The contents of Turtle Walk - the Taos, N.M. home of fashion icon Millicent Rogers - to be auctioned
The contents of Turtle Walk – the Taos, New Mexico home of renowned fashion icon and art collector Millicent Rogers (Am., 1902-1953) – will be at the center of an auction planned for February 22-23 by Charlton Hall Auctions in West Columbia, S.C.
Mary Millicent Abigail Rogers was the granddaughter of Henry Huddleston Rogers, Sr., one of the original founding partners of Standard Oil, along with John D. Rockefeller, Sr. As heiress to her family's vast wealth, Ms. Rogers was able to freely indulge her passions for travel, fashion, romance (she was married three times and had romances with Clark Gable, Ian Fleming and the Prince of Wales, among others) and, perhaps most important, Southwestern-
While visiting Taos, New Mexico with friends, she was captivated by the beauty and culture of the American Indians. She bought a rundown 17th century house, renovated it, named it Turtle Walk and became a permanent resident of Taos. She immersed herself in the art, jewelry and culture of the Pueblo, Hopi, Navajo, Apache and Zuni tribes and incorporated Indian designs throughout the house. She also became a dedicated champion of Native American civil rights.
Turtle Walk was filled with an eclectic array of Native American art and objects, decorative arts, furniture, fine art and fine appointments (and books) for the library. Also offered in the sale will be part of the estates of Arturo Peralta Ramos, Jr., Millicent's son, and his wife, as well as property from the estate of Julia Brewster Ballard, the mother of the highly successful Ballard Design Company, objects from a Southern museum deaccession, and collections from 14 states.
Native American art and objects will feature several spectacular Navajo pictorial weavings, to include a sand-painting example in the 'Whirling Log' design by either Hastiin Klah or Gladys Manuelito, circa 1925, 66 inches by 68 inches; a tightly-woven, serape-style Late Classic men's wearing blanket, circa 1880, showing serrated devices and thunderbirds;
Also offered will be a photogravure titled Indians on Horseback by the renowned American West photographer Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), signed and framed, 16 inches by 12 inches; 19th century Hopi painted cottonwood katsina dolls, including a Talavai doll, 15 ½ inches tall and one with a pale green case mask, black skirt and kilt, 13 ½ inches tall. Also up for bid will be a pair of fully-beaded late 19th century Sioux hide mocassins, sinew stitched and boasting velvet cuffs.
The category will also feature a painting on hide attributed to Teddy Weahkee (Zuni, 1890-1965), titled Knife Wing God, circa 1920-1950, with vibrant design elements, 60 inches by 43 inches; a circa 1900 Apache pictorial basketry olla with horse, dog, cross and geometric designs in devil's claw; and 19th century pipe tomahawks, including a Plains/Prairie tomahawk, richly patinated, 25 inches long, and a Plains tomahawk with diamond and sun design, 14 inches long.
The original artwork will span the globe. Oil on canvas paintings by foreign artists will include Pensees et Dahlias Dans Une Vase by Henri Fantin-Latour (Fr., 1836-1904), artist signed and framed, 19 inches by 13 inches; Celebrating the New Arrival by the Flemish painter Jan Josef Horemans (1714-1792), artist signed and unframed, 18 ½ inches by 24 ½ inches; and Procession by Josep Maria Sert I Badia (Sp., 1874-1945), framed and unsigned, 12 inches by 27 ½ inches.
Works by American artists will feature an oil on canvas painting by Oscar Edmund Berninghaus (N.M., 1874-1945), titled Bunk House, Taos, NM, artist signed and framed, 12 inches by 16 inches; an oil on canvas by Danish-American artist Emil Carlsen (1848-1932), titled Still Life of Roses in Vase, artist signed and framed, 22 inches by 16 inches; and a framed tempera on paper by Morris Graves (Wash., 1910-2001) simply titled Vase, unsigned, 48 ½ inches by 24 ½ inches.
There are even artworks in the auction of and by Millicent Rogers. An early 20th century Portrait of Millicent Rogers, done in pastel and pencil and in a frame, 20 inches by 14 inches, is artist signed, but illegibly, so it's unsure who rendered it. Meanwhile, an unsigned 15-inch-tall bronze bust with pewter patina that's attributed to Ms. Rogers herself, of the writer (and former lover) Ian Fleming, he of James Bond fame, is on a slate pedestal and has a New York foundry mark.
Decorative arts are plentiful and will feature George I Britannia silver salt cellars (James Rood, London, dated 1717), octagonal form, with a made-to-match set of four by Chrichton (Loindon, 1931); a circa 1829 rectangular Historical Arms of Delaware transferware platter by Thomas Mayer Stoke (Cliff Bank Works); an English (or French) armorial partial dinner service, circa 1800, 43 pieces in all; and a Dutch Delft blue and white charger, signed, from the 18th century.
For more information about the Feb. 22-23 auction of items from Turtle Walk, the Taos, New Mexico home of Millicent Rogers, or to learn more about Charlton Hall Auctions, please visit www.charltonhallauctions.com.