Three beautiful pieces of craft pottery by Henry Varnum Poor were sold by Rago Arts of Lambertville, N.J., in an auction of Modern Art this weekend. Each piece sold, but at the lower end of the expected price range. Perhaps the late artist’s son, Peter Poor, underestimated the impact of the weak economy on art buying.
Based on an interview with Peter in The New York Times last week, it appeared that this was just the first phase of selling off his father’s works. I for one am hoping that results of this weekend’s sale will slow Peter’s efforts, and but enough time for to convince him that preserving the majority of the collection intact for display at Crow House, the Poor family home and studio in New City, N.Y., is the right thing to do. It’s important to preserve Henry Varnum Poor’s legacy for future generations — and where better to house it than in the place where it was made!
Here are photos of the items, with Rago Arts predicted prices and the prices at which the items sold.
Early compote with incised pear designs glazed in yellow and green on cream ground, 1948. (Provenance: From the Poor Estate, New York.) Signed HP 48. 5 1/2″ x 9 1/2″
Estimate: $3,000 – 4000
Sale Price: $3,360
Early cylindrical faience jar with incised bull, cow and other animals covered in cream and brown glaze with yellow and green highlights, 1951. (Provenance: From the Poor Estate, New York.) Signed HP 51. 6 1/2″ x 5 3/4″ dia.
Estimate: $2,500 – 4500
Sale Price: $3,000
Faience plate with incised leaf design and bowl with bird, both on mottled cream, blue and deep red ground, 1970. (Provenance: From the Poor Estate, New York.) Both signed HP 70. 10 1/4″ dia. and 1 3/4″ x 8″ dia.
Estimate: $2,000 – 3000
Sale Price: $2,160