Everard’s Oct. 18-20 Fall Southern Estates auction series highlighted by renowned John and Virginia Duncan collection of antiques and Lowcountry treasures
Amassed over 75 years, Duncan collection encompasses fine, folk & ethnographic art; antiques, furniture, rare maps and broad range of material culture of Southeastern United States
SAVANNAH, Ga. – Everard Auctions takes great pleasure in announcing highlights of its Oct. 18 Fall Southern Estates auction to be followed on October 19-20 by a very special sale of the John and Virginia Duncan collection of fine, folk and ethnographic art and antiques. Bidding options include absentee and live online, with gallery previewing available at specified times.
Fall Southern Estates Auction – Oct. 18, 2022
The October 18 fine art selection includes two works by famous female artists from the Estate of Betty Melaver, Savannah, Georgia. The first is a colorful untitled Texas landscape by Georgia O’Keeffe (New Mexico/New York, 1887-1986). The 1917 watercolor measures 8¾ inches by 12 inches and is listed as Item 196 in the artist’s catalogue raisonne, which also notes that the artwork is associated with O’Keeffe’s Pink and Green Mountains series. The auction estimate is $100,000-$150,000, with a $90,000 reserve.
O’Keeffe’s early watercolors, while not as well known to collectors as her oils, may provide another perspective on a storied career. In 1916, the artist took a job as the chair of the art department at West Texas State Normal College, in Canyon, Texas, where the Pink and Green Mountains series was created the following year. In a similar vein, the watercolor offered by Everard demonstrates her facility with what is widely acknowledged to be a very difficult medium in which to work. By 1918, O’Keeffe had returned to live in New York, where Alfred Stieglitz, her dealer and future husband, encouraged her to move away from watercolor, fearful of its association with amateur women artists. This may help to explain the limited number of watercolors O’Keeffe executed during her career.
The second featured artwork from the Melaver estate is Louise Nevelson’s (New York, 1899-1988) Clouds IV, a 1984 painted wood wall sculpture that measures 21½ inches by 20¼ inches. It was purchased from Pace Galleries in New York and is estimated at $30,000-$50,000, with a $25,000 reserve. Nevelson was an acclaimed sculptor known for her large-scale, wooden sculptures and outdoor installations, in particular her monochromatic, puzzle-like creations. She was a significant figure in the feminist art movement of the 1970s, and her work can be found in the permanent collections of many major art institutions, including MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney, the Tate and many others.
Decorative art highlights include a pair of German sterling silver jousting knights, 12 inches by 8 inches by 3½ inches), estimated at $3,000-$5,000, with an $1,800 reserve; and a finely decorated wisteria-theme vase by Japanese cloisonne artist Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927). A former samurai, Namikawa trained at the Kyoto Cloisonné Company before establishing his own business. Widely lauded, he was named an Imperial Household Artist in 1896 and won dozens of awards over the course of his career, including the Gold Prize at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. The Meiji Period (1868-1912) floral vase offered by Everard stands 7 5/8 inches tall and is estimated at $6,000-$8,000, with a $4,000 reserve.
A sumptuous estate jewelry selection includes a stunning pair of Raymond Yard platinum, diamond and emerald earrings. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500, with an $1,800 reserve
More than 100 vintage posters have been consigned by a private collector from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. There are many eye-catching travel posters in remarkable condition, such as a circa-1947 Lucien Boucher Air France – Orient and Extreme Orient poster estimated at $700-$1,000, with a $425 reserve. Advertising posters include multiple designs by Leonetto Cappiello (Italian/French, 1875-1942), who worked mainly in Paris during his prolific career. Because of his innovative, modern style, he is often called the “father of modern advertising.” One of his most appealing Art Deco images is seen in a circa-1922 poster advertising the sparkling-wine aperitif Contratto. It is estimated at $2,000-$3,000, with a $1,200 reserve.
Auction of the Duncan Collection – Oct. 19-20, 2022
The extraordinary collections of retired author/history professor John Duncan and his wife Virginia Duncan have adorned their home, the historic Thomas-Levy House on Savannah’s Monterey Square, since 1975. The artworks and objects, which visually tell the story of Southeastern history and culture, reflect a pursuit begun by John in 1947. Later, Virginia joined him in his collecting odyssey, and together they established the highly regarded Savannah business V and J Duncan Antique Maps, Prints and Books.
The couple amassed wonderful collections of antique maps, natural history prints, engravings, books, pottery, hand-carved folk art walking sticks, antique sweetgrass baskets, exotic curiosities, ethnographic art, American furniture and Southern fine art. All were displayed and loved, but now the Duncans, who view themselves as guardians of material culture, wish for their art holdings to be passed to the next generation of stewards.
Over the three-day auction series, 32 rare maps from the 16th through 19th century will be sold, many coming from the Duncan collection. John’s passion for Southern history drove such purchases as a Peter Gordon (1697-1740) map of Savannah (Ga.), 1734. Sized 21 5/8 inches by 28 5/8 inches, this rare map is the first known printed view of Savannah and illustrates Georgia Colony founder General James E. Oglethorpe’s original plan of the city. It is one of possibly five such maps held in private hands; 12 others reside in museums. It is entered with a $100,000-$150,000 estimate and a $75,000 opening bid.
Southern fine art highlights include a 1948 Leonora Quarterman (Savannah, 1911-1979) watercolor titled Savannah City Market. Quarterman’s work has been displayed at The National Gallery (Washington) and MOMA; and in 1942 she was honored with a one-woman show at The Smithsonian. Measuring 18½ inches by 22 inches, the artwork is estimated at $2,000- $3,000 with a $1,000 reserve.
Another outstanding entry of regional interest is Jack Leigh’s (Savannah, 1948-2004) silver gelatin photograph titled Midnight, Bonaventure Cemetery. This widely recognizable image was featured on the cover of John Berendt’s 1994 book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The photograph is signed by both Leigh and Berendt, and is numbered 55/250. Sized 8 5/8 inches by 5¾ inches, it has a $7,000-$10,000 estimate and a $3,500 reserve.
Fine classical furniture from the Duncan collection is exemplified by a mahogany dressing chest of drawers crafted circa 1828-29 and bearing the stencil of Rufus Pierce, a noted 19th-century Boston and New York furniture maker. It is estimated at $2,000-$4,000, with reserve of $1,000.
The Oct. 18, 19 and 20, 2022 auction sessions will start at 10 a.m. EST. Bid absentee or live online via Everard, LiveAuctioneers,Bidsquare or Invaluable. The public is invited to the preview reception October 11, 5-7 pm, at Everard Auctions’ gallery, with additional previewing available October 12-14, or by appointment. For more information on any item in the auction, call 912-231-1376 or email [email protected]. Everard Auctions & Appraisals is located at 2436 Waters Ave., Savannah, GA 31404. Visit Everard online at http://www.everard.com/.