Published: April 8, 2008
A heavily carved oak hall seat attributed to R.J. Horner, one of only five or six known to exist and in pristine condition, sold for $46,000 at a single-owner collection sale conducted February 16 by Hal Hunt Auctions. The piece, made around 1890 and measuring 8 feet 10 inches tall by 5 feet 2 inches wide, was the top lot of the sale.
“This was one of the finest Horner hall seats ever made,” remarked Hal Hunt, “and it was typical of the merchandise overall. The items were previously owned by a dedicated collector from Bloomington, Ill. He had one of the greatest collections of Victorian to Art Deco items it has ever been my honor to sell. Almost every piece was museum quality. And they were all true antiques †no reproductions.”
About 400 people packed into the gallery, and they had the undivided attention of the staff, since there was no Internet bidding and no phone bids. “People poured in from all over the country, dealers and collectors alike, from 25 states,” Hunt said. “It was a real lively crowd. We sold 700 lots in eight hours.”
Additional highlights were a monumental pair of mahogany winged griffin parlor chairs, which, at first glance, looked to be the work of R.J. Horner. But the trained eye correctly identified them as pieces made by the Karpen Furniture Company, specialists in Art Nouveau sets in Chicago in the Nineteenth Century. The chairs had been reupholstered, but some time ago. After spirited bidding, they sold for $19,550 each.
An extremely rare oak china cabinet with cherubs, measuring 6 feet 2 inches tall by 4 feet 2 inches wide, one of only two known to exist, changed hands for $31,000; one of the finest carved oak dressing screens by R.J. Horner to be offered at auction in some time soared to $13,800; and a rare, original finish oak gramophone playing both records and Regina discs gaveled for $23,000.
A carved mahogany winged lion table stretching 14 feet in length crossed the block at $29,900. Also, a lady’s double curio oak desk in like-new condition hammered for $8,050.
An alabaster and marble nude lady statue lamp, multicolored and electric from day one, lit up the room for $31,050; a bronze chunk jewel dragon chandelier with three imposing arms achieved $17,250; and an exotic griffin floor lamp with original cloth shade by an unknown maker brought $7,187.
A rare oak lady figural carved partners’ desk with knee hole, 5 feet wide by 2 feet 7 inches tall, realized $17,250. A selection of vintage clocks, about 35 in all, went for $2,300 to $9,200 each.
Artwork was also in evidence. A group of some 25″0 original prints by the American artist and illustrator Maxfield Parrish (1870‱966) sold for prices ranging from $175 to $1,725. Another name instantly recognizable to the assembled throngs was Louis Icart, the French-born artist who lived from 1888 to 1950. Four original figural works, depicting reclining ladies and animals, sold for $1,380, $1,725, $2,300 and $4,025.
All prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Hal Hunt Auctions’ next big sale will be Sunday, May 4. For information, www.halhunt.com or 205-333-2517.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm