Published: January 25, 2011
It is always standing-room-only at CRN Auctions events, and its most recent sale, January 9, was no exception. The auction house made its first foray into Internet bidding, but a brisk pace was maintained. A selection of Chinese material sold mostly online to buyers in the Far East, although the Chinese trade was represented in the salesroom.
A Chinese grayish jade dragon seal with the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century Kangxi mark sold online for $25,960. It had attracted some presale attention and enticed Chinese trade to the gallery.
Chinese lots seemed to dominate the early auction results. A Chinese imperial silk textile woven with a five-clawed dragon decoration on a yellow ground that was also the subject of presale interest sold online for $11,210. The Internet also claimed a pair of Chinese blue and white porcelain three-piece lanterns with reticulated panels for $4,130. An early (pre-Mandarin) pair of Chinese porcelain candleholders in the form of reclining pug dogs was $2,596 online.
Continuing the trend was a 4-inch Chinese carved gray jade recumbent horse with rust-color markings that was $2,415 from a phone bidder who outbid a dealer in the room.
Moving from China to Italy, an Eighteenth Century Italian Milanese rococo fall front desk inlaid exuberantly with an ivory horse-drawn chariot, putti, dragons and flowers sold for $29,900 to a Midwestern buyer who bought on the phone for much of the sale. The pleased consignor purchased the desk for $14,950 at CRN Auctions’ November 2005 sale.
A near pair of Nineteenth Century Venetian baroque-style walnut armchairs was carved elaborately in the manner of Venetian artist Andrea Brustolon, the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century sculptor, with reclining putti supported by blackamoor figures, dolphin head feet and dragon head feet. The chairs came from a New Jersey estate and sold on the phone for $7,475.
Other Italian offerings included a pair of neoclassical demilune console tables, one a copy of the other, a period piece, that sold online for $4,425. The tables were carved and painted and had white marble tops. A Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century walnut high back hall bench with dramatic figural carving interspersed with panels of mythological females reminded one observer of a certain uncomfortable bench outside the headmistress’s office. It came from a Washington, D.C., estate and sold to the Midwest for $2,530.
Auctioneer Carl Nordblom first spotted a Nineteenth Century Italian specimen trinket box at the Miami shows last winter and saw it again several months later in London †where it was for sale for less money than in Miami †and it brought $4,720.
“Byzantium,” a compelling abstract wool tapestry by Queensland, Australia, artist John Coburn, was woven at the Pinton studio of Aubusson and had been in storage in a damp warehouse in the Chicago area for some years. It brought $17,250 from a buyer on the phone from London. The 80-by-71-inch weaving, which was created in the 1970s, will be returned to the Aubusson studio for some restoration.
Coburn was a one of Australia’s foremost artists and his work is highly prized. He created two monumental (1,000 square feet each) tapestry curtains for the Sydney Opera House.
A group of 12 paintings by New York artist Harry Herman Roseland was found in a Connecticut barn and attracted serious interest. “Dance of the Autumn Leaves” sold online for $20,060, “The Prophecy of the Cards” was $17,250 to a phone bidder, and “Windy Day on the Dunes” fetched $9,200. “Reading Tea Leaves” had significant condition issues, but sold in the gallery for $7,475. The Roseland works brought nearly $60,000 in all.
Other painting highlights included a Nineteenth Century Italian landscape with cattle by Achille Vertunni that came from a South Shore of Boston home and sold internationally on the phone for $10,350, and a Nineteenth Century Dutch interior by Evert Pieters of a mother and child, which caused the phones to jump as it brought $10,350.
Half a century ago, a Connecticut collector purchased three Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century Spanish Colonial paintings in Peru. Offered in this sale, they fared well. An unsigned, unframed portrait of St Rose of Lima brought $6,900 from the same phone bidder who paid $5,175 for “El Senor de los Temblores,” which had beautiful and highly detailed decorative gilding in the Cuzco manner. “Ascension of Mary” sold online for $5,015.
Two Fifteenth or Sixteenth Century Continental School oil on panel pictures, which may have been French and part of a triptych, were painted on both sides and realized $9,200 on the phone. One was a religious scene of two men with haloes, while a third old man †no halo †is seen in bed; the reverse was painted with a monochromatic image of St Sebastian. In the other panel, the same two holy men are pictured in a village setting with a monochromatic painting of a knight in armor. The works are headed to the Midwest.
Rounding out the art standouts was a Seventeenth or early Eighteenth Century view of Amsterdam that was attributed to Dutch artist Jan van der Heyden and sold online for $4,130.
