Published: March 28, 2023
NEW YORK CITY — The grand reopening of La Belle Epoque Auction House kicked off with a multi-estates auction on March 18, marking the firm’s first auction since temporarily shutting down for 10 months of complete renovations in the spring 2022, due to severe water damage in the 7,000-square-foot space at 71 8th Avenue on the border of the Meatpacking District and the West Village.
Leading the way at the first new auction was a drawing of a woman attributed to Joan Miro (Spanish / Catalan, 1893-1983). Signed and dated Miro 1917 lower right and approximately 7 by 6 ½ inches, piece was estimated at $700-$1,000 but sold higher to a bidder in the room for $2,048.
This theme of unusual finds at great prices carried out through the entire auction, which featured a collection of fine art, antiques, silver, Midcentury Modern furniture, jewelry, fashion, lighting, memorabilia, collectibles, decorative items and more.
There were quite a few bidders in the room, one of whom was lucky enough to win “My Daughters” by Abraham S. Baylinson (Russian / American, 1882-1950). The oil on canvas portrait of two sisters with a self-portrait of the artist in the upper right hand of the painting sold for just $640. Signed 1937 lower right side, it was presented in a molded frame.
Other notables in the fine art arena were a Piranesi-style print, two-sheet Eighteenth Century engravings of the Vatican in a partial gilt mahogany frame with a double matte.
From a Central Park West estate, it brought $960. And a Salvador Dali limited edition print lithograph “Les songs drolatiques de Pantagruel,” circa 1973, signed lower right, numbered 206/250, approximately 21 by 30 inches, went out at $768.
Highly anticipated items in contemporary art included a bronze clad sculpture of a female torso. It was signed on the bottom right of the base, measured approximately 30 inches high and sold for $1,408. After Giacometti, a bronze table with a stylized nude figure of a woman on a marble base, approximately 27 inches tall, realized $608, while a Tiffany-style floor lamp with leaded glass shade in the Wisteria design, approximately 41 by 15 by 19 inches made $1,920.
There was a lot of interest in a rare late Seventeenth Century Italian walnut prie dieu retaining both marquetry and parquetry inlay throughout.
The inside panel featured an inlay of a crucifixion raised on blocked feet. Approximately 35 by 25½ by 22 inches, it went for just $832. Also, a unique Italian Nineteenth Century Savonarola open armchair, carved walnut over upholstered leather seat and back rest with ram’s head arm supports sold to a bidder in the room for $384.
Another bargain going to an in-person bidder was a Midcentury Modern tuxedo buttoned reclining Charles Eames-style lounge chair and ottoman. For Herman Miller, circa 1960s, it sold for $832.
Decorative items and silver also had a showing, with a set of 12 Twentieth Century American sterling silver water goblets reaching $1,024, and a miscellaneous assorted group of Asian carved jade finials, early Twentieth Century selling for $1,408.
Fetching just $448 was a rare group of Schafer & Vater “Alice in Wonderland” German bisque porcelain pieces, circa 1900, including teapots, mugs, miniature teacups, saucers and serving dishes all depicting Alice in Wonderland characters.
The sale also offered a large selection of collectibles, including model trains like the American Flyer wide gauge lot of eight cars, which sold for $1,280, and the American Flyer “President’s Special” lot of four — Annapolis Diner Carriage 4393, Army-Navy Observation Carriage 4392, West Point Club Car 4390 and Academy Passenger Carriage — selling for $640.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house.
For additional information, 212-362-1770 or www.labelleepoque.com.
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