Copper in the Arts

October 2019

Rare Calder Brass Earrings Sold at Lark Mason Auction

Pair of earrings, circa 1930, made by Alexander Calder, 1898-1976.
Photograph courtesy of Lark Mason Associates. 

Lark Mason Associates recently discovered pair of earrings, circa 1930, made by Alexander Calder (1898-1976), the noted 20th century American sculptor. Though primarily recognized for his iconic large public works and mobiles, it is surmised that while he was on a three-month tour of Europe, he created the earrings-- a simple, miniature version of his kinetic mobiles--and gifted them to a family friend. They are valued at $60,000 to 100,000.

Calder's work is in many permanent collections, most notably in the Whitney Museum of American Art, but also the Guggenheim Museum; the Museum of Modern Art; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Centre Georges Pompidou. He produced many large public works, including .125 (at JFK Airport, 1957), Pittsburgh (Carnegie International prize winner 1958, Pittsburgh International Airport) Spirale (UNESCO in Paris, 1958), Flamingo and Universe (both in Chicago, 1974), and Mountains and Clouds (Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 1996).

Although primarily known for his sculpture, Calder also created paintings and prints, miniatures (such as his famous Cirque Calder), theater set design, jewelry design, tapestries and rugs, and political posters.

Other highlights of the auction include a selection of small, notable mid-20th century bronzes; a large terra-cotta portrait bust of a young woman by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse; prints by Joan Miro (1893-1983), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), and Donald Judd (1924-1994); Bridge over Owl Kil, an early landscape by Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma Moses) dated 1947; and a rare view of Niagara Falls attributed to Robert Walter Weir.


Lark Mason Associates, 229 East 120th St., New York, NY, (212) 289-5524

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