The highlight of a selection of English furniture was a Georgian mahogany tester bed with stop fluted carving and a pierced tester. Although the headboard was not original, the bed was a dandy and sold to the phone for $6,900. It came from a Boston home.
A phone bidder paid $2,990 for an Eighteenth Century Queen Anne chinoiserie dressing table with a fitted interior with painted plaques and $2,185 for a dainty English George III mahogany lady’s desk with a secretary drawer with oval and fan inlay and a satinwood interior.
A William IV mahogany breakfront with glazed doors crossed the block at $5,463. The same phone bidder paid $1,265 for a nice George III wing chair with carved Chinese Chippendale legs. Another English piece, a Nineteenth Century Regency mahogany three-part banquet table that needed some attention, brought $4,025.
An Anglo Indian teakwood armchair was carved ornately in the Irish Chippendale manner and sold on the phone for $3,220, while an interesting Eighteenth Century Irish mahogany tilt top table with a carved and reticulated border of acanthus leaves also sold online for $2,360.
English highlights included a late Eighteenth or early Nineteenth Century mahogany tall clock with a brass dial signed by John Ayrey of Hexham that sold online for $3,835, while a Nineteenth Century pair of French pine corner cupboards with barrel backs and carved decoration went to a New Jersey dealer on the phone for $5,750. A marble top commode with well-defined brass trim was described as French, Charles X, but may have been Swedish. In any case, it sold on the Internet for $3,245.
Provenance was likely a factor in an attractive 107-inch Continental refectory table that was made from antique parts and appealed to bidders who pushed it to $2,530 in the salesroom. The table had belonged to William Christian Bullitt, the first American ambassador to Russia under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and an anticommunist, and then to his daughter, Anne Moen Bullitt, who was also the daughter of Louise Bryant, Marxist and anarchist. If that table could only speak.
Decorative items were led by a good-looking pair of Hepplewhite mahogany serpentine knife boxes with conch shell inlay that had some restorations and fetched $2,360 from an Internet buyer, and a classical giltwood convex mirror carved with a seahorse and acanthus leaves, with a candle arm on each side, that went to collector bidding $5,010 online.
Also highlighting this category was a pair of Italian rococo giltwood mirrors carved robustly with birds and acanthus leaves, from a Boston collection and also selling online for $4,425. A Nineteenth Century 47½-inch zinc pair of figural torchieres, each depicting a classical woman holding a torch, had been electrified and sold on the phone for $3,450.
An Internet bidder paid $8,260 for a large pair of Meissen porcelain figures of a lady and gentleman in related costume bearing what appeared to be the Marcolini mark.
Modeled after Eighteenth Century Sevres neoclassical pieces in the Greek style, a 21-inch pair of Nineteenth Century Sevres cobalt blue porcelain urns brought $20,700 from a phone bidder. They are headed back to France. They were decorated elaborately with gilt garlands, each urn with 12 painted portrait medallions, 12 of Louis XIV and ladies of his court on one, and Louis XV and the court ladies on the other.
An early Nineteenth Century French Louis XVI-style clock marked “C. Perrin, A Paris” sold for $5,750. The blue porcelain urn was decorated with floral bands and had highly decorative gilt bronze mounts.
The clocks category also featured a French bronze figural mantel clock in the form of Diana that was signed on the bronze “Evrard” and “H.B. Stanwood and Co.,” a Nineteenth Century Boston firm, and sold on the phone for $3,450. A Nineteenth Century bronze mystery clock with the figure of Diana was American or French and realized $2,875. A 12-inch French, brass, glass and cloisonné mantel clock with beveled glass was marked “Made in France” and may have been a Tiffany creation. It sold on the phone for $2,415.
A set of eight Eighteenth Century Sevres porcelain plates with center images of perching birds and blue borders decorated with gilt and floral medallions sold online for $4,720. A set of four Sevres cabinet plates with a central image of a cherub with blue borders decorated with gilt flowers and medallions with birds also sold online, bringing $1,888.
Porcelain and ceramics were sought after. A set of 12 Minton majolica oyster plates, one of which had been broken during the preview, was decorated with shells and sold in the gallery for $2,875, while a pair of cobalt ceramic table lamps with bronze mounts but no visible marks went to the New York trade for $2,875.
Twelve Limoges green porcelain cabinet plates, three of which were signed “Hofman,” and another three “Kaufman,” were decorated with mythological scenes and marked “Royal China.” They brought $2,478 from an Internet bidder.
A jazzy midcentury bronze and pewter circular cocktail table by Philip and Kelvin Laverne with chinoiserie measured 35½ inches in diameter and sold online for $3,186.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 617-661-9582 or www.crnauction.com .
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