Published: March 29, 2022
Luxurious ornament was on the minds of bidders at recent auctions if this week’s Across The Block is any indication. A gilt metal floral swag gussied up a French two-part gilt vitrine in the manner of Linke that rose to $19,000 at William Bunch Auctions and vibrant hardstones including coral, turquoise, lapis lazuli and jade embellished a Mongolian silver censer that heated up to $15,600 at Showplace Auctions. For the ultimate in dining luxury, a 33-piece parcel gilt porcelain dinner service, hand-painted by Ambrosius Lamm for Dresden with Wagnerian opera scenes hit a high note when it sold for $34,160 at Butterscotch. Read on for other top lots.
DOUGLASS, KAN. – There were two high performers among the 450 lots at Woody Auctions’ March 19 sale of the lifetime single-owner collection of David and Marlene Howard of Ohio – hundreds of antiques gathered over many decades of dedicated searching. A bowl marked R.S. Prussia Carnation Mold Spring Season (shown), 10½ inches with portrait decor in pink, lavender and white satin finish, sold for $25,000. This particular bowl is currently the only one known of a Spring Season in the Carnation mold. And a Regina upright music box with mahogany case, curved glass and original Regina label brought $15,400. For information, 316-747-2694 or www.woodyauction.com.
NEW YORK CITY – The 86th Rare Posters Auction from Poster Auctions International on March 20 once again featured rare and iconic images from a century of poster design. The collection included Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modern and contemporary works covering a variety of topics and styles. Titan of the Belle Époque, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, was represented by 31 of his rarest and most career-defining works. “Le Jockey,” 1899, was bid to $96,000. In Paris from the autumn of 1899 to the summer of 1900, Lautrec seemed to live his former existence, making paintings and prints and maintaining contact with friends. He returned to his childhood interest in horses and the racetrack, having driven himself regularly to Chantilly, the Bois and Longchamps to watch horses. Though “The Jockey” and three other lithographs were created with the intention of publishing a portfolio of horse racing subjects for the print dealer Pierrefort, this was the only one of the four ever realized as a print. For information, 212-787-4000 or www.posterauctions.com.
BERKELEY, CALIF. – Montblanc’s acclaimed tribute to Albert Einstein, an 18K white gold limited edition 99 skeleton fountain pen, sold for $25,000 at PBA Galleries’ pens sale on March 17. The pen’s barrel and endpiece were engraved with E=mc2 and other formulas, and the clip set featured a spherical sapphire, which bends the surrounding grid similarly to the way a star curves the space-time continuum. For information, www.pbagalleries.com or 415-989-2665.
MARLBOROUGH, MASS. – Bonhams Skinner conducted its “Fine Art: Now and Then” sale on March 17, featuring a session of Modern and contemporary art followed by a session of European works of art. Clients from around the world participated in the auction, most notably for the selection of Modern Arab art from the collection of Muhsin Sayyid Mahdi and Sarah Roche-Mahdi of Cambridge, Mass. Leading the “Now,” Modern and contemporary portion (Session I) was Dia al-Azzawi’s (Iraqi, b 1939) “Figures in Red,” which fetched far above its estimate of $20/40,000, with a final sale price of $93,750. For information, 508-970-3000 or www.skinnerinc.com.
CHADDS FORD, PENN. – In its quarterly fine art and decorative arts auction on May 22, William Bunch Auctions and Appraisals saw a French figural bronze two-piece vitrine in the manner of Linke go out at $19,000 against its $1/3,000 estimate. With tiered top with floral and bow swag and a single door with mirrored back and glass shelves, the vitrine’s base featured pierced metal acanthus and scrolled decoration, draped gilt metal floral swag with a center plaque of a woman and stood on columned tapered mahogany legs with draping swag and inset floral decoration. A bronze cherub with horn adorned the center of the base stretcher. For information, www.bunchauctions.com or 610-558-1800.
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – A standout in the Benefit Shop Foundation’s March 23 auction was a Vladimir Kagan Erica Midcentury Modern chaise longue. Fetching $7,740, the circa 1970s model named Erica carries the model number 6910 R. The piece has cream-toned upholstery and a cross-shaped acrylic base, plus an armrest on one side. It measures approximately 34 inches tall by 60 inches long by 25 inches deep. For information, www.thebenefitshop.org or 914-864-0707.
BEDFORD VILLAGE, N.Y. – The top lot at Butterscotch Auction Gallery’s March 20 auction was a circa 1930 porcelain service, decorated by Ambrosius Lamm for Dresden, that featured various scenes from Richard Wagner’s operas. The 33-piece service, which included bowls, plates, cups and saucers, sold to an overseas buyer for $34,160, nearly doubling its high estimate. For information, 914-764-4609 or www.butterscotchauction.com.
NEW YORK CITY – A Mongolian silver censer inlaid with coral, turquoise, lapis lazuli and jade carvings of various animals and birds, estimated at $3/5,000, generated enough heat with bidders at Auctions at Showplace’s estate sale on March 20 to sell for $15,600. The pierced repousse silver body had handles in the form of foo dogs and stood on a three-footed hardwood stand. It was the top price in the 280-lot sale. For information, 212-633-6063 or www.nyshowplace.com.
NEW MILFORD, CONN. – Brian Corcoran sent an even 400 lots across the block in The Auction Barn’s March 21 spring estate auction. At the top of the sale was an Italian leather bed with attached leather end tables that were fitted with chrome lights. The frame measured 140 inches wide and 86 inches deep and was large enough for a king-sized mattress. Despite wear that included scratches and scuffs to the leather, bidders took it from its $400/600 estimate to a final price of $5,938. For information, 860-799-0608 or www.theauctionbarnct.com.
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