I used to think lucite furniture was kitsch but I’ve had a recent change of heart. We have a lucite and glass coffee table in our showroom and I love how this piece of furniture doesn’t visually crowd the space and hide the carpet below. What’s also great about transparent lucite and glass furniture is that you can incorporate it into most any decor. We have ours on a beautiful antique carpet surrounded by traditional arm chairs and a brown leather sofa. It can be the visual glue to seamlessly bind past with present.
I inquired with Graydon Yearick, principle of NYC based Graydon Yearick Architect, PLLC, what he thought about clear furniture; “I love lucite furniture. I love mixing it with antiques, the more ornate the better. A lucite coffee table with a Victorian settee… it’s also super in small spaces, or spaces where you want a minimalist affect. And it’s great in ornate spaces because it disappears and let’s the architecture and design take center stage. Mostly, it’s wonderful because it harkens back to the groovy time period of Antonioni, Kubrick and Warhol, an era when every preconception was being challenged.”
A little history about this clear wonder, it’s trademarked as Lucite, Plexiglas, Acrivue and, in Europe, Perspex. Thermoplastic furniture became popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The most respected designer of this medium is Charles Hollis Jones-called “a pioneer in acrylic design” by the LA Times. His firm, CHJ Designs, opened  in LA in the early 1970s. Jones designed pieces which were purchased by numerous celebrities, among them Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, and Tennessee Williams. He created small accessories, such as the acrylic and chrome waste bins and tissue boxes designed for Buffy Chandler. Frank Sinatra ordered forty tissue holders and wastepaper baskets for his Palm Springs residence after seeing them in an LA showroom. Christie’s in Beverly Hills offered eighty pieces of CHJ designed pieces in their “Innovators of 20th Century Style” auction in 2001.
I didn’t realize how many different types of pieces were manufactured; chairs, tables, lamps, stool and bar carts are aplenty from vintage dealers and it’s worked it’s way back into the limelight of today’s modern decor. Younger generations coming into inherited antiques can add a fresh twist to an otherwise stuffy decor with a clear piece, whether a  table, chair or accessory such as a lamp base or bar cart. A single piece in a room of antique furniture will lighten the space with a sense of playful sophistication. So keep lookout for a piece for yourself at auctions and estates sales. However, too much transparency  will time-warp you to the past where you’ll clearly miss the intended look you’re trying to achieve.

As summer has sadly ended, it’s that time of year to happily focus attention once again on your interior spaces. Having a lovely, welcoming environment to come home to after a long, trying day is restorative to both one’s mental and physical health. In addition to relaxing the mind, it also engages the brain’s creativity channels. Whether it is realized or not, we tend to feel better in a well thought out space with attractive original artwork and well designed and arranged spaces. 


Our current auction scheduled for September 14 and 15 2019 is loaded with affordable original artwork for your looking, learning and decorating efforts. Look around your current residence. If you have plenty of wall space, we recommend filling it up Salon Style for an always exciting, engaging and original look. The Salon Style originated with art exhibitions in the 19thc. Where paintings were hung floor to ceiling.  

There are some great scenes in the recent film Mr. Turner, about the life of artist J.M.W.Turner which recreate the Royal Academy Exhibition. A must see, if you have not seen it. 

Modern Art looks wonderful hung Salon style, but why not mix styles together? It’s the privilege we have today that those in the 19thc. did not.  

When hanging a wall, focus on like colors or color families and consider the shapes and sizes of the frames. It can be a fun puzzle to create on the wall as you fit the pieces together. You can do this over time, and please do not worry about nail holes in the wall. They can always be filled.  

The first day of our auction includes multitudes of artworks with estimate ranges beginning between $100-$500. Some examples below and our auction online for many more!!!!



The Neue Auctions appraisal fair at the Cleveland Heights Library on Lee Rd. was a wonderful community event that we look forward to having on a regular basis. There was a line of eager antiques enthusiasts waiting for the doors to open. The weather was beautiful on Sunday and we were worried the crowd would be small but the Neue team evaluated approximately 80 items!

