The Collection of Actor Ron Rifkin Part I & Others

April 25, 2019

On May 5th, Auctions at Showplace will present the first of two auctions featuring items from the collection of celebrated stage and screen actor, Ron Rifkin. A native New Yorker, Rifkin, has garnered acclaim for his work on and off Broadway including a 1998 Tony Award for his performance as Herr Schultz in the musical revival of Cabaret. His numerous movie credits include JFK, The Substance of Fire, and most recently the 2018 hit remake of A Star is Born. On TV, he is best known for his recurring role as Arvin Sloane opposite Jennifer Garner on the ABC series Alias, and as Saul Holden on the series Brothers and Sisters.

Off-screen, Rifkin has been recognized for his refined taste in art and design. He and his wife Iva were profiled by the New York Times Magazine in a 1997 article regarding their downtown loft. Described by the Times as “inveterate collectors” the Rifkins amassed an impressive collection of mid-century modern furniture, paintings, photographs, art pottery and glass, and other decorative arts. 

Among artwork included in the auction is a large abstract mixed media on canvas by contemporary artist Caio Fonseca (American, b. 1959). Created in 2006, “Pietrasanta C06.15,” depicts the artist’s signature geometric forms in primary colors against a white background, and bears a Paul Kasmin gallery label on the stretcher. 

Two photographs by fellow actor and photographer Dennis Hopper (American, 1936-2010) are symbolic of the friendship between the two artists. In one image, titled “H,” Hopper captured an occurrence of the letter and in an inscribed dedication to Rifkin, notes “The H is for History, Hebrew, Heaven, Hell, Hopper, Hope.” The other work, untitled, similarly depicts an incidental urban scene, this time an advertisement poster peeling off a wall. Rifkin’s affinity for black and white photography extends to the work of Sally Gall, who is represented in the sale by six striking landscapes.

Fine examples of mid-century modern design include four George Nakashima 'Conoid' walnut chairs, a George Nelson for Herman Miller CSS (Complete Storage Solution) three bay modular wall unit, two Jens Risom dressers and a pair of nightstands, a group of four Harvey Probber hexagonal terrazzo top side tables, a Maurice Pre oak credenza, a Paul Frankl cork coffee table and occasional table along with two ‘Station Wagon’ nightstands, an Edward Wormley for Dunbar Gondola-manner upholstered sofa, three Finn Juhl ‘Spade’ lounge chairs, a pair of Friso Kramer for Ahrend de Cirkel armchairs, and more.

The Rifkins incorporated vivid colors into their interiors as seen in their affinity for vibrant art pottery and glass. Both auctions will feature large selections of Weller “Coppertone” and “Greora” vessels, Japanese Kyoto Awaji vases, Ruskin lusterware, and Southern folk art pottery including whimsical face jugs. Further decorative arts comprise an assortment of shagreen accessories including compacts, boxes, spectacle cases, and candlesticks, and a collection of vintage Baccarat perfume bottles.

Also from the Rifkin Collection comes a handsome Georg Jensen sterling silver “Scroll” pattern flatware service for 12 and several Porter Blanchard sterling serving pieces with an unusual Greek Key pattern. Other notable silver in the sale includes pieces by Tiffany and Cartier, English makers, and Judaica tableware. 

Among a collection of luxury timepieces are three handsome Vacheron Constantin watches, a Rolex Cellini 18K yellow gold pocket watch, an Omega Seamaster stainless steel chronograph watch, a Pascal Morabito 14K gold and stainless steel reversible watch, and other examples by Patek Philipe, Audemars Piguet, Chopard, and Dreicer & Co.

Fine jewelry and accessories to be offered include a Van Cleef & Arpels 18K yellow gold cigarette case with four square-cut sapphires, an exquisite platinum and diamond cluster star brooch with over 8.5 total carats, and a pair of 18K white gold heart earrings with 6.0 total carats of diamonds. Also to be offered are handbags by Prada, Gucci, and Marni, silk scarves by Hermes and Michaele Vollbract, and an eclectic selection of vintage and modern costume jewelry.

Save the dates, Sunday May 5th for Part I and Sunday May 19th, 2019 for Part II of the Ron Rifkin Collection. Both auctions promise to be well attended events with spirited bidding.

Showplace Antiques is located at 40 West 25th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. For more information, please visit www.nyshowplace.com, or call (212) 633-6063, ext. 808. 

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