The 20th/21st Century Design sale at Rago Arts of Lambertville, New Jersey on October 26-28 included this exceptional enamel by Alexander Fisher (1864-1936).
Measuring 17½ x 22in (44 x 56cm), the
bronze, foil-backed and enamelled copper triptych
titled In Praise of Womanhood is signed and
dated 1901 and was sold with four original letters from artist to
patron Mrs Easton of La Crosse, Wisconsin.
"It has received very great praise from all
who have seen it: and it is the largest & best enamel that I
have yet done," wrote Fisher to Mrs Easton in November 22, 1901.
Fisher, who charged his American customer £100, later featured the
triptych in his treatise The Art of Enamelling Upon
Metal, 1906 a re-print of which was also included in the
Estimated at $14,000-19,000, it sold at
Despite the presence of Hurricane Sandy, the
sale was bolstered by the sale of a Frederick Hurten Rhead peacock
tile panel for $495,000 (£325,660). With premium added ($637,500)
this represented a new record for American Arts and Crafts that
finally betters the premium-inclusive $596,500 paid for Barbra
Streisand's Gustav Stickley sideboard at Christie's in November
Rhead created the four-tile, 21in (52cm)
square in 1910 during his tenure at University City Pottery near St
Louis and gave it to friend and colleague at the Weller Pottery,
Levi Burgess, for his Zanesville, Ohio, residence.
The buyer was the Two Red Roses Foundation
of Palm Harbor Florida, an educational institution dedicated to the
American Arts and Crafts movement.
The buyer's premium was 25/20/12%