The entire Neue Auctions team was on hand to offer insights and valuations of everyones items, which ranged from family heirlooms to estate sale discoveries-no item was too big or too small for an opinion of value. Some of the highlights of the day were an Art Deco period platinum diamond ring,  an oil painting of boats in a Bass Rocks MA harbor, a Clarice Cliff teepee teapot and a lovely circa 1920’s Hungarian knitted window panel from the old country.

Stay informed of future appraisal events by joining our mailing list and following us on social media. If your organization, club or group would like to book a Neue Auctions appraisal fair, please email us. We enjoy seeing wonderful things, meeting new people and helping folks understand the history of antiques and what determines their values.

Understanding your consignment options is paramount. Believe it or not, an auction of your prized possession may not be the best way to realize maximum potential. Whether a fine painting or fine jewelry, if it’s not the right fit for the item, it’s not the right fit for you.

That’s where we come in; the auction specialist. It’s our job to guide you through the auction process and recommend the best course of action for you. Not everything is in our wheelhouse and if we don’t have the right audience for your item or collection, we’ll refer you to another firm who might. Typically, auction is the best choice to sell because competitive bidding drives up the price. However, other more creative measures may be suggested. For example, a retail consignment might be better for a larger piece of furniture that might otherwise fall through the cracks in an auction.

In certain cases we may believe we’ll get a better result by offering your item privately to a collector, museum or corporate collection who may be seeking to fill a void in an existing collection. Big collectors are often willing to pay higher prices in a private sale scenario rather through auction. Many busy dealers don’t have the time to comb through lot offerings to bid or don’t want clients knowing the purchase price of an item for resell. There’s nothing wrong with making a profit and a living, but many dealers simply enjoy being private about it and that’s ok.  Some folks prefer staying anonymous and don’t want anyone to know they are parting with family treasures which may be seen at auction and might be linked to them-think Rockefeller or Carnegie.

I’ve had the fortune of selling a few important lamps via Private Treaty over the years. I’ve enjoyed seeing several of them together on loan for an exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Of course I would have loved to sell these via auction and it would have been quite the feather in my auction cap, but the bottom line was a private sale was better for all the parties involved.

The point is to try and select an auction house who’ll meet your needs. Whether buying or selling, contact one of our specialists to discuss your unique situation so we may provide you a bespoke experience and make sure you understand your options.



One of our bidders shared this image of a recently acquired painting by Cleveland artist Jose Luis Quinones from our May auction and it’s looks so wonderful in it’s new home, we had to share it with our readers!

As you can see, this fun painting fits perfectly in a creative director’s office, topping a mid-century modern sideboard where vintage typewriters are featured. We love the vibe of this space!

If you have a vision and desire of how you want your everyday environment to look, share it with your favorite gallerist who may be able to find the right painting for you. We know art is an important part of everyone’s lives whether they realize it or not. Let us help you enrich your surroundings with a great piece you’ll be proud to own.

The “Woodsmen” carefully removing the E.V. Shaw mural

We are pleased to offer a beautiful Cowan Pottery polychrome mosaic designed by Elsa Vick Shaw. The glazed ceramic tile mural titled “Egyptian Maidens” was saved from demolition by our specialist Bridget McWilliams and a small conservation team known as the “Woodsmen” from Vermillion OH. The home of Elsa Vick Shaw in Moreland Hills was scheduled to be demolished and Bridget received a call to rescue the mural. One of five known to exist, the glazed ceramic tile mural was submitted by Cowan Pottery to the 1930 Cleveland Museum of Art May Show where it was accepted and displayed amongst

1930 May Show

other favorable works of art as seen in this vintage photograph of the exhibition. From the museum intake sheet we can see that Cowan Pottery stated only 5 murals were created. It is the only piece created by Elsa for the Cowan Pottery Studio. She was a mural painter; the most well known example of her work is the series of ancient instrument mural paintings in the Grand Foyer of Severance Hall, the home of The Cleveland Orchestra. The Cowan Museum, located inside the Rocky River Ohio Library, has one of these mosaic murals prominently displayed at the entrance to the museum.

