Published: April 26, 2011
April brings winter’s thaw and the advent of baseball season. In the city of Cleveland, these are hallowed things. At Aspire Auctions, however, these have taken second-place compared to a recent record-setting auction, which ran online March 25⁁pril 2.
“Going into 2011, we knew our March auction was going to be something special,” said Cynthia Colling, co-president of the Cleveland-based auction and appraisal house. “We’re normally enthusiastic about our lots †we spend a lot of time and energy handpicking the highest-quality items. But when we acquired two Japanese Meiji-era cloisonné collections, we knew we had something special on our hands.”
Aspire firmly believed that these cloisonné pieces would cause the art market to pay attention. Not since 2007, they claimed, had such objects been offered for sale to the public. Furthermore, Aspire knew Asian antiques and art were commanding high prices throughout the world. As a result, expectations were high.
The results did not disappoint. One of this auction’s star pieces, a pair of imperial presentation vases by Hattori Tasaburo of Nagoya, closed at $80,500. A cloisonné and musen tray displaying a mallard duck in flight, signed by Dai Nihon Nagoya Takeuchi, closed at $7,590. This was several thousand dollars more than the estimated price.
Non-cloisonné items did well, too. An Eero Sarinen “Tulip” and Eames lounge chair and ottoman netted $2,070 and $2,357, respectively, racing far above their original estimates. An oil landscape by Seventeenth Century British painter Sir Edwin Landseer sold for $21,907; a complete surprise, given its original $3,000 estimate.
The sale had 1,015 bidders participating and a sell-through rate of 90 percent for a sales total of $1,114,000.
For more information, visit www.aspireauctions.com or call 216-231-5515.
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