Published: April 28, 2020
Review by Greg Smith, Catalog Photos Courtesy Nye & Co Auctioneers
BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – English furniture dominated the sale at Nye & Co’s April 15 Estate Treasures auction. The sale brought together 265 lots from a New York City and Southampton, N.Y., collection. The consignors had purchased much of their furniture collection in the early 2000s from white glove English furniture dealers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Hyde Park Antiques, Mallett, Philip Colleck and Clinton Howell Antiques & Fine Art.
“They bought from top-tier dealers,” auction house president John Nye told Antiques and The Arts Weekly. “The furniture was strong because it was fresh to the market, great quality and had excellent provenance.”
Highlights here included a Regency inlaid mahogany partners’ desk from the Nineteenth Century with verdigris-decorated paw feet that brought $9,600. A Regency inlaid and figured oak sofa table took $8,320. A George III carved cedar tilt top candlestand brought $7,680 over an $800 estimate.
Nye said that the firm placed low estimates on many of the offerings, with plenty of them logging 20-plus bids as a result. The candlestand had 46.
“Once we got into the groove and felt confident in leading the sale, it went very smoothly,” he said. Bidding was offered in LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable and the firm’s proprietary bidding platform. Three employees in the gallery that day channeled those bids into the auction room until a bidder won. “It was methodical and it was pretty clear to the people out in the world what was happening and how it was going,” Nye said.
Bidders showed up from every hemisphere. The auction house reported that they had winning bidders in Australia, the far East and from all over the United States. The sale total fell within its estimates.
“It was a surprisingly strong sale across the board,” Nye said. “I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we’ve been selling online for 15 years now. People are confident with the condition reports, and we always provide additional pictures when asked. We’ve been dealing with international buyers for years.”
The sale was led at $20,910 by a Chinese hardstone inlaid hardwood cabinet from a New York collection. As it walked into the gallery in pieces and began to be assembled, Nye said that he immediately recognized its quality, but thought the size of the unit would hurt its salability. It did not as it logged more than 55 bids, handily surpassing the $900 estimate. It sold to a buyer local to the auction house.
A pair of Twentieth Century Bizen ware temple lions by contemporary Japanese artist Mori Togaku rose to $10,240. They had provenance to Judith Dowling Asian Art, Boston.
In paintings, a leader emerged in an Eighteenth Century Venetian oil on canvas that sold for $10,240 above a $2,500 estimate. The work measures 22½ by 30½ inches, and the firm attributed it to a follower of Johan Richter. Following behind at $5,120 was an oil on canvas of a gentleman with red drapery background, 29½ by 24½ inches.
The firm’s next auction is a Discovery sale on May 7, and the next Estate Treasures Auction will be May 27. For more information, 973-984-6900 or www.nyeandcompany.com.
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