Another item from Elsa’s home is a beautiful clear glass sand blasted panel, made for the mural titled “Oceania”. She won a national competition to design this mural for the passenger ship S.S.President Polk, of the President Lines. The metal framed panel was one of 21 etched plate glass panels. There is another panel on display at Rose Iron Works, who sand blasted the design for the artist.

Potter and Mellen

While you’re here in the Gallery previewing the May auction collection, please take notice of our cherished display cases, designed by Horace Potter for Potter and Mellen. We haven’t been able to pinpoint a date of creation, but these cases were built in the store on Carnegie, so we believe ca. 1929-1933. Several were made and we are lucky to have three.

At Neue we recognize the importance of cherishing the history of Cleveland artisians past and present and passing title of ownership of their works to the next generation of collectors. We encourage the discussion of stewardship in collecting and welcome everyone to get involved.


Bridget McWilliams invited us into a another world of famous collectors’ homes on April 17th. The audience was diverse and engaged as Bridget spoke about the collecting styles of Gertrude Stein, Bunny Mellon and Yves Saint Laurent. Beautiful images of items were shown throughout her 20 minute talk and questions afterwards included inquiries as to what happened to these collections, were the artists collected personal friends of the collectors and relationships with the dealers and auction houses they frequented. Neue Presents is a monthly immersive evening, usually and hour and a half long on a Wedsnday at 6:30, of like-minded individuals who appreciate art and wish to learn more about art and collecting. Seating is limited and reserved in advance by rsvp to the gallery. Subscribe to our enews for gallery events to enrich your life and enjoy art.

You either love ’em or you don’t. I have yet to meet anyone who has a middle of the road opinion about Conover pots, but everyone sure seems to know about them. Many people purchased from Potter & Mellen on Carnegie Avenue when they had the windows filled with pots and the price back then was $500. Others received them as a gift or inherited from a family member. This is an introduction for those new to Conover pots.

Claude Conover (1907-1994) was a Cleveland ceramicist and 1983 Cleveland Arts Prize winner who devoted himself to the medium of stoneware in the 1960’s, turning out about 250 objects a year from his home studio. Self-taught in the medium and maintaining a rigorous work schedule, he constructed stoneware slabs into pots of various sizes and shapes, each with a unique pattern created by hand-made rollers and blades, sometimes finished with clay slip. Most are monochromatic in beige and tan, some with two colors. The pots range in size from stacked constructions and tall cylinders of approximately 37” down to table top vases, bowls and sculptural cats of 4”. The vessels were grouped and displayed at ground level, often decorated with branches, willow branches and dried money plants inserted into the clear plastic inserts that are typically missing today. All of his pots have his signature underneath and each piece titled with a unique name.

There are dealers for his work from coast to coast and Cleveland is home to some of the best pottery found. Savvy buyers with a keen eye for MCM before it became a design trend, were able to buy these pots for a tenth of what they sell for today. Sales data on Askart.com shows his ceramic pots peaked in 2010 and again between 2017 and 2018. However the highest recorded price at auction was in 2015 for $37,220.00 at an auction house in Paris. Many of the pots I’ve encountered were acquired by the baby-boomer generation who had no idea how collectable and desired these stoneware vessels are today. When told about the value, many people will part ways with it, and I’ve meet others who are not quite ready to let go. The Gen Xers seem to be the most keen on buying a Conover pots. Being of this generation myself, I find these pots invoke my youth; the colors and shapes of 60’s decorative arts. We are however seeing the most interest in ownership by young professionals interested in decorated in the MCM style who are looking for timeless pieces.

Conovers’ work may be found in fifteen public collections; our beloved Cleveland Museum of Art has five in it’s permanent collection. Most Conover pots are found at auction where the bidding is competitive. Rarely are they found at estate sales anymore because most look up the artist on the internet. Once they’re over the sticker-shock of retail prices, people tend to reach out to a credible local dealer or auction house to bring their Conover pot to the world market. At Neue Auctions we are offering a few in the up-coming May Fine Art and Antiques auction. We invite you to visit the gallery and tell us about your Conover pot and the story of how you came to own it, what it may be worth now, and the opportunities to sell or insure it for future generations to enjoy.

