Published: January 5, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Akiba Antiques
DANIA BEACH, FLA. – An Eighteenth Century diamond tiara in platinum crowned Akiba Antiques’ December 22 sale when it rose above its $2,000 high estimate to sell for $12,500. The auction house noted that the work was likely European and featured a braided design, decorated with a series of old mine cut diamonds, old quartz cut stones and other synthetic stones. It was unmarked and weighed 95 grams.
Orientalism played strongly in the sale with a large life-size mixed metal Orientalist polychrome statue going out at $6,250. Featuring a traditionally dressed exotic Middle Eastern maiden leaning against a decorative wall with Oriental accents, the Twentieth Century European sculpture’s wall had a hole that could be used as a jardiniere. It measured 62 by 27 by 27 inches. Also finding favor with bidders was a pair of antique polychrome blackamoor pedestals that commanded $1,875 and a solitary antique wooden blackamoor pedestal that was bid to $1,500. Both of European origin, circa Nineteenth/Twentieth Century, the pair featured seated figures, 21 inches high, with crossed legs holding a three-sided tray above their heads. The solitary example featured a kneeling figure on a pedestal holding a large shell on his shoulder. Dressed in highly decorated traditional print design, the figure stood 36 inches high. Another set of pedestals, dore bronze and green marble, went out $1,375. The rectangular pedestals composed of green marble were decorated with dore bronze wreaths and acanthus leaf accents and finished with tiered bases and square tops. Circa Twentieth Century and from Italy, they were 36 inches high, 15 inches wide and 15 inches deep.
Of course, with the sale taking place on the cusp of Christmas, it was good timing for jewelry across the block. In addition to the tiara top lot, a Van Cleef & Arpels-style “Mystery Set” 18K and ruby earrings earned $3,750. From France and circa Twenty-First Century, the gems were set to provide a mosaic of color and light brilliantly uninterrupted by any semblance of metal in the bombé design. The rubies’ color were intensified against stark white diamond baguettes flanked on both edges, and all were fitted into a yellow and white gold setting. Marked “750,” the pair had a total weight of 17.5 grams.
Inspired by the distinctive front grill design of the Rolls Royce, another luxe contender proved to be an 18K gold and diamond bracelet that glided to $3,125. Probably Italian, the bracelet’s design comprised diamonds totaling approximately 3.5 carats and was finished with the Rolls Royce logo. The bracelet was done in a double R reticulated pattern, clasp marked 18K 750. Circa 1970s-80s, its dimensions were 8¾ inches long from one end to another when open.
Fetching $2,250 was a Twentieth Century 14K gold bracelet and Greek lettering pendant. The gold mesh bracelet was attached with a hanging circular pendant garnished with Greek wording “AEPi” and stamped “14K.” Not far behind, at $2,000, was a European Twentieth Century 18K gold and diamond multistrand bracelet composed of five strands fitted with single cut diamonds amounting to approximately 3.5 carats total, stamped “18K.”
Rounding out the top fashion statements suitable for holiday gift-giving (that is, if your first or last name begins with “M”) was an Italian 18K yellow gold and diamond belt, circa 1970s-80s. It sold for $1,375 and featured a big M at the center finished in approximately 2 carats of white diamonds. Marked 18K and 750 inside the buckle, which was 1½ inches high, the belt was black leather.
Fine art was another standout category in this sale. The top selling work was a 1961 gouache on paper by Rene Portocarrero (Cuban, 1912-1985) titled “Cabeza Ornamentada.” Featuring a multicolored image depicting a figural portrait surrounded by abstract designs, signed bottom right “Portocarrero, 61” and mounted in a black toned frame, the 27½-by-21-inch piece brought $4,063. Recognized internationally for his achievements, the Cuban artist began his artistic education at the San Alejandro academy, but left early and is considered “self-taught.” He worked with Wifredo Lam, Mariano, Martinez Pedro and Amelia Palaez in the village of Santiago de Las Vegas. In 1961, the year this work was created, he had meetings with Fidel Castro in the Jose Marti National Library where they discussed culture.
French artist Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) was represented in the sale with an oil on canvas depicting a still life scene with chessboard and flowers. Mounted in a gray wood frame and signed ” Bernard Buffet 60,” the 28-by-23-inch (without frame) painting finished at $3,750.
Decorative arts highlights were led by a Frank Meisler “Golden Gate” Hanukkah menorah going out at $2,500. The Twentieth Century limited edition sculpture on a marble base featured a menorah in silver and gilded tones with Hebrew scripture. It was fitted with two swiveling arms and a dove on top of the dome, signed on the side of the base “Frank Meisler Israel” and numbered.
Reaching $2,375 was a 25-piece Baccarat crystal stemware set comprising crystal decanter, eight martini glasses, four cordial glasses, four white wine glasses and eight red wine glasses. A Herend porcelain “Rothschild” lidded dish further set the table at $2,000, while a carved figural oak chair from the Nineteenth-Twentieth Century added $1,875.
Notable lighting in the sale included a Seguso Vetri D’Arte Murano floor lamp, which earned $2,375, a pair of Majorie & Majorie Calla Lilies lamps, which rose to $1,500, and a bronze and stained glass lamp after Philippe Wolfers that sold for $2,000.
Rounding out the sale’s top 20 lots was a handmade Kashan pictorial rug with multicolored Judaic-themed designs and finished with fringe accents. With a label attached to reverse reading “Made in Iran, 155 x 200,” the Twentieth Century rug measuring 71 by 76 inches realized $1,375.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, www.akibaantiques.com or 305-333-4134.
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