Published: October 23, 2012
Briggs Auction, Inc kicked off the autumn auction season with an estate antique and decorative arts auction on September 14. Attendees knew right from the beginning that the evening would offer excitement and maybe some surprises, but one of the last lots of the night caused the biggest thrill.
The auction was a mix of catalog and discovery items from Main Line and Delaware Valley estates. Ranging from period Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century antiques to fine Continental furnishings, decorative and fine art, silver and estate fine jewelry to estate Oriental carpets, Asian decorative arts to fine porcelains and glass, more than 1,000 bidders vied in person, via telephone and over the Internet for approximately 630 lots. Local dealers and collectors vied with bidders across the country, and around the world.
The top lot of the night was number 337 of 350 cataloged lots, a fine Twentieth Century Chinese scroll with folk art watercolor scene by Master Chinese artist Li Keran. The painting features a family home scene with house and trees and yard, surrounded by a calm body of water. A poem rendered in Chinese characters, meaningful to the artist and representative of the scene, hovered over the image. The scroll garnered much attention throughout the auction previews, and during the auction was contested by bidders on the floor, and on several telephones before finally selling to a private collector via telephone for $166,750.
Li’s work is avidly being sought by collectors, and new pieces to the market are prized. “We had considerable interest in the Asian collection, from bidders in the room, online and over several telephones,” John Turner, owner and president of Briggs Auction, said. “The collection was a nice mix of modern and antique pieces, including some by noted artists. We kept our estimates low, and I think that was successful in generating interest, and high prices.”
The evening started with a slightly softer †but no less exciting †bang when a charming apple-green Japanese two-handled bowl with lid and intricate embossed and incised decoration, mask and paw feet, and a custom carved stand soared past its estimate. Bidding was swift and decisive before selling to a buyer on the floor for $17,250.
For the rest of the auction, the sky was the limit, and there were several other lots in various categories ready to test that ceiling, including a 3.86-carat diamond engagement ring set in platinum that realized $25,300; a circa 1950 necklace and matching bracelet in an open-link mesh design studded with 129 emeralds and 129 diamonds went to $23,600; an interesting modern bronze abstract sculpture of Salome by Leon Underwood realized $11,800; an early gilt-edged edition of Carl Werner’s Nile Sketches portfolio book brought $9,775; and a Steinway baby grand piano in mahogany case that sold at $9,200.
Noteworthy jewelry lots include a blue sapphire and diamond tennis bracelet set in platinum featuring more than 2½ carats of diamonds, and nearly 7½ carats of blue sapphires sold at $8,625; another diamond tennis bracelet with 5.80 carats set in platinum brought $7,475; and a 1.40-carat diamond ring, also set in platinum, went to $6,325.
Fine art included a stormy Jonas Lie oil on canvas island landscape selling at $5,750, and a charming miniature Andrew Wyeth watercolor of a winter landscape with skater on frozen pond that realized $5,175.
Rounding out the sale, a Gorham sterling seven-piece tea/coffee service with tray achieved $6,900; a decorative Nineteenth Century Chinese eight-panel tabletop folding screen, with inset blue and white porcelain tiles, sold at $6,670; and a Nineteenth Century Chinese pear-shaped porcelain vase with clair de lune glaze went to $5,980; an interesting mahogany ornate figural-carved crystal cabinet with mirrored back by Philadelphia cabinetmaker R.J. Horner sold at $4,945; a fine Delaware Valley tall chest on high bracket feet, with three-over-two-over-three drawer arrangement realized $4,830; a set of four John Parson’s & Co. sterling column-form candlesticks went to $3,910; and a Fender Jazzmaster electric guitar with fitted case sold at $1,888.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For more information, www.BriggsAuction.com , 610-566-3138 or 610-485-0412.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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