Monumental Rookwood Tile Mural from A Historic Theater will Headline Bruneau & Co.'s May 20 Auction
05/12/2021

Over 400 quality lots of fine art, antiques and collectibles have been pulled from prominent estates and collections across New England.

Online PR News – 12-May-2021 – Cranston, RI – A monumental Rookwood tile mural salvaged from a historic theater in Washington, D.C. and a nude figural drawing by the Indian artist Jehangir Sabavala (1922-2011) are expected top lots in Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ online-only Estate Fine Art & Antique auction planned for Thursday, May 20th, at 6 pm Eastern time. Over 400 lots will be offered.

“Hopefully soon, as society begins to open up, we’ll be able to bring a live audience back to the gallery,” said Kevin Bruneau, the president and owner of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. “Until then, we offer our in-house buyer’s premium with check discount through our website, so there is no disadvantage or extra cost.”

Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. auctioneer and Director of Pop Culture, added, “Another month, another estate auction, offering a good mix of antiques, paintings, jewelry and Asian objects. It’s going to be interesting to see what the Rookwood mural brings in today’s market. It’s not every day one of those becomes available.”

The 20th century mural has a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000. It’s a whimsical forest scene comprised of 225 tiles, each one 8 inches by 8 inches, depicting a seated woman with a peacock watching men, ladies, and jesters dance around in a forest. The overall size is 3 feet 4 inches by 30 inches. Each one of the tiles is marked “Rookwood Faience” on verso.

The mural came out of the Chase's Theater and Rigg's Building, also known as the Keith-Albee Theater, a historic theater built by Jules Henri de Sibour for Plimpton B. Chase. Chase sold the theater to B. F. Keith and it was later added to the vaudeville circuit where William Howard Taft attended the 1912 opening. Woodrow Wilson was a frequent guest.

The drawing by Jehangir Sabavala depicts a nude woman with one arm resting behind her back and the other holding the legs of a lamb draped across her shoulders. The graphite on paper work has a sheet size of 27 ½ inches by 16 ¼ inches and a framed size of 39 ½ inches by 27 ½ inches. It’s signed, annotated and dated and should bring $6,000-$9,000.

Sabavala was born to an affluent family in India and studied art there, in London and in Paris. He held 31 major solo exhibitions across the subcontinent and in Europe, and participated in more than 150 group exhibitions all over the world. His work is in several important private and public collections. One of his paintings titled Vespers 1, was sold for £253,650 at Bonhams in London.

A seven-piece sterling silver seder set by Richard Fishman (R.I., b. 1941) carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The set (51.21 ozt.) includes six symbolic sterling silver plates for the salt water, maror, egg, karpas, charoset, and shank bone, with a black granite top over a triple plated brass box, opening to three shelves for the matzah. Each plate is marked "Sterling" on bottom, and all are numbered and initialed "4/15 RAF" on the bottom.

A vibrant oil on board impressionist coastal bloom painting by Wayne Morrell (Mass., 1923-2013) is estimated to bring $2,000-$3,000. The work depicts a flower lined path leading towards the ocean spotted with sailboats. It measures 18 inches by 24 inches (sight, less frame), is signed lower left and is marked, "Seaside Flowers Painted June 20th 1986 at Marmion Way near Captains House Rockport, Mass. by Wayne Morrell.”

An oil on canvas painting by Arthur Wardle (U.K., 1864-1949), of two elephants walking side by side beside water glistening with moonlight, should command $1,000-$2,000. The painting is 14 inches by 17 inches (sight, less frame). Known for his animal imagery due to his nearness to the London Zoo, Wardle conveyed vast emotions to his animal subjects, combining them with fashionable women or creating mythical human-animal hybrids.

An Anglo-Indian glass top dining table made in India in the early 20th century, should hit $2,000-$3,000. The visually striking table has a rectangular glass top over reticulated columns, decorated with figures, animals, botanical patterns and dragons resting on circular feet. It measures 30 ¼ inches tall by 84 ¾ inches wide by 47 ¼ inches deep.

A Swiss Baume & Mercier 14kt gold ladies’ (or men’s) watch, having a steel gray face with decorative casing and matching scale pattern 14k gold wristband, is expected to slip around a new wrist for $2,000-$3,000. The stylish watch is marked "Baume & Mercier Geneve Swiss Made" on the face and is from the collection of a Rhode Island gentleman.

A large and lovely Chinese Qing Period pomegranate vase, made in the 18th or 19th century and standing approximately 13 ½ inches tall, has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The shapely pomegranate form vase boasts a deep brown and red tortoise shell glaze.

Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, Bidsquare.com, bidLIVE.Bruneauandco.com and the mobile app “Bruneau & Co.” on iTunes or GooglePlay.

Previews of all individual items will be available by appointment only, the week of auction. To schedule an appointment, call 401-533-9980; or, send an email to info@bruneauandco.com. The gallery is located at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston. All COVID-19 protocols will be enforced.

To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the Estate Fine Art & Antique auction planned for Thursday, May 20th, please visit http://www.bruneauandco.com. Updates posted often.