Published: October 6, 2015
Review And Onsite Photos by Andrea Valluzzo,
Catalog Photos Courtesy Cottone Auctions
GENESEO, N.Y. — Cottone Auctions staffers spend about three to five months readying for the big fall auction here and their efforts paid off in spades with a fine two-day auction, September 25–26, that featured a good mix across the board, drawing solid prices, with many lots performing well above estimate.
“We had very good interest in A through Z, from the Modern to the silver to Native American lots. We were happy with the interest and the sale overall,” said Matt Cottone. Auction house founder Sam Cottone, Matt’s father, was on hand and began Saturday’s session, calling the sale.
Fine art was well represented, from the Modern to the traditional, as evinced by the overall auction’s top lot, Alexander Calder’s “Busbies & Uniforms,” a 1971 gouache and ink on paper that sold above estimate, early on Friday for $109,250, as well as Paul Delamain’s (French, 1821–1882) 1880 oil on canvas, “Arabian Salute” that neared high estimate Saturday to fetch $44,850.
The biggest surprise of the sale, Matt said, was a trio of scrolls that led the Asian arts category on Friday. Estimated at $300/500, the scrolls, signed Chang Wen Jun (b 1918), depicted a mountain scene, a peacock and blossoms with bees. They soared past their estimate to bring $80,500 and had elicited much buzz in advance of the auction. “We had good inquiries from all over the world,” Matt noted, saying the scrolls were not headed to mainland China, but were staying in the United States — for now at least.
Also highlighting the Asian arts category were a pair of carved hardwood, Chinese throne chairs, 57 inches tall, that tripled high estimate to go out at $15,525 and a pair of Miyao Eisuke gilt-bronze and mixed metal vases, circa 1890, which was a good buy at $19,550.
Other standouts among fine art were a Josef Maria Auchentaller painting, “Docked Ships,” and a Charles Umlauf bronze, “Spirit of Flight,” standing 5 feet 5 inches tall. Both surpassed their high estimates to hit $18,400. A Pablo Picasso “Woman’s Face” plate came out of a private collection and did better than its $10/15,000 estimate, selling for $25,300.
Near the end of Saturday’s session, 43 fine clocks from two doctors in New Jersey who have been longtime collectors, and a private Ohio collection, crossed the block. From Dr Warren Hammerschlag came some of the best-selling clocks in the auction, including a rare Asa Munger stovepipe shelf example, Auburn, N.Y., in a grained mahogany case that realized $39,100 and the Simon Willard tall case clock that nearly doubled its high estimate at $48,300. Warranted for Captain Benjamin Webb, the 1778 clock has a figured and inlaid mahogany case, fretwork top and brass finials. The Willard clock went to a collector in the Midwest and the Munger to a Southern collector.
Hammerschlag bought the Munger clock at a landmark clock auction Cottone had about 15 years ago and this sale marks the first time he is selling any of his clocks, as he is thinning his collection, Matt said.
Highlights of Dr Joseph Arvay’s collection featured a rare miniature Mark Leavenworth carved case shelf clock having a figured mahogany case with beaded inlaid brass, full carved pineapple columns and claw feet that took $31,050, and a rare miniature Erastus Hodges, Torrington, Conn., pillar and scroll example in mahogany case, having original surface and period finials, that sold over estimate at $9,487.
The top lot of a grouping of 30 fine rugs was a rare Nineteenth Century room-size Serapi, 11 feet 1 inch by 14 feet 2 inches, that sold within estimate at $32,200.
Rounding out the auction were a rare Tiffany Studios table lamp with turtleback counterbalance that went just over high estimate at $44,850; a monumental Meissen “Fire” ewer from the “Four Elements” series, 26 inches tall, $18,400; and a tatanua mask from New Ireland, 16 by 9 inches, which went ten times over its low estimate at $23,000, going to a dealer in California.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
Cottone’s next auction will be November 13–14, featuring everything from toys and jewelry to paintings and sculpture.
For additional information, www.cottoneauctions.com or 585-243-1000.
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