Pewabic and Other Art from the Robert Schweizer Collection Offered at Auction
January 17th, 18th & 19th
Detroit, MI January, 2020 – On January 17th, 18th and 19th, DuMouchelles will auction the
second half of the Robert Schweizer collection. Mr. Schweizer is a prominent Ann Arbor
collector who was also the proprietor of a legendary Detroit restaurant, Schweizer’s. The
remaining items in his collection include over 60 Pewabic pottery pieces.
Several of the Pewabic pieces were made by Ira and Ella Peters. Ella Peters (1901-1994) was
the Bookkeeper and Assistant to Pewabic founder, Mary Chase (nee Perry) Stratton until Mrs.
Stratton’s death in 1961. Mrs. Peters stayed on as an advisor until pottery operations were
gifted by the son of the founder, Horace Caulkins, to Michigan State University in 1969.
Joan D. Walker, President of DuMouchelle Art Galleries, said: “Mr. Schweizer, who was a
personal friend of Mrs. Stratton and Mr. and Mrs. Peters, has one of the largest collections of
Pewabic we’ve handled in a long time. Ella Peters was an essential part of the Pewabic
operation as well as a trusted friend and confidant to Mrs. Stratton. Many believe that Ella
Peters was essential in maintaining the company’s financial health after the Great Depression
and, again, after Mrs. Stratton’s death. It is because of the dedication of Ella Peters, the
generosity of the Caulkins family, and willingness of Michigan State University to maintain
pottery operations until the Pewabic Society was formed, that the Pottery is in existence to this
day. Today, the Pewabic Pottery is not only an integral part of Detroit’s artistic heritage, but
also a thriving artistic community – essential in the rebirth of our great city.”
“While we have noted a correction in American art pottery market over the last two decades,
that has not been the case with Pewabic Pottery. Interest in Pewabic Pottery, especially in the
rarest pieces, has remained steady and, in recent years, has seen an uptick. Pewabic not only
has a strong local Detroit collector base, but we have also noted increased bidding from
collectors on the East and West Coasts. There are myriad reasons for this, which include: the
uniqueness of Mary Chase Stratton’s forms and glazes, the comparative limited production, and
the importance of many of the pottery’s architectural commissions. Pewabic Pottery did not
become a full-blown factory like many of its peers and Mrs. Stratton never stopped
experimenting with her glazes. As a result, the quantity of choice material available for
collectors is limited and the variation in forms and glazes are as unique as they are difficult to
The first half of the Schweizer collection was part of DuMouchelles’ December auction and
included sculptures by the famed Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). After spirited bidding
from the floor, internet, and telephone, the “A Burgher of Calais (Jean D’aire)” and “Le
Désespéré” hammered down to California and Michigan collectors for $34,000 and $21,000,
The January auction also features a number of additional remarkable collections, including:
• Sterling silver by Georg Jensen
• Art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Steuben, and Lalique
• Chinese porcelain and carvings
• Hand woven oriental rugs in many different styles and sizes
• Oils on canvas by Charles Dickinson Langley, Pierre Bittar, Austin Deuel
• Sculptures by Marshall Fredericks, Étienne Henri Dumaige, Seff Weidl
Dumouchelles’ auctions start Friday January 17th at 1pm, Saturday January 18th at 11am and
Sunday January 19th at 12pm.
Preview of auction items begin Friday January 10th 9:30am – 5:30pm and continues during the
auctions, including an extended preview on Wednesday January 15th until 7:30pm. The gallery
is closed on Mondays and Sundays, except on auction Sundays.
You do not need to be present to bid at our auctions and may bid over the phone, absentee, or
on line through Invaluable.com or Liveauctioneers.com. For more information, please visit
Dumouchelle Art Galleries is a fine art auction house, founded in 1927 and located in
downtown Detroit, across from the landmark Renaissance Center. Dumouchelles attracts
notable consignments and commands top prices in the international auction marketplace.
Drawing on our nearly 100 years in business, our experts provide personalized service to
individuals, families and estate settlement professionals to buy and sell fine objects from
around the country.
Our auctions reach international audiences and showcase beautiful and rare items across many
categories, including paintings, fine art glass, sculptures, porcelain, oriental rugs, other
valuables and antiques.