Modern and Contemporary Art + Design

Cowan's Modern and Contemporary Art and Design department specializes in works of art from the Art Deco period up to the present. Our auctions feature fine art, works on paper, studio glass and pottery, as well as design and furniture, including works by George Nakashima, George Nelson, Robert Motherwell, Jim Dine, Kenneth Noland, Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, Louise Nevelson, Lino Tagliapietra, Dale Chihuly, Harvey Littleton, Betty Woodman, Peter Voulkos, Beatrice Wood, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Harry Callahan. Cowan's holds two Modern and Contempary auctions annually, in the spring and fall, in our Cleveland salesroom. We welcome exceptional consignments throughout the year.

Consign now by filling out our online consignment form or contact us at 513.871.1670 ex 220 or e-mail

Department Director

Pauline Archambault and Jennifer Howe

Contact Information
Contact Pauline at 513.871.1670 (ext. 220)
Contact Jennifer at 513.871.1670 (ext. 221)

Pauline Archambault, a French native, is a specialist in the Fine and Decorative Arts Department at Cowan's. She holds a Master's degree in Art History from the University of Cincinnati with a concentration on Contemporary Art, her research focusing specifically on installation and performance art. Her interests also include modernist and postwar photography and painting. Contact Pauline directly at or at 513-871-1670, ex 220.

Jennifer Howe is a specialist in the Fine and Decorative Art Department here at Cowan's. Her other interests include contemporary art and design. Howe holds a Master's Degree in Art History from the University of Minnesota. She has taught art history and museum studies courses at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, including the course Art of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Howe's research and publications have focused on Cincinnati furniture, silver and Arts and Crafts metalwork. She was an editor and contributing author of the book Cincinnati Art-Carved Furniture and Interiors (2003). Contact Jennifer directly at or at 513-871-1670, ex 221.


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Lot of 2 Consisting of a Middle Eastern Jambiya Dagger and Parang Dagger
Lot # 781 - Lot of 2 Consisting of a Middle Eastern Jambiya Dagger and Parang Dagger
Jambiya dagger has a 5.25" blade length and over length of 9".  Comes with sheath and belt.  Sheath has a green lining on the back side.  Parang dagger has 12" blade length and overall length of 16".  Wood handle.
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US WWII M-1 Garand Bayonets Lot of Three
Lot # 330 - US WWII M-1 Garand Bayonets Lot of Three
Lot includes 3, 10" Garand bayonets. 2, AF&H 1942 and 1943 dated and 1, Cut down SA 1906 dated. all with scabbard.
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Tohono O'odham Figural Basket From the Creek Council House Museum Association, Okmulgee, Oklahoma
Lot # - Tohono O'odham Figural Basket From the Creek Council House Museum Association, Okmulgee, Oklahoma
cylindrical form decorated with 11 lizards and 11 men and women, height 10 in. x diameter 10 in.
mid-20th century

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M. Eugene Sue, <i>The Wandering Jew</i>, 1844-1845
Lot # 298 - M. Eugene Sue, The Wandering Jew, 1844-1845
Serialized version, parts No. 7 - 18. New York: Harper & Brothers, No. 7-9, 1844; Nos. 10 - 18, 1845. First number begins at page 241, the last ends at 598. Each with printed paper wraps, with illustration of "the Jew" sitting at a table examining items in dresser-type box. These serial copies are scarce, most either being bound (as possibly the first six were here), or long since disintegrated. Rear wrap advertizes "Popular Novels, in the Cheap Form, Just Published by Harper & Brothers, New-York". Interestingly, the fist 8 have a price of six cents, the last four, only three cents.
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Civil War Manuscript Regarding Case of the Late 1st Lieut. R.C. O'Bryon, 5th O.V.C.
Lot # 139 - Civil War Manuscript Regarding Case of the Late 1st Lieut. R.C. O'Bryon, 5th O.V.C.
Report of Col. Thomas T. Heath, 5th Regt. O.V.C. (Ohio Volunteer Cavalry), Head Quarters, Huntsville, AL, 12 April 1864. 6pp, two folded sheets tied with ribbon. This is one of the bluntest letters we have seen. To Major R.R. Townes, AAG, Heath reports:

In obedience to the order referring the case of "late 1st Lieut. R. C. O'Bryon Co "B" 5th O.V.C." to me for "report and recommendations" - I have the honor to report.

I - Major John Henry 5th O.V.C. to whom the tender of resignation was made is now a prisoner of war.

II - It is believed that the endorsement of Major Henry was strictly true, but did not convey a tithe of the truth as known to himself - to every commissioned officer in the regiment....

III - The undersigned officially knew "1st Lieut. R.C. O'Bryon" from Sept 9th 1861 when he entered the service of the U.S. - He has positive knowledge that the most part of the time he was in the service, said "Lieut R.C. O'Bryon" had either "Gonnorrhea" or "Syphilis," that at one period he had both diseases at the same time. And that said "Lieut. R.C. O'Bryon" openly boasted before officers and enlisted men, of his having these diseases, and that such boasts were habitual with that officer.

