Published: June 23, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers conducted its bi-monthly Eclectic Auction on Saturday, June 13; of the nearly 475 lots on offer, the sale was 98 percent sold with nearly half of the lots selling to online bidders. As the house has done in previous pandemic-era sales, preview was by appointment only and bidding in-house was limited, with the majority of bids executed online, by absentee or over the phone. Originally scheduled for Saturday, June 6, the company deferred the sale for a week because the company wanted to give bidders more time to familiarize themselves with newly launched software.
Speaking by phone the week after the sale, Garth’s chief executive officer and principal auctioneer, Jeff Jeffers, told us “We were pleased to welcome clients back into the saleroom. Although we noted the crowd was small but mighty, its obvious to us that people have both grown more comfortable with the online experience and will take their time coming back into the saleroom…and we’re OK with that.”
Leading the sale was a pair of Sevres urns decorated with scenes of Napoleon that came from a private collection in central Ohio. “We had a lot of interest in them, which was not surprising. They were by a quality maker and while not the earliest example, they are always very fine when you find them,” Jeffers said. While he said he had global interest in the pair, they were purchased by a bidder in the United States.
A few lots of silver got the sale off to a strong start, with the first lot out of the gate – an approximately 200-piece International sterling silver flatware set in the Prelude pattern -bringing $2,280 from a bidder in the room. Two lots later, a five-piece tea service, also in the Prelude pattern by International, made $1,140. An 85-piece lot of Gorham Etruscan pattern sterling silver flatware was snapped up for $1,500 by an online bidder.
Small, relatively portable and packable items continue to do well in this era of online bidding and shipping. A group of three Art Nouveau glass shades by Quezal brought $1,875, the third highest price of the sale and a cast iron “Little Red Riding Hood” doorstop saw the most bidding increments of any lot, finally closing for $840, well ahead of its $150/250 estimate.
Several lots of framed needlework samplers and pictures outperformed expectations and carried the momentum Garth’s initiated with its approximately 100-lot May 7 textile sale. Noteworthy results include a framed English needlepoint pocket that made $1,680, a group lot of three samplers that achieved $1,320, and a framed English verse sampler worked in 1835 by Hannah Frost that soared to $1,140. “Certainly, any time you have a large grouping within a category, or a specialty sale, that puts things in that category at the top of people’s minds for a certain period of time,” Jeffers said. He noted that many of the samplers were from a large collection from Atlanta, which Garth’s has been selling off in small groups in previous sales and which will appear in upcoming sales.
Garth’s April 10 Eclectic sale saw strong results in mid- to late Nineteenth Century American furniture. That trend appears to continue, with $1,625 paid for a late Nineteenth Century American bed and $1,140 realized by a three-piece Victorian bedroom suite that included a bed, marble top commode and mirrored dresser with marble top. Other notable furniture results include a stacking oak bookcase by Globe Wernicke that made $1,140, nearly quadrupling its low estimate, while a lavishly carved court cupboard went out at $780. “Some categories have been surprisingly – and pleasingly – strong. High-end Victorian has been one of those categories,” commented Jeffers. “I am hopeful that this cocooning of sorts that we’ve been asked to do will drive decorating and living with important and interesting things. I think maybe a little of the uptick in Victorian has to do with some of that.”
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is at The Municipal Light Plant at 589 West Nationwide Boulevard. For information, www.garths.com or 740-362-4771.
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