Published: September 1, 2020
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy of Burchard Galleries
ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – A coin-operated Polyphon disc playing music box led Burchard Galleries’ eclectic estate auction on August 16, bringing $4,200. The online, phone and absentee affair dispersed 470 lots with bidders registering on Invaluable and LiveAuctioneers. According to Jeff Burchard, the firm’s owner, there were between 250 and 400 bidders watching on LiveAuctioneers at any given time.
The sale was the stuff of estate fare: ornate large European dining suites, sideboards and backbars, Art Nouveau and Art Deco sculpture, lifetime art collections, art glass, Oriental rugs, jewelry, vintage watches and more.
The music box featured a double comb coin-operated movement and was designed to play 20-inch discs, a total of 43 of which accompanied the lot. Its mahogany case presented single glass front doors, carved and pierced decoration and turned front legs. It was sold with a complementing Jacobean-style carved oak cabinet stand with two door fronts with carved architectural motif panels, iron hardware, twist half column stiles and linen fold sides. Running beautifully for now, the caveat was that it was not guaranteed to continue.
The same price was attained for a double dial Ithaca wall calendar clock Number 2 bank model that came with the same caveat. Made 1880, this model featured a long walnut case, eight-day movement, two weights, with time dial above the day and date calendar dial and visible brass pendulum behind a full-length glass door. Approximately 59 inches high, it had been restored in 2000 and came with a book titled The American Clock in which it is illustrated on page 266.
When he can find it, Burchard says he likes to offer Midcentury Modern furniture. For this sale he offered and sold a set of six Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe chairs for $3,900. The laced back cantilever dining chairs for Thonet were from the 1960s, each about 30¾ inches high by 19¼ inches long by 27 inches wide.
It may seem counterintuitive but “brown” furniture performed rather well in this sale, and the pieces that sold were “ultra-brown,” that is, bulked up and heavy European fare. For example, a massive carved walnut stepback huntboard/cabinet, profusely decorated, pulled in $3,900. Carvings included a mountain man, winged gryphons, winged maidens, cherubs, dolphins and with five drawers over two doors. The shipper for this Nineteenth European piece in the manner of Luigi Frullini would have to wrangle the 92½-inch-high cabinet that was 72 inches long and 26½ inches wide.
Similarly, a Belgian stepback cupboard with an elaborately carved marble top, turned and carved columns at its archways and bristling with carved scrolling foliate designs, masks and lions, 86¾ by 57¼ by 19¾ inches, made $3,600, while another Belgian behemoth brought $2,400.
Palace-size, too, was a striking and massive Empire grandfather’s clock, also going out at $2,400. It had dentil molding over a large metal face with Roman numerals, an American eagle over its face and fluted columns flanking each side and was raised on carved lion’s paws. Standing 106¾ inches high, it had a metal pendulum, five large chimes, with Muller clockworks, but it was currently not working.
Artwork in the sale included a Leroy Neiman (American, 1921-2012) three-piece bronze grouping titled ”Horse Racing Suite” and comprising a horse and jockey, standing female jockey and a male jockey, all dated 1977. It went out at $3,000.
Two additional artworks of note were a Roy A. McLendon (American, b 1932) Florida Highwaymen beach scene with palms, crashing surf and seagulls, an oil on board, 24¼ by 36 inches, signed lower right and verso, that was bid to $2,280; and a dramatic antique painting aftermath of a naval battle by an unknown artist that was presented in a restored gilded period frame, 49 by 41 inches, that left the gallery at $1,920. Earning $1,320 was a Parisian street scene by Octave Guilbert (French, Twentieth Century) done in the style of Cortes.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. The next sale is set for September 13, a hybrid event featuring limited in-gallery seating and online, phone and absentee bidding.
Burchard Galleries is at 2528 30th Avenue North. For information, www.burchardgalleries.com or 800-520-2787.
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
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