Published: June 1, 2022
GLEN COVE, N.Y. — Roland Auctions NY hosted its highly successful two-part auction on May 20 and 21, with the combined sales bringing in $2 million and marking Roland’s highest grossing sale so far this year.
The main attraction was a superb collection of Chinese decorative arts from the estate of Sysco Foods co-founder Herbert Irving and his wife Florence, founders of the Asian Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sharing the spotlight was the unique collection of Palm Beach socialite June Hirsch Jones, a former upper East Side gallery owner who sold high-end postwar art, Chinese art and antiquities. The auction focused largely on Asian art, Asian decorative items and antiquities, along with a selection of exquisite high-end jewelry, contemporary art and furnishings, Dale Chihuly glass pieces and Peking rugs.
Heated bidding surrounded many highly anticipated items, including a set of eight Japanese reproduction ink drawings from the Irving estate, which sold for $225,000. This was the premiere lot of the second sale and the highest lot overall, bought in person by an Asian bidder local to New York City. The third highest lot in the first sale came from the same collection, a pair of Chinese non-calcified jade bi-form circlets that ran circles around the $300/500 estimate to achieve $31,250. Also from the Irvings was a group lot comprised of two carved hollow cylinders, a small bowl and a solid alabaster cube that collected $137,500.
The second highest lot overall was from the Jones estate, an imperial pale celadon mei ping vase from the Yun Chen period. Purchased from Rare Art, Inc., formerly of Madison Avenue, the invoice included in the lot gives this vase provenance from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marked at $2,400 in 1984, the vase sold for $187,500. An exquisite Chinese cinnabar lacquered bridal box from the Qian Long period also came from the Jones collection, again with its original invoice. Sold from New York City’s Royal Phoenix Asian Antiques and Antiquities for $5,500 in 1986, the box increased in almost 23 times its value to realize $125,000.
The top lot of the first sale reflected the musical side of the Irving collection, a Seventeenth Century harpsichord carved in the Georgian manner that sported chinoiserie decoration on its surface, as well as interior scenes of a landscape and birds on its soundboard. The instrument sold to the tune of $68,750, scaling up from its $1/1,500 estimate. Behind this was a Steinway & Sons Concert Grand Piano, Model B, that sold for more than double its $12/15,000 estimate for $40,625.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, 212-260-2000 or www.rolandantiques.com.
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