Published: August 24, 2010
In a sale heavily laden with silver and Continental furnishings, John Moran Auctioneers achieved several excellent results for top property from a number of private collections and estates at its July 20 auction.
While these categories are perennially good performers for the Southern California firm, this auction was also punctuated by many instances of intense competition among the more than 300 bidders for an eclectic range of other types of items, leading to a sell-through rate of 79 percent.
The phone lines were fully booked for bidding on a parcel-gilt decorated maple concert harp, manufactured by Lyon & Healy circa 1915. A highly decorative piece, it doubled its high estimate after a quick succession of bids brought it to a final price of $11,500.
A group of four Art Deco travel clocks also caught the eye of several collectors, driving prices well beyond the high estimates of $900 each. One, of silver and 14K gold with an agate floriform surround, made in France and marked J.E. Caldwell, realized $1,265. A Swiss sterling silver and lavender enamel minute repeater, made circa 1925, was the highest earner of the four, bringing $2,875, and a Cartier leather-covered minute repeater with a circular pink enamel dial brought $2,070.
The appeal of Art Deco in this market was demonstrated again when a 6½-inch Demetre Chiparus gilt-bronze, ivory and onyx figure of a woman, “The Squall,” circa 1925, realized $6,325. Moran’s recently had success with another Chiparus figure, selling the largest-sized version of “Les Amies Toujours” for $31,625 in March.
Modern art also continues to gather momentum as Moran’s expands its fine art offerings beyond the firm’s traditional emphasis on American Impressionism and pre-Twentieth Century European. A sculpture by Man Ray (1890‱976) of an iron with a nail-studded plate, titled “Cadeau,” earned $1,840, exceeding its high estimate.
Other sale highlights included a St Petersburg porcelain jardiniere and underplate, decorated with landscapes in the reserves and bearing the mark of Alexander II, 1871, that more than tripled its high estimate to take $9,775.
A carved Carrara marble figure of a fisher boy, signed Bacherini, 1897, Firenze, depicting a boy with hat holding a pole and fish, on a mottled green marble pedestal, earned $9,200, nearly doubling its high estimate.
European furniture included a massive Italian baroque-style walnut sideboard, late Nineteenth Century, elaborately carved with a figure of Neptune, mermen, griffins and grotesque masks, that went out at $6,325.
All prices reported include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Moran’s next antiques auction is scheduled for September 28, and its next California and American art auction, the final of three occurring in 2010, will be October 19. For information, 626-793-1833 or www.johnmoran.com .
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