Published: August 26, 2008
The June 22 sale at Burchard Galleries featured inventory from the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences, the JP Morgan Collection and two mid-Florida estates. Topping the day was an outstanding collection of American gold coins from an Orlando estate that far exceeded the presale estimate in 14 of the 16 lots offered.
The top coin lot and the top lot of the sale was a 1905 Lewis and Clark gold $1 graded from PCGS as MS64. This coin had a presale estimate of $1,5/2,000 when it came up for bid late in the sale; it drew 17 bids before a local collector/dealer in the room won it at $16,100.
These coins in a grade better than MS62 are very rare: 35,041 of the commemorative coins were struck at the Philadelphia mint in 1905. The odd 41 were for mint inspection services. Of the remaining 35,000, only 10,000 were actually sold to the public for the market price of $3. The unsold balance was melted for gold stock. The coins were not perceived as being especially valuable when issued and few were stored carefully, with many being melted in the Depression for scrap.
A 1904 Lewis and Clark gold $1 with a similar grade, estimated at $1/1,500, hammered at $8,337; a Panama Pacific 1915-S $2½ gold piece brought $6,612, also against a $1,5/2,500 estimate.
Other good gold included a 1913 $5 gold half eagle, graded MS64, selling five times the high estimate at $5,750, and a 1932 $10 Indian gold eagle, MS64, hammering at double the estimate to realize $4,600.
But it was not just coins that brought out the buyers. An abstract oil on canvas by Piero Ruggieri (Italian, b 1930) from the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences was estimated at $400/600. The 44-by-38-inch work, “Le Lampade 1956,” was signed lower right, titled and dated verso and it rounded up 40 bids to close at $13,225 to a buyer from Italy.
The real surprise in the art department came as an unsigned American Western scene, oil on canvas, also from the Daytona Museum, depicting waterfalls, a river and a chain of mountains with three figures of Native Americans in the foreground, climbed past the $400/600 estimate to $7,475. This unassuming 29-by-44-inch work had several tears and abrasions, but with a very strong attribution to Alexander Loemans (Canadian ?‱898), it was hotly contested in the room and online with 62 bids.
Also in the American art category, an early work by Florida Highwayman Harold Newton (1932-1994) sold at $4,312.
Good wood also did well: a Chinese Meiji period rosewood étagère having elaborate and fine carvings in berry and bamboo motifs surrounding open shelving and one closed compartment sold above estimate at $7,187.
The star of the furniture portion was a beautifully patinated Nineteenth Century two-piece Federal mahogany tambour desk, banded and inlaid with upper interior drawers and two full-length drawers below. The square nails in the back attested to the age. This elegant piece was estimated at $400/600, but created enough excitement to close at $3,450. A six-piece quartersawn oak bedroom set from the Mission collection of L&JG Stickley sold within estimate at $4,600.
All prices given include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.
The sale was carried live online by LiveAuctioneers.com and had 363 registered bidders from around the world, including Israel, Australia, Italy and France. Burchard Galleries, Inc is at 2528 30th Avenue North. For information, 727-821-1167 or www.burchardgalleries.com .
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