WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- There are 495 compelling reasons why the owners of Palm Beach Modern Auctions (PBMA) think their May 6 double-session auction could end up being their most successful ever. Two of the most obvious reasons are: a flock of five highly sought-after Francois-Xavier Lalanne sculptural sheep, and a large, original 1987 Sam Francis painting.
"The Lalanne sheep and Sam Francis painting are unquestionably the stars of the show, but everything we're offering was chosen with utmost care, keeping in mind the buying trends we've observed in recent sales," said auctioneer and co-owner Rico Baca. "This auction is going to inspire and delight modern and contemporary art lovers because it contains so many rare and wonderful works from respected collections."
Known as Nouveaux Moutons, the Lalanne sheep were created in 1996-97 and cast at the Landowski Fondeur in France. The life-size family made of epoxy stone and patinated bronze consists of a ram, ewe and three lambs. Previous owners include the legendary Dorothy Blau Gallery, Miami; and Wolfgang Roth & Partners Fine Arts, Miami. The well-documented sheep are accompanied by a copy of a 2015 condition report from Modern Art Conservation. Surely among the most iconic of all late-20th-century sculptural works, Lalanne's endearing Nouveaux Moutons will cross the auction block with a $600,000-$900,000 estimate.
A fitting companion for the sheep is Lalanne's bronze Centaure Attele (Petit). Bearing a foundry mark and numbered 5/8, the 16-inch-high mythical half-man/half-horse comes with provenance from Christie's New York. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000.
Twenty-three years after his passing, California artist Sam Francis continues to make headlines as his paintings are purchased at auction by astute collectors the world over. An exciting recent development was the addition of a major Francis original, a 1987 acrylic-on-canvas painting titled Quiet Fruitfulness, to the Sam Francis Foundation's archival registry. It is one of the featured highlights of the May 6 sale.
A large work measuring 60.5 by 80.5 inches, the painting retains a 1988 Knoedler Gallery (London) label and comes with a copy of the sales receipt from the gallery as well as a conservator's condition report. Estimate: $500,000-$600,000.
"The painting is listed in the Sam Francis Catalogue Raisonne that was published by the University of California Berkeley Press in 2011. Now it is also registered in the Francis Foundation's archive, which is significant," Baca said. "As I understand it, this was a painting they had been looking for. We're very proud that such an important artwork has been entrusted to us and that its current ownership is now known to the Foundation."
The auction of fine art, design and luxury goods is brimming with desirable works by such art and design luminaries as Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer, Bridget Riley, Clement Meadmore, Horst Wackerbarth, Peter Beard, Paul Jenkins, Sam Gilliam, Dale Chihuly, Vladimir Kagan, Tommi Parzinger, Paul Evans and Takashi Murakami. Several pieces of Picasso pottery will be sold, most coming from the estate of a Florida physician.
A gleaming selection of fine jewelry and watches includes pieces by Cartier, Rolex, Baume & Mercier, Tom Ford, and many other exclusive brands. Some are custom designs or estate pieces from the Palm Beach area.
As a special auction-day treat for guests of all ages, PBMA will pay tribute to the prized consignment of Lalanne sheep with an onsite petting zoo. Prior to the auction, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., all in attendance are invited to visit and pet a sheep and two lambs.
Wade Terwilliger, 561-586-5500
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SOURCE Palm Beach Modern Auctions