Oct. 6th, 2012 - New Orleans Auction Gallery
- CLASSIC Rockmores
LOT NUMBER 1371
"No. 4, The Shepherd Boy", oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right "Rockmore '82 December", titled on the reverse, 36" x 24". Presented in a giltwood frame.
Exhibited: "Mardi Gras Backstage", Paintings and Sculpture, Sandra Zahn Oreck Gallery, New Orleans, March 19, 1983-May 2, 1983. Literature: Sandra Zahn
Oreck Gallery, "Mardi Gras Backstage, Paintings and Sculpture, Exhibition
Brochure, 1983, cover illustration.
ESTIMATE $2500 - $4000
Facts: This was the Cover of the 1983 Brochure for the Sandra Zahn Oreck Gallery and includes many of the CLASSIC Rockmore themes from the Backstage Mardi Gras Series. The Sacred Cow will reappear in the Egyptian Series and the mysterious hand on the ball is what Rockmore liked to do. The details on the blue figure and the face on the urn are Rockmore at his finest.
Thoughts: This one is going to sell and someone will get a treasure that will be sought for future Museum Shows. It is the PRIZE of the upcoming Auctions and one of the BEST Rockmore's to come up at Auction in the past year.
LOT NUMBER 1370
"View of the New York Skyline with the Artist Gifting a Bouquet of Flowers"
1963, oil on board, signed and dated lower right "Rockmore '63", 14" x 11-1/4". Handsomely framed.
ESTIMATE $1000 - 1500
Facts: This has the CLASSIC Rockmore NYC skyline in the background, the boy looking up and the artist in the top hat with his gift of flowers (his art) to the world. It is in the style of frame that Rockmore was to use throughout the 60s and has been offerred at auction before but the minimum was not reached.
LOT NUMBER 1369 "Outdoor Cafe Scene",
Pastel on paper, signed lower right "Rockmore", sight 23" x 35". Glazed, attractively matted and framed.
ESTIMATE $1200 - 1800
Facts: Rockmore was actually a Master at Pastels as was his mother, Gladys Rockmore Davis. This work comes from a time in 1987 when Rockmore was under contract to Bryant Galleries and realized that he needed to produce sellable work to the public or Bryant would get to keep his work for 10 cents on the dollar. Thus, Rockmore sets out to make a traditional sellable New Orleans Outdoor Cafe Scene Pastel. The problem was that the buying public actually liked Rockmore's other styles and works like this were bought back by Bryant for next to nothing. It is indeed a CLASSIC Rockmore pastel that did not sell the last time it was presented.
Thoughts: The timing is right for this work as well. The Rockmore buying public is ready to own some nice works and realize the days of CLASSIC Rockmore's in this price range will soon be ending.
Sept. 29th, 2012 - Crescent City Auction
- End of Life Rockmores - Towards the End of His life Rockmore did works that were meant to capture as a diary exactly how he felt. These works are from the Jake Calico Collection and Jake was a longtime Rockmore friend , bartender, and quasi artist until the end of Rockmore's life. There are not many Rockmores from this time period and they offer an insight into the artist at a more than fair price.
Lot #628 "Face," c.1994, ink and
watercolor, signed l.r. "Rockmore,' and l.l. "Jake," verso with
a graphite study of a face, shrink wrapped, H.- 11 in., W.- 14 in.
Estimated Price: $100-200
Facts: Not too many two sided Rockmore’s to be found and it was quite RARE that he let anyone else sign their name with him on a work. Jake was that good of a friend all the way to the end. Hard
to determine who did what in this one but the face looks like a Rockmore classic from this time period.
Thoughts: Rockmore did not have many friends at all at the end of his life and Jake was there for him. This goes to his widow and that is why it is worth a bid as well as it is an End of Life Rockmore.
Imaginary Creatures 1994, watercolor and ink, signed l.l., shrink wrapped, H.- 11 1/8 in., W.- 14 in.
Estimated Price :$200-400
Facts: The key component to this work is the 94 Date actually on the work. Rockmore had given up after several falls and gangrene had set in and there were not many 94 dated works.
Thoughts: That looks like him morphed into a catepillar and the other figures are bees from his end of life "killer Bee" series - sort of a self fulfilling prohecy.
Lot #633 Nudes and Music
1991, pen and ink, signed and dated l.r., shrink wrapped, H.- 12 in., W.- 18 in.
Estimated Price: $200-400
Facts: This is actually from 1991 and the most detailed and interesting of the Crescent City Auction Items. That is Rockmore on the left and the music symbols certainly have meaning. Most of the
figures on the right are Rockmores as well.
Thoughts: It looks like Jake signed this one as well and the guess would be the scribbly things on the right were his contribution. The guess also would be that Rockmore did not allow him to do that until 1994 towards the end of his life when he did not care.
Thoughts: Rockmore was in his most serious depression since his Touro Hospitilization that summer. It's a sad little self portrait moment and yet it is beautiful in its own way.
Sept. 29th, 2012 - The Potomock Company
Lot: 253 NEW ENGLAND LAKE SCENE
attributed to Gladys Rockmore Davis
Oil/Canvasboard, 10.75" x 13.50", Signed Lower Right
It does not look like any Gladys Rockmore Davis we have seen so far - there are only 600 and we have seen 300.
I gave Potomock Auction a call about the provenance - they were not sure.
It looks like it was framed in 1999 or later based on frame shop research.
The signature does not match any existing signatures including those signed by her husband.
The art expert there hung her hat on the fact in Ask Art it says she was known for landscapes.
That is true - it does say that on Ask Art but nowhere else in any of the materials we have on her and it is not true. She was not known for her lanscapes.
Thus Ask Art has a mistake that needs to be corrected in their Gladys Rockmore Davis Bio.
Deborah Davis (Gladys daughter) told a story how towards the end of Gladys life - Floyd
Davis (her husband) walked her through her studio and made her sign all the remaining works in there in red or he signed them himself.
We have seen several of those Floyd signatures for Gladys but they are not like this one.
These works were all sold as a lot by Noel to Larry Borenstein for 10K after Gladys death.
Borenstein’s heirs sold them to an auctioneer in Tennessee who is a bit suspect.
That still does not explain landscape but could account for signature.
Gladys has no recorded New England lake experiences/visits - just New Jersey & New York.
Gladys did spend time in Maryland and was well known there.
The Potamack Company was willing to withdraw the work from auction if asked.
Thoughts: If your husband signs a work for you with you there is it a forgery?
Is it possible she had someone elses work and he signed it for her?
Why not forge a more famous name if you were going to forge?
Why was it framed after 1999?
We have been watching a lot of Columbo lately :<)
Just one more thing ....
Does a work like this with a publicized interesting mystery that could be solved by the new owner become more valuable?
It justs keeps playing over and over in my head ......