Published: November 25, 2003
– A 5.8-carat emerald cut, platinum and diamond engagement ring topped a recent Stamford Auction Gallery sale at $27,600, selling to a private individual from New York. Opening at $10,000, phone and house bidders rapidly drove up the price in $1,000 increments. The ring, with a center diamond accented by two illusion set tapered baguette diamonds, came from a Fifth Avenue estate in New York City.
Auctioneer and owner Gary Braswell said, “It sold at a fair price, within estimate.” Equally spirited was the bidding for a 2.80-carat brilliant cut diamond and 2.80-carat dual-faceted sapphire ring, set in 18K yellow gold, which bandied among phone and house bidders, ultimately selling to a New York dealer at $20,700.
The 900-plus lot sale also featured works by noted artists such as James E. Buttersworth, M.B. Prendergast and Anton Mauve; antique American furniture; fine porcelain, including a pair of Meissen ewers; Herend and Spode ironstone; Orientalia such as Satsuma, Imari and carved ivories; Georgian and Tiffany sterling silver; mirrors; F. Barbedienne bronzes; sculptures, sconces and candelabra; Oriental carpets; and miniature furniture and dolls. Most of the contents came from estates in Connecticut and New York.
Following a week of preview sessions, the sale attracted approximately 500 registered bidders, including about 100 phone and 200 absentee bidders. Gallery manager Grant Panarese said, “We tend to get a lot of off-site bidders because we have built a good reputation, and people are comfortable in leaving their bids with us.”
Art drew keen and considerable activity, especially from the phone bidders. Top in this category was an unframed oil on canvas depicting “Sailing Vessels off the Coast of Gibraltar in a Storm” by American artist James Edward Buttersworth (1817-1894), eight by ten inches, which opened at $3,000 and sold to a collector from New York City by phone for $17,250. The painting came from an estate in Connecticut. “We found it in a closet wrapped up in a bag!” said Braswell.
Other works included an oil, “Gloucester Wharf,” by American artist Harriet R. Lumis (1870-1953), 12 by 10 inches, garnering $5,175 from a New York collector by phone; a pencil drawing on brown paper, “Profile of a Man in Top Hat,” by Egon Schiele, signed and dedicated to Gustav Klimt, dated 1910, $4,887 from a phone buyer, and an oil on panel, “Shepard with his Flock,” by Anton Mauve (Dutch l838-1888), $4,600, again from the phone.
There was a concentration in antique American furniture, although English and Continental furniture also was offered. Top in the category were two pairs of Stickley oak bookcases. The first pair had triple doors with glazed panels (three over four each), 731/2 by 12 by 561/2 inches. The bid opened at $2,000 and bandied among phone and house bidders until it closed to a phone bidder at $11,500. The same buyer won the second pair of bookcases, with double doors, at $10,062. The bookcases came from a church in the Bronx that needed to raise money for renovations. “It was a beautiful turn-of-the-century church that had fallen on bad times,” said Braswell. He was able to clean up one of the cases before the auction, which helped the sale. “The consignor was happy with the results, which brought more than he expected, and I was glad to help him out,” said Braswell.
A rare Horner mahogany desk with a scalloped top resting upon an elaborately carved case with griffins on the corners and paw feet went to an absentee dealer from Canada for $6,612. Other pieces of interest were a New England Chippendale slant front desk with four drawers and bracket feet, $5,290; a New York classical mahogany Empire work stand with brass inlay, lift-top with felt writing surface, two drawers and twisted column legs, labeled inside “John Budd, New York, May 1817,” selling to a private collector from Savannah, Ga., for $5,175; and an antique English breakfast table with rosewood circular tilt-top on a tripod base, $4,312.
The top lots of fine porcelain included a pair of massive colorful Meissen ewers, elaborately decorated with allegorical figures, putti, mermaids, ships and birds, actively bid by two phone and house bidders, driving the price up and capping at $9,200, to a New York dealer, and a signed German painted porcelain plaque of a mother and daughter, labeled “P. Wagner, after Franz Schier, Munchen ’86,” achieving $5,175. Orientalia attracted house, phone and absentee bidders. Topping the category was an Oriental famille verte painted porcelain charger with dragons and phoenixes selling to a local dealer for $3,438.
An unusual Japanese style mixed metal bowl by Gorham, with some design, 1861-1866, inscribed on back, 5.5 inches diameter, was intensely sought by three phone bidders and closing to a collector from Southport, Conn., at $2,185. A sterling silver tea and coffee service went from $500 to $l,725, and a Georgian sterling silver sauceboat, London 1743-44, by George Wickes with scrolled handle and three hoof feet sold to a Connecticut dealer for $1,610.
The sale was as wide as it was deep. “Overall,” said Braswell, “good pieces stayed strong, and moderate values in the $100 to $1,500 range provided good buys for individuals and dealers.”
An antique Continental ivory figure of a male warrior wearing a plumed helmet and lion mask epaulettes, mounted as a lamp, realized $3,680 from a bidder from the floor, and the top lots in Oriental carpets were an 11- by 141/2-foot Persian rug with a center pink and beige medallion, on a repetitive geometric and floral ivory field, $3,737, and two Sarouk carpets, 101/2 by 171/2 feet and 10 by 14 feet, $3,450 each. An unusual Oriental inkstand, with a painted porcelain figure mounted on a black and gilt lacquered base with metal overlay set in stones and two lidded inkwells, piqued the interest of three phone bidders who competed to a close of $1,610.
All prices reflect the 15 percent buyer’s premium charged.
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