Last week I was talking to my beautiful, smart, and always funny friend Liz McGarry, most likely about something (naturally) not work-related such as our favorite podcast My Favorite Murder or the world of witchcraft in general; and it didn’t take long for the conversation to derail into her newly adopted, Instagrammable cat, Cronkite.

Liz, who had recently moved to a new apartment, was showing me a picture of the stunning Cronkite when I happened to notice the artistically decorated walls right behind him. Liz confessed that after she had put together this arrangement of photos, lithographs, and paintings, this corner had rapidly become her favorite spot in her new apartment.  She was inspired by the talent that one of her eccentric aunts had for collecting instant ancestors.  Instant ancestors, as Liz’s aunt puts it, entails collecting portraits, of sometimes famous people, to feature around one’s house, while referring at them as relatives.  Occasionally, the new additions to Liz’s family, which included movie stars, famous politicians, and the random unavoidable royalty, would even be accompanied by stories and detailed bloodlines.

Although extremely fun, her aunt’s perspective is not all that outlandish.  Initially, when I started working in antiques, I was surprised by the willingness of people to sell their ancestors’ pictures, while I was equally surprised by someone else’s proclivity to buy them. The buyer in most cases would not get to know anything about the behind-the-glass person that he or she was bringing home.

Watching the new season of Instant Hotel on Netflix over the weekend, good taste doyenne, Juliet Ashworth reminded every contestant that houses without portraits are somehow soulless and feel unloved, looking like a hotel, which despite the name of the show is something to be avoided.  Ms. Ashworth, (who queer scholar Karen Tongson from PopRocket once identified as the Lisa Vanderpump of Australia’s reality tv), definitively uncovered something that I had not been able to pinpoint before; there are some spaces that lack personality and a portrait is a good tool to turn a room around and make it instantly more interesting.  I would like to think that my admired imaginary friends at the podcast Las Culturistas, would make this Rule of Culture #330.

Our March 2019 Auction, with live online bidding and lots closing tomorrow, includes some spectacular antique and vintage drink ware and accessories. Even if you don’t partake in hard beverages, these one-of-a-kind finds are of extremely high quality, beauty and style. If you haven’t outfitted a spot in your home yet, here is your chance!  

First start with the bar itself. Perfect for the task is this English Mahogany Butler’s Tray on Stand, (Lot 541, estimate $200-400).


Lot 541

The butler’s tray form was developed in Britain in the 1700’s; the name is self explanatory. Made to be portable and flexible for the butler to serve from, today it is a handsome addition in warm mahogany to the modern house. Our tray dates to 1800.

Designed to create an impressive display, next consider these incredible decanters from the early 20th century. (Lot 280, estimate $100-200).  


Lot 280

Decanters come in many styles and sizes. These are of multi-faceted form and have incredible light reflecting properties.  Likely from the early 20th century, they have an Art Deco or International Style feel. They also feel great in the hand.


Lot 281

To add some color and sparkling beefy substance, examine this Cranberry glass decanter (Lot 281 estimate $100-200).  Large in scale and heavy in weight, this finely cut piece will enhance your bar set up by just being there, and make pouring that cocktail for a friend extra fun.

Next add this very large set of Wheel Carved Crystal Glasses, (Lot 274, estimate $500-800, with a starting bid of $50!), they will surely inspire mixology experimentation, and are finely carved with various botanical species for your inspection.

Lot 274

Above it all, why don’t you choose this elegant Henri Matisse linocut print to hang over the whole  arrangement? It can be a gorgeous signal that it’s time for fun! (Lot 100, estimate $800-1200).


Lot 100

Auction begins tomorrow at 12 noon, hope to see you online, even better if you grab a cocktail…..bottoms up!……..


For questions about our sale or any of the items featured please contact us at contact@neueauctions.com  or 216-245.6707. We are happy to answer questions, advise and assist you with bidding.