Published: March 19, 2002
Horner Clock Strikes $106,000 At $2.4 Million John Fontaine Event
PITTSFIELD, MASS. – John Fontaine held a February 15-17 sale, where more than $2.4 million was generated, including 12 percent buyer’s premium.
Friday night saw some 600 uncataloged lots served up, followed by Saturday’s fully cataloged main event of nearly 500 high-end lots. The wrap-up Sunday sale, also fully cataloged, was dedicated to Cohen-Fontaine Fine Arts.
Top lot at the centerpiece Saturday sale was an important R.J. Horner grandfather clock that surpassed estimates at $106,000.
Strong performances in other collecting areas included a Tiffany leaded Tulip table lamp at $64,400, an ebonized inlaid writing desk attributed to Herter Brothers at $39,200, and a rare Black Forest floor standing viewer on a pedestal base at $11,760.
Also selling were a 19-inch Wavecrest vase, $22,400, a small KPM plaque signed Wagner that soared over estimates to $4,760, and an upright 35-inch Symphonian music box that realized $7,840.
Sunday’s Cohen-Fontaine sale also had its outperformers on a day when many of the paintings offered were well received.
In reaching $23,000, Eliot Clark’s “Under the Trees” set a new world record for the artist. Also raising eyebrows was a Johannes Weissenbruck oil, bought up by a Dutch buyer at an estimate-tripling $10,350.
“Overall, we were very pleased with the results,” said John Fontaine afterward. “Lighting always has its ebbs and flows, so that wasn’t surprising – what was, though, was the performance of just about everything else, including the paintings on Sunday. Really exciting to me was Friday night’s ‘Discovery sale’ – what started as a low-key experiment a few sales back delivered the largest crowd I’ve ever seen here…”
On the third in this gallery’s Friday night “Discovery” sales, this one filled every seat in the Main Room, and another 100- plus dealers and collectors jockeyed for standing and sitting room.
The Saturday session was rich in period lighting, as well as furniture, clock, art glass and Black Forest rdf_Descriptions. These offerings, about 325 altogether, sold quite consistently and often over estimates.
While a host of furniture styles and periods were represented, Renaissance Revival, Rococo, Aesthetic, Victorian and carved oak expressions were offered in depth.
Among numerous high scorers were a 98-inch aesthetic rosewood mirror attributed to Herter Brothers that surpassed estimates at $15,120; a round central hall settee in the same style with upholstered seat back column that reached $6,160; Renaissance Revival walnut marble top parlor cabinet showing figural bronze plaques that nearly double estimates at $14,000; and a 118-inch rosewood etagere that made $16,800.
Also selling were two Renaissance Revival center tables, one of mahogany the other walnut, which realized $7,280 and $11,200 respectively.
Still another table doing well was a 60-inch round oak banquet model showing massive carved griffins. Complete with three leaves, it finished at $11,200.
A Tiffany fireplace set with a mosaic of small iridescent glass tiles brought $33,600; a Standard Grade Wells Fargo Wooton desk won $11,200; and an Egyptian Revival burl walnut hall tree showing lions and bird carved panels – soaring over nine feet tall.
Among several offerings attributed to John Belter, a pair of rosewood laminated side chairs with pierced/carved backs finished over estimates at $5,040.
A 55-inch Black Forest hall bench showing a carved seat with supporting bears at each end easily surpassed estimates at $8,960, while a highly unusual 78-inch three-fold carved walnut dressing screen oil-painted with an underwater aquatic scene did likewise at $9,520.
Top honors in rare music boxes and players went to a coin operated 35-inch upright Symphonian that made $7,840; while a Wurlitzer Colonial model #1080 juke box which, even though not working, still realized $4,760.
Elaborate and large doré bronze examples included a detailed 3-piece set showing winged cupids that made $11,200; a 35-inch wide centerpiece model that realized $7,840; and a 42-inch boulle shelf clock with figural mounts that came in at $7,280.
Among a handful of porcelain or combination porcelain/bronze doré offerings, one showing doré maidens and capped with a Sèvres urn made $3,080.
Notable clocks included a 27-inch bronzed metal figural Aviation clock signed Ruchot. Showing nicely detailed hot air balloons and early airplanes, the piece climbed to $5,880.
A Tiffany 16-inch leaded Dogwood table lamp finished near high estimate at $29,120; a 10-inch Tiffany pottery-based table lamp with a swirling, reddish art glass shade made $14,560; and a leaded Pomegranate model realized the same figure.
Other Tiffany lighting-related lots included a 23-inch high six light chandelier at $13,340; a fine bronze candlestick with snuffer showing a pulled feather shade which, though carrying a hairline crack, still made $2,688; a counterbalance lamp that realized $10,640; and a four-arm bronze candelabra with glass inserts that finished at $5,040.
Among the Handel lamps an 18 Floral table lamp finished over estimates at $19,040; an 18-inch Jungle Bird atop a polychromed metal base signed G made $19,600; and another 18-inch model, this one showing flying cranes, realized $14,000.
Leading the Pairpoint examples were a 12-inch puffy Azalea that exceeded estimates at $20,160; another 10-inch puffy Azalea (showing a radically different shade and base) that made $16,800; and a 14-inch puffy Apple Tree that realized $7,840 despite a cracked shade.
Underscoring the ongoing appeal of Duffner & Kimberly examples, a Magnolia hanger zoomed well over estimates to $21,840.
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