Published: May 11, 2021
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Hindman’s
CHICAGO – When a gentleman in Atlanta, Ga., consigned a large collection of furniture, fine and decorative arts to Hindman Auctions, the firm opted to present the collection as the basis for a sale titled “Gentleman’s Pursuits.” The sale was offered on April 27 during five days of sales of European furniture and decorative arts, and an online-only sale of glass, ceramics and silver titled “Dining at Home.” Comprised of nearly 400 lots, more than 150 of which were from the Atlanta collection, the Gentleman’s Pursuits sale achieved a total that exceeded $450,000 and was 85 percent sold by lot. Online bidders prevailed to buy about 65 percent of the sales.
Corbin Horn, Hindman’s director and senior specialist of the Furniture and Decorative Arts department, said, “We are delighted with how this auction came together, and the interesting variety of consignments that found their way together. This approach to a sale allowed us to handle some unusual lots that we might not normally have an auction for. We love to anchor a sale with a strong single-owner sequence, and the gentleman from Atlanta had a collecting vision that set us up for success.”
Leading the sale was a 49-inch-tall bronze statue of Pan of Rohallion by Frederick William MacMonnies (American, 1863-1937), which was cast at the Roman Bronze Works foundry in New York City in 1890. It had provenance to a private collection in Gloucester, Mass., prior to having been acquired by the Atlanta collector and sold to a private American collector bidding on the phone for $37,500. Ben Fisher, Hindman’s director and senior specialist of Americana, said it was “a substantial and fabulously cast” work that he thought might be the largest version of the form.
Another sculpture, this one in marble, finished in second place, selling to a buyer in the United States, for $15,000. “Diana” by Luca Madrassi (Italian-French, 1848-1919) was depicted with a gilt bow and was also from the Atlanta collection, having been acquired at Sotheby’s London in 2010, when it brought $45,000. Standing nearly 30 inches tall, Fisher noted that the late Nineteenth Century work was “a really lovely and elegant figure.”
Rounding out the sale’s top three lots was a large Chelsea ship’s bell metal mantel clock from another consignor, which more than doubled its high estimate and sold for $12,500. Fisher thought that some of the interest in the clock may have been inspired by a label on the back that read “Wm. Wrigley Jr Company Archives 00106,” referring to the Wrigley Company of chewing gum fame. When asked if the buyer was from the Chicago area, Fisher said that the prevailing bidder was American bidding in their first Hindman sale.
Interest in some of the European paintings from the Atlanta gentleman’s collection was at an expectant level. Another new bidder for Hindman walked away with Jean Jalabert’s (French, 1815-1900) “Sympathie (Artist and Clergyman),” for $10,000. The work, a humorous depiction of an artist and sitter, both of whom are depicted asleep, was exhibited in a 1996 exhibition on the artist at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Carcassonne in Carcassonne, France, and had been acquired at an antique show in Dijon, France, in 2000. A German buyer, bidding by absentee bid, paid $10,625 for “Muse with a Lyre,” an 1867 oil on canvas work by Clemens Bewer (German, 1820-1884), that had passed through Doyle in New York City in 2018.
Victorian furniture outperformed expectations, with two buyers in the Midwest providing the most competition. One took a parcel gilt ebonized and inlaid rosewood parlor cabinet in the manner of Pottier & Stymus that may have been in the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee, Wisc., to $8,750. The other bidder paid $5,000 for a similar cabinet, also in the manner of Potter & Stymus, that did not have such noteworthy provenance.
Hindman’s next furniture and decorative arts sale will take place July 20-21.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
Hindman is at 1338 West Lake Street. For information, www.hindmanauctions.com or 312-280-1212.
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