Published: January 9, 2001
Internet Fine Art, Furniture and Decorations Auction Goes to the Dogs
Just the thing for the dog-lover who has everything: a bronze figure of a hound. Or how about a porcelain pup?
Rather than putting a damper on auction activity, the holiday season seemed to spur buyers, at least in ewolfs’ December Fine Art, Sculpture, Furniture, Carpets and Fine Decorations auction, perhaps to find the perfect gift or spend that year-end bonus.
Yes, there were paintings, jewelry, furniture and decorative objects. But possibly the most entertaining auction category was the “bronze and ceramic dogs and other animals,” where, according to the site’s auction results, every last canine figurine found a home – all 63 lots!
Some were bargains, from a late Nineteenth Century “hound successfully attacking an exhausted stag” for $144.90 (est $150/300) to an English enameled cup modeled after a hound’s head for $189.75 (est $200/400).
But most attained or bettered their estimates. Topping the price list was a bronze of a group of hounds attacking a stag by Antoine Louis Barye, which brought $10,063 (est $6/9,000). And at $5,175 (est $3/5,000) was a an approximately 13-inch bronze figure of “Druid,” the bloodhound of Imperial Prince Napoleon, by the French artist Jules B. Gelibert (1834-1916).
Were all these pups purchased by a dog dealer, or by 63 different dog lovers? No one can say, but if the latter was the case, a very different buyer was delighted with a porcelain pug described in the auction catalog thus: “seated pug in blanc de chine glaze with brown spotted muzzle and eyebrow, wearing a collar fitted with bells.” From the late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century, this eight-inch specimen exceeded its estimate of $200/400, selling for $644. A porcelain aficionado also went way over estimate ($100/200) for a pair of Royal Copenhagen French Bulldogs, paying $603.75 for the eight-inch figures. Not just decoration but utility may have been on the mind of the new owner of an 11-inch cast iron Boston Terrier doorstop; it sold above estimate ($100/200) for $373.75.
This auction’s success in the dog area, however, did not diminish enthusiasm for the human figure. A five-foot, three-inch bronze by American Herbert Adams, “Girl With Water Lilies” (1928), sold for $34,500 ($20/40,000). According to the catalog, this Florentine Renaissance style maiden seems to be in a very small edition of two or three. Fitted as a fountain, in its latest of three Cleveland homes it was installed in a garden overlooking a small pond. Judging from Adams’ selection of this work as his entry into an exhibition by the National Sculpture Society, he considered “Girl with Water Lilies” one of his best works of the late 1920s.
Other rdf_Descriptions of note in this auction included Jonas Lie’s oil on canvas “High Noon” (1917), which realized $18,975 (est $20/40,000). Another painted image, a Nineteenth Century oil on wood copy of Raphael’s “Madonna of the Goldfinch” (circa 1506) in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, estimated at $5/8,000, garnered $5,750.
A highlight of the “Decorations” category, a 33-by-64-inch mosaic Venetian mirror (circa 1900), realized $14,373 (est $15/25,000). This elaborately designed mirror featured architectural elements of columns and arches covered in flowers and vines with bouquets of roses and poppies and birds.
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