Published: January 11, 2011
More than 450 lots went under the gavel on November 21 at Fairfield Auction. The gallery reported its largest attendance ever, with more than 250 in attendance and many more bidding by phone, absentee or Internet. “The building was packed and most people came to buy. We’re seeing a stronger market,” stated owner Jack DeStories.
The sale began with a selection of Twentieth Century decorative art. A large bronze cast after Ernest Justin Ferrand sold just above high estimate at $5,462. A Charles Catteau ceramic vase, 19 inches high, brought $4,312, while a Madoura/Picasso vase with damage did well at $5,175. A Handel reverse painted desk lamp sold to the trade at $1,610.
A strong selection of fine art was led by Guy Wiggins’s “Washington Square.” The 20-by-24-inch oil on canvas was in impeccable condition and dated 1935. With several phone bidders in contention, the snowy winter scene sold to a bidder on the floor at $43,700. Other artists performing well included J. Clinton Sheppard at $2,530, Peter Poskas at $4,025 and a small Ben Foster at $1,150. Prints included the iconic “Mother and Child” by John Woodrow Wilson from 1952. The large size of this well-known lithograph sold within estimate at $5,175.
A small group of Americana produced some strong results. An important American “Crown Point” powder horn brought collectors to the auction. Estimated at a conservative $4/6,000, the French-Indian War horn, dated 1759, sold to a collector at $18,400. A sailor’s shellwork valentine sold for $2,875, and a Pennsylvania walnut tall chest in old surface brought $3,737. A large pressed brass parade eagle sold for $6,325, while an Eighteenth Century portrait miniature earned a final bid of $2,530.
A nice selection of jewelry was led by a lavaliere necklace with two large diamonds weighing 6 carats in total. After lengthy bidding, it sold for $28,750. A diamond ring with 3.7 carats total weight sold for $4,140; a diamond and sapphire bar pin hammered at $1,495, and a Patek Philippe pocket watch sold reasonably at $2,415.
European accessories were led by a fine French Empire bronze mantel clock that sold at $5,175, while a large French Empire portrait from the same estate earned $2,185. A French provincial walnut armoire sold for a very affordable $460.
A group of estate carpets attracted numerous bidders. A pair of Kuba runners each sold at $5,175, while an early Turkish runner brought $3,162. A small Northwest Persian carpet also went above estimate at $2,875, while a double eagle Kazak earned $4,600. A room-sized hooked rug also did well at $3,450.
The market for Chinese art and decorations remains strong. A pair of Chinese garden barrels brought $5,750, while a pair of Nineteenth Century vases and a pair of hardstone carvings each went well over estimate at $4,312.
Other items of interest included a Kimora flicker book viewer selling at $2,300 and a Tiffany Studios table lamp base that hammered at $5,175. A Steinway Model O grand piano in black satin finish sold within estimate at $8,912. A Japanese lacquer ware inro decorated with a samurai helmet went well above estimate at $3,450. An 8-inch Rookwood vase decorated by Kataro Shirayamadani was a nice buy at $1,380, as was an upright Symphonian “Musik Automat” disk music box at $2,530.
Prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
The next sale at Fairfield Auction will take place Sunday, January 23, at 11 am. For information, www.fairfieldauction.com or 203-364-1555.
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