IV -..."Lieut. O'Bryon" was not reported sick in the squadrons morning report, and was able to walk about camp, yet it is a truth that he repeatedly asked the subscriber to be relieved from doing duty with his squadron, always on the ground of physical disability arising from venereal disease, and that from that cause, or some other, he is positively known to have attempted to perform duty but once in several months, and in that instance the troops did not march five miles.
     While in the service "Lt. O'Bryon" never discharged a singe duty intelligently and faithfully, but in one instance when entrusted with care of enlistment papers, detachment rolls, certificates and accounts, for over three hundred men recruited in Ohio, he lost the whole, and was totally unable to give any account of his official business, whereby inten(?)iseable confusion, great loss and delay arose.
    ...The valor of "Lt. O'Bryon cannot be spoken of from experience, as he never was in battle or skirmish with his squadron....
     When "Lt. R.C. O'Bryon" left the regiment, after dismissal he disposed of a horse the property of the U.S. worth $150.00 and appropriated the same to his own use.

V - Of the twenty two names subscribed to the paper requesting that said "Lt. O'Bryon be honorably reinstated" - The first, resigned after the Gov. of Ohio had recommended him to be dismissed for the good of the service," and which he was under the gravest charges. Three others were "dishonorably dismissed" - three were not officers at all. The last four had been and then were on detached service for more than a year and had not been associated with "Lt. O'Bryon."
     Of the remainder, most of the officers have personally assured me that they did not read the paper they signed, but that it was read to them and purported to be a request that favor be shown "Lt. O'Bryon" and through sympathy they signed the paper....

I am induced to recommend most respectfully, that the status of "Lt. R.C. O'Bryon" late of this regiment, remain unchanged so far as to prohibit his return to this regiment. My duty to myself, my brother officers, and the service, demand that the plain truth be set forth without varnish....

And set it out without varnish Colonel Heath did!
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Merwin & Bray Single Shot Derringer
Lot # 339 - Merwin & Bray Single Shot Derringer
.32 rf caliber, 3.5" barrel, S/N 474. Brass frame, rosewood grips.
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Four Small Folio McKenney & Hall Lithographs
Lot # 27 - Four Small Folio McKenney & Hall Lithographs
Group of 4. Titled Moa-Na-Hon-Ga: An Ioway Chief, Nea-Math-La: A Seminole Chief, Payta-Kootha: A Shawnee Warrior, and Shin-Ga-Ba-W'ossin: A Chippeway Chief, all dated 1847; each 9.25 x 5.5 in.
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December 1928 Phoenix Slate Company Bear Calendar
Lot # 149 - December 1928 Phoenix Slate Company Bear Calendar
28" x 21" calendar. Bottom right of image signed F.M. Spiegle and entitled The Pool I Didn't Fish.
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Civil War Themed Prints, Lot of Seven
Lot # 30 - Civil War Themed Prints, Lot of Seven
Pair of 19.5" x 11.5" prints by E. Price; two 10.5" x  8.5" prints of Stonewall Jackson and one with Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee; 18.5" x 6.5" print of the battle of Chattanooga; 14" x 10" Battle of Pittsburg print; and 13.5" x 11.5" copy of the Gettysburg Address.
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West German Officer's Boots
Lot # 574 - West German Officer's Boots
German officer's boots, US size 11. These are 16" knee boots in un-issued condition with shoe trees in boots.
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Continental Landscape, Oil on Canvas
Lot # 108 - Continental Landscape, Oil on Canvas
Continental Landscape, late 19th century, unsigned; 21 x 35.25 in.
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*Rossi Model 92 SRC Lever Action Rifle
Lot # 700 - *Rossi Model 92 SRC Lever Action Rifle
.357 mag. caliber, 20" barrel, S/N K 134013. Blue finish, with walnut stock with applied spade decorations to the butt.
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Philippine Kalinga Headhunter's Axe
Lot # 764 - Philippine Kalinga Headhunter's Axe
11.75" head, 24" overall length. Carved wood handle with a reptile sunning himself.
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Painting of Deer in the Woods
Lot # 446 - Painting of Deer in the Woods
American; oil on canvas; 20th century. The painting, housed in a wood gilt frame, depicts a dark forest scene with two deer. 23 x 18 in. (sight).
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US WWII Army Archive Lt. C. A. Mattingly
Lot # 630 - US WWII Army Archive Lt. C. A. Mattingly
Archive includes bedroll named, 3, Dog tags, 45 shoulder holster, trench lighter, pair of spurs, 2 hoof tools, hat cord and insignia. Framed French flag that measures 15"x8". Flag is dated July 18th 1944.
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Lalique Nude Vase Bacchantes
Lot # 65 - Lalique Nude Vase Bacchantes
Lalique (France, 20th Century).  Tapered vase with frosted, raised nude female figures, marked Lalique Paris; Ht. 9.75 in.
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**Russian Tula C.C.C.P. Mosin-Nagant M91/30 Rifle
Lot # 180 - **Russian Tula C.C.C.P. Mosin-Nagant M91/30 Rifle
7.62x54mm caliber, 30" barrel, S/N N49111. With matching numbers on the receiver, bolt, floorplate and buttplate. The receiver is marked with the Tula C.C.C.P. markings and dated 1928. Other proof marks appear on the bolt and stock. Walnut stock with cleaning rod, bayonet and canvas sling.
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**<i>The New England</i> Double Barrel Shotgun
Lot # 420 - **The New England Double Barrel Shotgun
12 gauge, 32" barrels, S/N 23056. Matching numbers throughout. The lockplates are stamped The New England. Pistol grip checkered walnut stock and forearm, with hard rubber gripcap and buttplate.
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