Published: February 13, 2007
Anticipation was in the air when an outrageously designed and carved oak Art Nouveau bakery interior came up on the auction block at Kamelot’s Architectural Antiques and Victoriana sale on December 2. Kamelot carefully removed the unit from a turn-of-the-century bakery and resurrected it in its gallery. Seven phone bidders waited anxiously for the bidding to begin, which it did quickly, escalating past the preauction estimate of $14/20,000. The final price was $97,750; it was purchased by a restaurant owner who plans to use the interior in one of his bakeries in the heart of New York City.
“Prices for higher-end Victorian furniture continued to be strong,” said Kamelot partner Joe Holahan. Most observers would agree, with a rosewood étagère in the manner of J.H. Belter selling for $12,075 and an American Victorian renaissance revival credenza achieving $6,900. Of the four tall case clocks offered in the sale, an exquisite nine-tube American Victorian grandfather clock with a wonderfully crafted case was the top lot, bringing $9,775.
Overall, pricing on antique stained glass was relatively soft. “It was a good day to be a buyer of stained glass windows,” said Holahan. “Some people made the mistake of staying at home, wrongfully assuming that prices would be too high since the sale specifically featured stained glass and architectural items. When you have more than 100 window lots, some of them will fall through the cracks and great deals can be had.” There were a few exceptions to the soft prices, however, including a rare layered window of a mother and daughter holding hands on a hillside which brought $5,175.
A selection of more than 30 lots from which to choose warmed the hearts of the fireplace mantel aficionados in attendance. The standout piece was an exuberantly carved Nineteenth Century French marble mantel that went for $8,050. Architectural elements performed well, with 35 bronze and onyx balustrades selling for $8,625.
Decorative items included a 1904 bronze eagle lectern resting on a gothic pedestal, soaring out of the auction house for $9,200, while an Art Nouveau patinated metal figural light fixture of a seated female realized $5,060.
Prices given include the 15 percent buyer’s premium. Kamelot Auction is at 4700 Wissahickon Avenue. For information, 215-438-6990 or www.kamelotauctions.com.
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