Published: December 28, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Elder’s Fine Art & Antiques
NOKOMIS, FLA. – Ships in harbor at the Pool of London drew bidders at Elder’s fine art winter auction on December 18 in the form of an oil on canvas by Norman Wilkinson (British, 1878-1971) that doubled its high estimate to sell for $10,000. It was the firm’s final auction for the year and included Asian antiques, continental furniture, fine art, jade and jewelry. Wilkinson was born in Cambridge, England, and attended Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire and St Paul’s Cathedral Choir School in London. His early artistic training occurred in the vicinity of Portsmouth and Cornwall, and at the Southsea School of Art, where he would also later teach. He also studied with seascape painter Louis Grier. At age 21 he studied academic figure painting in Paris, but was already interested in maritime subjects.
A Chinese Ming dynasty parcel gilt carved wood bodhisattva, 9¼ inches tall, was presented with some beadwork missing on its chest, some cracks, gilt loss and cracking. Nevertheless, the lot managed to surpass its $1,5/2,000 estimate to sell for $7,500.
Among jewelry highlights, a Van Cleef & Arpels 18K yellow gold sapphires Elephant brooch was bid to $6,250. The elephant had sapphire eyes, enamel feet and carved tusks. Measuring 1¾ by 1¾ inches, it was stamped and signed on reverse ear and was accompanied by the original Bergdorf Goodman box.
The exotic theme continued with an Indian Nineteenth Century dagger. Thirteen inches in length, it comprised a gilt damascene shaft decorated with floral designs and foliage, the curved and ribbed steel blade with an open work foliage section. It earned $5,125.
Another Norman Wilkinson oil on canvas crossed the block. Titled “Yesterday & Today – The Tower of London,” it depicted the London landmark set back from the Thames waterfront with passing barges. Fetching $4,375, it was signed lower left and titled on the stretcher, 24 by 32 inches.
Asian material performed well. A Chinese Twentieth Century carved nephrite jade lohan, 9¼ inches high, depicting a lohan seated on a tiger’s back, with the tiger resting on a rocky outcrop, rose to $3,625.
A Chinese Ming dynasty parcel gilt bronze seated shakyamuni buddha was shown seated in dhyanasana with his hands in verada and dhyana mudra. Measuring 8½ inches high, it took $3,348.
And a Tibetan Eighteenth Century Pala Revival seated amitayus sold for $2,250. The 6-inch-high amitayus was seated in dhyanasana on a double lotus throne, with both hands in dhyana mudra wearing a dhoti, a billowing scarf and necklace, with face, hands and feet gilt decorated.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, www.eldersantiques.com or 941-488-1005.
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