Published: June 1, 2004
A collection of 160 rare, antique American and European frames explained the confluence of more than 100 art and frame dealers, private collectors and designers on East 84th Street on May 11.
The spring sale was the eighth frame-only auction hosted by the New York gallery and auction house Balfour & Wessels Framefinders Inc, and achieved a new overall sales record for the firm – $303,000, with 95 percent of lots sold.
The daylong preview afforded buyers their first glimpse of the assortment of antique frames, many of which hailed from the estate of a New York art dealer. The frames ranged from French, Italian Dutch and Spanish pieces to American Hudson River School and Arts and Crafts frames.
Once again, American frames commanded the highest prices. Auctioneer Alasdair Nichol presided over two hours of intense bidding between buyers from all over the country.
A Nineteenth Century Stanford White piece fetched $18,400, and a rare Arts and Crafts example by renowned Pennsylvania framemaker Frederick Harer achieved $13,800, a new auction record for this artist. Two Nineteenth Century Hudson River School frames each garnered $9,775. A metal gilded Arts nad Crafts frame by the Newcomb-Macklin firm fetched $8,625, and a small, hand carved Eighteenth Century Dutch frame sold for $6,900.
Balfour & Wessels will be publishing an antique frame auction price guide in early 2005 based on four years’ worth of auction results.
“The last eight auctions have established a solid market value for these pieces,” said Edward Balfour.
Prices reported include buyer’s premium, which is 15 percent of the hammer price on amounts exceeding $1,000, and 20 percent on any amount under $1,000.
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