Published: December 15, 2020
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Roland NY
GLEN COVE, N.Y. – The December 5 estates sale at Roland NY featured a collection of Jansen furniture, more than 100 Belle Époque vases, bronzes and furniture from a Long Island estate, not to mention a prominent New Jersey collection of English, French and Continental antiques, many of which comprised the sale’s top 20 lots. The headliner was a pair of Philip and Kelvin Laverne six-sided Chan-style bronze side tables, etched with pewter overlay on bronze and patinated brass. Signed, with glides under either end, the tables, each 15½ by 10¼ by 17¾ inches, sold for $17,500, an excellent example from the father and son New York artisans in the 1970s.
“We had our best sale of the year due to our offering of high-quality art and antiques,” the firm’s president Sal Trupiano told Antiques and The Arts Weekly. “The market shows continued strength when it comes to high-end offerings. We see some traditional items drawing more interest than before.” Roland even had a nice postsale addition when a Korean Koryo celadon glazed incense burner sold for $28,125.
The sale itself totaled $609,332, and there were 2,594 bidders and two online platforms, LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable, being utilized.
In addition to the Laverne side tables, there were several other Twentieth Century design pieces across the block, but, hey, it’s an estate sale so variety rules. Separated by more than a century was the auction’s second highest selling lot, an oil on board folk art portrait of a child, which the firm’s inhouse art appraiser attributed to Sturtevant J. Hamblin (American, 1835-1855) or William Matthew Prior (American, 1806-1873). With no visible signature and housed in a gilt-edged frame, the 13½-by-10-inch painting nevertheless teased out $12,500, above its high estimate. It came from a New Jersey collector and was taken by a buyer in Connecticut.
A Russian gilt-bronze and stone center table went out at $11,250. The 30½-by-42-by-25-inch table featured impressive gilt-bronze, with a tiger’s eye, lapis and marble in the Russian Neoclassical style. To place under it, a silk and metal thread Turkish Hereke rug at $10,625 was in good condition and dated to the 1940s, measuring approximately 12 feet 6 inches by 8 feet 6 inches. Two other rugs of note were a signed Persian in colors of tan, red and blue, 141 by 121½ inches, that brought $5,625, four times its high estimate and a Chinese blue field rug from the first quarter of the Twentieth Century that outperformed nearly as well, taking $5,000.
Asian material was alluring to bidders. From the same Long Island estate as the Laverne side tables, a Tibetan Seventeenth/Eighteenth Century gilt-bronze figure of Hevajra slipped its $3,000 high estimate to capture $10,625. The large (18¼ inches high) gilt-bronze figure of Hevajra with his consort Nairatmya, hands on the right holding kapala with animals, those on the left holding kapala with images of the gods of air, water and the elements, attended by a retinue of dakinis. And a pair of antique Chinese covered bowls similarly outperformed the $300/400 expectation to fetch $10,075 despite the fact that one base was cracked. “As usual, Chinese antiques bring strong competitors,” said Trupiano. On the flip side of expectations, a pair of Chinese export porcelain jardinieres with bronze dore mounts were valued at $6/8,000 but realized just $5,937.
Items crafted in the manner of Serge Roche (1888-1998), the midcentury furniture designer, decorator and art collector whose glamorous Hollywood Regency designs inspired many, performed well at auction. A pair of mirrored obelisks, circa 1940s, each 72 high, more than doubled their high estimate at $9,375, while a pair of mirror and black lacquer consoles was bid to $3,750.
Two tables, one American and one French, were notable among the sale’s top lots. Fetching $10,075, far above its high estimate, was an American Eighteenth Century Newport tilt-top piecrust table, whose label verso read “San Diego Museum of Art.” A Nineteenth Century French specimen table drew a $9,000 bid. Crafted in Louis XVI style, the French ormolu-mounted stained horn and brass inlaid table de café featured marble that was probably earlier. It measured 29½ by 28½ by 15 inches.
Fine art highlights included a painting by Eduardo Tofano (Italian, 1838-1920) “Evelyne” and depicting a parasol-equipped woman in romantic soft focus. Bringing more than its high estimate at $9,000, the oil on canvas was gilt-framed and measured 29 by 20 inches. Tofano was a painter of historic, genre and Orientalist themes. He began his studies at the Albertina Academy of Turin but completed studies at the Accademia Clementina of Bologna. He then returned to Naples where he became a follower of the Realism of Domenico Morelli. In 1861, at the age of 23 (1861), he was recruited as an instructor at the Art Institute of Naples, a post he held till 1864.
A maritime painting by ships portraitist Antonio Gasparo Jacobsen sold for $4,375. “Towing the Gate City,” oil on canvas, was signed and dated “Antonio Jacobsen 1903” lower right and measured 13¼ by 8½ inches.
A framed map of Manhattan found favor with bidders who took it from a $500/700 estimate all the way to $5,625. “We didn’t realize it was a rare map,” said Trupiano. “Its condition was excellent, too, and, of course, everyone loves NYC!”
Additional sale highlights included an ornate giltwood Eighteenth Century mirror that brought $5,937; a pair of Twentieth Century wrought iron and parcel-gilt screen panels that sold for $5,000; a George III library armchair, circa 1770, in the French taste, upholstered in blue needlepoint fabric going out at $4,687 and, bringing the same price, a pair of George III ormolu and glass four-light candelabra.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. Roland’s next sale is set for January 2. For more information, 212-260-2000 or www.rolandauctions.com.
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