Sale of the Week, November 17-24: Gems From the Malbin Collection Emerge at Rago Arts in Jersey

Jean Arp's "Ganymède," c. 1958, bronze, is expected to fetch $60,000 - $80,000
(Courtesy Rago )

SALE: Post-War/Contemporary Art      

LOCATION: Rago Arts and Auction Center


DATE: November 17

ABOUT: This weekend, New York’s art scene will be winding down from two blockbuster weeks of contemporary, impressionist, and modern art auctions. But for those buyers with serious stamina, a number of 20th-century gems from the Lydia Winston Malbin collection can be found across the river on Saturday, at Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, NJ.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Detroit-born Malbin traveled to Europe frequently to collect contemporary art, with a special love for the Italian Futurists. Sotheby’s sold much of the late collector’s trove in a $74-million sale in 1990, and now Rago is offering another 18 works in its 357-lot postwar and contemporary sale, expected to bring in about $350,000 to $500,000. (The auction’s overall presale estimate is $3.1 million to $4.5 million).

There’s a selection of offerings by Jean Arp, ranging from one of his bronze “Ganymède” sculptures to two abstract works on paper that were previously part of the Tristan Tzara collection. And, of course, there’s no shortage of Italians: a 1959 oil painting by Piero Dorazio is on offer for $50,000 to $70,000, while a small shadowbox by the artist is going for $5,000 to $7,000, and a black abstraction and a small bronze sculpture by Pietro Consagra are being offered for $8,000 to $10,000 each.

That’s just the Malbin collection. In the larger afternoon sale, there’s a four-way tie for the top spot including a 1965 painting by Bridget Riley, an Isamu Noguchi soapstone sculpture, and two of the bronze Arps — all for $60,000 to $80,000.

Sounds like a fine time for a day trip.