Published: March 30, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Amero Auctions
SARASOTA, FLA. – Amero Auctions’ March 21 sale was its usual eclectic affair with a selection of English and Continental furnishings, English and American paintings, Asian furniture and objects, along with jewelry and silver, Continental glass and porcelain, garden items and more. The gallery observed distanced seating protocol, with live bidding, phone and Internet available.
Fetching $27,675, the top price, was an antique Chinese hand painted porcelain plaque folding table screen with pierced wood frame. Exhibiting the continued strength of Asian material at auction, the screen had been estimated at just $200/400. Its large center panel featured an outdoor genre scene of a man and a boy with fishing pole and geese, and the four folding panels depicted women in outdoor scenes. With pierced carved screen, the center plaque measured 7¾ by 5 inches, while the outer panels were 7¾ by 2¼ inches.
A pair of Chinese imperial huanghuali horseshoe back armchairs sold for $18,000. Richly grained, each chair featured a horseshoe back top rail ending in scroll hand holds, three-panel shaped backsplat and ornate and delicate pierced carved foliate decoration. Each standing on four carved feet, their overall measurement was 38¾ by 30 by 26 inches.
American furniture in the sale was led by a Federal inlaid secretary bookcase that doubled its high estimate to finish at $10,030. Possibly of Pennsylvania origin, the circa 1800 breakfront featured a mahogany case with fruit wood string inlay, shaped crest with brass spire finials and its top shelves were adjustable. The center fall front secretary drawer over three drawers revealed a fitted interior with felt writing surface. It was flanked on either side with single door, interior slide out shelf. Its brass thistle pulls were replacements and it measured 96 by 73½ by 20½ inches.
Also performing well were a James Dew & Sons porringer extension table selling for $3,998 and Seventeenth/Eighteenth Century vargueno changing hands for $4,720.
Fanciful and climbing to $5,843 was a Black Forest carved bear hall tree umbrella stand. A walnut carved figure of a bear stands at the base of a tree and a cub perches in its upper branches. With center mirror and lower umbrella stand ring, the overall dimensions were approximately 86 by 29 by 24 inches. A pampered leather bear foot stool by Omersa & Co. was quickly adopted for $2,460.
English and American paintings were on offer with special attention to a private collection of portraits by George Romney, Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Sully, William Beechey, William Hogarth, several Old Masters paintings and important Twentieth Century works of art, including an oil on canvas harbor scene by Emile Gruppe and lithographs by Picasso and Peter Max.
Topping the fine art category was a lithograph by Ellsworth Kelly (American, 1923-2015), “Red over Yellow,” which employed the bright colors for which the artist is known, was bid to an above-estimate $12,980, likely setting a new record, according to the auction house. From a suite of 27 color lithographs, circa 1964-65, this work in Rives BFK paper was pencil-signed lower right, numbered 30/75 lower left and measured 35 by 22¾ inches. Kelly, painter, sculptor and printmaker, is known for works that in a minimalist way emphasize line, color and form.
A Nineteenth Century Orientalist painting of an exotically garbed man holding a child in his lap, rowing a boat with treasures, carpet and books was illegibly signed and dated 1862. An oil on canvas, 27 by 36 inches, it went out 36 bids later at $10,030.
The bright and dreamy palette of American artist Peter Max was on display in “Friends/Century Ladies, Ver. IX,” an acrylic on canvas depicting two ladies in profile exuberantly bonneted with profusions of blooms that brought four times its high estimate at $9,860. Signed upper right, Peter Max 2014 with stamp verso with number, the painting measured 16 by 22½ inches.
Czech artist Adolf Chwala (1836-1900) is known for his dramatic landscape painting with stormy skies and rich coloration. The painting in this sale, a nocturnal lakeside scene with house, dock and rowboat finished at $7,670. The oil on canvas was signed lower left and measured 21¾ by 35¼ inches.
Fetching $2,091 was a Fiske-style outdoor garden fountain with water lily center and surrounding frogs and egrets that rounded out a vast garden auction landscape.
First across the block was a large, post-revolution Russian porcelain figural group, which set the strong pace for the sale, starting at $1,700 and finishing at $5,535.
A monumental and rare pair of McCoy Pottery Vases in the equally rare “Sphinx” pattern, with cinnamon and green glaze, set a new auction record, selling at $5,535.
A clambroth jade miniature carving of two fanciful cats joined with two dragonflies survived in excellent condition. It sold for $4,612.
A striking signed Lalique, France, “Tanega” vase standing 14¼ inches tall featured clear, molded glass with a strong green leaf applied design. It brought $3,835.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. Amero Auctions’ next sale is May 30. For more information, 941-330-1577 or www.ameroauctions.com.
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