purple background, edged by a bulbous yellow-and-green border. A scorpion necklace from John Paul Miller, a gold bracelet by Arnaldo Pomodoro, and several figural jewelry works by Gerd Rothmann are also highlighted. View the complete catalog and register to bid for this event on Bidsquare.
# of Lots:142
Price Range:$300 - $35,000
Interesting lots include:
|Item Image||Item Name||Estimate|
|Albert Paley, brooch||
|Giampaolo Babetto, necklace||
|Peter Chang, bracelet||
|Arnaldo Pomodoro, bracelet||
|Gerd Rothmann, Four Finger bracelet||
|Lisa Gralnick, Magnolia ring||
- Books, Manuscripts & Archives
- Bracelets & Bangles
- Brooches & Pins
- Couture & Textiles
- Decorative Arts
- Necklaces & Pendants
- Sculptures and Carvings
- Women's Clothing & Accessories
- Albert Paley
- Arnaldo Pomodoro
- Fifty/50 Gallery
- Gerd Rothmann
- Giampaolo Babetto
- Harry Bertoia
- Mark McDonald
- Peter Chang
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